No. 4 Auburn trying to build for the long haul - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

No. 4 Auburn trying to build for the long haul

Posted: Updated:
Auburn running back Tre Mason (21) dances into the end zone after a touchdown run against Georgia during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) Auburn running back Tre Mason (21) dances into the end zone after a touchdown run against Georgia during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — This is nothing new for the Auburn Tigers, however it seems.

The fourth-ranked Tigers have surged into the national championship picture with a huge season, just like they did in 2004 and 2010 after opening amid modest expectations. Remaining in that rarefied air over a sustained period — like rival No. 1 Alabama — is the next challenge.

First things first, Auburn (10-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) gets a chance to find out how well this team stacks up against the Crimson Tide on Saturday with the winner moving on to the league championship game in Atlanta.

Win or lose, the big-picture task for coach Gus Malzahn and the Tigers is trying to measure up to their in-state rival over the long haul.

Malzahn believes Auburn can be a regular near the top.

"There is no doubt," the first-year coach said on Tuesday. "Auburn is a great place. Auburn is a place where you can win and win on a consistent basis. I am real proud of this team that they have gotten to this point. They have improved each game and set themselves up to go to Atlanta."

The turnaround has been both sudden and impressive.

The Tigers are in the not altogether enviable position of having perhaps the ultimate measuring stick for consistency three hours away. Nick Saban has turned the two-time defending national champion Tide (11-0, 7-0) into a juggernaut with no signs of slippage.

"We want to win this game, and I think this will be a measuring stick of how we've grown as a team, where we are and where we want to head," Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah said.

Auburn has had three undefeated seasons since 1993 only to have all three coaches — Terry Bowden, Tommy Tuberville and Gene Chizik — ousted within five years. The most precipitous decline came when Chizik was fired last November two seasons after winning the 2010 title, going from 14-0 to 3-9 in that span.

Now, the Tigers have climbed right back to college football's top tier.

"As coach Malzahn says, we started in the outhouse and now we're headed to the penthouse," Auburn tailback Tre Mason said.

Now, the trick is staying there.

The Tigers have gotten off to a good start in building for the long haul. They brought in an initial recruiting class that included highly rated freshman defensive linemen Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams and junior college quarterback Nick Marshall, an instant starter.

A coaching staff with an abundance of SEC experience and recruiting successes is also building a Top 10 follow-up recruiting class.

Since beating Oregon in the BCS championship game, Auburn's signing classes have been rated 13th, 11th and eighth nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings of the major web sites covering recruiting.

Alabama has pulled in three consecutive No. 1 classes and is on its way to a fourth in a row based on nonbinding verbal commitments.

On the field, the Tigers have already found ways to win, like the 2010 team.

Cam Newton and Co. managed a number of comebacks, including one after overcoming a 24-point deficit to beat the Tide.

"We win ugly, just like we did in 2010," Auburn defensive end Dee Ford said. "We win very ugly, but we take it. We weren't able to do that at LSU, but I see this team just finding a way to win no matter what the circumstance, just like in 2010."

Auburn has had some good fortune along the way with the deflected Hail Mary touchdown to beat Georgia after losing a big lead.

Saban scoffs at any notion that play was just about luck.

"They really probably deserved to win the game, based on how they played in the game, and they got rewarded for it in the end by making a big play," he said.

Now, this Iron Bowl one of the biggest ever, and Malzahn takes that as a good sign.

"Any time you have a chance to play in a game like this," he said, "that tells you good things are ahead."

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Part of new gun bill in Georgia would allow certain school employees to bring guns to school

    Part of new gun bill in Georgia would allow certain school employees to bring guns to school

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:59 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:59:47 GMT
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation that will change the states gun laws.Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation that will change the states gun laws.
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, on Monday, will sign legislation giving more freedom to those residents with licenses to carry weapons. House Bill 60 makes several changes to Georgia’s current law. The bill will allow people with a license to carry the ability to bring their gun into a bar without restrictions. It will allow people to bring their weapons into some government buildings that don’t have particular types of security. It will also give churches and worships centers the right to dec...More >>
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, on Monday, will sign legislation giving more freedom to those residents with licenses to carry weapons. House Bill 60 makes several changes to Georgia’s current law. The bill will allow people with a license to carry the ability to bring their gun into a bar without restrictions. It will allow people to bring their weapons into some government buildings that don’t have particular types of security. It will also give churches and worships centers the right to dec...More >>
  • Parents remember daughter who died in ATV accident

    Parents remember daughter who died in ATV accident

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:54:01 GMT
    Gracie Abbott's parents never imagined that an Easter Sunday gathering would end the way it did. They tell me their daughter rode ATVs all time. And when they got the call that she was had been in an accident they were sure it wasn't that serious. But it was serious. "I talked to her. I told her that we were proud of her. I held her," said Sharon Abbott.Abbott says she's almost sure her daughter Gracie was gone at that point. She says Gracie's eyes were already fixated and dilated by the time...More >>
    Gracie Abbott's parents never imagined that an Easter Sunday gathering would end the way it did. They tell me their daughter rode ATVs all time. And when they got the call that she was had been in an accident they were sure it wasn't that serious. But it was serious. "I talked to her. I told her that we were proud of her. I held her," said Sharon Abbott.Abbott says she's almost sure her daughter Gracie was gone at that point. She says Gracie's eyes were already fixated and dilated by the time...More >>
  • Auburn University offering $10,000 reward for tips about campus threats

    Auburn University offering $10,000 reward for tips about campus threats

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:16:00 GMT
    Auburn University and police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for recent threats made on campus. Auburn University and police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for recent threats made on campus.
    After two incidents of threats within the past week that have disrupted classes and campus operations, Auburn University is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.More >>
    After two incidents of threats within the past week that have disrupted classes and campus operations, Auburn University is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Major change to Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship program

    Major change to Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship program

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:10 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:10:24 GMT
    Dependents who were previously denied education benefits based solely on the veterans' peace-time service dates should reapply.More >>
    Dependents who were previously denied education benefits based solely on the veterans' peace-time service dates should reapply.More >>
  • ABC 33/40 earns 6 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for 2014

    ABC 33/40 earns 6 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for 2014

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:28 PM EDT2014-04-23 01:28:29 GMT
    ABC 33/40 (WBMA) won six 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including one for Overall Excellence. (abc3340.com)ABC 33/40 (WBMA) won six 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including one for Overall Excellence. (abc3340.com)
    The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced Tuesday the winners of the 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and ABC 33/40 earned six awards, including one for Overall Excellence in Large Market Television.More >>
    The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced Tuesday the winners of the 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and ABC 33/40 earned six awards, including one for Overall Excellence in Large Market Television.More >>
  • UPDATE: Recycling limitations in City of Birmingham

    UPDATE: Recycling limitations in City of Birmingham

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:53:58 GMT
    It will take about two more weeks before full recycling resumes in the City of Birmingham.Since April 2, the city has only picked up paper and cardboard for recyclable material. That's because the Birmingham Recycling and Recovery facility sustained damages in a fire last month, which limited services.A City Spokesperson says people can take their items, including those made of glass, to the Alabama Environmental Council Recycling Center.That facility is located at the corner of 25th Street a...More >>
    It will take about two more weeks before full recycling resumes in the City of Birmingham.Since April 2, the city has only picked up paper and cardboard for recyclable material. That's because the Birmingham Recycling and Recovery facility sustained damages in a fire last month, which limited services.A City Spokesperson says people can take their items, including those made of glass, to the Alabama Environmental Council Recycling Center.That facility is located at the corner of 25th Street a...More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Major change to Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship program

    Major change to Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship program

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:10 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:10:24 GMT
    Dependents who were previously denied education benefits based solely on the veterans' peace-time service dates should reapply.More >>
    Dependents who were previously denied education benefits based solely on the veterans' peace-time service dates should reapply.More >>
  • Part of new gun bill in Georgia would allow certain school employees to bring guns to school

    Part of new gun bill in Georgia would allow certain school employees to bring guns to school

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:59 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:59:47 GMT
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation that will change the states gun laws.Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation that will change the states gun laws.
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, on Monday, will sign legislation giving more freedom to those residents with licenses to carry weapons. House Bill 60 makes several changes to Georgia’s current law. The bill will allow people with a license to carry the ability to bring their gun into a bar without restrictions. It will allow people to bring their weapons into some government buildings that don’t have particular types of security. It will also give churches and worships centers the right to dec...More >>
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, on Monday, will sign legislation giving more freedom to those residents with licenses to carry weapons. House Bill 60 makes several changes to Georgia’s current law. The bill will allow people with a license to carry the ability to bring their gun into a bar without restrictions. It will allow people to bring their weapons into some government buildings that don’t have particular types of security. It will also give churches and worships centers the right to dec...More >>
  • Tuscaloosa police: Body of missing elderly man found in crashed truck in Northport

    Tuscaloosa police: Body of missing elderly man found in crashed truck in Northport

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-04-23 01:53:35 GMT
    Tuscaloosa police say the body of a 77-year-old man who was reported missing earlier this week has been found in a crashed truck.More >>
    Tuscaloosa police say the body of a 77-year-old man who was reported missing earlier this week has been found in a crashed truck.More >>
  • ABC 33/40 earns 6 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for 2014

    ABC 33/40 earns 6 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for 2014

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:28 PM EDT2014-04-23 01:28:29 GMT
    ABC 33/40 (WBMA) won six 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including one for Overall Excellence. (abc3340.com)ABC 33/40 (WBMA) won six 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including one for Overall Excellence. (abc3340.com)
    The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced Tuesday the winners of the 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and ABC 33/40 earned six awards, including one for Overall Excellence in Large Market Television.More >>
    The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced Tuesday the winners of the 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and ABC 33/40 earned six awards, including one for Overall Excellence in Large Market Television.More >>
  • Parents remember daughter who died in ATV accident

    Parents remember daughter who died in ATV accident

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:54:01 GMT
    Gracie Abbott's parents never imagined that an Easter Sunday gathering would end the way it did. They tell me their daughter rode ATVs all time. And when they got the call that she was had been in an accident they were sure it wasn't that serious. But it was serious. "I talked to her. I told her that we were proud of her. I held her," said Sharon Abbott.Abbott says she's almost sure her daughter Gracie was gone at that point. She says Gracie's eyes were already fixated and dilated by the time...More >>
    Gracie Abbott's parents never imagined that an Easter Sunday gathering would end the way it did. They tell me their daughter rode ATVs all time. And when they got the call that she was had been in an accident they were sure it wasn't that serious. But it was serious. "I talked to her. I told her that we were proud of her. I held her," said Sharon Abbott.Abbott says she's almost sure her daughter Gracie was gone at that point. She says Gracie's eyes were already fixated and dilated by the time...More >>
  • Woman allegedly sold heroin from hospital bed in Pennsylvania

    Woman allegedly sold heroin from hospital bed in Pennsylvania

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:46 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:46:50 GMT
    Lori Sullenberger (Facebook)Lori Sullenberger (Facebook)
    GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A woman in western Pennsylvania is accused of selling heroin from a hospital intensive care unit and a hospital room. Spokeswoman Jennifer Miele (MEE'-lee) for Excela Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg says hospital security became suspicious of the large number of people flowing in and out of the woman's room. Greensburg police say an undercover informant bought $90 worth of heroin Friday from the woman, who was being treated for an undisclosed ailment at the hospital...More >>
    GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A woman in western Pennsylvania is accused of selling heroin from a hospital intensive care unit and a hospital room. Spokeswoman Jennifer Miele (MEE'-lee) for Excela Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg says hospital security became suspicious of the large number of people flowing in and out of the woman's room. Greensburg police say an undercover informant bought $90 worth of heroin Friday from the woman, who was being treated for an undisclosed ailment at the hospital...More >>
  • Officer-involved shooting in Anniston leaves 53-year-old man dead

    Officer-involved shooting in Anniston leaves 53-year-old man dead

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:24:15 GMT
    ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Calhoun County officials say Anniston police fatally shot a man who was accused of pointing a gun at them. According to County Coroner Shane Adrian, 53-year-old Frank Charles Johnston was pronounced dead after being shot outside his house in the Blue Mountain area Tuesday morning. Adrian says neighbors told investigators that Johnston was standing in the street with a gun and that he pointed the weapon at responding officers. Adrian says Johnston's body is being taken to...More >>
    ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Calhoun County officials say Anniston police fatally shot a man who was accused of pointing a gun at them. According to County Coroner Shane Adrian, 53-year-old Frank Charles Johnston was pronounced dead after being shot outside his house in the Blue Mountain area Tuesday morning. Adrian says neighbors told investigators that Johnston was standing in the street with a gun and that he pointed the weapon at responding officers. Adrian says Johnston's body is being taken to...More >>
  • Atlanta wants to host college football national championship game, Super Bowl

    Atlanta wants to host college football national championship game, Super Bowl

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:01:53 GMT
    The city of Atlanta wants to host college football's national champinship game in 2018 as a prelude to a possible Super Bowl. (Image via NewStadium.AtlantaFalcons.com)The city of Atlanta wants to host college football's national champinship game in 2018 as a prelude to a possible Super Bowl. (Image via NewStadium.AtlantaFalcons.com)
    The city of Atlanta wants to host college football's national championship game in 2018 as a prelude to a possible Super Bowl bid.More >>
    The city of Atlanta wants to host college football's national championship game in 2018 as a prelude to a possible Super Bowl bid.
    More >>