Monday, July 14, 2008

The Works, Project Runway-style

One of the nice things about the proliferation of Auburn blogs over the past year-plus is that more and more important items of interest like Pat Dye's Pants! or, say, photoshopped renderings of hypothetical Auburn alternate uniforms are surfacing for discussion. You could find the latter at Auburntron last week, where I'm pretty sure the dreams of anyone desperately wanting an all-navy monochrome look (a "Navyout"?) ...

... were pretty well dashed. Most of the designs on display are, likewise, not good for much more than a "Huh" and a larf. But I'm wondering if I'm the only one who thinks that this design ...

... corrected with navy stripes on the sleeves instead of another layer of burnt orange might be, I dunno ... intriguing? Trust me, I'm not suggesting it would replace either of our two (rather excellent) traditional unis, but as something to add just a tiny bit of flavor to a random midseason smackdown of some hapless I-AA tomato can, I think it might be well worth the clickety-clack bunch's time.

Hey, speaking of both uniforms and random midseason smackdowns of some hapless I-AA tomato can ... remember those doppelgangers from UT-Martin Auburn lined up for Nov. 8? The OA-News's Collin Mickle took a look at the Skyhawks and drops a few subtle hints the UTM game might not be the football equivalent of the basketball team's scrimmages against the likes of AUM Bluefield College, but phrases like "isn’t afraid of a challenge," "offense will be dangerous," and "it’s a respectable total — UTM was fifth in total defense" only go so far when paired with "missed the postseason last year thanks to a 4-7 record."

(Not football-related but almost as interesting by itself is the page's depressingly shooting-centric list of "Most Viewed Stories," as of last night:

If you're the sort who's ever grumbled something along the lines of "Why does the media always report so much bad news? It makes a man so down he can't even do his grumblin' properly," that "Most Viewed" is why.)

*Insert banjo sound effect here.* We got dueling headlines over the weekend from Charles Goldberg and Phillip Marshall, the former (or his editor) declaring "Always room for more talent" and the latter writing that "Available slots are dwindling." Marshall's headline almost certainly portrays the more accurate picture (and his breakdown of what positions Auburn's still looking to add commits in is worthwhile reading for anyone with even a passing interest in the Tigers' recruiting), but it's Goldberg who provides both OMG AWESOME footage and an amusingly candid photo of hotshot* QB recruit Ryan Mossakowski, so I'm declaring him teh winnar** of this duel. Marshall will have to settle for having his own site.

Schedule addendums. To follow up on the previous post here, despite all its Wiz-bashing I still didn't get around to this swipe at Auburn's 2004 noncon schedule, conveniently tacked onto yet another "hyuck hyuck Auburn had National Championship rings made hyuck nevermind that 'salesman's sample' business on the appraisal letter hyuck or that that team had the right to celebrate that season any way they damn well chose and not one halfway-rational Auburn fan you'll ever meet claims 2004 as a national title hyuck hyuck hyuck hyuck" post.

Fortunately, Will stopped by and dropped off the following rejoinder in the comments before he even knew I'd need it:

"One thing nobody ever mentions (certainly nobody on ESPN or the rest of the national media) is that Auburn's 2004 schedule was heavily degraded through no fault of Auburn's. AU was scheduled to play a neutral-site game against Georgia Tech in the GA Dome that year, but Chan Gailey backed out of it when he was hired by Tech. As it's more commonly known, Oklahoma flat-out bribed away Bowling Green, another OOC team on the '04 schedule, leaving Auburn to scramble to pick up La-Monroe and Citadel to fill the gaps.

It's also telling that Auburn has had no success in scheduling Big Televen schools to home-and-home series--because, as reported by Ivan Maisel a few years back, those teams refused to play Auburn. Maisel contacted Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame (technically not a Big Televen school, I know) and confirmed that they had all declined repeated invitations for games with AU over the past decade."

To be completely honest, I remembered the Maisel article just naming Michigan and the Irish, and try as I might I can't Google the thing up. I'll also risk a stoning at the hands of my fellow Auburn fans by saying I'm not sure even the back-outs totally excuse ULM-La. Tech-Citadel; by hook or crook, very few top-25 teams this decade have left themselves a nonconference slate quite that weak. But of course neither of those things change the fact that a) it's not as if Auburn ringed up ULM-La. Tech-Citadel as the first three names on their list, signed them on, cackled evilly, and called it a day b) the SEC slate was an SEC slate was an SEC slate c) we need a freaking playoff. Thus the JCCW puts the old dead nag back to bed until its next scheduled flogging, tentatively set for next February.

Aaaaaaand finally, still on the subject of scheduling, Blutarsky recently linked to a piece at Mr. SEC that's reflected a lot of talk to date about the 2008 SEC East race: namely, that while Georgia might be the better team, it's the Gators' cushier schedule that makes them the East favorite.

Putting aside for the moment how much stock we can put in an analysis that sees the battered husks of Miami, Florida St., and Hawaii as a more formidable hurdle than a trip to Arizona St. alone, didn't we learn from 2006 that preseason guesswork should probably look at team quality first and the schedule a distant second? Back then it was Florida, natch, who was the SEC's consensus "Oh, great team, beautiful team, but they'll never survive that meatgrinder of a schedule" sucker's bet. The irony for Georgia fans is that if they want a model for what can happen for the Dawgs in 2008, they'll want to look first and foremost to that bunch of Gators.

*Use of term "hotshot" for widely-recruited and/or first-round quarterback prospect required by mandate of College Football Media and Communications Act of 1976.

**HT: HJS. I don't know why, but this thing makes me chuckle every time I see it. Though it
was only, like, those two times until now.


Clinton said...

Something else never mentioned about the 2004 AU schedule is that at the end of the season, the NCAA rated it the 5th toughest with USC's schedule 9th and OU's somewhere around 15th.

A united method said...

the blue helmets make that uniform tight.

love the posts, go get your measurements. ;)