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Auburn Football Players’ Reactions To 2020 Season Plans

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There was a lot of talk around the future of the 2020 college football season on Sunday afternoon following a report from ESPN that executives from the power five conferences met to discuss the season. The debate now seems to be which of these three options the power five conferences should go with: play the conference-only schedule in the fall (either with or without fans), postpone the season to play in the spring, or just cancel the season altogether.

According to the report, the Big 10 seems to be only conference that is advocating to not play the season as planned. On Sunday, a lot of Auburn players took to social media to share their take on what they would like to see.

Anthony Swartz’s response was also a simple one, saying he was not worried about the talk and that he’s is just ready to start working.

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix posted the hashtag “#WeWantToPlay” to show his support of the season.

Nix, as well as many other players in the world of college football, retweeted the thoughts of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence made the point that the players are safer from the virus at their school than they would be if they were sent back home due to the season being canceled or postponed. The tweet received over 15,000 retweets and 59,000 likes.

Auburn Football revised 2020 opponents announced

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AUBURN, Ala.—The Southeastern Conference on Friday announced the two additional non-divisional opponents each school will play as part of the SEC’s conference-only football schedule in 2020. Auburn’s two additional non-divisional opponents will be Tennessee in Jordan-Hare Stadium and South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.

Under normal circumstances, SEC schools play the other six teams in their division, two non-divisional opponents and four out-of-conference games each season.  In the newly revised schedule for 2020, each school will play four non-divisional opponents in addition to the other six teams in its division.

Auburn’s five home games at Jordan-Hare include: Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M. The Tigers will travel to Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and South Carolina.

The SEC plans to publicly announce the dates for all games within the next two weeks as it continues to monitor developments around COVID-19.

ESPN 106.7 Sports Minute: Chandler Wooten Opts Out and College Football USA Today Poll Released

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Your Local Sports Headlines for Friday, August 7th 2020:

  • Auburn Senior LB Chandler Wooten Opts out of the 2020 college football season citing concerns surrounding the birth of his first child.
  • The preseason edition of the 2020 USA Today coaches poll was released, with Auburn coming in ranked 11th and Alabama ranked 3rd.
  • Former Auburn offensive lineman Shon Coleman has opted out of the 2020 NFL season with the San Fransisco 49ers, citing COVID-19 concerns. Coleman previously battled leukemia during his time at Auburn.


After Soroka’s Injury, Braves Need To Address Serious Rotation Concerns

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At the beginning of the shortened 2020 baseball season, the Braves had a lot to be excited about with a potent lineup and improved bullpen. Just a few weeks into the season, the Braves have already had some major concerns in their rotation.

At the beginning of the year, the rotation plan was simple- Mike Soroka, Max Freid, Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb, and Kyle Wright. Now, that plan has completely changed. After Foltynewicz’s July 27th outing at Tampa Bay where the former ace of the Braves’ pitching staff gave up six earned runs and three Rays home runs in just 3.1 innings, GM Alex Anthopoulos made it obvious that the leach was short, as the right hander was designated for assignment within a half-hour of the end of the game.

That, coupled with the struggles of the 2017 first round pick of Kyle Wright through his first two starts of the season had Braves’ fans even less certain of their rotation. The positive light was the one-two rotation punch of Soroka and Fried. The top of the Braves’ rotation gave up a combined 10 earned runs in six starts which was promising, but bad turned to worse on August 3rd when Mike Soroka tore his achilles to end his promising season.

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)


So now the big question for Braves’ fans is this: Do the Braves have enough rotation depth to get through the season and the extended postseason?

As of right now, it looks like the answer is no. Fortunately, Max Fried is looking solid at what is now the top of the rotation. Also, Sean Newcomb has done well in his move from the bullpen back into the rotation. Last season, Newcomb clearly had the stamina to go six plus innings, but he was plagued by walks and high pitch counts (those two things normally go hand-in-hand). Also Touki Toussaint, who made just one spot start in 2019, was impressive in Thursday night’s four hit and nine strikeout night.

That seems to be more than enough for Newcomb and Toussaint to be in the rotation because quite frankly, they do not have any other options. So right now, the Braves have a four man rotation with Fried, Newcomb, Wright (who might be on a short leash), and Toussaint (who has only eight career starts). Personally, I see this as a rotation with only two reliable starting arms as well. This is clearly a concern, but is it really worth it for the Braves to pick up a rental on the trading block for a 60 game season?

(Photo by /Icon Sportswire)

Anthopoulos’ answer to this question did not seem to favor one side or the other. “Today, the likelihood is we’ll stay internal,” said the fourth year Braves executive, “but we’ll continue to inquire and see if we can line up on a deal.”

It would be great to fix the issue internally, but it certainly takes some luck to call up an arm and have them be successful right away. Also, I am not sure who that arm could be other than the first round pick Ian Anderson or Patrick Weigel- neither of which have any major league experience.

Now that the Braves seem to have a reliable bullpen for the first time in years, it seems that Brian Snitker will have to rely on that bullpen for a lot of innings for such a weak rotation with only four men in it.