Auburn Panel: Iron Bowl

Published 8:34 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How confident are you in the team’s ability to handle the added stress of playing in Bryant-Denny Stadium to the mounting pressure of a title shot, compounded with the Cam/Cecil Newton allegations?

Bill Meador: I have said all year that the thing that stands out to me about Auburn is how calm and poised they seem. The atmosphere this Friday will be like none other they have faced this year. AU does have a very large number of seniors that have been through the fires of most of the SEC stadiums though. That should help.

Jonathan Jenkins: When you’re playing in the SEC, pressure is what you make it whether hostile stadiums or rumors. Going into “All In” lock down two weeks ago has been Chizik’s approach to dealing with Amen Corner. By 5 p.m. Friday, we’ll know if it was the right strategy for this game.

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Rick Dunn: Those situations may be issues early, but after a few series we should be able to get past them. We started badly in the UGA game due to some hype. We then settled down and beat them soundly. Of course, that was at home. This team is battle tested in this regard and I do not think that it will be any more of a factor than any other Iron Bowl at UAT.

It’s clear Auburn’s gone “All in” with Cam Newton. Is that the right decision? Is it worth the risk of more sanctions down the road? Would this situation impact your Heisman or poll vote?

Bill Meador: Cam Newton IS eligible. There is a ton of innuendo, speculation and gossip swirling at the present time. There are a number of people who know exactly what has gone down with this situation including, but not limited to, the Newtons and Auburn Representatives. I would hope that if something had gone on, they would have made different decisions about playing Newton. There is no hint that Cam Newton has done anything inappropriate.  The fact that he is eiligible means he is worthy of consideration.

Jonathan Jenkins: Auburn chose to go “All In” after their meeting with the NCAA two days before the Georgia game. A coaching staff would have their own futures on the line if they weren’t certain of a positive outcome. On the Heisman and the polls, Newton has proven that he is the best football player in college football this year. To refuse to vote for him and Auburn now and learn later that he is innocent would be a disservice that few want to consider.

Rick Dunn: I assume that Auburn had knowledge of all available facts before the season began, and they were comfortable with it. Unless definitive evidence presented itself, it would be foolish, unfair, and cowardly to not play him. And I submit that the same would hold true for anyone who would withhold their vote for the same reason.

Who is your pick to win the Iron Bowl and what’s your final score prediction?

Bill Meador: This game will be a rather high scoring affair. I think that Auburn wins in an upset 42-39.

Jonathan Jenkins: Alabama’s defense has been raked over the coals by potent offenses from time to time this season: South Carolina with balance, Arkansas with the pass, and LSU with the run. Auburn’s offense adds the dimension of a no-huddle tempo that Bama has seen very little of this year. Auburn 42, Alabama 28.

Rick Dunn: Auburn wins, 34 -31