Friday, May 22, 2009

The Works, misery loves company-style

Hey, we've got a guy like that. I think the majority of Auburn fans have made their peace with the Chuckster for his comments in the wake of the Gene Chizik hire--I mean, come on, he's Chuck, if it was possible to stay mad at him he'd have been out of a job so long ago--but still, doesn't mean it's not nice to see another SEC program deal with a prominent alum who's less-than-thrilled with their new head coach:

We the people of Auburn salute you, Todd Helton, and your bitter, probably unwarranted sarcasm regarding Tennessee's head coach.

That'll do. After LSU helped Auburn out none at all by losing to previous "maybe they'd take us over them?" candidate Vanderbilt in the first round of the SEC baseball tourney, Plainsman Parking Lot thinks the handwriting is on the wall and reads Season's over. Sorry. But PPL's also encouraged by the season as a whole and lists a whole bunch of reasons why, starting with Pawlowski. You should read them.

Numbers. The expectation here at the JCCW was that Robert Cooper was probably just one more academic casualty--with LaVoyd James as your most likely candidate--away from skipping that whole "grayshirt" business and coming in this fall. Apparently, either the coaches already know James is going to miss the mark or there's something else happening, because Cooper's on his way:
(W)hen defensive back Reggie Taylor failed to qualify, plans changed.

Cooper got the happy news from offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.

“Coach Malzahn called me the other day and said I’d be able to come in the summer and start competing for the quarterback spot,” Cooper told “I was hoping all along that would happen, so I was ecstatic to get that call.”

And Cooper says he is ready for the challenge.

“I’m definitely up to it, because I’ve been training a lot to get ready,” Cooper said. “I’ve put on some pounds, I’ve gotten faster and I’ve worked hard on my arm and throwing mechanics."
Good for him. Maybe better for Auburn, since Cooper won't take up a spot in next year's class--and maybe the best news for all of us is that Cooper continues to sound like he'll be more than happy to switch positions after he gets his shot at quarterback. Which--given Auburn's glut of scholarship QBs and Cooper's purported top-notch athleticism--seems pretty likely.

I'm still wondering a little bit exactly how Auburn's bringing Cooper in right now, when the 2009 class was 28 strong and Reggie Taylor is the only known academic casualty. The guess is that Auburn's back-counting their early enrollees--if you look the 2008 class, after its multiple non-qualifiers there's plenty of room to fit McCalebb and The Toro into that class instead of this one. Take those two guys and Taylor out of the 2009 bunch and voila--25 kids, Cooper included.

Speaking of recruiting, kind of ... there's a worthwhile summary at the Gold Mine of how Auburn's looking at a whole host of "legacy" recruits. None are high-flying hotshots, unfortunately (LaDarius Owens excepted, at least to look at his offer sheet) but it's a cool trend regardless.

Elsewhere: Auburn is a finalist (though I'm guessing still something of an outsider) for All-Everything safety Alec Ogletree, and there's no change in the "Auburn leads" status for Lache Seastrunk or Marcus Lattimore ... though the same can't be said for Michael Dyer, unfortunately.

And though it's not recruiting, this should probably go here: despite the best efforts of Tyrik Rollison's Facebook Army, ex-Michigan receiver Toney Clemons is transferring to Colorado. Not surprising in the least, since if the Auburn staff didn't think they'd be able to fit Phelon Jones under their scholarship limit, it's doubtful they were going to leap at the chance to add Clemons, either, receiver though he may be.

The usual. Acid Reign previews the Auburn-Mississippi St. game. I know I don't have to tell you to read it.

Not directly Auburn-related, but interesting. Attention asswipes that like to write horrible things about high schoolers on the Internet: they're reading, and they don't like it. Former Wisconsin hoops commit Vander Blue on the response to the news he was having some academic issues:
“Just to see how these so-called Wisconsin fans, what they had to say on those blogs,” he said, “it really made me second-guess: Do people really want me here?

“Because I know if I was a fan and I heard about a recruit I’d be more like: ‘What can we do to help him?
“And not: ‘Let’s make him feel like the worst person in Madison right now.’

“That is how I felt. I felt like I was in a corner, trapped and I couldn’t get out…
If any ex-Auburn commit ever says anything like this, I'm coming after you, Internet Tough Guys.

You could see it coming as soon as ESPN bought out JP/Lincoln/Raycom for the last remaining SEC football rights and announced they were porting them over to ESPNU, but the WWL has now officially strong-armed Comcast into adding the previously-invisible network to their basic cable. Comcast is also allowing its customers--finally--to access ESPN360, the superduper awesomely rad free streaming service. The response to this news around the CFB blogosphere has been HOLY HELL FREE GAMEPLAN, because the logical response is, in fact, HOLY HELL FREE GAMEPLAN.

So it's coals-to-Newcastle linking directly to EDSBS for the sole purpose of saying "Hey, look at this," but this really is the best offering of "bunda" Orson's ever, ever had. I think that just needs to be noted.

Lastly, some not-entirely shameless plugging. I mentioned a little while back that I go ... well, not a long ways back, but a medium ways back with Reed, world-famous* trivia master at the Lakeview Innisfree. Well, Reed and his brother Will, pictured here:

have started their own Internet radio show. 10 minutes' worth of daily podcast, right here, Monday-Saturday. Yours truly was proud to sponsor a recent segment condemning the shooting of people's faces, which I all think we can agree is a bold stance to take in today's face-shooting tolerant society.

Anyway, I recommend you give it a listen.

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