Friday, October 27, 2006

Questions, answers

Because I have BlogPoll envy, a Q&A, but with questions asked by the JCCW of the JCCW:

What do we make of the fact that Tulane racked up 389 yards on the same Auburn D that made Florida look toothless for a half?

Well, that Lester Ricard’s not bad. But more importantly, that somewhere on the horizon is a redux of the 2005 Georgia game, where the defense collapses and Cox and the offense have to come riding to the rescue in a 30-something-to-30-something-else type of game. The D is clearly great when it’s completely focused and motivated. But it’s only been completely focused and motivated for about, oh, seven quarters this season.

So which of AU’s remaining contests could become a raging scorefest? Unless Mark Richt unearths some magic quarterbacking pixie dust between now and then, Matthew Stafford’s just not going to be able to pull it off for UGa. But J.P. Wilson + Hall and Brown + the same kind of secondary performance that led to Syvelle Newton and Ricard going off could very well = “Bet the over.”

By the way, I’m not the only one worried.

OK, so let’s say Auburn does have a pinball machine game down the line. We’ll still have Cox to make insane fourth-and-10 throws to save the game, right?

It sure looks that way after last week. What idiot was that that said he should be held out, again?

Then again, JaMarcus Russell puts those kinds of numbers up against the Tulanes of the world week-in and week-out and it didn’t help him much against the likes of the Gators. The most encouraging thing from the Tulane performance is that Cox is apparently healthy and confident again, not necessarily that he went 16-of-19 for three TDs. From a pure performance standpoint, that he moved the offense up and down the field against Florida was more impressive.

Not that I was unhappy to see him go 16-of-19 with three TDs, mind you.

Before we move on, anything else worth noting from Tulane?

Think we can get enough “Tate for Heisman” stickers printed by 2008? Gee, looks like having two running backs drafted in the top five in the same year might have been good for running back recruiting. Who’d have guessed?

Any reason to worry about Ole Miss this weekend?


If Auburn is able to run the table and USC loses to…

Let me just cut you off right there. I’m not answering any questions about that.

Fair enough. Any other thoughts from last weekend, then?

Just that there is absolutely nothing in the world more frustrating to the JCCW than a blown upset of an overrated team undeservedly ranked ahead of your own team (except maybe a blown NCAA upset you called … I’ve got forgiveness for Winthrop scheduled for sometime around 2047). Maybe it’s just the residual aspects of seeing so many hapless Big 12 teams gag against Oklahoma in 2004, but no play by any team (even Auburn’s endless sack parade vs. Arkansas) has led to more gnashing of teeth and rending of garments in the JCCW household this season than Nebraska’s … dare I say it … Stoerner-esque fumble last Saturday.

Toss in the fact that there were no genuinely must-see match-ups last week, that UCLA looked over at the next table and had what Nebraska was having, that my picks stunk like month-old tuna salad, and that ‘Bama looked good enough to drive me back to the Pepto-Bismol? Yeah, last Saturday was without question the JCCW’s least-favorite Saturday of the 2006 season so far.

You realize this Saturday isn’t going to be any better at all, right?

Unfortunately, yes, yes I do. I guess this is the price we’re paying for Pinnacle of Human Evolution Saturday.

Seriously, what are Auburn’s chances at slipping into the BCS championship game if …

No, I’m not talking about that. I’m just focused on this week’s game. I’m not concerned with what the pollsters or other teams are doing. That’s out of our hands. We’re just worried about ourselves and the things we can control.

All right, har har har, we get the joke, Tubby should be saying the same thing, duh. Now shut up and give me your take.

Fine. I’ve had Louisville pegged to knock off West Virginia all season, but they’re just not running the ball well enough right now. Seems like after that initial burst of motivation to prove that losing Bush wouldn’t hurt them wore off, well, losing Bush has hurt them. We’ll see, but my current guess is that the Mountaineers run the table and face off with Michigan in the national title game. They’d deserve to. No one would bat an eyelash if, say, Clemson had gone undefeated and made the BCS title game, and the Big East is a ton better than the ACC this season.

So it doesn’t really matter what Auburn does. It’s not worth talking about. Nothing's worth talking about but the regular season schedule. Agreed? I said agreed, Tubby? Good.

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