Tag:2010 Iron Bowl
Posted on: February 16, 2011 5:17 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2011 5:55 pm
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Did a Tide fan kill the oaks at Toomer's Corner?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Georgia has the Hedges, Ole Miss the Grove, and at Auburn Tiger fans have the 130 year-old live oaks that sit at famous Toomer's Corner and are "rolled" after Tiger victories. But sadly, thanks to the work of one unknown vandal, Auburn may not have them much longer.

The University announced this afternoon that the trees have been intentionally poisoned with a lethal dose of herbicide, and though every effort is being made to save them, are unlikely to survive. A police investigation has been launched to identify the vandal.

In the biggest twist behind the story, the only-in-Alabama tip that alerted Auburn authorities to the poisoning may also become the lead towards apprehending the culprit:
The university learned that a caller to The Paul Finebaum Show, a nationally syndicated radio show based in Birmingham, on Jan. 27, claimed he had applied the herbicide. As a precaution, soil samples were taken the next day ... and sent to the lab at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss., to expedite results.

The lowest amount detected was 0.78 parts per million, described by horticulture experts as a "very lethal dose." The highest amount detected was 51 parts per million, or 65 times the lowest dose. 

Though not officially confirmed by the Auburn release, the caller is widely believed to be an aggrieved Alabama fan. For weeks, fan chatter in the state has discussed the possibility of "retaliation" for Auburn fan pranks that included placing a Cam Newton jersey on the on-campus statue of Bear Bryant, later affixing an AU national championship sticker on the statue, and somehow growing this year's Iron Bowl score in the lawn outside Bryant-Denny Stadium (though news of the latter only surfaced after the call to Finebaum). Such is the atmosphere that the release includes a message from Auburn president Jay Gogue asking Tiger fans to refrain from any acts of retaliation of their own:

"It is understandable to feel outrage in reaction to a malicious act of vandalism," Gogue said. "However, we should live up to the example we set in becoming national champions and the beliefs expressed in our Auburn Creed. Individuals act alone, not on behalf of anyone or any place, and all universities are vulnerable to and condemn such reprehensible acts."

Though, again, Alabama isn't mentioned, the reference to other universities makes it clear that Gogue knows where the ire of Tiger fans will be directed.

Whether the motivation for the vandal was indeed revenge against Auburn or not, what's certain is that someone has committed an act of vandalism that will be virtually impossible to repair. With any luck -- for both the feelings of Auburn fans stung by the news and for the efforts to make sure this incident is the last on either side -- that person will be apprehended soon.

UPDATE: Finebaum has re-released the audio from the call in question , in which "Al from Dadeville" expresses his anger at the Newton jersey prank and the almost certainly apocryphal story that Auburn fans rolled Toomer's when Bryant passed away. He then claims to have poisoned the trees, and signs off with "Roll Damn Tide." Unless this is an astonishing coincidence, the answer to the question at the top of this post is "yes."

Posted on: November 26, 2010 6:59 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2010 7:07 pm
 

Missed Tide chances aid epic Auburn comeback

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In an Iron Bowl for the ages, Auburn roared back from a 24-0 first-half deficit and defeated Alabama 28-27 this afternoon to remain on track for an undefeated season and BCS title game berth.

That sentence does only the barest minimum of justice, however, to an instant nominee for college football's game of the year and one of the greatest games ever played in what could be the sport's bitterest rivalry. Alabama didn't just dominate the game's first 25 minutes; they owned them lock, stock, and barrel, outgaining Auburn at one point 314 to 2. Greg McElroy had surpassed his career high in passing yards before the first half was out while Julio Jones simply did whatever he wanted to against Auburn's undersized and sloppy secondary. The comeback from 24 points ranks as the largest in Auburn history, and it still doesn't accurately represent how big a hole Auburn was in. To pull it off virtually guarantees Cam Newton the Heisman Trophy (provided the NCAA doesn't make a ruling against him in the next seven days) and Auburn's title as 2010's most distinguished comeback artists.

But that's also why as thoroughly as Auburn outplayed the Tide in the second half (the Tigers eventually pulled within 120 yards of Alabama on the total yardage ledger), the comeback truly began in the first. After scoring touchdowns on their first three drives, the Tide appeared well on their way to a fourth when Mark Ingram -- who hadn't fumbled in more than 400 touches -- was stripped from behind by Antoine Carter and saw the ball (unlukily, it has to be said) fly through the back of the end zone. The Tide's next possession ended at the 2-yard line after a first-and-goal. Another first-and-goal on the Tide's next possession ended in a McElroy fumble. Auburn trailed 24-7 at the half; they could have been down by 24, 27, 30 points with the game entirely over.

The blown opportunities continued in the second half. Late in the third, with Auburn looking to seize full control of the game, Quindarius Carr fumbled a punt to set Alabama up at the Tiger 27 and it took McElroy and Jones one play to move to Auburn's 12; they still settled for a field goal that loomed even larger once Auburn answered with the winning score on their ensuing drive. Alabama then drove inside Auburn's 35 over the course of 11 plays (and more than six precious minutes of clock), but punted after a Ingram loss and McElroy sack pushed them all the way out of field goal range. They would not threaten again.

So the headlines will discuss Newton's mental toughness, and Auburn's resilience, and Gene Chizik 's coaching staff's precision halftime adjustments, and they will have earned every one of those headlines. If there's been a bigger single-game accomplishment in college football this season than coming back from being 24 points down at Alabama, we're not aware of it.

But that doesn't mean Alabama didn't play a large role in their own demise, and that they won't be kicking themselves over letting this game get away for years (or in this rivalry, decades) to come.

For a video recap of the game, see below:



Posted on: November 26, 2010 3:55 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2010 4:05 pm
 

Julio Jones needs to be covered (VIDEO)

Posted by Chip Patterson

Alabama is off to a hot start in the 2010 Iron Bowl.  With a 24-0 lead midway through the second quarter, the Crimson Tide have completely dictated the pace of this game offensively, and refused to allow Cam Newton to get comfortable on defense.  Auburn's defensive backs are widely accepted as the weakest aspect of the second-ranked team in the nation, but head coach Gene Chizik must have expected more than what they have given so far.  Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy has already completed 13 of 16 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns.  One of those scores was a 68 yard strike to Julio Jones, who did not have much trouble losing the Auburn defenders on the way to the end zone.

You can stream the 2010 Iron Bowl live on CBSSports.com, and also join Tom Fornelli in the CBSSports.com Live Facebok Chat

But first check out Jones' TD that put Alabama ahead 14-0 in the 1st quarter.


Posted on: November 26, 2010 3:11 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2010 3:15 pm
 

2010 Iron Bowl Live Chat on Facebook

To bring coverage of the 2010 Iron Bowl full circle, Tom Fornelli will be chatting live at the CBS Sports Facebook page.  Whether you believe in War Eagle, Roll Tide, or FoodHangoverHasMeOnTheCouchAnyway, cruise on over to discuss the biggest game of the year so far in the SEC.  Please limit profanity to only witty jokes, and anyone who would like to complement Fornelli on his look is encouraged to.  

Remember, you need to "Like" CBSSports.com on Facebook in order to join the chat.  Click here to hop in on the excitement.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com