Saturday, October 21, 2006

10 thoughts

So the JCCW’s motto, like that of other great artists like Terence Malick or Fountains of Wayne, has always been “Quality over Quantity.” (No, it’s not “Ridding the World of Laughter One Joke At a Time.” Come on.) But obviously that kind of quality control doesn’t work when your midweek blogging time is limited to 30 minutes before bedtime after a 12-hour day. (The Man? Still sucks.) So we’ll go for shorter but more frequent posts in the future.

For today? 10 quick thoughts and picks:

1. Tubby, please tell me this is the last time we’ll be talking about this. Please. We’re begging you. Talk about your dogs, the price of bread, whether a tree does< make a sound when it falls in the forest with no one around, or even (gasp!) the following week’s opponent, but pretty please, no more BCS talk. The best way to not be quoted "all over the country" is to not say things that would be of interest to fans all over the country.

2. I’m serious. If you absolutely have to reference the BCS in some way—which I can sort of understand, since I’ve been fighting the pathological urge to work Simpsons quotes into every conversation I’ve had for the last 10 years—do it with sarcasm. Look at the press, give a big wink, and say, “Fellas, I’m not here to talk about coming in fourth in the BCS and being in prime position to make the national title game. I’m here to talk about … *wink, wink wink* … Tulane! *stifled snicker*. This way, you can satisfy your must-talk-about-2004-as-often-as-possible jones and still give the kind of quotes that don’t prompt throwaway jokes at your expense in pieces that have nothing to do with you.

3. I don’t want to see Brandon Cox on the field against Tulane. I don’t want to see Kenny Irons or, if his groin is bugging him, Brad Lester on the field. This is Auburn’s chance to actually become a halfway healthy team again. Let’s not blow it because we’re worried about what the pollsters—who clearly have their collective head so far up their collective ass that [insert favorite conclusion to joke here … mine involves nostrils]—might think if we beat Tulane by only 14 points.

4. Speaking of pollsters, I can’t take issue with what order they put the one-loss SEC schools in, I honestly can’t. (Take AU-Florida. Yes, AU won head-to-head. But Florida lost their one game by a very close margin on the road against another top-10 team. Auburn got its doors blown off at home by a team that beat Vanderbilt by virtue of the whims of Aeolus.) But what’s up with the love for Texas? They don’t give Ohio St. any more of a game than Iowa, they beat an Oklahoma team intent on beating itself first, and beat up on a Whitman’s Sampler of patsies, and now they’re the best one-loss team in the country? Over teams that have beaten multiple other teams in the top 10? Just more evidence that nothing’s changed with the pollsters—when you lose is more important than who you lose to or even who you beat.

5. “Bama Alert” has been reduced back to “Yellow” status after the Duke and Ole Miss games. They’re still problematic. But it’s tougher to fear a team that went to overtime at home with a team that Wake Forest crushed than the one that went to OT with the Hogs on the road.

6. The best take on the Miami-FIU cage match (seriously, where were the folding chairs?) and subsequent reaction? Jason Whitlock’s.

7. The hand-wringing over the Auburn offense’s performance against Florida has been entirely exaggerated. Auburn gained 315 yards against Florida’s D, which if you’ve forgotten, also held the SEC’s alleged best passing offense since Spurrier left Florida to 220 in their own house. Sure, it would have been nice to use all those yards to score more than 12 points (I blame the all-too-easily-blameable Tommy Trott), but the way the Auburn defense played in the first half, consider how many points Florida would have scored without Cox and the backs chewing up five minutes on every possession. On the balance of the season, the Auburn defense is still much more of a work-in-progress than the O.

8. Bobby Johnson is the SEC’s Coach of the Year at this point. To have Vandy be this competitive in what should have been a down year? Unfathomable.

9. My take on the whole Evil Lying Columnist thing? This guy isn’t even worth it. I don’t think there were too many Gator fans (well, too many with the brainpower of say, the cockatiel) who took to heart what a guy that clearly sells used cars on the side had to say. If he’d posted what he wrote on an Internet messageboard, someone would have followed up with “Don’t feed the trolls” a few seconds later.

10. Go see The Departed this weekend. Now. At your soonest opportunity. It’s unlikely you have any idea how good it is.


4-1 with a push last week gets me back over .500 (barely barely barely) at 17-16. This week:

Wisconsin (-7) over PURDUE: So, is Vegas ever going to realize that Wisconsin’s actually good? As in much, much better than all these other random Big 10 teams?

Miami (-18 ½) over DUKE: I know they’re missing everyone, but how badly are the remaining players—who are still miles better than Duke’s—going to want to prove that it doesn’t matter who’s on the field?

Tulsa (-14) over MEMPHIS: Memphis lost to Arkansas St. last week.

Ole Miss (+20 ½) over ARKANSAS: The Hogs aren’t going to be in the business of blowing anyone out just yet. Well, except for Auburn, of course.

TENNESSEE (-11) over ‘Bama: Just don’t think ‘Bama’s going to keep the game that close on the road.

N.C. State (+1 ½) over MARYLAND: State is GETTING points against the team that beat UVa by two?

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