There are many tactics we football fans use to negotiate the long and grueling offseason, which fortunately is now down to just ... 3 1/2 months?!? Are you forking kidding me?! Three more months? I'm never going to make it. Go on without me. Tell the Mrs. JCCW I loved her, and that I didn't really want to name our first-born Samford H. Hinnen, where the H stands for "Hall." I mean, kind of, I did, but ... Anyways. The offseason. People use it to make up lists. War Eagle Atlanta likes lists, and he came up with a good one today: the top 5 nonconference opponents he'd like to see Auburn schedule if FAIL Jacobs weren't so relentlessly full of FAIL. No, UCLA didn't make the list, thank goodness. We've suffered enough.
But Bruins or no Bruins, it was an excellent list, one that was so good I thought I'd make my own. So here it is.
1. Georgia Tech. Always the JCCW's official first nonconference option if they're available. Soooooooo much awesome history. Soooooooo much wonderfully bad blood. It's an easy road trip for Auburn and Tech fans alike. And from a personal perspective, it's not often yours truly gets to play the "dude, you're even geekier than I am" card; seeing Dawg fans play it on a regular basis has made me bit envious. And yes, there's a reason they play it so very often:
I would add something here to the effect of "Plus, we'd totally take them," but with Johnson around and the little matter of the 0-2 sweep last time we went home-and-home with the Jackets, I'll just say that's not a reason not to schedule them. As I said: this should be Jacobs' first call if there's a hole to fill.
Odds matchup happens in regular season in next 15 years: 50 percent.
2. Florida State. Freddy Weygand doesn't give a crap that it's nine minutes long--he (and Boston!) demand you watch the following:
My parents are amongst the many who have called this one of the greatest games in Auburn history, and it's just one of a handful of classics between the Tigers and Bobby Bowden's 'Noles: the '89 Sugar Bowl, the 1990 20-17 tightrope walk, to Bo-fueled 59-27 demolition ... these teams know how to put on a show when they get together. Or at least, I'm assuming they still do, since I'm not sure FSU's even returning our calls after the buyout to start the Tubby era. But hey, no need to duck them any more, right?
Odds matchup happens in regular season in next 15 years: 5 percent.
3. Clemson. For God's sake, our schools aren't just similar, we're freaking related. (Auburn got the looks in the family, and the Bowden who at least managed to get it right one or two years.) We need to remind Cousin Clem on a more regular basis who's the black sheep.
Odds matchup happens in regular season in next 15 years:
4. Texas. Not a ton of history on the field here, but the history that is here is rather awesome, what with Auburn's 1983 loss to the 'Horns being the only thing keeping the Tigers from a (deserved) national championship and the 1987 thrashing of the 'Horns in J-Hare sparking what would end up being the first of Dye's three straight SEC titles.
And now, of course, there's the little score to settle with Mack Brown raiding our staff whenever he decides he needs a new defensive coordinator. OK, so maybe settling that particular score would be a tall task these days, but that's all the more reason to accept that challenge--Auburn would have a lot more to gain in that match-up than lose.
Odds matchup happens in regular season in next 15 years: What, like, 2 percent?
5. Michigan. SEC vs. Big 10 is always fun. It's even more fun when the program opposite is one of the most tradition-laden programs in the country and Auburn would, hypothetically, be playing in the biggest stadium in the country. And from yours truly's personal, "surrounded by Michigan fans for the past three years" perspective, well, it would be even more fun that that.
Odds matchup happens in regular season in next 15 years: With Michigan basically ruling out all non-Notre Dame home-and-home opponents for the forseeable future (no nonconference road games outside of South Bend since 2003) and Auburn deeply unlikely to agree to anything less than a true home-and-home, I'm setting this at a depressing .0000001%. That's what the Cap One and Outback Bowls are for.