The Lineup (5/3)
1. Auburn's in the Cap One Cup Lead...Thanks to a bit of Tweaking
A solution to this on the Division I level may not have pleased everyone, but it may make more sense: To create an award that's separate between men's and women's programs and put the sports in three tiers -- giving higher points value to sports based in part more on their spectator appeal and nationwide participation. And thus began the Capital One Cup for this academic year. (The Directors' Cup still continues for Divisions I-III and NAIA.)
Is there a perfect way to do this without irritating any faction? Of course not. For instance, lacrosse is a strongly East Coast-based sport, but is more heavily weighed for the Capital One Cup than golf or tennis, which are played in leagues across the country.
Still, this system of points accumulation is a more realistic approach that brings a greater number of schools into play for Capital One Cup competition. And it allows more specific recognition for schools' achievements in the women's collegiate sports that are most likely to garner a more consistent and growing television audience: basketball, volleyball and softball. The latter is the top-tier spring sport for the women, while baseball is the same for the men.
(via Mechell Voepel/ ESPN.com)
2. From Wolf Pack to War Eagle?
Think about it: What made Auburn's offense so successful last season? Yeah, you guessed it. It was Cam Newton. That big, strong, powerful runner and passer was the engine of that team. I'm not saying that Wilson is Newton 2.0, but he's a solid passer and is very athletic.
Last season, Wilson led the ACC in total offense with 3,998 yards (3,563 passing and 435 rushing). He also led the league with 37 total touchdowns, including 28 through the air.
Wilson might not be the pounding runner that Newton was, but we know he's a passer. He had nearly 1,000 yards on Newton last season and had more than 200 more pass attempts than Newton.
3. Ted Roof: Hall of Famer
Ted Roof starred on the gridiron at Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville and went on to become an All-ACC linebacker at Georgia Tech where he is a member of the Yellow Jackets Hall of Fame. Today, he is a highly sought after defensive coordinator for BCS National Champion Auburn University.
"I'm very honored and humbled," Roof said in accepting the Hall of Fame ring and jacket that goes along with the honor. "It's really neat to be going in with all these other great inductees. I remember watching George play as a kid. I'm very blessed to be a part of this."
(via Dacula Patch)
4. No, War Eagle is taken, sorry.
The Heights recently ran an editorial wanting to steal a page from Southern college football and develop a Boston College athletics catchphrase like Alabama's "Roll Tide" or Texas' "Hook ‘Em Horns."
"BC doesn't have a slogan like this that transcends the team. "Ever to Excel" is a fine academic motto, but it doesn't have the same punch for athletic success. No one would be caught dead chanting that at a game. "Go Eagles" is a popular cheer, but it's a little too generic to be a catchphrase that immediately makes people think of BC football.
That's why we are suggesting that BC adopt "Stay Gold" as the slogan for its athletic teams. This phrase would be unique to BC. It's simple, yet powerful. It represents the loyalty and aspirations of the school, its students, and its fans."
I like the initiative here. I love the ESPN "Roll Tide" campaign and phrases like "Hook ‘Em Horns," "Gig ‘em" and "Geaux Tigers" serve as a reminder of the team and the pride that community members take in their alma mater's sports programs.
Holly over at SBNation Suggests:
Can We Give Them 'War Eagle,' Since That's Their Actual Mascot?
Some Fans in the Comments suggested "For Boston" as a slogan. Which, to me, is awesome. Mainly because it allows this to played full blast everywhere:
5. From Red Top to Blue Top
Junior ace Harry Norman scattered six hits over five innings to win his pitching duel with Slocomb ace and Auburn signee Clay Holmes. Teammates pieced together runs, scoring on safety squeeze bunts in the fourth and fifth innings before RBI hits in the sixth from Norman, Hayden White and Lucas Tribble gave the Montgomery magnet school the victory in Game One.
While the Red Tops would rebound to take a 5-0 lead in the second game, LAMP's ability to hit one of the state's top pitchers clearly boosted their confidence at the plate. Auburn coach John Pawlowski and nearly a dozen professional baseball scouts were on hand to see the Tigers pound out 11 hits against Holmes.
(via Montgomery Advertiser)
6. Brian Fletcher dealing with slow starts and cold temps
Several players are starting to adjust after slow starts, as five players in the starting lineup Saturday had raised their averages over .300.
Brian Fletcher, who grew up in Georgia and played his college ball at Auburn University, is one of the players starting to get comfortable at the plate. After going 5-for-8 with a homer in Saturday’s doubleheader split with Clinton, he finished the homestand with 10 hits in 21 at-bats, including a homer and seven RBI.
“You just have to be mentally tough for it,” Fletcher said. “The best thing to do is to keep warm as much as possible, don’t let it affect you and play baseball.”
The team put up plenty off offense in its spring training games, and Fletcher hopes the bats heat up even more when the warm weather arrives. They started to come alive in the Clinton series as the Cougars scored 20 runs on 28 hits in the three games.
“The more we get used to it, the more comfortable we get, the better we will swing it,” Fletcher said. “We’ll just keep moving forward and start producing more runs.”
(via The Courier News)
7. Around the SEC Today
All seemed right with Arkansas baseball last Friday.
Dave Van Horn agreed to coach the Razorbacks until 2020, a deal that will pay $609,000 at its peak. Van Horn is 348-192 overall and has helped the program make a pair of College World Series appearances.
Arkansas followed that up with a victory against Georgia. Good times, right?
If only the weekend had ended there for the Razorbacks. They went on to drop games Saturday and Sunday, including a 6-5 decision to the Bulldogs in which Arkansas lost after a hit batter advanced the winning run.
Arkansas (29-13) still leads the SEC West along with Alabama. Both are 10-11 in SEC play.
A mid-week series against Southeast Missouri State gives the Razorbacks a chance to regroup entering a crucial weekend against Florida. First pitch for both games is 6:35 p.m
(via Arkansas Sports 360.com)
SEC tri-leader No. 4 Florida (34-10/17-4 SEC) completes a seven-game stretch at McKethan Stadium by hosting Bethune-Cookman (29-19/15-0 MEAC) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The Gators are riding a six-game winning streak after back-to-back weekend sweeps of Western Division foes Alabama and Ole Miss. The Wildcats continued their perfect run through the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference by sweeping Maryland Eastern Shore over the weekend, 5-4, 3-2 and 7-3.
This is the oldest and longest running series in all of LSU sports, predating even the football rivalry by a few months, but both schools do not list the same figures. LSU states the all-time record at 163-125-3, while the Greenies give us credit for 10 more wins at 172-125-3 and marking this as the 301st game in the series. Somebody's got the wrong numbers and while I appreciate their generosity, I'm sure we'd all much rather enjoy them being wrong about a statistic.
Weather: A front is making it's way through the state today, but the hope is that it clears for gametime. Unlike the Greenies, we have mastered the sacred and mystical art of "field drainage", and have no need for that blasphemous carpet that they play on in Turchin.
TV: Ah, the comfort zone of LSU Baseball on TV at it's best. Cox Sports with Rollins and McDonald in the booth and Rantz stealing that guy's seat behind home plate.
(via And the Valley Shook)
8. Say Hello to Everyday PT David Ross
Braves catcher David Ross will catch Jair Jurrjens' starts from here on (link). I don't mind this because it gives Ross some regular work, which certainly is not a bad thing. The guy should be starting somewhere.
(via SBNation Atlanta)