Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Works, GO CRAZY-style

Is it just me, or has it been kind of a slowish news week around the Plains? Does it really feel like we've got--their record be damned--the Tennessee freaking Volunteers coming to Jordan-Hare on Saturday? Maybe it's a side effect of living in Michigan, but from here ... no, not really, it doesn't. Stupid schedule. Wouldn't now have been a seriously good time to host Arkansas?

OK, I'll stop whining. How 'bout a pick me up? How 'bout we all GO CRAZY! with Amare Stoudemire:

I know probably like 2% of my readers know or care who Amare is and that even if you do, it's possible you need to be stoned out of your gourd to fully appreciate theclip ... but dammit, I for one could use more yellow robots and happy green things dancing with NBA superstars in my morning, and I bet you do too.

Moving on ... Newly-crowned backup linebacker Great Story Pybus is unsurprisingly had the first of what's going to be four years of great stories written about him, thanks to his heat-of-the-moment PT against LSU. Here's to wishing he'd been a split-second faster on that bleepity bleeping touchdown pass from Lee, but nonetheless that a guy whose only other I-A scholly offer was from Duke is now seeing time with this unit is just yet another testament to a) Tubby's staff's instincts on who has the capability to contribute b) how quickly James Willis can coach these guys up. (Then again, Willis has been coaching Courtney Harden for four years and he just got beat out by a true freshman who even Auburn barely wanted. Just sayin'.)

Tubby's said this week they want to get Burns on the field, but even though he's only been on the Auburn beat a few days I'm with Andy Bitter:
I'll believe it when he's on the field and not wearing a head set.
You and me both, pal. (Also in that OA-News link: Tubby says Chaz Ramsey is "contemplating several different things, so we’re just going to wait and see what he makes his mind up to do." How very encouraging.)

Co-sign. I maybe sorta hinted at it in the Franklin post earlier this week, but I don't accept "Kodi doesn't know the offense well enough" as an excuse for his absence. If you're running an offense perfectly suited to the physical gifts of one quarterback and a poor fit for the gifts (such as they are) of the other, your job is to make sure the gifted one is prepared enough to run the damn thing and use the other as your fallback. As the Auburner shrewdly puts it:
Consider this, a track coach holds tryouts for one open spot on his team. Two runners run the exact same speed. One runner uses good technical form and the other uses poor form. The coach should choose the runner who had the poor form because he can be coached up. The coach can't do much for the runner who already has perfect form.

Todd seems to have had all the coaching he can handle. Burns is the guy who can be coached up to a superstar level – Burns also has a year more of eligibility than Todd. If everything else is equal, why not coach up Burns?
Word. Also joining this chorus is Auburn football pioneer Thom Gossom, who agreed to write a must-read column for TWER and expresses some doubts about the Auburn offense's direction. The highlight, though, God help me, is this passage about Gossom running into, uh ... you know, let me just reproduce it here:
There was one flashback to yesteryear. One of the former footballers, whiskey breath and all, felt the need to tell me and James and any one else who would listen, how he now felt like he was a black man and the one final wish in his life was to f— a black woman. “I feel black,” he announced. He embarrassed his wife as he continued with his faux soul brother act. “Just one time I’d like to f— a black woman,” he kept telling me. We begged off and fled back to the Presidents suite.

I cannot believe you are this freaking stupid. Bruce Feldman grabs the simmering OMG iz the pAc-10n good enuf 4 USC not 2B left out of teh title game? torch of lunacy with both hands in a blog post titled "Who will be left out of the BCS title game?", a post on which undefeated team might take the pipe that opens like so:
I hope it doesn't come to this, but in the back of all of our minds, c'mon, admit it, you know it probably will.
No, actually, the fact that it's happened once in 10 BCS years suggests to anyone with a brain where apparently you, Bruce Feldman, have an empty space where an attention-deficit chicken runs in circles that it's not probable at all.

One would think that we would learn from things like a season in which USC, LSU, Ohio St., and Oklahoma collectively lost to Stanford, Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, Colorado, and Texas Tech. One is always, always depressingly wrong. I know the above comment is unnecessarily savage, but it's freaking September and this kind of "I don't really believe what I'm writing, but let's try to freak out as many people as we can for no reason other than our own traffic/amusement" caterwauling is one of my biggest pet peeves, the sportswriting equivalent of shouting "Fire!" in a crowded room. (While we're at it: et tu,

Guess I'll put this here. With it fitting neatly into neither Monday's knee-jerk piece nor most likely part 2 of the road trip posts, I'm not sure where else to comment on the "Miles outcoached Tubby" postgame consensus. But since I probably really ought to comment on it, my take is this: yes, Miles outcoached Tubby. But not that by as wide a margin as you may have been led to believe. Tubby's biggest in-game mistake was not calling timeouts at the end of LSU's final drive: living and dying with a field goal once they're inside the 20 (as Tubby seemed to content to do) is suicide, not to mention it would have been really nice to have another 40 seconds for our last-ditch effort as opposed to ending the game with two timeouts still uselessly under Auburn's belt. Not good.

That said, the team was mentally ready to play and a lot of the other in-game problems (the ineffective running game, the defensive misalignments) seem from here more of the coordinators' responsibilities. Miles's aggressiveness paid off on the final drive, no doubt, but the onsides kick decision has been overrated: LSU went three-and-out and Auburn immediately answered with an eight-play, 55-yard drive. It was the fourth-down stop at the end of that drive that gave LSU their momentum, not the onsides kick. And somehow I don't think Auburn's special teams struggles had much to do with Miles sending out two kickers with the same number, despite what Miles himself will apparently tell you.

Etc. Auburn's basketball schedule is out and the nonconference slate is, as per usual with Lebo, one or two interesting games amidst a wasteland of RPI anchors ... Burnt Orange Nation fisks a shoddy reinterpretation of the 2006 Rose Bowl with entertaining results ... War Eagle Atlanta busts out a cool little fact about Auburn vs. SEC East teams ... RBR + Doug + B&B + BSR = all the UGA-Bama pregame you'll need ... The completed Week 4 SECPP is up ... Jevan Snead is on a milk carton ... aaaand finally, your weekly animated drive chart courtesy of Rocky Top Talk:



Jason@TigerWalk said...

I agree Jerry, I think not taking a time out on that final drive was a mistake. I know they were trying to save time outs, but when your defense is clearly on the ropes, it is time for a break to re-group. You have to give Miles credit with his decisions and the way his team played in the second half. My cap is off to him. CTT was once so bold to do the trick plays, but if you remember, it was Al Borges, during Auburns success in 04, that said it is more about the Jack's and Joe's instead of the X's and the O's. I think that LSU successs was due more to the fact that LSU had the Jack's and Joe'e to pull those plays, than CTT being outcoached by Miles.

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