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Happy New Year’s Day! 2012 Headlines

1. Auburn 43 – Virginia 24.  Big night for Barrett Trotter.

2. Quarterback provides a spark off the bench.

3. Gene Chizik: “Our special teams play was outstanding.”

4. 109 yards for Ontario McCalleb - named offensive MVP. Gus Malzahn goes out on a high note.

5. Kevin Scarbinsky on Mike Dyer: “His status is deep in the doghouse.”

6. Jeff Schultz: “It’s hard to say exactly what the Tigers projected with their performance Saturday for next season in the SEC. But at the very least, they showed they’re not coming apart.”

7. Cincinnati 31 – Vanderbilt 24. Commodores relinquish fourth-quarter lead on 90-yard kickoff return.

8. Quarterback Jordan Rogers benched in second half.

9. Vandy defense struggles against the run – Bearcats rush for 221 yards.

10. Is Mike Groh Alabama’s next offensive coordinator?

11. Notes from Nick Saban’s final 2011 press conference.

12. Practice resumes on Tuesday for the Crimson Tide.

13. Scott Rabalais: “The sun hasn’t set on Alabama’s empire. It now simply has to share the spotlight.”

14. Huge expectations and a possible top 5 preseason ranking for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2012 as optimism builds.

15. Wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett will not return to Tennessee under any circumstances, says a family member.

16. Top 10 stories of the year for Tennessee football.

17. Firings, resignations and an NCAA investigation – 2011 couldn’t end fast enough for the Tennessee athletic department.

18. With an injury to right guard Terrance Campbell, South Carolina has to shuffle its offensive line to get ready for Nebraska.

19. A back injury means Florida tackle Matt Patchan won’t play Monday night against Ohio State.

20. Mike Bianchi on the Gator Bowl: “It should be called the Urban Meyer Traitor Bowl.”

21. Kentucky 69 – Louisville 62.  Career-high points and rebounds for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

22. Pat Forde: “Calipari’s best player.”

23. Two teams combined for 52 fouls, 70 free throws and 35 turnovers.

24. Wildcats dominate the boards – 57-31 rebounding edge.

25. Florida 90 – Yale 70.  Four Gators in double figures.

26. Mississippi State 66 – Utah State 64.  Bulldogs have to rally from nine-point deficit.

27. South Carolina 72 – South Carolina Upstate 66.  Third straight win for the Gamecocks.

28. Top 10 stories of the year for Tennessee basketball.

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Moseley Named AU Starting QB

With a road trip to #1 LSU coming up on Saturday, Auburn has a new starting quarterback.  Clint Moseley has gotten the nod after giving the Tigers a lift off the bench when he replaced Barrett Trotter against Florida this past weekend.

“We’ve been struggling offensively the last couple of weeks,” Gene Chizik said today.  “I don’t feel like that’s a secret.  We need a spark there.  I feel like in the second half of the Florida game, Clint came in and gave us somewhat of a spark when we needed it.  I think he’s earned the right for the opportunity to start.”

Chizik didn’t enjoy breaking the bad news to Trotter.  “This is the part of the business I don’t like.  You have to tell one guy one thing and another guy the other.”

In Auburn’s 17-6 win over Florida, Moseley was 4 of 7 for 90 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

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SEC Headlines – 10/13/11 Part One

1.  What goes on during halftime in Alabama’s locker room?  Find out here.

2.  BCS guru Brad Edwards believes Alabama will top the first standings of the year.

3.  Gene Chizik takes the high road when it comes to how some in the media covered the Cam Newton story.

4.  Barrett Trotter and Kiehl Frazier will continue to split the QB duties at Auburn… while Clint Moseley waits his turn.

5.  Due to an ankle injury, Arkansas running back Kody Walker could possibly redshirt.

6.  Mike Anderson is remodeling the Razorback basketball program.

7.  LSU’s John Chavis doesn’t want his return to Tennessee to become the storyline of the week.

8.  The Tigers’ season-opening basketball game with Nicholls State will be free to the public.

9.  Three years ago, Ole Miss upset eventual national champion Florida in The Swamp.  Can they upset Alabama this week?

10.  Could the shotgun formation blow up in quarterback Randall Mackey’s face on Saturday?

11.  South Carolina’s defensive ends are a big concern for Mississippi State.

12.  Dan Mullen is keeping every quarterback option on the table for Saturday.

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SEC Headlines – 10/12/11 Part Two

1.  Alabama and LSU are coming together on the gumbo front for a good cause.

2.  After playing the Tide and the Tigers, Florida’s Will Muschamp won’t say who’s better, only that they’re very similar.

3.  Houston Nutt had glowing praise for Nick Saban on the SEC teleconference today.

4.  Gus Malzahn says quarterback Barrett Trotter gives Auburn its best chance to win.

5.  Receiver Emory Blake will be a game-time decision against Florida.

6.  The Arkansas run game has been making some progress in recent weeks.

7.  At the halfway point of their season, the Razorbacks are in a pretty good spot.

8.  Spencer Ware provides the power running game for LSU.

9.  Les Miles says defensive coordinator John Chavis’ return to Knoxville will be an emotional one.

10.  The “Honey Badger” phenomenon tied to LSU corner Tyrann Mathiu continues to grow.

11.  Referring to Alabama’s defense, Ole Miss offensive coordinator David Lee said, “We’re definitely going to get our oil checked this weekend.”

12.  The Rebels are still making changes along the offensive line.

13.  Dan Mullen isn’t tipping his hand when it comes to MSU’s starting quarterback.

14.  After a one-game suspension, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is ready to hit the field again.

15.  Working to figure out a 13-team schedule, the SEC’s athletic directors want to stick with an 8-game conference schedule.

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Trotter Still AU’s Starting QB, But That Position’s Under Review

Arkansas did things the right way on Saturday.  If you’re going to beat Auburn, you’d better blow ‘em the heck out.  The Razorbacks did.

And while the Hogs’ offense did their part in the 38-14 win, the Auburn offense struggled, failing to create the shootout most of us expected to see.  The performance dropped Auburn into eighth place in the SEC in total offense, eighth in scoring offense and ninth in passing offense.

For the year, the Tigers are averaging 27.8 points per game… two touchdowns off last year’s 41.2 points per game average.  Their 374.7 yards per game average is down from 499.2 last season.

In Gus Malzahn’s first season on The Plains, his offense started hot and then struggled through the meat of AU’s SEC schedule.  Auburn finished just 3-5 in league play in 2009.  Last season, Malzahn was hailed as a genius as his offense — behind best-SEC-player-I-ever-saw Cam Newton — turned football into pinball.

Barrett Trotter is no Cam Newton.  Against Arkansas he completed just 6 of 19 passes for 81 yards and an interception.  For the season he’s 79 of 141 (56%) for 976 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions.  Clint Moseley is just 2 of 2 passing.  True freshman Kiehl Frazier is just 2 of 5 for 18 yards and two picks.  (Yep, he’s completed as many passes to opponents’ players as he has to his own teammates.)

Frazier has been the Wildcat option so far, but he sounds like he’s ready to take on a larger role.  “If Coach Malzahn wanted me to, I could run more of the base offense, but he wants me in the Wildcat.”

Yesterday, Gene Chizik hinted that changes might be coming at the quarterback spot: “Today, Barrett Trotter is our starting quarterback.  Obviously, we’ll spend all day today, we’ll spend all day tomorrow evaluating all of our positions on our team just like we do every Sunday and every Monday.  And we’ll go from there.  But today, Barrett Trotter is our starting quarterback.”

Yes, but for how long?  And who’s ready to step in and take the reins of Malzahn’s offense?

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SEC Headlines – 9/1/11 Part One

1.  The writers for have made their college football picks for 2011.

2.  Alabama fans will return to a “different” Tuscaloosa on Saturday.

3.  Can Bama’s two-quarterback system work?

4.  If not for ex-coach Don James, Nick Saban might be selling cars.

5. might have found photographic evidence that T-town Menswear was giving Bama players suits.  (Might, we said.)

6.  Freshmen will play a huge role for Auburn this fall.

7.  Barrett Trotter’s “even-keeled poise” could be one reason he’s starting at quarterback.

8.  Willy Robinson is ready to see his new defenders at Arkansas hit the field.

9.  Bobby Petrino’s coaching principles haven’t changed… but he has.

10.  LSU receiver Rueben Randle has to help out quarterback Jarrett Lee on Saturday.

11.  The Tigers are scrambling to fill a hole at left guard as their date with Oregon approaches.

12.  BYU will be trying to guess what’s on the mind of new Ole Miss offensive coordinator David Lee.

13.  Speedy backup tailback Jeff Scott gives the Rebels a different dimension.

14.  Dan Mullen’s got no qualms about bringing Texas A&M into the SEC.

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SEC Headlines – 8/19/11 Part Three

1.  Experience and leadership won the Auburn starting quarterback job for Barrett Trotter.

2.  Trotter says he welcomes the added responsibility.

3.   But this writer says the junior’s real test begins now.

4.  Clint Moseley took the news that he didn’t win the job pretty hard.

5.  Cris Carter was at Alabama’s practice yesterday, but his son Duron (and his Duron’s juco transcripts) still weren’t anywhere to be found.

6.  Crimson Tide defensive back Mark Barron is a quiet leader.

7.  Les Miles says LSU was much improved at yesterday’s scrimmage.

8.  Sophomore tailback Michael Ford was the Tigers’ leading rusher.

9.  Proposed contract extension for AD Joe Alleva and hoops coach Trent Johnson will be discussed by LSU’s board of supervisors next Friday.

10.  Arkansas’ tight ends are eager to play a bigger role in Bobby Petrino’s offense this fall.

11.  The Hogs will break ground on their new football facility on November 4th.  (UA announced yesterday that it had raised $28 million in private donations.)

12.  Mike Anderson’s first UA basketball schedule is now complete.

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Auburn Names Trotter Starter At QB

Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn have made their decision — Barrett Trotter will be the man to replace Cam Newton as Auburn’s starting quarterback.  The junior beat out sophomore Clint Moseley and true freshman Kiehl Frazier.

Chizik released the following statement this afternoon:

“Barrett has worked extremely hard to earn the starting quarterback job at Auburn University.  I’m very proud of him for the leadership and hard work he has shown not only during camp, but also during his three years at Auburn.  Barrett has a great opportunity to represent and lead this football team moving forward.  Barrett understands the huge responsibility that comes with being the starting quarterback at Auburn and we are confident in his ability to lead this team.”

Chizik also had praise for Moseley and Frazier.

The Tigers open the season against Utah State.  Games versus Mississippi State, at Clemson, and against Florida Atlantic follow before an October stretch features South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida and LSU in consecutive weeks.

It is our belief that if Frazier picks up the offense, his dual-threat ability will lead to his insertion into the Tiger lineup sometime in October. 

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The QB Duels Continue For The Bammers And The Barners

Midway through August, the quarterback competitions at Alabama and Auburn are still red hot.  Both Nick Saban and Gene Chizik addressed their teams’ QB situations this weekend and both said they’re far from naming a starter.

Chizik said of his quarterbacks: “We don’t have separation.  They all did some nice things.  We’ll decide who the starter is at the right time.”

Saban said his quarterback situation remains unsettled and added: “We have a long way to go as a team.  We probably had far too many penalties out there today, too many missed assignments, too many mental errors.”

So for the time being, AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims will continue to duke it out in Tuscaloosa while Barrett Trotter, Clint Moseley and Kiehl Frazier will do the same down on The Plains.

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Auburn Didn’t Wrap Up Spring Until Today

Auburn held a rather bland spring game on Saturday, but the Tigers didn’t officially wrap up spring drills until holding their 15th practice today.

“We will clean some thing up, and we will give them some ideas on what they need to carry on in the summer in terms of them working on different techniques and things of that nature,” Gene Chizik said before the final practice.  “It will be another good, two-hour learning experience for them, and we can’t get enough of them.”

The quarterback race between Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley has apparently not been decided.  Chizik said Saturday that he and Gus Malzahn may not name a starter until August. 

If that’s the case, highly-touted signee Kiehl Frazier might get a shot at the job.  Meaning Trotter and Moseley had better hope they’ve shown a strong enough grasp of the offense to offset any athletic/talent advantage that Frazier might have.

Of course, from the way Cam Newton tells it, Malzahn might not hesitate to simplify his offense for a talented newcomer in the first place.

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