Monday, January 19, 2009

We'll always have Paris

In case you missed it, it was a very busy Sunday at the JCCW. Started with a scouting report of what's possibly mid-majordom's best team, continued with an update on the big recruiting weekend and the Moseley commit, and squeezed in some knee-jerk response to the Jeff Grimes hire. Enjoy.

Photo lifted from the PigskinPathos, who has an interesting story about it.

Alex, I'll take "Sentences I Never Expected to Be Written About the 2009 Auburn Men's Basketball Team" for $800, please:
Auburn has scored on each of its first eight possessions of the second half.
Regardless of opponent, that's quite a little run there. That the run came at home, against Alabama, to put Auburn up 60-39 on what would end up being an easy 85-71 victory ... well, forgive me for wondering if this wasn't Auburn's 2009 high-water mark.

Because, let's be honest, this win didn't do much to change the big picture for either team involved. It says a lot--actually, it does more than "say" it, it screams it "Sucked Out"-style--that both teams finished this game 11-6 overall, 1-2 in the SEC, and even with the same Mercer loss on the resume. Auburn's better off in the computer ratings and RPI, but barring a miraculous run through the SEC tournament, the final evaluation is likely to be the same: an NIT berth as best-case scenario and ultimately the dismissal of the head coach.

But hey, I don't mean to shine the BummerSignal and bring forth Captain Bringdown* to ruin the fun. Because we are talking about beating Alabama, for the fourth time in five meetings. We are talking about Tay Waller shooting 6-of-8 from three, the sort of performance, if repeatable, that could give Auburn a fighting shot at a winning SEC record (not an insignificant accomplishment) and even an outside shot at a Georgia-esque miracle NCAA bid. We are talking about a team that never looked like it would have a prayer of breaking a point-per-possession against SEC opponents going for 1.15, and that's after sort of screwing around for the game's final few minutes. We are talking about one more reminder that for all of Jeff Lebo's faults, he's always gotten more out of his talent than the dead man coaching on the other side. (A dead man who, in the line of the week from Evan Woodberry, was "looking increasingly weary and beleaguered" afterwards.) We are talking, after all, about beating Alabama.

When all is said and done, we could be talking about a season that never even found a high-water mark, a season that never had a win like this one to celebrate. But after Saturday afternoon, that's not what we're going to be talking about, and if that doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot, it means something.

*Line stolen wholecloth from Dan Loney, but it's too good not to use.

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