Obligatory. Sometimes I think the greatest testament to Michael Jackson's musical genius is that his work could be covered by bunch of talentless goons calling themselves "Alien Ant Farm" and it could come out kind of, you know, maybe not "good," but not the end of the world either.
Then again, maybe not that's not the greatest testament since it doesn't begin to convey how incredible the combination of that song with the dance moves in something like this can be:
It's a little weird to say "That guy will be missed" when he went missing years ago, but I guess now's as good a time as any.
With that out of the way, here's the rest of today's links. There's a lot of them, so they're going to come with less of my usual witty, insightful commentary than usual. I know you're devastated.
--Hey, remember that Terry Bowden nostalgia wave that hit earlier this week? Will caps it with a classic Bowden story that goes a long way towards explaining why The Powers That Be cut him so little slack when things went south.
--A ton of places have linked up this Sand Mountain Reporter piece in which the local high school coach raves about Saban's summer camps and gets his whine on on not being asked to coach at Auburn's camp. I'm sure 'Bama's camps are great and all (especially if you're into having high school kids brought to tears), but that doesn't change the fact you can smell the sour grapes from here. Maybe Auburn's not forging a great relationship with this guy, but we're also not hearing from the coaches who are working Auburn's camps, now are we? (HT to the Rap Sheet.)
--A pair of worthwhile-yet-unsurprising Auburn newsbits I can think of nothing interesting to say about: Tommy Trott and Antonio Coleman will be Auburn's representatives at Media Days, and the West Virginia game is set for a 7:45/6:45 kickoff.
--Attention recruits: "Toxic air shows cancer risks in Tuscaloosa County." Look, it's on the news and everything. I'm just sayin'.
--Here's your mind-blowing factoid of the day: based on OTS's research into the SEC's run-vs.-pass play-calling and Year2's examination of the same issue in the Big 12, if you turn on the Average SEC Game and the Average Big 12 Game, you're more likely to see a running play in the latter than the former. Which makes me think: how good would the SEC be if its quarterbacks weren't so overwhelmingly mediocre?
--The Pigskin Pathos profiles Drew Cole for totally random reasons and with a healthy dose of totally random "facts" that earn the scare-quotes with authority. An always-welcome clever jab on the fine state of Mississippi is also a highlight.
--Two cool pictures from LSU's College World Series triumph, one that the Bayou Bengal fans will enjoy here and one they're probably less fond of here. Since I doubt the folks at BON will mind if I reproduce it:
--Speaking of funny pictures, if you haven't seen it already, this is a very funny picture indeed.
--10 questions with Trooper Taylor at the official site. On playing sports with 15 siblings: "We never had to use a ghost runner." On his wife: "I outkicked my coverage by a long ways." He also describes a blooper from his playing days where he started celebrating while the opponent was busy making a first down. Anyone who can find the clip on the Internet wins a beer from me.
--Couple of krootin' links to pass on from the AJC: Jonathan Mincy's coach doesn't like early commitments, but for Mincy he's making an exception, and Auburn targets Tyrone Cornileus and Mike Thornton are probably headed elsewhere. Speaking of krootin', Tennessee's search for a quarterback isn't going so well, but at least it's given us this:
One other note: an Alabama-affiliated recruitnik says Auburn has made a bit of a move for Corey Grant. I'd personally love to get a guy with Grant's speed into Spread Eagle 2.0, but I'm still not holding my breath.
--Holly's assessment of 2009 UAB led to Doug recalling former UAB mascot "Blaze" the viking (i.e. "Burger King's ne'er-do-well younger brother who's been in and out of jail for a string of petty assaults and public-intoxication charges.") For me, the most memorable moment of Blaze's unfortunately brief tenure as the UAB mascot was at the press conference announcing his dismissal, where a Blazer administrator admitted that Blaze's problem was that he was, and I quote, "too Aryan." (Today, Doug also linked up this old-but-awesome-and-timely-again Slate article on why the original animated Transformers film was such a galvanizing, indelible experience for males of a certain age, like yours truly.)
--Acid Reign previews the Auburn-Arkansas match-up and foresees a narrow Tiger defeat. Honestly? With this team, at Fayetteville, I don't think we'd have much room to complain about a one-point loss.
--Lookie, some bloggers can actually be admirably rational when Brian Cook writes an oversigning post about their favorite program.
--JRS calls out Colin Cowherd for being not just an idiotic slimebag but an unpatriotic idiotic slimebag, and J.D. notes that Spain's Sergio Ramos had a role in "Dazed and Confused." You know U.S. soccer is having a good week in the publicity department when I'm not the only Auburn blogger writing posts about them.
--Lastly: just this past February, DeJuan Blair matched up against Hasheem Thabeet and destroyed him utterly: 22 points and 23 rebounds to Thabeet's 5 and 4, with an iconic body-slam for good measure. So of course at the NBA Draft last night, Thabeet went No. 2 overall while Blair fell all the way to No. 37. Makes perfect sense.
--Enjoy your weekend.