Sunday, December 23, 2007

This and that ... and a Christmas wish

Some observations amid a holiday break for Auburn sports:

AT LINE LINE: Did you notice that Auburn's men's basketball team made 11 of 15 free throws in a victory over Alabama A&M on Saturday? The Tigers entered last week ranked last among 328 Division I teams in free-throw shooting. Amazingly, Auburn is 10th in the country in shooting from the field. Auburn coach Jeff Lebo has joked that maybe he should find a way to guard his players at the free-throw line.

GAME-CHANGING PERFORMANCE: Wes Byrum's game-winning field goals at Florida is one of four finalists for the Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the Year. Voting continues at and will conclude Jan. 7.
The winner will be announced at halftime of the BCS Championship Game on Jan. 7.
The winning school will receive $100,000 to the school's general scholarship fund. Auburn received $5,000 for winning the weekly contest following the victory over Florida.
The other finalists are: Appalachian State's blocked field goal on the final play of its win at Michigan; Alabama's touchdown pass in the final seconds to beat Arkansas; and Trinity's 15-lateral touchdown on the game's final play against Millsaps.
Auburn is the defending winner. The Tigers won last season's voting thanks to a blocked punt that resulted in a touchdown in an upset of eventual national champion Florida.

SPEAKING OF VOTING: I've been monitoring voting on the poll associated with this blog, and folks have pegged Auburn's season about the way I would. My choice would be, "started rough, but things came together." Thanks to all who visit this blog and take the time to read and vote.

T-ZAC: As I mentioned in a couple of blogs, I'm working on a feature story on Auburn wide receiver Terrell Zachery, the redshirt freshman from Wadley who could make his first college game appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31. Space and other news breaking have postponed the story. Also, thorough reporting has prompted me to rework the original draft. I expect the story to run sometime after Auburn resumes practice Wednesday.

TOTALLY TONY: New offensive coordinator Tony Franklin made quite an impression in his first week on the job, mainly for his public comments. Paraphrasing, he said he doesn't view Auburn's offense as needing to rebuild. He says the talent exists to make his spread offense work. I'm not sure how much game film he's watched from this season, but I'll be impressed with Franklin and his offense if he makes it happen with the current receivers, tight ends and a new quarterback.

AND FINALLY: I'm writing this after assembling a tricycle for my 20-month-old son, Hayden. Seeing his little red tricycle and ringing the bell a couple of times put me in the Christmas mood, so Merry Christmas to all. See you after Auburn resumes practice.

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