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Auburn’s Fairley Heads To The NFL

Last night, Auburn’s Heisman Trophy-winner announced he was leaving school early to turn pro.  Today, Auburn’s Lombardi Award-winner did the same.

Following in Cam Newton’s footsteps, defensive tackle Nick Fairley made his announcement today at his old high school in Mobile.  He thanked his coaches, asked “What more could I accomplish my senior year?” and gave one final shout-out to the Tiger fans:

“I’d like to say, ‘War Eagle’ to the Auburn nation.”

Fairley is expected to be a top five pick in April’s NFL draft.

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Oregon QB Says AU’s Fairley Has “Got A Lot Of Dirty Plays”

It might serve as bulletin board material for Auburn, but there’s a chance Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas made a very smart move today.

Asked about Tiger defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s reputation as a “dirty” player, Thomas said, “Oh, yeah, we’ve seen he’s got a lot of dirty plays, throwing people around after the play and things like that.”  ESPN’s Chris Low writes that Thomas then followed up with: “But that’s just football.  I don’t worry about it because it’s a physical game.”

And if Fairley comes for him on Monday?  “If it happens, it happens.  You’ve just got to get back up for the next play.”

Getting back up was a problem for Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett and Georgia’s Aaron Murray, both of whom were knocked from their games with Auburn by Mr. Fairley.

For his part, Fairley said that he’s just trying to make plays for his team.  “If it’s me playing dirty, if that’s what they call it, that’s what it is.”

Fairley will definitely be motivated by Thomas’ comments — not that he needs in any extra motivation in a BCS Championship Game.  But Thomas’ remarks might help the Ducks’ cause, too.

By calling even more attention to Fairley before the game, he might cause officials to pay closer attention to Fairley during the game.  That’s how borderline plays go from not drawing a flag to drawing one.

Fairley was going to be a marked man on Monday night anyway.  Thomas’ comments might put a little more spotlight on his play.

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Chizik Won’t Say Who Will/Won’t Play In BCS Title Game

For more than two weeks there have been rumors that one or more Auburn Tigers might not be academically eligible to play in the BCS Championship Game.  But Gene Chizik has refused to go into any details.

“Like I said, if the roster changes with anybody, I will certainly let you know,” Chizik said yesterday.  Now, does that mean he will let people know when he knows… or moments before the title game itself?  Your guess is as good as mine because the coach won’t answer that either.

“I haven’t really thought that far in advance.  But you’ll know.”

Today, the Auburn team left for Glendale and apparently everyone made the trip.  Star defensive tackle Nick Fairley tweeted the following:

“EVERYBODY is playing!  WDE!”

“WDE” means “War Damn Eagle” for you non-Auburnites. 

Okay, so everyone’s good to go, right?  Not necessarily.  Chizik and Auburn still aren’t saying.

If all of his players are eligible — and the last academic session at AU ended three weeks ago — there would be no reason for Chizik to play games with the media.  Oregon will prepare as if the starters are in place regardless.

Therefore, the longer Chizik refuses to talk about his gameday roster, the more it appears that one or more Tigers are not eligible and some form of appeal process is underway.

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AU’s Newton, Fairley Not Thinking NFL Yet

The star of Auburn’s offense and the star of Auburn’s defense don’t have stars in their eyes.  At least not yet.

Asked about the fact that he and Nick Fairley have not submitted their names for an NFL draft evaluation, Cam Newton said, “I don’t think we’ve got around to that.” 

Fairley was asked if he’d made a decision about turning pro early and he said, “I haven’t even thought about it.”

He might want to start.  The deadline for declaring oneself eligible for the draft is January 15th… just five days after the BCS Championship Game.

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The SEC Owned Last Night’s College Football Awards

Please, no more with the “The SEC is down!” storyline.

Auburn is in the BCS Championship Game.  The SEC West by itself had more BCS-ranked teams than most entire conferences.  The power teams of Alabama and Florida had three- and five-loss seasons, respectively, thanks to the depth and parity of the league.  A brand new team coached by a national championship coach — South Carolina — has now shown that it can reach Atlanta, too.

And the SEC dominated last night’s college football awards show on ESPN.

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton collected the following honors: the Maxwell Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, and the Walter Camp Award.  (To be followed soon by the Heisman Trophy.)

LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson won the Jim Thorpe Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award.

Arkansas tight end DJ Williams won the John Mackey Award and the Disney Spirit Award.

Florida punter Chas Henry won the Ray Guy Award.

Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley won the Rotary Lombardi Award.

Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn won the Frank Broyles Award.

Auburn’s Gene Chizik won the Home Depot Coach of the Year Award.

The best players and the best coaches are in the SEC.  Do the math and that means the best teams are in the SEC, too. 


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Nick Fairley Wins Lombardi Award

Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley has won the Lombardi Award as the nation’s top collegiate lineman.

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Auburn Stars Take Home Some Major Awards

When you win, your players get noticed.  Then they win awards.

Here’s guessing, however, that Cam Newton and Nick Fairley would have taken home the AP’s offensive and defensive Player of the Year awards even if Auburn had gone 9-3.  Those guys get noticed all by themselves.

Newton became the first SEC player to ever rush for 1,000 yards and throw for 2,000 in the same season.

Fairley took over games — his one man sack, strip and recovery against Alabama was as good a play as you’ll see — and he made some, er, “big” hits in the process. 

Can’t argue with their taking home the AP’s honors.  Don’t expect the award rush to stop anytime soon, either.  Newton is one of four players who’ll head to New York for his week’s Heisman Trophy presentation.  The only way he doesn’t win that award is if voters decide to penalize him for his father’s pay-for-play plan… something the NCAA and SEC did not do.  (Personally, I don’t know how someone could not vote for him and then look in a mirror.  He was cleared.  He was spectacular.)

South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore captured the AP’s Freshman of the Year honors.

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Nick Fairley Honored At Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet

Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley was one of five finalists for the 2010 Bronko Nagurski Trophy who were honored by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club at a banquet Monday night.

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Newton, Fairley and Chizik Earn Top Honors On AP All-SEC Team

Auburn junior quarterback Cam Newton and junior defensive tackle Nick Fairley were named the Southeastern Conference’s Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively, and Gene Chizik was named SEC Coach of the Year Monday by the Associated Press.

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Awful Announcing

South Carolina
Content provided by Garnet And Black Attack.

I know it’s a dark time for us right now — the morning after a nationally televised drubbing. So this is a humorous attempt to bring some levity to the situation. No disrespect to Cam, Auburn, or their fans. This is strictly lampooning the broadcasters.

While it might have proved to have been an unenjoyable experience to watch the Cocks in Atlanta, at least those of you who attended didn’t have to suffer through Verne and Gary as I did yesterday. I agree with GamecockMan–I usually kind of like Gary Danielson. But I think he might have joined Verne for a few highballs before this one. Both were off their game. Verne, as usual, littered his play by play with erroneous calls and general senility. Gary had a mouth full of marbles a few times, seemed a bit sluggish, and pretty much took every spare second to talk about Newton, whether he was on or off the field.

I’m not so naive as to think that announcers are going to watch a controversial Heisman shoo-in leading his undefeated team to the SEC Championship, and then afford equal time to their flatlining opponent. But even with that in mind, Verne, Gary, and the entire CBS production crew were putty in Cam’s hands. 

So for those of you who were at the game…here’s an EDSBS-style recap of the announcing highlights:

(intro graphic package)

Verne: Welcome to CBS’ coverage of the 2010 SEC Championship game featuring the Auburn Tigers! We’re here in Atlanta, Georgia, and we’re ready for football! Gary, our keys to the game.

Gary:  Well Verne, it’s all about Cam Newton. #2, 6’6″ Cam Newton. Speculation about player benefits is swirling, but the young man is playing his game, not worried about anything off the field. Cam Newton. Also, Nick Fairley, the playmaking lineman. And Cam Newton.

Hoooo yah. Cam Newton, the 6’6″ phenom well on his way to claiming the Newton Award. I mean the Heisman Award.

Gary: You know, Verne, there are several subplots at play here. For instance, Cam Newton and his off-the-field issues swirling, Gus Malzahn and whether or not he’ll be around next year, swirling off-the-field issues regarding Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, Cam Newton issues all a’swirl, Guz Malzahn, and Cam “Swirlin’ Issues” Newton. Just a few factors to keep in mind.

Verne: With that, we’re set for kick-off!

(USC runs a play)

Verne: 4 yard gain by not-Auburn.

Gary: When you look at the replay here, the player I want to key in on is Cam Newton. You see him on the sideline there, drinking Gatorade and adjusting his jock. What can’t you say about that guy? He’s dynamic, plain and simple. Obviously he’s able to focus despite off-the-field issues SWIRLING.


Verne: Newton takes the snap. Draw play, up the middle, for a minimal gain.

Gary: Actually Verne, that was a 75 yard touchdown strike.

Verne: D’oop, so it was! HUH-HAW!


(Cam Newton gains three yards on a keeper)


Gary: Verne, I’ve been saying it all game, it’s plays like that. You know, it’s a ho-hum play if anyone else had the ball, we’d make little ado about it, but that just doesn’t apply for Mr. Newton.  And how about NICK FAIRLEY.






Verne: HUH-HAW!


Gary: I’m just gonna come out and say it, Verne. I am physically aroused by Cam Newton.

Verne: Oooooh yah.

Gary: Look, he’s got it all. Flawless skin, high-set cheekbones, immaculate teeth. I am at, this moment, questioning my heterosexuality on national television, and that’s what a guy like Cam Newton will do to you.

Verne: HUH-HAW!


Gary: You know Verne, it just struck me that Swirling Issues would have been an excellent name for a Dickens character.

Verne: Indeed it would Gary. You might say Auburn fans had Great Expectations for these Tigers! (audible high-five)


Verne: And now as the game is well in hand, we see the second string out on the field. Let’s cut to an extended shot of Cam Newton on the sideline between every play. Or hell, just keep the shot on him at all times! Who gives a damn about the game at this point! Oh look, Cam just leaped up into the student section and solved a Rubiks Cube while playing knee-cymbals and giving a beaming Bo Jackson a piggy-back ride! WHAT CAN’T HE DO! ADD IT TO THE LIST!

Gary: Nothing, Verne. The answer…is simply nothing.


Verne: Well that’s it, Auburn wins big!

Gary: Next stop: Arizona, to take on the Oregon Ducks, who tonight took care of the non-Oregon Ducks in sound fashion.

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