Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Works, Bounces off me, sticks to you-style

One of the truly great things about being an Auburn fan during the Tuberville era is that the more Auburn gets ripped in the press, the more Auburn's mocked by opposing fans, the less and less people expect out of the team ... the more confident I get. So particularly when the soundtrack is as mighty fine as it is here, I have no problem with posting the EDSBS video that's made the rounds:

even if I think the Auburner's version is a little more accurate portrayal of the game:

Plus, it has Queen, so music-wise, you can't really go wrong either way here.

Even when the HA-ha's directed in Auburn's, uh, direction have been a little more mean-spirited than Orson's, you have to laugh when they're done up right, as Gump4Heisman's most certainly are. Behold:

Also, your money quote:
This instructional series features the same techniques that produced back-to-back-to-back A.U. punting situations!!!
At our expense or not, this is the good stuff. Substantially simpler (and with a misquote I've taken the liberty of correcting) but also amusing was JRS's take at Lifetime of Defeats:

Coming from an Auburn fan that's not quite exactly a diss, but if you need any more Auburn-centric slapdowns for your bulletin board TWER has you covered.

Hey, this is fun. Remember when we were promised that Auburn would keep a two-back set handy for red zone situations? So does Evan Woodberry:
During the offseason rubber-chicken circuit, a staple of Tommy Tuberville's stump speech was the promise that Auburn would not abandon its two-back offense entirely and that the Tigers could line up and punch the ball into the end zone when necessary.

So what happened?

"I lied," Tuberville said with a smile.
Great. But at least now that we've seen how totally ill-equipped the spread is at powering in against a quality defense like Miss. St.'s, we'll look at getting something new installed, right, Tubby?
"What you do is you look at what (opponents) are doing on defense. (Saturday), even out in the open field, that wouldn't have helped any. The best thing you can do, and most teams do on the goal line, is keep it spread out - try to take another guy out of the box instead of having to try to block him."
#%@&! Well, even if they've got it spread out, as long as Burns is at the controls we can expect to see some improvement. Anniston Star beat writer Luke Brietzke, your thoughts?
Everyone still wants to know about the QB situation, so here's the story: Chris Todd is the starter. He will be the starter unless coaches see a reason for change. If I had to bet, and thankfully I don't, I would bet Todd plays every offensive snap barring injury.
*head explodes*

All right, some good news. Apparently Lester's going to play, which can't hurt, assuming of course he's going to stop slathering his hands with bacon grease during warm-ups. Auburntron points out the parallels between 2004 and 2008 seem to be growing stronger, though I wish "Offense includes Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown, Jason Campbell, and Marcus McNeill" was one of them. And more importantly, LSU's quarterback situation remains, well, a situation. Richard Pittman at ATVS:
In watching the videos, I was struck by something troubling. Andrew Hatch's body language is terrible. He slouches. He shrugs his shoulders. He shakes his head a lot. If you're a believer in body language, it betrays a certain lack of comfort and lack of confidence.
Pittman admits it may be a "mirage," but you look at the Evil Brandon-esque pick he throws in the highlight near the end of this clip:

you have to wonder.

Intriguing. Tulane head coach Bob Toledo on the two teams his Green Wave has faced thus far:
(He) didn't hesitate to call East Carolina a better team than Alabama, the Green Wave's season opening opponent. Toledo justified his assertion by saying that East Carolina is a more seasoned team that Alabama, which is playing with a lot of younger players. "In my mind they're better than Alabama," Toledo said.
ECU's a top-notch football team, so this is hardly a slap-in-the-face. But I still figured you'd want to know.

Is it ever not a good time for random Dameyune Craig links? The reference to Craig in the Q&A below sent me on a quick dash to find his stats from the game Poseur was referring to, but I found something probably even more interesting: a fawning Dameyune fan page put together by a supporters' group of the since-dissolved Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe. Amongst the lists of various Craig accomplishments with the Claymores, there's this pic:

which is kind of awesome.

Dude. Come on. A quick follow-up on my recent little run-in with Matt Zemek, the CFN writer who told anyone who believed the Ohio game boded ill for Ohio St. they "know nothing about college football." This week, Zemek attempted to "re-explain" (awesome) his position by pointing out that OSU did, in fact, play with a lot more intensity during the first half vs. USC than they had against Ohio, a brilliant revelation that apparently was all he was really trying to predict in the first place. He writes:
Ohio State didn't get crushed by USC because of anything that happened in the Ohio game. OSU lost because USC had a better team; because Beanie Wells didn't return; because OSU didn't play up to its talent level and because OSU made untimely mistakes.(emphasis added)
Gee, do you think the reason so many people seemed to know ahead of time that USC was the better team and that Ohio State had a tendency to make untimely mistakes might have been that they paid attention to the Ohio game that supposedly you'd only pay attention to if you knew nothing about football? Cripes, even Stewart Mandel was able to admit he was wrong about this game.

Etc. Will previews the Tiger Bowl with his usual panache ... the Pigskin Pathos needs sign suggestions ... the shotgun pitch should probably be scrapped ... War Eagle Extra is back in business ... Rodney Scott might not be as soft a verbal as you've heard, though he will check out USF ... and anyone who boos Saturday should immediately be handed a crimson jersey and escorted back to Tuscaloosa, where they take their booing seriously--as in "We resent our athletic director telling us not to boo a team that's just had to flee a hurricane" seriously.

And finally, a programming note. You'll notice there hasn't been any recapping this week; this is because I am a coward and could not bring myself to watch that game a second time when there were other things I could be doing/writing. Hopefully, this will be a one-time thing.


Matt Zemek said...

What was I wrong about?

Can you tell me what, specifically, I was wrong about?

I'm always willing to admit being wrong, but of course, if you don't read my regular columns and only focus on CFN's sound-bite-based (short-form) feature, 5 Thoughts (which is not under my own editorial supervision), then we have a stacked deck to begin with.

Here's this week's look-ahead game test:

Arizona State lost at home to UNLV, looking ahead to Georgia.

A team that loses at home to UNLV as a 23-point favorite should, empirically, get crushed by Georgia.

Let's see what happens.

PS--Do read my columns to see if I can admit being wrong or not. Please. In the interests of fairness. If you're going to take a journalist to task, you need to read the balance of his/her work, instead of cherry picking. You would have noticed that, in week two, I admitted that I made a wrong call on Stanford (after having stated in week one that I had made an inaccurate assessment of Stanford in the offseason).

Jerry Hinnen said...


I'll admit that I probably don't read your longer columns regularly enough to make a blanket statement about whether you own up to mistakes or not. The Mandel line has been edited to specify to the OSU-USC game in particular.

But, sorry, you're just wrong on this one. Once again, this is what you wrote about OSU-Ohio:

"Very simply, ladies and gentlemen, if you think that Ohio State is in trouble against USC because of the way the Buckeyes played against Ohio, you know nothing about college football and have failed to pay attention to this sport during your lifetime."

Maybe you're trying to claim you MEANT something different, but what this quote SAYS is: if you look at the way OSU played against Ohio and decide they're not good enough to hang with USC, you're an idiot. Well, guess what: those people were not idiots. They were right. It's your suggestion that the results of the Ohio game be ignored when evaluating OSU-USC was wrong. Based on the dead-even box score of the Ohio game, even a fired-up, focused OSU wasn't going to be enough to cause USC any problems, because USC was the better team. And even according to yourself, that's the way it played out. I mean, you say the reason you wrote this statement was because Buckeye fans were panicking--do you honestly think that after seeing their team get crushed by 32 points on national TV, they shouldn't have been panicking? In retrospect, wasn't panicking the most reasonable option? How can you claim otherwise?

As for UGA-Az St., it's not a perfect analogy to USC-OSU because UNLV is very likely a better team than Ohio and because Az. St. is at home rather than going to Athens. But I believe UGA should still be the heavy favorite, yes, and I expect they'll play like it and win by 2-3 scores.

Whatever happens, though, it's not going to change anything about the point I made above. Of course teams look ahead. Happens all the time. But there's a difference between looking ahead and riding out a first-half challenge vs. playing Ohio dead even at home despite having a 5-1 turnover advantage. And if you don't realize that, forgive me, but you know nothing about college football and have failed to pay attention to this sport during your lifetime.

jrsuicide said...

danmnit! i thought i might have screwed that quote up. i should probably turn in my nerd card forever for that. now i have to fix it.

Matt Zemek said...


In my most recent feature-length column (Weekly Affirmation), I talked about all the issues we're dealing with here (and a few others).

No one has commented on the column and how it did (or didn't) clarify the point made in my two-sentence little sound-bite remark.

The difference? My editor put that "5 Thoughts" feature as the lead story on the front page. The feature-length column got buried.

You know that I like to write at great length ("if you want profundity, go read Matt Zemek," I can remember you saying on this blog a few years ago...), so it's so painfully ironic for me to face a controversy based on one of the most concise and limited things I've ever written, and in a realm outside my feature columns, which are my central responsibility at CFN along with the Instant Analysis pieces.

About OSU-USC: I've written about mental toughness and the psychology of college football for the 7 years I've been at CFN. My unique literary voice at CFN is based on emphasizing psychology and other holistic things that Fiutak and others don't bother with. (Fiutak just being a stone-cold knowledge-based expert with incredibly comprehensive industry-wide knowledge. I'm not in his league. I can only emphasize my own strengths.)

I still won't regret the fundamental content/essence of what I said--and that might seem lame--but I definitely could have written the statement better. Moreover, I also made a big mistake in terms of how much I assumed in terms of:

A) how the words would be interpreted;

B) how Beanie Wells' absence would cloud the larger issue;

and C) the complexity of making a point rooted in something that can't be neatly summed up with hard numbers or empirical data (the topic of psychology, which was the underlying foundation for my remarks in the 5 Thoughts piece).

Thanks for hearing me out.

It's amazing how two sentences can be the source of both great misunderstanding and yet great complexity inside the (often-cluttered) mind of its imperfect author.

Mackalicious said...

Per the Abuurn version video.

At the 0:57 mark I think I saw a piece of poop fly out of the QBs britches.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a Dawgs fan, but ya'lls defense is ferocious and I wouldn't want to see that running at me.