Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Reports of the death of the Spread Eagle have been greatly exaggerated

I'm sure by now you've read the following from Tommy Tuberville:
"We don't run Tony Franklin's spread offense," Tuberville said. "This is Auburn's offense. It's like our defense. We're going to run what works and what we're going to match up better with the other team. Everybody has to do that. You can't put a square peg in a round hole. Why would you do that?"
This is, of course, hardly news to anyone who watched the Tennessee game--with multiple appearances of the Wild Wario formation and both Todd and Burns taking snaps from under center--or paid attention when Tony Franklin said Sunday "There's the 'Tony Franklin Offense' that I've run most of my adult life ...This is definitely not that."

So no, Auburn's offense it's not the Spread Eagle in its purest, must undiluted form. It's still the Spread Eagle. I will wager Auburn will still run the majority of their plays from the shotgun. I will wager Auburn will still line up three or four receivers and without a blocking back on virtually every snap.

Would it have been awfully silly for Auburn to come out of the three-points-at-Mississippi St. and 1.9-per-rush-vs.-LSU debacles without making some major changes? Yep. Would it be equally silly to up and toss away every single hour of preparation the offense put in during the offseason? Yep. Does it make much sense to assume Franklin's already earned a pink slip when a) so much of Auburn's recruiting has been built around his philosophies b) Tubby has repeated his faith in him ad nauseum c) he does have some track record of improvement? No.

That said, of course Auburn's offensive settings are currently set to FAIL. Of course Franklin's job is light years from being "secure"--ask Hugh Nall and Steve Ensminger if Tubby's willing to grant a second year to OCs who never get things figured out. But Franklin's still got seven games (and probably eight) to do just that. The Spread Eagle's wings might have been clipped a bit, but it's still airborne.

Other Auburn talking points for your afternoon perusal:

1. Chaz Ramsey isn't technically out the door quite yet, but my not-even-educated guess on the situation is that asking for a release without actually transferring yet equals "Chaz likes the school well enough to stay if he can't play football, but if he gets healthy, he's taking off." Again, just a hypothesis.

2. There's a battle for the middle linebacking spot, regardless of how much Rhoads is (understandably) willing to spin the situation. It's one thing when Bynes seizes his big chance by playing as well if not better than Blackmon has all season. It's another when there's this sort of thing hovering above the situation:
Defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads watched his defense crumble under the strain of mis­communication during a Sept. 20 loss to LSU. Players said the Bayou Bengals' shape-shifting offensive fronts caused confu­sion that led to a series of real-time administrative failures.

The middle linebacker is pri­marily responsible for making pre-snap adjustments up front. That didn't happen against LSU.

Pressed into full-time work against the Volunteers, Bynes applied lessons learned from prior mistakes. The Tigers re­ported no significant alignment issues Saturday.
Blackmon will supposedly be able to play with a clubbed-hand against Vanderbilt. If Bynes gets the call anyway, there might be more to it than Blackmon's injury.

3. Byrum didn't take long winning the kicking job back. Here's to hoping that says more about how good he's looked in practice than how poor Hull must have been.

4. Lester and Davis are apparently healthy enough to play again, just as Fannin starts to reassert himself in the backfield and Burns starts to handle a few carries per game. Let's see if there are enough balls to go around or not.

5. Are Todd and Burns the second coming of Daniel Cobb and Jason Campbell? It's not the first time that parallel has been floated this season, but Thom Gossom makes a convincing case.

And while I've got the following links sitting around, I may as well throw them at you: Pigskin Pathos finds Tristan Davis in a Zen mood on Facebook ... Acid Reign's looks back at Auburn's history playing in Nashville and concludes "close Auburn win" is more-or-less the historical precedent for Saturday ... the SEC Power Poll is out, and Ole Miss is rather mysteriously three spots behind the Florida team they just beat ... the SEC has gone 8-17 against the Big East over the last 10 years, but at least Auburn kept their end of the bargain by, um, getting drilled by Syracuse that one time and losing to USF ... Gators, as expected, blaming the side of the ball that scored 30 points as opposed to the one that allowed 31 ... Jackie Chiles is working for Petrino ... Speaking of, there's a reason he bolted for the Hogs midseason ... Working with posers and Tide fans is less than fun ... the Dawgs' problem between the hedges is humorously identified ... aaaaand if you would like some schadenfreude in regards to our own quarterback situation, I suggest you read TSIB's take on Jon Crompton.

1 comment:

tiger7_88 said...

The Mazzopetrinallsmingerborgeklin Offense... the SEC trembles in fear!