And hell, while we're on the KITH kick:
Sign in the SEC's window: ARMS WANTED. So I saw this post at ATVS titled
Some Former Assistant Coach Says Jordan Jefferson The 3rd Best QB In the SECand my knee-jerk response was--like the rest of you, no doubt--"Right, and I'm the third-best NASA intergalactic electrospectrometer engineer." And then I actually read through the list of the SEC's quarterbacks and ... well ... I'd take Ryan Mallett or Stephen Garcia first. They've got more uppityupside. But you could totally make the argument that Jefferson will, in fact, be the SEC's third-best QB this year. How the hell has the art of quarterbacking in this conference fallen so far? (Not that things weren't already in sad shape last year, as yours truly demonstrated. Top-to-bottom, things might actually be better this season, with guys like Jefferson and Garcia already having a year of seasoning under their belts.)
Speaking of SEC personnel issues, the Wall Street Journal apparently got so much positive feedback on that "offensive line starts returning = success" tidbit they posted earlier this month they decided to expand it--now you can look up the number of returning o-line starts for virtually every team in the country. The news isn't particularly good from Auburn's standpoint: the SEC is as loaded with experience up front as any conference in D-I, and even though Auburn's 58 returning starts is only a little less than the national average (61), they rank ninth in the league. Georgia looks like an excellent test case for the "which is more important, experience on the line or at the skill positions?"; last year, they had oodles of skill position players but gaping holes up front. This year, the opposite will be true. We'll see how much that helps or hurts.
BlAUgosphere. In an effort to make sure this year's set of Cheese Puff Previews actually gets done--or at least, fer God's sake, gets two-thirds of the way through the schedule--I'm planning on starting them much earlier than the past couple of years. Like, next week early. But Acid Reign's beaten me out of the gate anyway, with his typically useful preview of Louisiana Tech. He concludes:
For Auburn, the key to this game on defense will be to limit (La Tech RB) Phillip Livas, and stop the run. On special teams, Livas also must be contained. On offense, Auburn must generate a running game, and exploit young linebackers and corners. I suspect Auburn will be at their healthiest of the season, early, and the defense will be WAY too much for the Tech offense. Offensively, we'll still be finding our way. It will be interesting to see if Malzhan's offense clicks right out of the gate. If so, the final score can be as ugly as Auburn wants to make it. If we don't take care of the ball, this game could be close.Here's a sneak preview of my take: I'm nowhere near this confident. Here's to hoping Acid's got a better bead on the Bulldogs than I do.
Also Auburn-related: commenter J.D. has a blog, and this week he ran down the five best Tiger games he's attended. The 2006 Florida win lands at the top for him, while I'd say the 1993 Florida game was my personal favorite, and you know the 2001 win over the Gators ranks first for a lot of people. You have to give the Gators credit--they're an awful lot of fun for Auburn to host. (Since, you know, Auburn usually beats them in incredible, dramatic fashion.)
Not Auburn-related, but seriously, seriously awesome: Grotus Acorn busts out some serious mathematical ninjitsu and an armada of graphs like this one:
to show you the best way to play Monopoly. It's a must-read. Assuming, of course, you've ever played Monopoly, or plan on playing Monopoly at any point in the future.
Writers writin' things. There's going to be a lot of repetition in the mainstream media's discussion about Auburn between now and the fall: quarterback battle, new coordinators, strong defense, Chizik, etc. You can get your first taste from Tony Barnhart and Chris Low. Nothing you don't know about Auburn in there, but I guess it's useful for knowing what John Q. Pundit is thinking ... and what some of the rest of the SEC is up to.
If you'd like a similarly bland take on individual Auburn players, we've got that too: here's Low on Antonio Coleman (No. 12 on his ranking of the top 30 SEC players) and Mr. SEC calling McCalebb the No. 4 freshmen RB to make an impact, or something like that. (HT: Auburntron.)
+1. I'm reading between the lines a bit here, but doesn't Chizik seem to think of golf as more a thing he's supposed to enjoy as someone like himself (i.e. white, male, well-off) than something he genuinely gets a kick out of? Just like me! (Without the "well-off" part, of course.)
Etc. Dr. Saturday on Alabama is of course required reading ... EDSBS has already linked it, but the cleverness behind this 3SiB post really does deserve a thumbs-up.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone.