Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Works, 47 Chickens Exactly-style

Blackmon gets waiver, again eligible for suspension. Phillip Marshall reported Thursday that Tray Blackmon and the ever-present trail of destruction Blackmon leaves in his wake have been declared eligible for the 2007 season by the kind hearts at the NCAA. After watching the Coney Island Cyclone that Blackmon's Auburn career became over the past 12 months, Tiger fans should probably wait to count those linebacking chickens. No one is going to know for certain that Blackmon is going to take the field for Auburn this fall until we actually see him click-clacking out of the Fog of Intimidation, and even then Tubby might decide he didn't cheer for the kickoff return team with the proper gusto, and suspend him.

But ah, screw it: This is huge news, mammoth, Wayne Bolt-at-UAB-sized. Without Blackmon, the linebacking crew is inarguably the biggest on-paper question mark for the Auburn defense; competent-looking, yes, but possibly devoid of anyone who would make DC's account for him or be expected to make a game-changing play. A mad dervish like Blackmon at MLB solves that problem toot sweet. A unit where the steady, dependable Merrill Johnson is your best player looks like a weakness; a unit where the steady, dependable Merrill Johnson is always poised and ready to cover for Blackmon's unpredictable, havoc-wreaking forays from sideline-to-sideline is a strength. The next great Auburn defense hasn't hatched yet, nope, but I sure like the looks of these eggs.

Gerry DiNardo: "As soon as I get another head coaching position, that team will totally own, oh, let's say Texas." There must be something in the water down there in Baton Rouge. (Well, of course there is. Probably tainted fluoride. But I mean metaphorically.) Whatever turned Les Miles from affable Midwesterner to rabble-rousing bully pulpiteer clearly hasn't yet left the bloodstream of King Crimson, either. I don't blame the guys at RollBamaRoll for accentuating the positive, but I think they're overlooking the telling part of the money quote:

"I'd like to play Notre Dame," Saban said ... "We played them three times at Michigan State and beat them three times. That was a great national game, it creates fan interest and TV will always jump on those games."

The clear implication: I want to schedule Notre Dame because we will beat them. He might be right about that. But this sort of hubris--if this is really about "fan interest," why even bring up that he won those games?--is rather far-reaching for a coach that has yet to even hit the sideline for his current team, yesno?

Besides, apparently your games are national already. It's a week-old link, I already tossed off a quick whine about it in my last post, and I'd rather not lean towards the WAAAAAH THE MEDIA ESPN THE ILLUMINATI THEY ALL HATES US SO MUCH school of fandom, but geez-louise: the team that's lost five games in three years doesn't play any expected Games O' the Week and the one that's lost 13 and is coming off of a 6-6 season plays three? I know King Crimson is a massive story, and I don't begrudge Schlabach the FSU and LSU picks. But AU-LSU is the same day (Oct. 20) as UA-UT. One of those two games could potentially single-handedly decide one of the two SEC divisions; one of those two has produced an all-time classic three years running; Schlabach picked the other one.

Perhaps I'll scale the alert level back to "Orange." SMQ assesses USF with his usual mastery and in doing so kindly throws a bucket of cold water on the burgeoning flames of worry that have erupted in the JCCW's always kindling-esque confidence in Auburn as a favorite. Never hurts to have SMQ on one's side, though his looking past USF's worrying tendency to save their best play for their biggest games means I can still cling to some of my terror in dignity.

Etc. Brian Cook unearths some classic Keith Jackson at the 1985 Iron Bowl ... Gunslingers shoots a familiar, short, and poor-recruiting fish in a barrel ... Hot Big-Man-on-Big-Man action, R.I.P. June 10, 2007.


Chip said...

Love this line man,

"No one is going to know for certain that Blackmon is going to take the field for Auburn this fall until we actually see him click-clacking out of the Fog of Intimidation"

And let the bammers & the media have their fun now, since we all know what happens in November. I'll be singing the rammer jammer with extra gusto this year.

Newspaper Hack said...

Chip's silliness notwithstanding, I'll address the GOTW question.

Yes, Bama gets a lot of national games. No, I'm not going to apologize for it. I live in Virginia, for fuck's sake, and I don't want to have to go to the bar every Saturday to watch the game.

This must be how Notre Dame fans feel.

By Jerry Hinnen said...

Hack, as I said, I've not no quarrel with the attention being paid the LSU and FSU games. There's no question, especially with the Saban hire, that Bama is of greater national interest right now. But the 3-0 ratio and specifically picking the UT game over AU-LSU just felt like piling on. You won't hear too much more about it, especially as more interesting things to gab about start happening.

Chip, thanks for the compliment.

Newspaper Hack said...

True enough. The Auburn-LSU game is definitely bigger. If I had my choice, Bama-Tennessee would be a 3:30 p.m. CBS game and the Auburn-LSU contest would be a 7:45 ESPN game.

I'm sure the TV sked will shake itself out in time.