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Ex-Auburn Coach Rocker Doesn’t Regret Pro Move

In the aftermath of January’s BCS Championship Game, only one national champion assistant decided to pick up and leave Auburn.  That man happened to be an Auburn grad.

But new Tennessee Titans defensive line coach Tracy Rocker isn’t looking back on his decision with regret.

“After coaching 17 years of college ball I have aspirations as a coach, and it’s not just to sit there at my alma mater and just be there,” Rocker told The Tennessean.  “At Auburn, I’d already had success as a player and then to come in an win the SEC and national championship in my second year, and to have (Nick Fairley) win the Lombardi Award… my wife kind of asked me, ‘What else do you think you need to do at Auburn?’ and I aid, ‘I don’t know’

“All of a sudden, this thing happens with the Titans, so I guess that was the new calling.  For me, it’s definitely a dream come true.”

Rocker also made it clear that he won’t spend much time missing recruiting.

“You stay out on the road a lot, and then when you’re in meetings, if a kid calls, you’ve got to take the call.  You can’t say, ‘We’ll get you some other time.”

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Ready to make your holiday travel plans? has posted its analysts’ predictions for 2011-12 bowl season.  You may want to hold off on booking those hotels and flights just yet, however.  A year ago, no one would’ve expected Auburn to spend the 2011 holidays in Arizona gearing up for the BCS title game.

Below are the SEC teams that Scout’s forecasters expect to go bowling at season’s end.  For the full list, here’s Part One and here’s Part Two.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl’s Take: Georgia vs Boston College
Our Take: If UGA finishes the season in a third-tier bowl, it will be interesting to see if Mark Richt is the man coaching in that bowl or not.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl’s Take: Tennessee vs Tulsa
Our Take: Considering the lack of depth when Derek Dooley took over, reaching back-to-back bowl games in his first two years would be a solid accomplishment.

Chick-fil-A Bowl’s Take: South Carolina vs Virginia Tech
Our Take: Columbia isn’t far from Atlanta, but it’s hard to see the Chick-fil-A taking the Gamecocks two years in a row.

Outback Bowl’s Take: Florida vs Nebraska
Our Take: Okay, we’re starting to see a trend of Scout just pushing teams into similar level bowls. 

Capital One Bowl’s Take: Arkansas vs Michigan
Our Take: Sugar and Capital One payouts in consecutive years would help to cover the cost of Bobby Petrino’s most recent salary bump.

Gator Bowl’s Take: Mississippi State vs Michigan State
Our Take: Yet another SEC team picked to finish right where it ended the 2010 season.

AT&T Cotton Bowl’s Take: Auburn vs Texas
Our Take: Anything’s possible, but how anyone can expect Auburn to replace Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, 15 other starters and reach a January bowl is beyond us.

BBVA Compass Bank Bowl’s Take: Ole Miss vs Cincinnati
Our Take: It ain’t the Cotton, but the BBVA Compass Bank Bowl would beat another holiday spent at home.

Sugar Bowl’s Take: LSU vs Wisconsin
Our Take: Of all the faux matchups so far, this one is the most appealing.

BCS Championship Game’s Take: Alabama vs Oklahoma
Our Take: Alabama has the homefield advantage over LSU this year, but the Tigers will have a veteran quarterback who — as much as he struggled last year — led LSU to an 11-2 record.  Therefore it’s hard for us to say that a pick of Bama or LSU in the title game is wrong.

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SEC Headlines – 4/25/11 Part One

1.  Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley says his work ethic is not a problem.

2.  Arkansas’ cornerback battle between Isaac Madison and Darius Winston remains undecided.

3.  It looks like Ohio State is going to get smacked pretty good, but their Sugar Bowl victory over the Razorbacks might still stand.

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SEC Headlines 4/23/2011

1. Les Miles sister killed in car wreck.

2. Ranking the football coaches of the SEC.

3. Kentucky Spring Game – time to let the footballs fly.

4. Nick Fairley says he’s no one-year wonder.

5. Tennessee opens up the playbook – for its defense.

6. Vanderbilt basketball – preseason Top 5?

7. Kevin Ware apparently keeping his UCF commitment.


8. Latest mock drafts from

9. Who will be the first non-Big Six player drafted?

10.  Court ruling on Final Four tickets.

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Auburn To Visit White House Next Friday

In keeping with our early-mornin’ Iron Bowl theme…

The BCS champion Auburn Tigers will be making the traditional winner’s trip to Washington, DC a week from today.

“On Friday, April 29, at 10:00 a.m. ET, President Obama will welcome Auburn University’s football team to the White House to honor the team’s 2010 BCS National Championship,” an Obama staffer said yesterday via email.

The first round of the NFL draft will be held next Thursday and it’s likely Cam Newton and Nick Fairley will be snapped up nice and early… meaning that they’ll likely be available to head to the White House on Friday if they choose to attend the ceremony.

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Ex-Bama Back Ingram Lands The Cover Of

A departing Heisman winner from the state of Alabama will grace the cover of the incredibly popular video game “NCAA Football 12″ when it hits shelves later this summer.

No, not that departing Heisman winner from the state of Alabama… the other one.

Mark Ingram, the 2009 trophy winner, won an online vote and was announced today as EA Sports’ latest cover boy.  Ingram beat out Jake Locker, DeMarco Murray and Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley for the honor.

Cam Newton — the 2010 trophy winner from Auburn — was not among the choices presented to voters.  I wonder why?

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AU’s Taylor: “All The Good Players Are Gone”

The big storyline at Auburn this spring is the incredible amount of turnover on the Tigers’ roster.  Gone are offensive and defensive leaders Cam Newton and Nick Fairley.  Gone are literally dozens of members of last year’s BCS championship squad.  And receivers coach Trooper Taylor wants the team to know it.

“All the good players are gone”
is Taylor’s battle cry.  “Anything I can do to motivate those guys.  I didn’t say it; I read it,” Taylor said of the “everyboy’s gone” mantra.   “I want to see if they’re doing to react to that.  If you sit back and take something, you tolerate or accept it, you encourage it.”

“What I want them to understand is that that’s everyone else’s perception.  I talk to them about it every day.  I want them to realize that.  I actually posted the article for them to read.  I don’t write it, (I) just read it.”

And he’s making sure Auburn’s players are reading it, too.

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2011 Heisman Hopefuls From The SEC

Going into 2010, Mark Ingram and Ryan Mallett were the Heisman favorites in the SEC.  But by December, Cam Newton had gone from nowhere (Blinn Junior College) to the history books.  It’s possible next year’s Heisman winner will come from off the hot lists, too.

But for now, those hot lists are starting to turn up on the big, national sports sites.  Dennis Dodd of posted his pre-2011 favorites list yesterday and the SEC is represented as follows:

* Mike Dyer, RB, Auburn — One of the Dodd’s 10 favorites for the award.  “With all the talk about Newton and Nick Fairley, wasn’t it Dyer who won the national championship game in the fourth quarter?”

* Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama — Another of Dodd’s 10 favorites.  “While playing in the shadow of Ingram the past two years, Richardson has run for 1,451 yards while averaging 5.4 yards per rush.”

* Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas — Labeled as “the next level” down from Dodd’s top 10.  “The Next Big Thing at tailback in the SEC.”

* Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina — Also in “the next level.”  “With three of his starting offensive linemen returning, Lattimore shoudl become a 1,500-yard runner in ’11.”

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Auburn Adds Two To Class Of 2011

Auburn’s first commitment on Wednesday came from defensive end Devaunte Sigler from B.C. Rain High School in Mobile, Ala.

Sigler made the announcement at his school, choosing Auburn over LSU and Mississippi State.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about it, and now I know,” Sigler said, according to the Mobile Press-Register.

Sigler’s goals are high as he prepares to enter college. He said he plans to be the “next Nick Fairley,” referring to the former Auburn defensive tackle expected to be drafted near the top of April’s NFL Draft.

Auburn might have also found the next running back to make an instant impact in Gus Malzahn’s offense. Tre Mason from Park Vista High School in Lake Worth, Fla., committed to Auburn over Ole Miss.

It was the place that felt the most like home to me,” Mason told “The coaching staff is great. The players were cool. Everything was great.”

Mason became Auburn’s 21st commitment for the class of 2011.

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SEC Headlines 1/15/2011

SEC Basketball

1. ESPN”s College Gameday comes to Knoxville. John Adams: “Great idea, bad timing.”

2. Bruce Pearl: “If we’re planning on winning the SEC East, it makes this a must-win game.”

3. That’s a familiar theme today.  Ole Miss – now 0-2 in SEC play - faces a “must-win” game against Georgia.  The Bulldogs have been terrible on the road.

4. Can Alabama’s JaMychal Green hold down Marshawn Powell of Arkansas?

5. Florida Vernon Macklin, battling injuries all year,  leads by example.

6. Enes Kantor is now “Coach” Kantor.

7. Is the Kentucky basketball team really harder to guard this year?

8. The LSU basketball team – 2-0 in conference play – will find out just how good they are this afternoon in Rupp Arena.

9. If you want to know why the SEC is 7th in RPI – here’s why.

SEC Football

10. News conference this morning for Alabama safety Mark Barron.

11. Steve Spurrier is shifting responsibilities on his coaching staff.

12. Former San Francisco 49er Bryant Young is Florida’s new defensive line coach.

13. Florida’s Will Hill is heading to the NFL and he’s surprised Janoris Jenkins didn’t join him.

14. An emotional Nick Fairley says goodbye Auburn, hello NFL.

15. Crunching the numbers on Cam Newton and Auburn’s national championship season.

16. Jon Solomon: “Newton produced quite possibly the greatest single season in college football history.”

17. Kentucky football gets some good news with the return of Danny Trevathan and Winston Guy.

18. Georgia’s Justin Houston still considering the NFL draft.

19. Debating the best and worst of college football 2010.

20. The Tennesee football team a sleeper candidate in 2011?

21.  A report has TCU’s co-offensive coordinator interviewing at LSU.

22. John Brantley is coming back for his senior season at Florida.

23. And the mocking starts all over again.  Big Ten sticking with Legends and Leaders.

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