Monday, September 01, 2008

The Works, fairest-of-weather friend-style


It's raining, so I'm not talking to you. There's not a major program in the country whose fanbase doesn't split into two camps following any result that's not unambiguous failure--hi, we're Clemson--or unambiguous success--sigh, they're Alabama. Like XTC and Adam Ant, the forces of the countries of Falling Sky and Rose-Colored Glasses are destined to clash on the battlefield of public opinion for eternity.

Auburn is of course no different, as this post at the Gold Mine asking Tiger fans to grade out the team's performance against ULM shows in vivid and depressing color. The good news is that a full 57.6 percent of Auburn fans (or Gold Mine readers, I suppose I should clarify, though I doubt too many Tide fans are making the effort to make Auburn fans look unhappier than they are) see the victory for what it is: a solid and dominant, if not perfect, win over a weak but far from helpless opponent.

But the bad news? The second-most popular option, somehow, is F, with 16.3 percent. 16.3 percent of respondents felt if they had to grade Auburn on a 34-0 shutout of a team that defeated Alabama last fall in which Auburn ran for 7 yards a carry, dominated special teams, and broke in two new coordinators on either side of the ball, the appropriate grade was F. Failure. I'd like to think I'm a fairly cynical guy about the hysteria embedded in the DNA of college football fandom, but still, come on. The conclusion I'm forced to draw is that 16.7 of the Gold Mine's respondents are orangutans with Internet access.

Now, admittedly, I seriously doubt that the set of fans who casually cruise the Auburn Interwebs and are willing to vote in a Gold Mine online poll would represent an accurate cross-section of the fans who filed into Jordan-Hare last Saturday (though the booing of Brandon Cox last year makes me think it might be more accurate than some would think). But that any cross-section of any fanbase anywhere, much less Auburn's, would feel this way after a victory this complete makes me ... well, let me think about how not to overstate this ... afraid for the future of human civilization.

BlAUggitysphere bits. Lots o' good stuff out there in response to the ULM game, starting with this lovely turn of phrase from Grotus Acorn:
Would-be skill players beware: the Auburn defense is an unending chain of demons whose only joy in life is the ruin of dreams, a bottomless pit of ravenous beasts, ever thirsting for the precious liquor they will wring from your soul. God help the soon-to-be-Croyle'd quarterback dumb enough to take a snap across from their eager maw. Mothers: send your sons to Auburn or teach them to play soccer. Your love demands no less.

To which I nod my head in fervent agreement and encourage you to read the rest of the recap. Grotus also put together some worthwhile play-by-play in which he christens our new punter Clinton "Saturn V" Durst. Word.

Will's postgame thoughts have always been must-reads, and this week's was no exception. Especially intriguing was Will's observation that 2004 also started with an "workmanlike" win over ULM, one Will described back then like so:
On the one hand, you've got a workmanlike shutout of (let's face it) one of the worst football teams in the country. To their great credit, Louisiana Monroe's players didn't show a lot of give-up on Saturday, but they also didn't show a whole lot of ability. Auburn substituted all the way into the scout team by the fourth quarter, and the closest LA-MO ever got to scoring was a couple of missed field goals. On the other hand ... Look, it's obvious that the AU coaches went into this game intending to show future opponents absolutely nothing of use, and it's safe to say that they succeeded. "Vanilla" doesn't begin to describe the blandness of the formations and plays displayed on Saturday. Try "tasteless and odorless," or maybe "invisible."

Eerie. J. Henderson was likewise moved to blockquote by said wrap-up at the TWER, though I'd also point you towards their LOLcatting of the Coleman sack and some ice cream-based humor from J.M. at the Tide's expense. Oh, and like TWER and everybody else I got a kick out of the Auburner's highlight package.

Even more: Acid's postgame grades are worth reading, as is the Pigskin Pathos's discovery of how the spread churned out three times as many rush yards as passing yards:

Also inspired are their suggestions for new pregame videos, particularly one involving Tubby, Franklin, and Jack Black.

Ca$h Rules Everything Around Me. Particularly in the SEC. Not that this is new news, exactly, but I want to say something about the SEC ESPN TV deal: Holy #@&%, that's a lot of money. To wit:
Vanderbilt, which hasn't been to a bowl game since 1982, now would pocket more from TV than Notre Dame, which has its own deal with NBC at a reported $9 million a year for football.
That said, I still don't think I was way off in thinking the SEC should have been looking for a deal at least a couple years shorter when the league will still be under the same contract while negotiating for broadcast rights from Mars. As the Sentinel points out: "We won't be surprised if, in a decade, ESPN believes it got a bargain by paying the SEC only a couple of billion dollars."

Lastly, an Alabama fan discounting the same accomplishments at Auburn he or she would respect at other schools is a surprise on the same level as the sun rising in the morning, but this still gave me a chuckle:
Florida dominated Hawaii in all phases of the game Saturday morning in Gainesville. They returned kicks for TDs, returned interceptions for TDs, threw passes for TDs, and rushed for TDs. Scored 56 points. Yup.

Auburn's new "spread eagle" offense produced a total of 85 passing yards. They had 28 yards through the first 3 quarters. Yikes. They scored on a punt return. They scored on a fumble return. They didn't dominate like they should have. Could be an interesting week against Southern Miss this weekend.

See, when someone else gets defensive and special teams scores, it makes them dominant in all phases. When Auburn does the same, it just saved their bacon because their offense sucked. Simple. (By the by, score of the Florida game with UF's defensive and special teams scores taken out: 35-10. Auburn's: 20-0. Just food for thought.)


The Pigskin Pathos said...

All is not lost yet. Auburn could have pulled a Tennessee.

Thanks for the link sir. Top of the line as always.

Acid Reign said...

.....Let me just say, that I'm not only a home-delivery reader of the Birmingham News, but I'm a Tragic City resident, too. Or at least, a close suburb. I wouldn't give the Goldmine, or the Rap Sheet, or whatever Scabbinsky's calling his blog, the time of day.

.....I much prefer the above view from Michigan!

Will Collier said...

"Didn't dominate [LAMO] like they should have."

Heh. For people who live in the past, the Turds, they have some mighty short memories.

Jerry Hinnen said...

Thanks, TPP/AR.

Will: Ain't that the truth.