Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Nonconference Wish List

Though Johnson is changing things, this 70's logo would be more generally representative of Tech's college football powah (or lack thereof), correct?

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: 20 UPDATE: 100 percent. (See comments; I am, as you know, a genius. Compared to sea urchins.)

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.


Hobbes said...

Ohio State.

"Whom have they played"?

If you don't get the reference:


My dad taught us to hate Bobby Dodd, Paul Bryant and Woody Hayes and not necessarily in that order.

P.S. If I had a vote in the Noble Peace Prize thingie, I'd vote for Jerry Hinnen for bringing us keyboard cat.

jrsuicide said...

Jerry you better change those Clemson odds to 100% since these teams are meeting up in 2010 and 2011.

tiger7_88 said...


Jerry... love reading your stuff (usually). Really disappoints me though when you let your inner lemming show through with the hate.

Just let it go, Jerry. He ain't goin' anywhere. He is the A.D. He will continue to be the A.D. Holding your breath until you turn blue isn't going to change anything.

And if the current direction (top to bottom) of the Auburn program (who is currently the third highest SEC school in the Directors Cup and in the Top 25 in the country) is full of FAIL, then you certainly must be using a different dictionary than I do. Maybe its just one of those "opposite" things you crazy kids do these days.

Either that or you just are naturally a very small, hateful person. I hope that's not the case.

easyedwin said...

Small? Hateful? Never!!

Bring on Notre Dame !!

§teve From Columbia said...

Your list makes much better sense that the other one, or at least your top 5 do. By far, Georgia Tech is the most obvious choice. It isn't even close. Florida State and Clemson could probably swap positions. I like the idea of Texas because I remember those 80s matchups. While Michigan is intriguing, I think your location got them on the list.

As for Jacobs, I love the job he has done. Since when does turning someone down make you look bad? I want people begging to play us, not us begging to play people. Since when has Notre Dame been bashed for not playing us?

And another point in terms of criticizing a good Auburn man, Jacobs; how many of the teams on your list are better than West Virginia?

Jerry Hinnen said...

jrs: Yes, you're right. It's a good thing I'm not an Auburn blogger whose job it would be to remember those sorts of things. Sometimes I'm surprised I can even walk upright.

tiger7: C'mon, man. You've read me for a while. I would hope I'd earned the benefit of the doubt on being a "lemming" or a "small, hateful person." Maybe I haven't. Oh well.

For the record: I've never called for Jacobs' dismissal and I'm not now. But you and I know he's going to be judged first and foremost on his stewardship of the football program, and in the past 18 months he's played a role in the loss of a young, talented defensive coordinator, the botched and ugly departure of Tubby, the clownish (if still potentially successful, certainly) search for a successor, and now the gutless and dumb--I'm not going to be persuaded on this point when Jacobs said straight up we're not going to play more than one BCS team a season--rejection of the chance to play the UCLA game.

I agree that Jacobs has accomplished many, many positive things at Auburn (the new basketball arena being probably No. 1), and if Chizik proves to be the right hire you won't hear any more gripes from me. And Steve is right that West Virginia isn't chopped liver, and obviously I can't claim to have to have a lot of credibility when I can't even remember that Clemson's already on the future schedule.

But I am ANGRY about missing out on the UCLA game, and I have very little confidence in Jacobs' leadership of the football program as a whole. Is my little crack at him entirely deserved? No. Is it just a little crack, though, and at least partially justified in my personal opinion? Oh yeah. Sorry.

Joe Blow said...

That's a pretty cool story Hobbes. Never heard it before. Thanks for the link!


Can't argue with the list, but how about some honorable mentions? Auburn will play at least one patsy/mid-major a year. There's no getting around that. Why not keep that money in state? Plus, with the other major school in state's absolute refusal to even acknowledge other D1 football teams in state (other than Auburn), it makes it even more fun. I say UAB and/or Troy make the honorable mentions list.

Chris said...

We are also playing Georgia Tech in 2017 and 2018.



Jerry Hinnen said...