Sunday, November 19, 2006

10 more Amen Corner thoughts

With where I stand on the 2006 regular season already posted, here's 10 other quickie thoughts on the 2006 Amen Corner:

1. Here’s to hoping Neil Caudle is worth a damn (or Blake Field undergoes a Campbell-like transformation), because we’ve got to get Brandon Cox more rest next season. The mega-clutch guy who we saw against Georgia and ‘Bama last season wasn’t even a blood relative of the guy we saw play quarterback against them this year, much less the same person. Some of that blame goes on the offensive line and Nall and Borges’s failure to get it fixed—you’d be skittish too if you’d been sacked at the David Carr-esque rate Cox was this year—but you’re not going to get much going offensively with that kind of play from your quarterback.

2. That said, Auburn needed just one play from their QB to win last Saturday, and on the road, against a solid defense, without his favorite receiver, Cox made it. I’m glad we’ve got him for one more, hopefully injury-free season.

3. As mentioned previously, the Georgia loss was, without question, the worst loss of the Borges era. Make no mistake--you could call Georgia a “dangerous,” “due,” or maybe even “talented” team, but they were not what you would call a “good” football team. Good teams don’t lose to Vandy and Kentucky, scrape past Colorado and Miss. St. at home, and get soundly beaten by Florida and Tennessee. You could perhaps even argue the loss was Tubby’s worst since his inaugural season—since then no team to win at Jordan-Hare has finished with more than five losses, a total the Dawgs would equal with a loss to Tech and surpass with a bowl loss. (Note that I wouldn’t argue this with the 31-7 drubbing at Bama’s hands in 2001 out there. But you could.)

4. Glad to see Kenny Irons score a TD, go over 80 yards, and average better than 4 yards a pop in his last Iron Bowl. Given healthy limbs, a better commitment to the running game, and an o-line that warranted that commitment, he would have done some amazing things this season. See you on Sundays, Kenny.

5. Whatever Tubby’s doing to prepare his teams for 11:30 kickoffs, he needs to stop doing.

6. I used to get my hackles raised by people calling Ohio St.-Michigan or Florida St.-Miami or anything besides Army-Navy the game’s best rivalry over the Iron Bowl, but not anymore. If you want to define “best” as “intensity plus national profile,” OK, whatever, pick something else, I don’t care. But the Iron Bowl is the most intense, bitter rivalry in the country, period. In all of American sports, UNC-Duke in college hoops or Sox-Yankees in MLB are the only possible candidates to equal Auburn-Alabama. No other game in college football means so incredibly much to so many people year-in year-out, No. 1 vs. No. 2 games be damned. You either understand that or you don’t.

7. I’ve gone back and forth on this, but if I’m Mal Moore I tell Shula that if he overhauls his staff, he gets another year. Shula’s willingness to accept the rancid, stinking pile of refuse that was the job in 2003 means common decency dictates he gets one “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Of course, when you’re talking about a fan base that’s willing to publicly blame a 20-year-old right tackle for “ruining my life” and starting a poll on whether he’s the worst lineman in the history of college football (94% say “Yes”), decency doesn’t necessarily play a big role, I suppose. (Note that the fan in question is not the author behind the site, please.)

8. I don’t blame UGa fans for crowing about the win, but just as I would have gladly swapped seasons with the Dawgs in ’99 (when Ben Leard threw for approximately 763 yards and nine touchdowns in the first half of 4-5 Auburn’s takedown of 6-2 Georgia) so I’d rather have our 10-2 than their 7-4. Could that fact have been lost on Journorock, who I have a great deal of respect for (we work in the same profession and I enjoy his posts) but who violated the Don’t Celebrate Other Teams’ Accomplishments karmic dictum and saw it turn out badly in the end. Not that I have room to talk after my oh-so-casual dismissal of Georgia followed by a lengthy discussion of Auburn’s national title hopes, mind you. Stupid, stupid, stupid. At least Journorock got some traffic out of it.

9. That said, the Iron Bowl was decided as soon as Corso and Herbstreit agreed that Alabama would win the game. “Good pick!” Corso told his colleague. Yes, taking the 6-5 team whose best win came at home over Hawaii over the 9-2 team who had beaten LSU and Florida … an excellent choice.

10. OK, so this isn’t really an Amen Corner thought, but I have to post the site news somewhere. For whom, I’m not sure, since I’m pretty sure 90 percent of the JCCW’s readership (i.e. nine of my ten readers) bailed the week before the UGa game and the remaining 10 percent surely did when the site went postless Iron Bowl week. If there are any stragglers, let me apologize—Sorry, know it’s not fun to check a site you like and see nothing new—then make excuses: my souvenir from my Chicago trip was a raging head cold that turned my routine this week into work-sleep-wake-up-work-sleep. I’ll try to make it up to you with a recap of the ‘Bama game. Coming Wednesday, or I’ll post my address and you can wait outside my door with water balloons.


Typical Georgia Fan said...

You oughta experience a little more traffic now too. I enjoyed your entry, except for this one little part which just REEKS of sour grapes my friend.

"I’d rather have our 10-2 than their 7-4."

LOL, oh really?! Dang, good call bro - how PROFOUND! Just as I'm sure us UGA fans would rather have our 2005 SEC Championship than those "Auburn 31, SEC Champs 30" bumper stickers some of your fanbase seemed to be so fond of last year, at least on the internet anyway. Talk about a lot of crowing, good grief... after how some of yall acted last year, combined with the rebuilding season we're currently having (and not used to) this year, I think a case could certainly be made for us not crowing enough so far! But that's just me... and speaking of bumper stickers, I can't say as I've ever been to your state much, but if I did would I really see the one mentioned above on cars, or the "Honk if you sacked Brodie!" one?? I kinda hope not, but over there it wouldn't surprise me much. After all, didn't Bama fans / relatives once shoot each other over a game?! : O And I thought WE took CFB way too seriously...

Just be proud of our rivalry, it's managed to stay as clean and respectful as one can in the South, one that old between border rivals anyway. What are yall now up, 1 or 2 games? I think we got the overall points lead now, but if it makes ya feel any better I'd rather have the W-L thing, same holds true for your silly little "06 record vs last week" comment. But we won this season by God, and we'll take it. Especially now that Richt is even against yall again and we got Caleb King's pledge to boot, not a bad week to be a Bulldog! Yeah yeah Enrique plus King's so called "overbearing brother," we're all just sure yall didn't REALLY want King that much now anyway, right?! Tubbs only recruited him for YEARS and went to one of his last games and all... ; ) Hey, it ain't over til signing day anyway.

Oh, and one more thing before I go, just gotta do it: Herschel is STILL better than Bo... look it up! Peace Barners, War Damn Bulldog!

Anonymous said...

You wrote:

"Good teams don’t lose to Vandy and Kentucky, scrape past Colorado and Miss. St. at home, and get soundly beaten by Florida and Tennessee."

I agree on the Vandy, Kentucky, Colorado and Miss. St. comments. We played like crap in all of those games. But I don't know that we were "soundly beaten" in the UT and UF games. Had we not had a retard at QB and the defense didn't fall apart in the 4th quarter (which we entered with the lead) against UT, who knows what happens in that game? Granted, it certainly felt like an ass-kicking leaving the stadium but the truth is that UGA was right in the thick of things for 3 quarters. And UF sure as hell didn't beat UGA "soundly." They won by 7 and were sweating it on their last possession as they tried to run out the clock. UGA gave them a scare and a half.

The point is, no, we don't have a very good football team this year but we were also capable of beating anybody on the schedule. Auburn just happened to be unlucky enough to meet that team and play their worst game of the year at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Seems like the UGA fans love reading Auburn blogs! Oh well, traffic's traffic I guess, right?

One thing I would add to the list of adjustments Tubberville needs to make would be putting close games in the bag. Or, at least, trying to do that. The first I saw of it was when AU played VA Tech in the Sugar Bowl. Starting the second half, we were killing Tech, so what does our offense do? Run, run, run, run. Not even slightly clever run plays. I'm talking up the gut down after down. We maybe got a first down or two, and every once in awhile there was a pass that made me think, "wow, are we actually going to add to our score?"

Seemed like the same thing happened with about 12 minutes left last Saturday. Run, run, run, run. Straight up the middle every time. About the only two things that changed from play to play was the runner and which side of the center he would be coming past. We were up by 7 points with the better part of a quarter left to play! Aside from dumb mistakes by Alabama on its last two possessions, I wonder if that game wouldn't have ended differently.

Jerry Hinnen said...

TGF: You want profundity, go read Matt Zemek. I'm more into the whole "reasons I shouldn't toss myself out a window after the UGa game," myself, the comparsion of said records did the trick. I'd expect UGa blogs to say the same in '99, last year, etc.

As for King, if there's one position I am totally confident in Tubby's ability to recruit, it's running back. Tate would have started for nearly every other team in the SEC this season.

Anon 1: You're right that I should not have included UF as a "sound" defeat. I remembered the 21-0 deficit more clearly than the comeback, I'm afraid. Consider it retracted.

Anon 2: What to do with a lead is double-egded sword. You run the ball and the opponent makes it close, you weren't aggressive enough. You throw the ball every once in while and the opponent makes it close, you didn't run enough clock. As Tubs has yet to lose any of these kinds of games since--sigh--UGa in '02, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.