Welcome to SEC Country’s daily War Eagle Wakeup, a rundown of everything happening in Auburn football and Auburn Tigers athletics. Today, we discuss some early predictions, Josh Donaldson’s big bat, Auburn’s all-time greatest and a strong start to the NCAA Track & Field Championships.
It’s never too early, right?
While it may be summer, SEC Media Days are just one month away and before you know it, fall practice will be here. From now until then, you’ll see all sorts of early predictions. Earlier this week, we saw Jarrett Stidham leap in the Heisman odds — from 50-1 on April 9 to 20-1 on June 5.
Some outlets view Auburn as a contender to dethrone Alabama in the SEC West. Sporting News’ Bill Bender isn’t ready to go that far, according to his early bowl projections. Bender lists the Tigers playing in the Jan. 1, 2018, Chick-fil-A Bowl against South Florida. SN’s preseason Top 25 places the Tigers at No. 11.
His projected playoff: USC vs. Florida State and Alabama vs. Ohio State with USC and Alabama meeting for the College Football Playoff championship.
Bringer of rain
Former Auburn great Josh Donaldson returned to the Toronto Blue Jays lineup May 26 after being sidelined since April 13 with a calf injury. He’s hit safely in 9 of 11 games since returning and Wednesday marked his return with an exclamation point.
His 2-run home run in the 10th inning propelled Toronto to a 7-5 road win at Oakland. The Blue Jays are 6-5 since his return and although they’re last place in the American League East, they’re just 6 games out of first place.
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) June 7, 2017
In 20 games this season, Donaldson is batting .300 with 7 home runs and 13 RBIs. In the 11 games since his return to the lineup, Donaldson has 5 home runs and 9 RBIs.
Rock the vote!
If you’re an Auburn football fan, you have an opinion — probably many of them — about the program. You also have your favorite all-time players. So do we. This is where you come in: SEC Country’s Justin Ferguson wants you to vote and he wants your opinion on which players should line up on an All-Time Auburn Greatest Team.
On Monday, we posed the Greatest Quarterback question … Cam Newton, Pat Sullivan? (go vote here). On Tuesday it was Bo Jackson and the other running backs (vote here) and Wednesday we featured receivers and tight ends (vote here). Look for the offensive line today and we’ll continue it through next week. It’s your all-time greatest, so don’t miss the chance to lend your voice.
- It hasn’t been the smoothest path to Auburn, Ala., but Daquan Newkirk can see the finish line. SEC Country’s Ben Wolk caught up with the 2018 commitment, who discussed his winding, frustrating road.
- Auburn sophomore center Austin Wiley is taking “ownership” of the basketball team, AuburnUndercover reports.
- Which player will commit to the Tigers next? AL.com lists some possibilities.
- While’s it’s not specifically Auburn news, the Tigers were the last team to play Bob Stoops and the Sooners. If you didn’t hear, Stoops stepped down on his own terms Wednesday. ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel says that’s something that rarely happens.
Happening on the Plains
Softball: Auburn senior Kasey Cooper picked up a couple more honors Wednesday. She earned the Senior CLASS Award First Team All-American and received the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award. She was one of just five players on the CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) first team and only player from the SEC.
She picked up a $ 3,000 post-graduate scholarship from the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Track & field: Four individuals and two relay teams advanced to the finals of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the Auburn men’s team Wednesday in Eugene, Ore.
- The 4×100 relay team (Odean Skeen, Kahlil Henderson, Raheem Chambers, Teray Smith) ran a collegiate season best 38.47 seconds to reach the final on Friday. That time is the second-fastest in Auburn history and sixth-fastest in the world this season.
- The 4×400 relay team won its heat and advanced to the final.
- Freshmen Akeem Bloomfield (44.95 seconds) and Nathon Allen (45.05) reached the finals for the 400 meters by winning their heats.
- Skeen also reached the final of the 100 meters with a second-place heat finish in 10.05 seconds.
- Smith reached the 200 meter final with a run of 20.36 seconds.
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