Friday, January 23, 2009

The Works, Why you got to be like that?-style

OK, after this post, I'm done with the Willis thing. But first, the Pisgskin Pathos's "visual representation" of what Willis's decision felt like in the Auburn fanbase's collective groin is too good not to share:

As TPP captions: Why you got to do that to us, James? Why you got to be like that man?

Elsehwere in the BlAUgosphere. So the first commenter asked Wire Road and Shug if this hilariously awesome conversation happened. The second comment was an assurance: "Oh, it happened." Which means you need to take a look at it. (And while I'm not the biggest fan of the "Bammer of the Week"-type posts from either WRAS or the handful of other sites that do something similar--"No, YOUR fans are more redneck" has to be the dumbest argument in the vast, vast history of dumb Auburn-Alabama arguments--I think I'm willing to make an exception for this week's edition.)

Also, Jay Coulter's got some Willis thoughts and Acid Reign's "Tubby's Greatest Games" series continues with a look at the Tre Smith game.

Recruitnews. Only two weekends to go until Signing Day, so, yeah, the one upcoming is on the important side. Jay Tate has your run-down of Auburn visitors, with the most significant development-to-watch being this one:
Tyrik Rollison told that his recruitment is down to Auburn and Kansas State.
Uh ... sweet. Rollison is Rivals' No. 2 "dual-threat" QB and Scout's No. 11 QB overall, meaning he would immediately join Lutzenkirchen and McCalebb as Auburn's highest-rated members of the class of '09. ESPN's not as high on him, his offer list isn't quite as impressive as you would expect for a prospect with his guru approval, and Scout warns he may not be academically eligible. All of that said, Rollison seems like such a supremely good fit for the new Spread Eagle he'd be a huge get for Auburn.

Speaking of other snug fits for Malzahn's mad tinkering, Travante Stallworth got an in-home visit from Trooper Taylor and the resulting AuburnUndercover wrap-up is free to all. Bad news is that Stallworth is intrigued by Dan Mullen's spreadvolution and is "solid to Auburn in some ways, but [...] still looking"; good news is that Mama Stallworth will have her say and will be with Travante this weekend. I can't fault Stallworth too terribly much for his caution--when you potentially lose a year of eligibility for choosing poorly, and the school you're potentially choosing just underwent a huge coaching upheaval, caution has to be the order of the day--but here's to hoping he likes what he sees (again) this weekend.

OK, so I meant to mention this earlier, but I lost the (free) link and had to find it again. Anyways, remember four-star JUCO wideout Cameron Kenney and his decommit to either Oklahoma or Georgia? Buried at the end of this review of Auburn's receiving depth chart is the tidbit that the new coaching staff made no effort to keep Kenney in the fold. I have no doubt that our staff has some kind of logical reason for ignoring an already-committed prospect at our position of arguably greatest need with offers from Oklahoma and Georgia ... but to be honest, I don't know what it would be. Oh well.

Ugh. So you're probably aware that Tennessee, like Auburn, has loosed an avalanche of money rolling downhill towards their assistant coaches, a development I'm sort of vaguely happy about since I'm fairly certain the cost of Auburn's sparkly new staff will likewise dwarf the old one even if Chizik isn't commanding so hefty a salary as Tubby. This way, we can just point the finger at Tennessee and say "THEY started it."

But it probably won't surprise you that professors staring at layoffs and salary reductions are less than vaguely happy about it:
Forgive Dr. John Nolt if he views things a bit differently.

Nolt is the president of the Faculty Senate at Tennessee and has taught in the Philosophy department for the last 30 years. He's never seen a more frightening outlook for the university from an academic perspective ...

"(I)t's still hard to take when we're losing positions and colleagues all across the university because of the budget constraints we're under," Nolt said. "It's a huge disparity, to see academics starved while there's that kind of wealth in athletics.

"I don't want to be perceived as somebody standing out there looking for a handout, because the athletic department does a lot of good at this university. I don't want to downplay that. But to see coaches' salaries go up like this and know how much we're hurting here on the academic side, the central function of this university, that's not right."
For the record: I'm with Nolt. It's not right. Not at Tennessee, not at Auburn, where things might not be as bad (I don't know) but proration sure as hell means they're not great, either. It's certifiably bassackwards for a University's assistant football coaches to quadruple the pay of the University's best professors.

But: what the hell can be done about it? Hard-wiring the very public demands of an entire state's worth of fanatic football fans into a sudden embrace of redirecting funds into academics doesn't seem an especially likely possibility. As Nolt himself points out, as long as there's an arms race on, no one's going to back out of it alone. It would have to be a collective stepping back from the edge ... a collective stepping back that just ain't happening unless the NCAA gets involved, and even then, you're going to have jerkfaces who exploit every loophole possible in order to, as the Wiz accurately puts it, "prostitute academia" on the alleged Road to Glory. The whole situation depresses the hell out of me. Let's just move on. Well, right after we pass on this well-executed one-liner on the UT bank-breaking from Kyle King:
Is it still appropriate to refer to them as "Volunteers" when you have to pay them a gajillion and a half dollars?

Ha ha ha. Hey remember Jamie Pollard, Iowa St.'s ridiculous third-person-talking douche AD? Black Heart Gold Pants does:

Thus ends the JCCW's dealings with the Obamicon meme, though if you want to check out a whole thread of 'em, they're in the comments of the BHGP link. (Be warned: there's a couple of swipes at Chizik, though.)

Etc. Tyronne Green sees some old "friends" at the Senior Bowl ... OverThePylon makes some clever suggestions for what Rich Brooks-style limited-edition vehicles certain college coaches ought to be inspiring ... new Auburnish blog Guaranteed to Satisfy asks "Et tu, Willis?" ... and if there's a better argument for SEC dominance than a 19-7 bowl record against the spread the past three seasons, I haven't heard it.

Aaaaaaand lastly ... I'll be around this weekend to comment on mid-major stuff, possibly any important recruiting happenings, and of course the Tennessee showdown on Sunday. But this is it for this afternoon, so I'll leave you with the following Tom Petty/Beyonce mashup, which has been inexplicably stealing my brain's lunch money (to borrow an old Pitchfork phrase) for the better part of a month. Enjoy your weekend.

1 comment:

Philip Arnold said...

Don't know if you caught College Football Live today but ESPN pretty much still has no intention of showing any semblance of respect in Auburn's general direction. They showed the video of Chizik being boo'd upon arrival to Auburn and made no mention of his coaching hires nor recruiting efforts. There are times I want to build some kind of giant laser cannon and forever eliminate Bristol, CT from the map.