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This weeks questions come to us from the good folks (that’s just good Southern manners for Ed Orgeron, Bat Shit, Crazy people) at Tower of Bammer. You can find a round up of the roundtable this and every week right here.
1. While the actual players and coaches deserve some of the credit for last season’s success, it was our collective superstitions and dark rituals that brought home the championship. What was your superstitious contribution?
I am such a total believer in Saban and the philosophy that he preaches that for possibly the first time ever I didn’t keep a ritual. Except for drinking. I drank before every game and during most of them. God forbid what would happen to the team if I didn’t drink.
2. Put on your Finebaum hat, dip your arrows in vile poison, and tell us which SEC coach is gonna be the first to get canned/and or bolt for greener pastures… like golf courses.
This is going to be the easy answer, but Spurrier’s days are numbered. Unless he has a huge year I believe he’ll hang it up. Richt is on a short leash. Miles’ leash is even shorter; I believe this is it for him in Baton Rouge. Nutt’s got a couple more in Oxford before they run him out. Mullin is due for a good year in my opinion and he’ll bolt for greener pastures (figuratively not literally; if there is anything they do good in Starkville it’s green pastures).
3. We would love for this to go on forever, but let’s face it, we have to lose a game at some point, right? What team on next years schedule (pronounced shed-jewel) should cause the most concern?
This is one of those time-stamp questions. Pre-season the pundits will say Penn State and Florida. I’m a little worried about an improved Arkansas in Fayetteville. That game comes at the end of two straight weeks on the road and the week before the super-hyped game against Florida. If Alabama beats Penn State, and they should, then the entire Sports/Industrial Complex will be looking forward to October 2. Arkansas, on the other hand, will be looking forward to Alabama, who embarrassed them like no one did, last year. On paper Alabama controls the clock by pounding the ball against an inferior defense and utilizes a superior defense against a gimmick (read: non-traditional offense) and runs the quarterback all over the field and gets ready for the more important showdown. No problem right? That was the exact plan for Auburn last year. That’s what has me worried The contests with Tennessee, LSU and Auburn always scare me. UT will generally be awful, but Dooley will probably win a game he shouldn’t and they always get up for Alabama. LSU probably scares me the least and Auburn should be improved but it’s in Tuscaloosa and the winner might just punch its ticket to Atlanta. I’m going to keep my eye on State too but it’s just too early to say on that one.
4. Joe Paterno has already screeched “You can’t count on freshmen. Do you want to go down to Tuscaloosa with freshmen!?” but Penn State fans are buzzing about how true frosh Paul Jones looked in their spring game. Is JoePa playing it smart, clinging to an outdated case of freshmanastartaphobia, or just planning on starting a sacrificial lamb QB so Marcel Dareus doesn’t eat his good ones?
All you have to do is go back to the National Championship game to see what a Saban defense can do to an inexperienced QB so he might opt for experience, no matter how little it is. But to be honest with you, I’m not sure that Paterno is even aware that the war is over – and I’m refereeing to WWI here – so you can’t be too sure of what he says anyway.
5. Everyone I know has a crazy story about dealing with an out of control swamp-thing rival from Red Stick, whats the craziest thing you’ve ever seen an LSU fan do? (Just to make things interesting, lets disqualify Shaquille O’Neal’s performance as a genie in Shazam)
I’ve had some truly great experiences in Baton Rouge and here with LSU fans. It wasn’t anything where I felt threatened or was just in shock. Probably the worst thing was in 2000 when the kid jumped out of the student section in Tiger Stadium, ran the length of the field and mooned the Alabama fans in the visitor section. It was right at the start of the 4th quarter and then Saban directed his Tigahs to a comeback and their first victory over the Tide in Death Valley since 1969. Or possibly when I sat in the student section there in 2004 and the girls were asking me, “what the fuck are you doing here?” That was pretty intense.
The good Senator is wrapping the season up like all good pollsters, by tallying one last round of votes. Here’s mine:
Cry, bitch, or applaud, but they won it. For all of you who refer to the national championship as mythical, the Gators hoisted a real crystal football last night. Regardless of what any other team (or pundit) says that claims a share of it, it doesn’t get any more real. Who cares if you don’t acknowledge it. The history books won’t have an asterisk by this one and even more importantly when Florida stumps to recruits they don’t have to say, “we should have won it that year”. That’s because they did… win it.
I believe USC to be the best out of that group. There is no doubt in my mind that they could beat Florida, but that conference plays such bad football – at least from the perception standpoint – it’s hard to forgive the loss. Had the Trojans had better competition down the stretch and the benefit of a conference championship game it could have been different. Were there a playoff they would be the favorite. Bottom line: USC’s loss to the Beavers looked much worse than Florida’s, or Texas, or Oklahoma’s then and now.
Texas probably would have fared as well against the Gators but to me there still is not that much difference between the two reps from the Big XII South. I don’t believe their road to accolades was any tougher than Utah’s – going 1-3 in bowl games somewhat reaffirms my belief that the Sooner’s and Longhorn’s division was overrated – but they have the perception. I would predict semi-final losses for either of those teams in a playoff scenario. On the whole though, a pretty good body of work.
Utah had a tremendous season and deserves much credit. If you look at the paradigm that says, based on the “body of work” view, Alabama’s bright season was dimmed by a poor showing in the bowl game, but they still fared well overall, then Utah, despite their tremendous showing in the bowl game still has a very mediocre season based on their relative body of work. Mainly, barley beating a bunch of mediocre teams. Meaning, if we cannot deflate a team too much fore poor showing in a bowl then we cannot elevate a team too much either.
I still think Utah is a good but not great team. They would have not stayed on the field with either of those teams last night. USC would mop the paint off the turf with them. They would easily be out in the first round of a playoff – in essence they should be loving the bowl system because it kept them form being exposed this year.
The Utes deserve much credit for a good year, but they didn’t beat the Alabama team that beat Georgia at home, or LSU. They beat the team that put up 188 yards on Tulane in contest that meant little more. That’s not their fault, I’m just saying they did not take the best shot of a great team, all year, and therefore in no way, shape, form, or fashion are they the best team in the country.
Sorry for the tangent, but that’s my problem with playoffs. Not that Utah did, but teams will dumb down their schedules to make their records look good and then get put out in the first round, laughably. That’s not good football. Cinderella’s are great in basketball. They suck in football. You’ll just have to trust me on that.
Finally, I believe Alabama to be, overall, a better team than Utah. Just like I believe Florida to be a better team than Ole Miss. The better team does not always win. I ranked Utah ahead of Alabama. They deserve it and that’s what rankings are about – somewhat. Florida obviously had the better body of work than Ole Miss. Utah had about the same as Alabama but the head-to-head makes it a no-brainer.
That’s the thing about this sport; series aren’t played and thus you will never get a true picture of who the best team is. It’s always going to be an “on this day” kind of thing. Thus a team that is better than yours might be ranked lower and a team that is not as good could be higher – even a team you beat. Just don’t act like a playoff will solve all of that. Hell, if it weren’t for debate this sport wouldn’t be half as fun.
Penn State (11-2)
Boise State (12-1)
Virginia Tech (10-4)
That’s my group of the rest. As always a few of those could be interchanged with a few others. More might be garnered from who I left off that list. I’ll say though that Virginia Tech is the only four-loss team I had. They finished the season strong with a bowl and a championship win, just the opposite of their ’09 season opening opponent, Alabama (see what I did there). Ole Miss (9-4) finished strong too, but the 10 in the W column for the Hokies looks better than the 9. Plus if I included Ole Miss that would be giving credit to Texas Tech (11-2).
If you take away the two FPS teams that the Red Raiders played in the pre-season (which in the Big XII South this year was anything prior to conference play) then they would not be at ten wins. The overrated standing of the Big XII South and Missouri makes the body of work not near as impressive. The biggest Red Raider win was against Texas but had Ohio State not allowed Texas to do the same thing to them that Texas Tech did against the Longhorns then they would be even less impressive. Which doesn’t say much for Texas.
Ohio State (10-3) was not impressive all year. Now that Notre Dame won in the post-season, will the Buckeyes take the mantle of the team that can’t get it done after November?
Cincinnati (11-33) and Georgia Tech (9-4) both had tenuous holds on the polls in my last ballot and bowl losses didn’t help that much.
There you have it. This was a lot of fun and certainly made me think through the process of who I voted for – for better or worse. Having my team in the mix all year helped with the motivation – I believe that my voting was fair all the way through. Plus, I’ve learned that when a person votes there will be some bias. That’s OK. There are many voters and the more there are the more bias works itself out.
Also, I really enjoyed the block voting aspect of this. I typically ranked teams as I put them down, but in the end the debate over a couple of positions – who should be ahead or behind someone else – is eliminated when you vote in groups.
Finally, I learned that polls are not about a direct correlation of who beat who (see above). Those are the domain of conference standings. With the size of the pool of teams, that would be impossible to keep up with and justify. Polls are based on perception (a strictly human trait) of record. The biggest factor of that is wins and losses. But record also has a component of the competition that was involved in compiling those wins ans losses. No matter what your formula, the opinion of that competition is going to vary form person to person.
I’ll close with this:
Football is not a type of race where there is a finite measuring point to determine victory. There is a winner of each contest, but even that comes into debate from time to time. It is also not a match or meet type of competition where a tally of many factors, including form and technical abilities, are recorded and exercised into a formula for determining champion.
It is a mixture of both.
It probably is most closely analogous to a boxing match.
Some rounds are clearly won by one of the opponents. Some are too close to accurately determine. Sometimes technical aspects come into play and while they may detract from the physicality of the contest, they are fatefully crucial to determining the outcome. Sometimes one opponent is clearly superior to the other and the knock-out only underscores that.
The blow that finishes it all is always the preferred method. There is little to argue then. But a winner is determined nonetheless (usually – a draw serves no one). And, just because the ending blow wasn’t delivered and the contest ends with questions, the promoters and patrons rush to deliver and view the next match.
But if the fighters are somewhat closely matched, the competition is fierce and the fight goes the distance. At the end of it all a winner is crowned. He is not always the favorite or the clear winner, but he walks away from the ring with some type of satisfaction. His fans are ecstatic and will defend his victory.
For the loser there is always the “what could have been thoughts”. He may fell cheated and begrudge the judged victor. His fans cry, “foul” and bemoan the system, the competition, and the judges. But for him there are two options; quit or preferably return to the gym to prepare harder and do everything in his power to not only earn the right to that fight again but to vanquish his opponent so badly that no one can say he doesn’t deserve the victory.
However you describe it, I’m hooked.
If the BCS is so horrible then what’s up with the media frenzy today? Why is Robin Mead telling me over morning coffee what a great game it’s going to be?
There will certainly be debate after tonight, regardless of the outcome, about who deserves a share of the national championship. Some will argue for Southern Cal, some Texas, and some Utah. Either way there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the winner of tonight’s game with Florida and Oklahoma will deserve a major share of it. Plus they get the opportunity to hoist a trophy that declares them champions.
This has the opportunity to be a great game between two powerhouse teams. I could go on and on about how good these teams are.
In the old system, this might not have happened. In fact it probably wouldn’t have.
The BCS has many, many faults. One of the major is that the four bowl games don’t always make for exciting matches. A tournament would, in all likelihood, do the same thing. Just look to the NCAA basketball tourney or pro-football’s playoffs for verification.
But what the BCS does is create highly anticipated football games between two teams with at least some legitimate claim to the title. Are some teams with a claim left out? Absolutley. Is it always their fault that they are left out? No. Would a playoff fix this? Not in any way.
The point here is that with the nature of football, the number of teams completing at the FCS level, and the range in disparity amongst them in both individual and team competitiveness, there is no way to field a tournament and crown a champion that will be completely without controversy.
In light of that, what we have is pretty damn good. Not perfect – present me a system that you think is and I’ll shoot holes all the way through it – but good enough.
Think I’m wrong? Then prove me so by not watching the game tonight.
That’s what I thought.
Thanks to Todd over at Roll Bama Roll for hosting this week.
1. What are your feelings on Alabama’s current position in the polls? Are
we Overrated? Underrated? Just right?
I’m still feeling good about the position. If the team can keep winning, everything will take care of itself.
2. What aspect of the game did Alabama control that shocked you the most?
What aspect of the game was Alabama dominated in that shocked you the
Alabama tried, and finally did establish a passing game this weekend. Tennessee countered with a pretty fierce rush but McElwain and company countered with roll outs. Also, hats off to John Parker; he took a few early hits but never lost his poise.
I was also presently surprised with Alabama’s defense against the screen pass (minus the touchdown). That is an area of improvement over the struggles from earlier in the season.
For a team that stunk it up on punt returns earlier in the year, the Vols did a great job on neutralizing the threat of an Arenas return. Drunk or not, minus the shank, Britton Colquitt is one helluva punter.
3. Name your player of the game on Offense. Also name one on Defense.
I’ll go with at least three on each side: John Parker, Roy Upchurch , and Julio Jones when we had the ball. Rolando McClain, Dont’a Hightower, and Javier Arenas when they had the ball. This was truly a team effort on all fronts.
This is probably an excellent segue into the fact that my wife is expecting our third son late this winter and as we already have two other boy children, names are getting harder to choose. At some point during the game, my wife tells me that our newest addition was turning flips inside her and she figured it was a response to her nervousness over the game and the noise and general rowdiness coming from me and the other two boys. Sometime during the fourth quarter, in what has become an almost daily occurrence in our home, she turns to me and says, “what are we going to call this child,” and in as serious a face and voice as I could muster in that moment, without hesitation, I said, “Javier Julio Tyrone.” She thought for a moment and said, without cracking a smile, “Javier Julio Tyrone, child of the covenant, I now baptize you in the name of….” (for those of you who aren’t Presbyterian, or other infant baptizing denominations, that’s what the minister says right after he has asked you the christian name of the child and before he sprinkles water on its head, and is in front of the entire congregation on Sunday morning.)
4. Arkansas State got a BCS scalp at Texas A&M to open their season,
while we’re still living down the humiliation of a loss to their
fellow Sun Belt member La.-Monroe. We’ve worried about a letdown all
season long and, considering a similarly dominating win over UT
preceded the November death spiral last year, are we in danger here?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Alabama is certainly in danger. Arkansas State will not be bothered at all by 92,000 plus. They expect to beat the Tide, or at least compete with them. Alabama will have to play four good quarters of football to win this game.
With that being said, beating A&M might be the worst thing that could have happened to Arkansas State. Alabama will take them seriously. I think the same was true of Ole Miss and their win over Florida, prior to playing Alabama. It is cliche to say that any team can lose to any team even though it’s true. But having a win like that is a hard-core, eye-opening fact, that gets players attention more than just coach-speak. Alabama must take this team seriously, as they have to do with every team on the schedule, but evidence that not playing your best game can cost you should work in the Tide’s favor. They won’t be “sneaking up” on Alabama – at least that’s what I hope.
5. Looking around the SEC, which team is the most undervalued in the
league? Who is the most overvalued?
Undervalued is a little easier and I’m going with Ole Miss for that distinction. They have been in every game they played – one score from winning all of their losses. A not-so-close second is Auburn. Yeah, I know things seem bad down there, but if you turn down Finebaum long enough to see the facts, other than the WVU game, you can say the same thing about themas Ole Miss. There is talent down there, especially on defense. Burns is gaining experience and if they can win the game this weekend, they could be very dangerous down the stretch. They should give Georgia a good game at home and will absolutely play lights out when they visit T-town the weekend after Thanksgiving. Think I’m wrong? Think back to 2004 when they were undefeated and Alabama had defined mediocrity. The Tide gave them everything they wanted, taking a lead into halftime and being a score from tying it up on the last drive. Just because they are 4-4 and Alabama is 8-0 starting November doesn’t mean that the streak is over. I won’t rest easy on that one until Alabama is ahead and the clock reads 0:00.
For overvalued, I’m going with Alabama or Florida. Florida still sports a home loss to the Rebels and despite a couple of impressive wins since, then they still have holes. I just don’t believe that Myer’s spread is a pound-it-out type offense. Don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly good, but have you noticed it’s feast or famine with the points. They get in rhythm and it’s like turning on a faucet with the handle broken off, you can’t stop it. On the other hand, if they don’t get going to begin with, they don’t seem near as potent. The Gators do have a much-improved defense and a collection of incredible athletes but you don’t want to peak against Kentucky and in light of what Georgia just did in Baton Rouge, the win over LSU doesn’t look near as good.
Alabama has yet to be punched in the mouth early, if you don’t count Tulane, and, despite a few good performances lately, I’m not sure if the pass protection is good enough to make a two-score rally. Let’s face it, if passing is predictable, I’m not sure the tools are there. On the bright side, Alabama is not going to see anything from defensive lines they haven’t already seen, so I think they can run the ball on anybody, but no one has said, “we dare you to pass” by selling out on the run. The effective passing this team has done has been when they wanted to, not because they had to.
What Alabama does have is an earth-mover of a line, a couple of sure-handed receivers, a couple of better-than-average tight ends, a handful of work-horse running backs, and an experienced if not flashy quarterback. No one’s talking about Heisman for any of these guys and they aren’t going to put up sixty points but who else in the conference can claim all the elements Alabama has on that side of the ball.
While I believe that the axiom about college football that “every game means something” is not only true, and is also one of the main reasons that it is the greatest sport on the planet, it is true that you really have to get to a certain point of the season for that high-stakes drama to really get you involved. That’s why that even though my beloved Tide is off this week, I’ll still be glued to the television all day tomorrow.
Below is the cheat sheet I’ve made for myself for a day in the recliner with the remote in one hand and a beverage in the other. Chores you (and my spouse) ask? That’s what the other three seasons are for – this is football season.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring this to your attention first; If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be in one of those “House Divided” marriages that are all too common in our part of the world and unfortunately advertised with one of the worst license plate designs ever, then check out Holly and Doug’s dramatic masterpiece on the relationship between a Vawl and a Dawg. Part one is at Holly’s place and parts two and three are at Doug’s.
The object was to get this post up yesterday and start off by recommending that you watch Clemson at Wake Forest last night. I was hoping for a Clemson victory to give the Tide a little more street cred but that didn’t work out so well. This was a total show of offensive ineptitude that came close to giving the epic in Starkville, between State and Auburn, a run for its money. Clemson’s offensive line is terrible. Just terrible. You could have an all-universe backfield (and they are not far form it) but without a line there are no holes to run in or time to target receivers. I’m thinking Bowden is on his way out.
Moving on to Saturday:
Mimosa and Bloody Mary Games
The day starts off with a doozy in the Red River Shootout. This is the first time in a few years that this game has had this much importance (11:00 cdt, ABC), but it is not a stretch to say that the winner of this game will have made it through the first stop on the way to Miami.
Thirty minutes later you can flip during commericals to ESPN for Colrado at Kansas – the Jayhawks are unbeaten- or to Raycom for South Carolina at Kentucky. I’d like to see the Wildcats win and make Alabama look a little better.
Be checking the bottom line scores for Nebraska at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders should win this easily against the inept Husker defense but I’m of the camp that believes beating two FCS division teams earns you absolutely nothing. If the Leach led bunch wins this going away I’ll consider them a little more for the Mumme Poll.
Wings and Beer Time
The 2:30 time-frame games offer many good contests. The SEC fans will tune in to CBS for Tennessee at Georgia to see if Fulmer is indeed on his way out or if Richt’s team can continue the momentum they were gaining in the second half of the Blackout Beatdown. The Vols could be mathematically eliminated from the Eastern Division race or the Dawgs National Championship dreams might be snuffed out for this year.
ABC has several regional games at the same time and all have good story lines. Arizona State at USC offers a glimpse at the Trojans climb out of the cellar efforts while over on the East Coast and mid-West everyone will be wondering if North Carolina is for real or if Notre Dame will prove everyone but Lou Holtz correct by losing. Ohio State is still seeking redemption and Purdue comes into the Horseshoe to see what that feels like (hopes of redemption not visiting the Horseshoe).
The Deuce has Michigan State at Northwestern. Northwestern is also undefeated at this point but a resurgent Michigan State team will be their first real test. That’s on at 2:30 as well.
Check the bottom line for: Vanderbilt at Mississippi State
Cocktail Hour (or I switch to bourbon)
Other than Texas/Oklahoma, the marque game of the day and a contest that certainly holds more regional interest is LSU at Florida. This is somewhat cliche but true nonetheless, the winner of this game the last two years has gone on to win not only the conference but also the national championship. A loss for the Gators would but them behind the eight ball in their quest to get to Atlanta after they slipped up against Ole Miss. A loss by the Tigers would not be quite as damning as it appears the only other contender for the West is our own Alabama team, whom they still must play, but with Georgia still on the schedule it would take away any room for error. This game could go either way and the winner would still control their own destiny. That game is the second of the rare CBS double-header and comes on at 7:00.
Over on ESPN 2, Oklahoma State takes their perfect record into Missouri to take on the high-flying Chase Daniel led offense of the Tigers. Somebody has to lose this one and it makes the second contest of the day of ranked, undefeated teams.
ESPN has Penn State at Wisconsin and while this could be an upset for the Badgers that would require that they end a possible three-game losing streak. Confidence is not high.
Other games you can’t watch, unless of course you have Gameplan, are Arkansas at Auburn – story lines galore the least of which would be Auburn’s total elimination from the division race – and New Mexico at BYU – no offense to my NM homies but despite the upset of Arizona, the Lobos suck. Keeping with the UNM/BYU storyline that highlights undefeated, untested teams that face competition they should beat but just might get upset by, you have Ball State at Western Kentucky and Boise State at Southern Miss.
In conclusion, tomorrow is a great day to watch football. Conference play is well under way with a few big rivalries taking place, but beyond that there are a few unbeatens that will not finish the day that way and a few more big upset chances. As we do every week of the season we will finish the day with a few answers and a lot more questions. But perhaps the best thing about tomorrow is that Alabama will start and finish the day 6-0.
There is nothing better than spending a day on the Quad and topping it off with a game in Bryant-Denny Stadium, especially if it is a big game against one of Alabama’s chief rivals. To me it is one of the greatest things in life. I unabashedly love Alabama Football and attending games is, to me, the best way to experience all the good things it has to offer. The travel that away games offer and the opportunities to experience how football is “done” in other places always make road trips worthwhile.
It safe to say that I love going to football games. However, every once in a while the stars and planets align and the networks get out of their own way long enough to provide one on the biggest joys that I know: Spending All Day In Front Of A Television Watching College Football. And I mean all day.
Tomorrow just happens to be one of those days and I’m more than a little excited about it. At the worst there will be two hours in the morning, before Big and Rich offer up the awful refrains about them coming to our Sitay, that do not contain some football, but other than that there will be high quality football that involves massive rooting interest the rest of the day. Tomorrow it will be good to be alive (unless Alabama starts the day by throwing one away).
Let’s take a quick look:
9:00 am: College Gameday (brought to you by the home depot) (ESPN) -coming atcha live from the proud home of the booger eater nation. The over/under for signs about Alabama, despite the fact that they aren’t playing in the highlighted game, opens at 6. Just what will our orange and blue clad brethren do to make us cringe at the thought of us sharing a state with them- don’t worry they won’t disappoint.
11:30 am: Alabama at Arkansas (Jefferson Pilot) – despite the fact that we got Daved, after three straight weeks of night games, I’m pretty pumped about having this game kickoff first. First, it’s an excuse to drink before noon (as if I needed one). And B, I don’t have to worry about how the team is going to perform while watching other teams that our team will eventually play. This is so much more preferable than these other games being time killers while anticipating the main event. Plus, the Tide should roll. Let’s face it, no one outside of Fayettenam is picking the Hogs. Not that Alabama can sleepwalk through this one but they should win the game.
2:30: Florida at Tennessee (CBS) – for the first time this yea I get to listen to Uncle Verne bungle his way through names that my pre-schooler has no problem whatsoever with. Plus, the shine is off the Clawfense and the bloodlust in me that longs to see the injured Volunteers gutted and left on the field to die a slow death that ends in the firing of the most loathsome figure in the SEC allows me to do something I rarely do; cheer for the Gators. The Vawls aren’t going to be undefeated when they meet Alabama in about five weeks, so I’d rather they be defeated over and over and over again (wouldn’t you love to see a soulless Vol squad Croomed prior to playing Alabama?) Go Gators!
There is a good possibility that I’ll have to switch from beer at around this point. It’s still little warm for bourbon but I might just get crazy.
6:45 LSU at Auburn (ESPN) – after a few minutes to reload (or pee) the prime-time showdown of the Tigers, one Bayou and one Eagles, takes place on the Plains. Which reminds me, what kind of idiot named the area around Auburn the Plains? It was obviously someone who had never really seen plains. I mean, I’ve been across West Texas and Oklahoma. Those are plains – Auburn just has pastures. Let’s try this, The Lovliest Village in the Pastures. There, that’s more like it. I digress, I’ve already sent an email to my lone Cajun friend and instructed him to have his team beat the hell out of Auburn. I realize that if Alabama ends the streak this year – and I believe that they will – that it would be sweeter if Auburn were undefeated and it kept them from Atlanta, but let’s be honest here. Auburn is not going to go undefeated. Not with the offense playing the way they are playing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting on the bandwagon here and saying that they are horrible because I don’t believe they are. It’s just that snitching-ass Tony Franklin’s offense has not taken hold. They have played consistently poorly over the first three games. And yes, State’s defense is good, but they aren’t LSU good. I’m not sold on LSU’s offense yet either but they have more pieces of the puzzle than Auburn does and their defense is equally or practically as good.
I believe that LSU will win, but an Auburn victory would not be surprising either. I just know that I’ll be pulling for LSU or at least against Auburn. I just can’t see it any other way. Alabama has to play both of them eventually and they both can’t win and in my den no one will see me bowing to the TV during Chinese Bandits, so I’m pulling for the Tigers that have no confusion that they are Tigers here.
7:00: Georgia at Arizona State (ABC) – this could be one of those games that surprises you but you have to think that the Dawgs will represent the conference well and bring home a W. At either rate I’ll watch this one on commercial breaks and that will be about all I’ll see of it – with the slug fest that AU-LSU will no doubt be this game will probably end prior to the one in Auburn despite the 15 minute head-start.
Sometime around 10:00 I’ll stagger to bed, or I might just pass out in my recliner. Either way, two things are certain about Saturday night. We will know much more about the conference and I will have spent one hell of a day doing something I love.