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Tuesday Ramblings from The Plains

Not much going on the last few days on the Plains with Auburn having their first bye week of the 2019 football season. The Tigers held four practices prepping for this coming Saturday’s road game against Arkansas.

The Razorbacks are winless in SEC play but have come close in games against Kentucky and Texas A&M. That should give them plenty of motivation as well as playing at home with an early 11 a.m. kick.

*** Concerns with next road game?

Of up most concern for Auburn heading into Fayetville is who will replace injured running back Boobee Whitlow and how will quarterback Bo Nix respond after a disappointing game last week in Gainesville?

The No. 11 Tigers have several options at tailback. Expect Kam Martin to get the start with Shawn Shivers getting some touches. And look for highly touted freshmen Harold Joiner and D.J. Williams to be given a shot. In fact, Gus has already said he expects Williams, who mirrors Whitlow in size and running style, to have an expanded roll in the second half of the season.

As to how Nix will respond, his teammates say they are confident in Bo’s ability and confidence. Wide Receiver, Will Hastings said, “Bo’s reenergized and ,,, He’s got confidence that we can run the table and beat everyone on the whole schedule.” That should be the key to Nix’s success. That and Coach Malzahn saying he will make things more simple for Bo this week in his play calling.

*** Auburn – LSU afternoon kickoff.

For the third time this season, Auburn will be featured in the CBS Game of the Week. Auburn and LSU will be kicking off their annual Tiger Bowl at 2:30 CT on Oct. 26 in Baton Rouge. It’s not only good for Auburn to be chosen three times in one season, it’s also good not to have to play the No. 2 Bengals at night in famed Death Valley Stadium.

*** The “visual identity system” will not be changed.

Back in August Auburn announced it would make some alterations to the familiar  inter locking A and U of the Auburn logo. University officials tried to soften the news by calling it a change to the “visual identity system.”

The decision was met with a lot ire and protest from fans and alumni. The last time Auburn tried to mess with the Auburn logo (1995), then president Dr William Muse had a revolt on his hands and had to quickly retreat. It appears the same thing has happened again.

On Monday, The Auburn Plaisman reported that Ronald Burgess, Auburn University’s chief operating officer, told SGA President Mary Margaret Turton the school will not go through with the proposed changes to the nationally recognizeable logo.

Mark that down as a victory not only for the fans but for common sense.  Until next time …

War Eagle!

The post Tuesday Ramblings from The Plains appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

College Football TV Broadcast Schedule for Saturday, 10-12-19

It’s the seventh week of the college football season, and there are several interesting games being played this weekend, including No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 24 Texas A&M, No. 5 LSU vs. No. 7 Florida, No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 Texas and No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 17 Iowa.

However, the most intriguing for SEC fans may be the ESPN Prome Time Contest: No. 7 Florida vs. No. 5 LSU. The cross divisional rivals will square off in famed “Death Valley” Stadium in Baton Rouge at 7:00 p.m. CT. Florida is one of the most surprising SEC teams this season.

The big question for this game is, can the Gators exit Death Valley still undefeated and remain in the race for the East title. A loss to the Bengal Tigers copuld handicap their effort to make it to Atlanta.

Since Auburn is off this week Tiger fans will be able to browse between channels to catch some of the national games being played on Saturday.

There are plenty of games on tap, and as usual we have listed below the broadcast schedule for all of Saturday’s games for your college football viewing guide. The game times are Central, and all SEC games as well as those involving Top 25 teams are underlined.

Games on ESPN/ABC can be viewed by clicking here, and games on ESPN3 can be viewed by clicking on this link. Enjoy and have a good weekend from Track ‘Em Tigers.

(All times Central) 
11:00

No. 16 Michigan at Illinois – ABC
No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 Texas – Fox
South Carolina at No. 3 Georgia – ESPN
No. 23 Memphis at Temple – ESPN2
Miami (Ohio) at Western Michigan – ESPNU
Mississippi State at Tennessee – SEC Network
Maryland at Purdue – Big Ten Network
Rutgers at Indiana – Big Ten Network alternate
Toledo at Bowling Green – CBS Sports Network

See the rest of the TV schedule after the jump.

11:30
Georgia Tech at Duke = Fox Sports South

2:30
Florida State at No. 2 Clemson – ABC
No. 1 Alabama at No. 24 Texas A&M – CBS
No. 25 Cincinnati at Houston – ESPN2
Michigan State at No. 8 Wisconsin – Big Ten Network
Washington State at No. 18 Arizona State – Pac-12 Network
BYU at South Florida – CBS Sports Network

2:45
Connecticut at Tulane – ESPNU

3:00
Iowa State at West Virginia – ESPN
Texas Tech at No. 22 Baylor – Fox Sports 1
UNLV at Vanderbilt – SEC Network
Rhode Island at Virginia Tech – ACC Network

6:00
Ole Miss at Missouri – ESPN2
Fresno State at Air Force – CBS Sports Network

6:30
No. 10 Penn State at No. 17 Iowa – ABC
USC at No. 9 Notre Dame – NBC
Arkansas at Kentucky – SEC Network
Navy at Tulsa – ESPNU
Nebraska at Minnesota – Fox Sports 1
Louisville at No. 19 Wake Forest – ACC Network

7:00
No. 7 Florida at No. 5 LSU – ESPN
No. 15 Utah at Oregon State – Pac-12 Network

9:15
Hawaii at No. 14 Boise State – ESPN2

9:30
Wyoming at San Diego State – CBS Sports Network

10:00
Washington at Arizona – Fox Sports 1

The post College Football TV Broadcast Schedule for Saturday, 10-12-19 appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

Who Will Be the Next Man Up After Boobee Whitlow Sidelined by Injury?

For the fourth consecutive year Auburn will be without its leading rusher during the second half of the season. Starting tailback Jatarvious ‘Boobee’ Whitlow had to have surgery today on his left knee. The injury happened in Saturday’s game against Florida.

After being plague by injuries last season Whitlow was on track to be a 1,000 rusher. The sophomore is second in the league with 544 yards and  leads the SEC with seven rushing touchdowns. While there are several backs behind Boobee, anyway you cut, it this has to big a blow to the offense moving forward.

Coach Malzahn said Whitlow is an impact player but added, “The good thing is, for that, we do have a deep group at running back.” Potential replacements for the bell cow back are Kam Martin, Malik Miller, Shaun Shivers, and frehmen D.J. Williams and  Harold Joiner.

Early prognosis is that Boobee ‘may’ be able to return for the Georgia or Alabama game. But for now it’s the next man up.

The post Who Will Be the Next Man Up After Boobee Whitlow Sidelined by Injury? appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

Upon Further Review: Expect Auburn to Come Back Strong

As soon as the seconds ticked off the clock in Ben-Hill Stadium, I knew the deluge would begin. Saturday evening and Sunday were days of venting on social media for a lot of Auburn fans disappointed in Auburn’s 24-13 loss to Florida.

But after two days, maybe we can step back and look at things with a little more perspective. While I concede there were plenty of questions for the coaching staff after a loss (that felt like should have never occurred) this was a game that came down to who would make the least mistakes or, more so, who would capitalize on the last miscue.

That happened with two and a half minutes to go in the game when Florida’s Marco Wilson picked off Patrick Nix to seal the Gator victory. Nix who had been spectacular coming into the game finally looked like the freshman quarterback that he is. That had something to do with the raucous fans at the Swamp as well as an outstanding Gator secondary.

I don’t for a minute think Nix’s performance will define him as a Quarterback. I still think he’s going to be a good one, maybe a great one. Expect him to learn from the moment and grow. Every great quarterback that has ever played the game has had those learning experiences and went onto great careers. Patrick Nix will too.

There were way too many of mistakes and miscues on both sides of the line of scrimmage for two top 10 undefeated teams. At times there was sloppy play from both offenses. It really came down to a defensive struggle with Auburn forcing four turnovers and Florida recovering a fumble and making three interceptions. The one fumble was a muffed punt on the two yard line that led to a Gator touchdown. Not the way to put yourself in position to win a ball game.

If Auburn looked confused at times, there was a reason. Without a doubt the MVP of the game for Florida were the fans in the stands. Few places in America can compare to playing in the Swamp.

As much as we like to talk about how tough it is to play in Jordan-Hare, Ben-Hill Stadium has been consistently ranked near the top of lists for home field advantages. Its design has some unique features that not only can rattle a team but make communication almost impossible.

The field is below ground level with steep stands that go down almost to the playing surface. Noise inside the stadium has been measured at 115 decibels which experts say is just short of the threshold of pain. Because of that, Pat Dye always said it was the most difficult place he ever took a team to play. Saturday, it helped cause miscues on offense, defense, and special teams, making it a total team loss.

However, the brunt of the criticism the weekend has come against Gus Malzahn. Could he have called better plays? – Most certainly. But as Coach Dye used to say, it’s not the Xs and O’s but the Jimmy’s and Joe’s that win ball games. And there were several failed opportunities that could have produced an Auburn win.

Two in particular stand out. The first occurred when Derrick Brown was returning a fumble for an apparent touchdown when he inexplicably fell down. Brown was out in front of the Florida pursuit with a wall of blockers between him and the nearest Gator. The second opportunity was Nix not seeing a Gator defender when throwing what looked like a touchdown pass in the third quarter. If he had made the right decision, Auburn could have gone up 20-17 at that point or at least closed the gap to 14-13 with a field goal. If Nix and Brown both completed their plays, Auburn wins the game 27-24.

For all the gnashing of teeth over the last two days, fans need to remember Auburn is 5-1 against the toughest first half season schedule of football in the nation. The Tigers have played three nationally ranked teams on the road and beaten two of them. No other team can say that.

The Florida loss was very disappointing, especially for the players and coaches. But the good thing is the Tigers have a bye week to regroup and make corrections before beginning the toughest second half schedule of college football in the nation. 

Expect Auburn to come back strong.

The post Upon Further Review: Expect Auburn to Come Back Strong appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

College Football TV Broadcast Schedule for Saturday Oct. 5, 2019

This weekend marks the halfway point of the 2019 college football season. For many schools, the second half of the season is the beginning of the tough part of the schedule. Historically, it’s a time that the teams in the nation’s strongest conference start knocking each other off.

As usually is the case, no team in the SEC has as tough a road to hoe as Auburn. No team has to play both Bama and SEC East power Georgia year in and year out. And this week the No. 7 Tigers begin a four week road trip in Gainesville, Florida when they take on the No. 10 Gators in what is the marquee game of the weekend. It will be a battle of the unbeatens in the legendary swamp of Ben Hill Stadium.

For your convenience, we have listed below the TV broadcast schedule for all of Saturday games leading up to and after Auburn’s 2:30 kickoff with Florida in the CBS Game of the week.

All game times are Central Standard, and all SEC games as well as those involving top 25 teams are underlined. Games on ESPN/ABC can be viewed by clicking here, and games on ESPN3 can be viewed by clicking on this link.

Acid Reign will have his open thread of the game up Saturday, so feel free to chime in on the thread and add your voice to the happenings as the game unfolds. War Eagle …

Beat the Gators!

Saturday October 5, 2019 All times Central

11:00 a.m.
No. 6 Oklahoma at Kansas – ABC

Iowa at No. 19 Michigan – Fox

Purdue at No. 12 Penn State – ESPN

TCU at Iowa State – ESPN2

Kent State at No. 8 Wisconsin – ESPNU

No. 21 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech – Fox Sports 1

Utah State at LSU – SEC Network

Maryland at Rutgers – Big Ten Network

Tulane at Army – CBS Sports Network

See the rest of the schedule after the jump.

11:30

Boston College at Louisville – Fox Sports South

2:30

No. 7 Auburn at No. 10 Florida – CBS Game of the Week

No. 11 Texas at West Virginia – ABC

Bowling Green at No. 9 Notre Dame – NBC

Virginia Tech at Miami – ESPN

Baylor at Kansas State – ESPN2

Illinois at Minnesota – Big Ten Network

Air Force at Navy – CBS Sports Network

2:45

Memphis at Louisiana-Monroe – ESPN2

3:00

Northwestern at Nebraska – FOX

Troy at Missouri – SEC Network

North Carolina at Georgia Tech – ACC Network

3:30

Arizona at Colorado – Pac-12 Network

6:00

No. 3 Georgia at Tennessee – ESPN

6:30

No. 25 Michigan State at No. 4  Ohio State – ABC

Tulsa at No. 24 SMU – ESPNU

Vanderbilt at Ole Miss – SEC Network

7:00

California at No. 13 Oregon – FOX

Pittsburgh at Duke – ACC Network

9:00

San Diego State at Colorado State – ESPN2

Oregon State at UCLA – Pac-12 Network  

9:30

No. 15 Washington at Stanford – ESPN

No. 16 Boise State at UNLV – CBS Sports Network

The post College Football TV Broadcast Schedule for Saturday Oct. 5, 2019 appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

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