Chizik’s seat red-hot after embarrassing loss to Hogs

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There are low points in a season… and there’s the current state of the Auburn football program.

Already 1-3 heading into Saturday’s game with Arkansas — with the lone win coming in overtime against Sun Belt Conference member Louisiana-Monroe — Gene Chizik‘s Tigers did the unthinkable: they lost.  At home.  To one of the worst FBS through the first five weeks of the 2012 season.

And, just like that, AU tumbles to 1-4 on the year.  And the temperature on the head coach’s seat, already warm entering 2012, will likely rise considerably in the coming days.

The embarrassing 24-7 loss to the Razorbacks was a microcosm of the first five games — really, the past 18 — especially as it pertains to the offense in general.  Auburn came into the game as the 118th-ranked team in the country in total offense (297.7 yards per game) and the 116th-ranked scoring offense (17.5 points per game).  That trend continued as the Tigers could muster just 306 yards of offense and a meager seven points.

While the defense played, five turnovers on the part of the offense — three picks, two lost fumbles — were too much to overcome.

We’ve pounded home this point time and time again, and will do so now: Chizik has done nothing at the collegiate level without Cam Newton as his quarterback.  In 2010, Newton’s lone season at the school, the Heisman winner led AU to a perfect 14-0 season that ended with a BcS title.  In three non-Newton seasons at his current school, Chizik’s 17-14, including a lowly 7-12 mark in SEC play.  Add in his time at Iowa State, and the AU head coach sports a laughable 22-33 record.

In the hyper-competitive SEC, a sub-.400 conference winning percentage will get you canned at most schools, especially at one like Auburn.

The game was called “A Season on the Brink” heading into this weekend, intimating that change would be in the wind with a loss.  Unfortunately for everyone associated with the school — and Chizik’s long-term viability with the Tigers — the program has officially careened out of control and off the cliff, landing in a fiery heap right where they currently reside in the SEC West: at the bottom.

Illinois boots three players charged with home invasion and robbery

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Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.

Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.

Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.

Report: Conference USA to air at least 15 football games on Twitter in 2017

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Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.

Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.

Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

Wisconsin’s season tickets for 100th anniversary of Camp Randall are a thing of beauty

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The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.

Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.

These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.