After the basketball team lost a few more players, and the recent struggles by the baseball and softball teams, there wasn’t much to be excited about over the last few weeks (other than the positive reviews of A-Day and the whole Heisman statue thing). I was beginning to think this would be a summer that I spent obsessing over the football season opener just in hopes that something good would happen once it got here. That all changed this weekend. Let’s recap…
– Since taking the first three SEC series of the season (two of which were to teams that are currently ranked in the top-15), the Auburn baseball team won one game in the next three series. They were swept by last place Alabama, only took one from next-to-last place Vanderbilt, and were swept (somewhat understandably) by #4 South Carolina. So yeah, things looked pretty bad.
Then, this past weekend, Tennessee came to town sporting the exact same record as Auburn, and looking to move the Tigers down the ladder in the SEC standings (there wasn’t much further down to go). Instead, Auburn pushed Tennessee to the bottom of the standings, and probably to the bottom of a bottle of some good Tennessee whiskey, by beating the Vols by a combined 35-12. The Tigers scored double digits in every game, including 10 unanswered runs yesterday in the finale. Here are the highlights of the 12-4 win.
Auburn now goes on the road for the next two series (Georgia, Arkansas) before ending the season with #1 Florida in Auburn. Both Georgia and Arkansas are beatable, especially if Auburn plays like they did this weekend, and the Florida series, well, let’s just hope our SEC Tournament chances don’t come down to having to win those last three games. Either way, Auburn went from near the bottom of the SEC Standings, to tied for 6th, owning the tie breaker over all of the other teams with the same record (Ole Miss, Mississippi State). Nothing is certain, though, and the Tigers have three really tough series coming up, but things got a little better this weekend especially after looking out of it the last three weeks.
– Speaking of SEC Tournaments, after a disappointing SEC season compared to an awesome 21-4 non-conference run, the softball team clinched a spot in the tournament for the fifth straight season by sweeping South Carolina. The tournament runs from May 10-12 in Tuscaloosa. There’s two things they can do: lose early to get out of that wretched town as quickly possible and go home to prepare for the NCAA tournament, or win the whole thing. I think I’ll take the latter.
– After leading what seems like every PGA tournament for the last two months, the Auburn boy, Jason Dufner finally got his first Tour win yesterday by defeating the South African Ernie Els in the 2nd hole of a playoff. The win came just six days before he is set to marry an Alabama graduate in Auburn. I guess that’s the best you can do, given the circumstances. I have not been invited. If you are, can I be your date?
Here are the highlights of his win from ESPN:
Here’s the post-win press conference (transcript) where he gets asked lots about the wedding:
He really is a chill bro. War Duf Eagle (don’t steal that, t-shirts in the works).
– Rounding out the weekend of AU-some, a few Auburn football players will continue, or at least have a good chance to continue, to play football. Sure, there weren’t 57 players taken in the 1st round like other schools, and the numbers weren’t as good as past years, but really, from what we saw last year, it’s good to see anybody taken. I don’t mean that as a knock to any of them, but did you think there was much straight up NFL talent in the senior class last year?
- Brandon Moseley, a tight end turned offensive lineman in his time at Auburn, is heading to the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. He was taken in the 4th round and 132nd overall.
- Our boy Josh Harris told me last week that he has always wanted to play for the Atlanta Falcons. Well now he is, as he signed a free agent deal with the Dirty Birds.
- Neiko Thorpe, who honestly could have an NFL career with a little help from NFL coaching, was picked up as a free agent by the S-E-Chiefs.
- Finally, my favorite player from the 2011 Tigers, Eltoro Freeman, Charlie’s Brother, the Bull, has been invited to tryout with the Green Bay Packers. If they don’t sign him, they’re idiots. Nobody plays harder.
- UPDATE: A.J. Greene, who turned down an invitation to the NFL Combine, and had decided to focus on a musical career, has signed a free agent deal with the Chicago Bears.
Oh, and I almost forgot. Bo Jackson completed his 300-mile bike ride yesterday in Tuscaloosa, where he helped raise over $400,000 for Alabama tornado relief. What else can you say about the world’s great athlete?
Oh, and Tim Hudson returned from an injury yesterday and got the Braves a win to take the series from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Geez, what didn’t we do yesterday?
Alright, so that’s it. Like I said, this was an awesome weekend for Auburn and a few Auburn alums. Hopefully it continues so I won’t have to sulk through the summer waiting on football. Well, that will probably happen anyway.