Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Around the Plains, 4/7

Not a ton going on out there with no practice yesterday, but here's some odds and ends.

Football. How hard is Gus Malzahn willing to work to get this Auburn offense fixed? Hard enough that he keeps working even in his sleep:
“I get consumed on what I’m doing,” he said. “Some of it is you work hard, but a lot of it is, you know, when you got something on your mind real strong, your mind doesn’t slow down when you go to sleep.”
Keep those gears whirring, Gus: we're going to need every neuron you can muster, I suspect. (Which is why I'm a little troubled that Malzahn is trying to cut back on the java. Coffee is for closers! Come on, Gus, did Bon Jovi teach us nothing?)

I will say I'm legitimately encouraged to hear Malzahn calling Auburn home already in that article--I shouldn't be, knowing a) that it's just fluff for the media b) that if the Spread Eagle blows up and a head coaching opportunity comes calling, it's not going to matter how much Malzahn likes Auburn. But after the still-stinging Muschamp and (irony ahead!) Chizik departures, I'm going to grasp at any straw I can that Auburn might be able to hang onto him if he's just offered a Texas-like step up the coordinating ladder. (Of course, I really should be concerning myself solely with his offense actually working rather than the fallout if it does. I know that. Ah, offseason boredom.)

Elsewhere, the ongoing Tyrik Rollison Facebook watch continues at Lifetime of Defeats. Today, Tyrik is declaring himself "ready to start" this fall. Good--I prefer my potential quarterbacking saviors with a certain level of ingrained cockiness rather than without, please.

Baseball. Hey, a series win on the road with two big late-inning comebacks! A .500 SEC record! Just two games back of second in the SEC West! Things are good, right?

Well ... I'll let PPL fill you in:
(T)he real story (from Sundayis the fact that Auburn just walked away with the game. Literally.

In the top of the 8th, MSU and AU were tied 9-9 and Auburn already had two men gone. Sanders singled, then later advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch.

Then, well, the wheels fell off for the Dogs. Hunter Morris walked. Pitching change for MSU. Caldwell walked and the bases were loaded. Ben Jones walked. 1 RBI. Bases still loaded, AU up 10-9. Pitching change for MSU. Brad Ray walked. Another RBI. Bases still loaded. AU up 11-9. Kevin Patterson walked. a 3rd RBI. AU up 12-9. Bases still loaded. C-Mac hit into a FC to end the inning but the damage was done.

All told? 5 Straight walks. 3 different pitchers. 3 RBIs for Auburn without having to take swing and AU holds on for the game and ultimately, the series.

Sometimes its better to be lucky than good. Auburn was lucky ... (W)ithout 2 late innings collapses from MSU on Sunday and Friday, we’d be looking at a cool 4-8 league mark.
It's probably also worth noting here that four of Auburn's six SEC wins have come against Tennessee and Miss. St., the two teams currently mired in the cellar of each SEC division, and that despite the even record, per PPL they've been outscored 90-70 in their 12 SEC games.

Then again, half of Auburn's six losses (and more than half of that negative scoring margin) came at the hands of dominant league leaders Arkansas. This weekend's home series against 7-5 Florida should tell us a lot about how legit Auburn really is, I would think. But before then: nonconference snacky cakes.

Hoops. No actual news here, but you just really ought to read this brief Pigskin Pathos post updating us on the whereabouts of fallen prodigal son Chris Porter ... and cutting to the quick of the eternal desperation of the sports fan:
Chris Porter isn't exactly a role model. But my goodness could he jump high. And, in the end, that is all I am looking for in a hero.
Tongue-in-cheek? Yeah. So much more accurate than I'd like to admit? Yeah, that too. As for Porter, he's averaging a 26-and-12 for his current team, but I'll force you to click over to find out Where in the World that is.

Softball. Not that I know very much about Auburn's softball program, but, uh, it's a pretty big deal when this team takes two of three from a previously 8-4 SEC team on the road, right? Those two one-run victories in Fayetteville bumped Auburn's record to an even 7-7 in SEC play ... or still a little off of last year's pace (when Auburn was 9-5 after 14 games), but coming closer.


Deano "aka" Jimmy Joe Meeker "aka" Fat Elvis said...

Coffee is for closers!

SEC Homer said...

I was at AU during Chris Porter's tenure. Me and my girlfriend ran into him at a bar called Fink's near Toomer's. I don't know if that bar is still called Finks or not, but they had quarter wings and quarter 32oz mugs on Tuesdays and that's all that mattered. He was standing at the bar, and lemme tell ya...he was the most cut-up guy I have ever seen, plus he was
6'7 w/ a huge afro that made him look even bigger. I am 6'3 and workout a lot, but I was severely intimidated by that dude. I saw the former worlds strongest man Bill Kazmeier a couple of times that year in person too, but Porter was much more impressive physically. Porter had chicks surrounding him and by his smile I am almost positive the dude was high as a kite. Porter's midrange game and society skills were lacking which led to his NBA downfall. But at AU Porter will always be "Da Man" to me. Going to those games at Beard Eaves were almost on par with football at that time. Doc Robinson was running the point, driving and dishing to Scott Pohlman or Daymeon Fishback whom it seemed never missed 3's, alleyooping to Porter, or dropping it down to Mamadou or Mack McGadney in the post. They had a decent bench too w/ Adrian Person, Jay Heard and Reggie Sharp. They did not play as well down the stretch as they did early that season,(similar to Oklahoma this season) and got knocked out by Ohio St in the Sweet 16 in a competitive game. But they will always be my favorite AU basketball team, mainly because of Chris Porter.

Marsha Hinnen said...

How about a mention of the AU Men's Swimming & Diving Team? They were honored on campus today for their win last month as the 2009 NCAA Champions. That makes eight swimming/diving championships for the Tigers - incredible!

Check it out:



WAR EAGLE, guys!