Friday, July 10, 2009

The Works, checking in on ...-style

Man oh man, does the Works have a ton of topics to touch on today. Like, for instance ...

Math: This is how I should have approached it back in "the day":

Ben Tate: Courtesy Andy Bitter, here's a Ledger-Enquirer story on his lofty 2009 goals (and surpeme confidence he'll meet them) and the requisite b-sides. The most interesting tidbit for me came in the blog post:
Tate appears to have a much larger role in setting up the offense between snaps, which I found an odd responsibility for a running back. But that's how Gus Malzahn's system works apparently. "I have to know fronts," Tate said. "That’s different and it also helps you out. I also have to make protection calls. I have to tell the linemen what to do. If I mess up on a call, it’s always going to be on me. It’s not really going to be a lineman’s fault. Most of the time, if I mess up we’re going to be on the same page together, so we’re all messing up together, so most of the time it still gets picked up – it just might not get picked up the right way."
Man, I bet the linemen love that.

The BCS: I've studiously ignored the Congressional hoo-ha surrounding college football's postseason because a) I haven't add anything to add to a discussion that widespread b) we all knew it was going to be just sound and fury all along, right?

Still, though, I enjoyed the Good Doctor's resulting defense of mid-major scheduling, and Blutarsky's counterpoint, and Year2's further discussion of 2008 Utah and how if the door wasn't necessarily unlocked, they could still have done more to pry it open.

Still, after Utah's and Boise's triumphs the last few years, the next time a MWC or legitimate WAC team (no, last year's Boise and 2007 Hawaii do not qualify) runs the table, they should crack the top four of the BCS ... which is why I still think a properly administered four-team playoff would settle all this.

Blackmon, receivers: One Bitter blog post, two things worth noting: 1) For those of you with CSS, you can watch Tray Blackmon play in the CFL tonight at 7:30/6:30 2) just to sum up how badly Auburn will need its freshman receivers to deliver:
With Hawthorne hurt, Montez Billings' academic standing in question, Harry Adams back on defense and Philip Pierre-Louis' role undefined, it's going to be a motley crew of receivers in the mix at the start of summer practice. Quindarius Carr, Terrell Zachery and Darvin Adams have never had a better opportunity to seize playing time.
Combined receptions last season for Carr, Zachery, and Adams: 11.

Previewin': Acid Reign looks at Kentucky, a game whose pivotal nature I think Acid portrays accurately:
This is a must win game for the Tigers. Auburn will likely be 4-2 heading into this contest, and a loss could prove to be disastrous. It's a pivotal game for Tiger bowl hopes, with LSU, Ole Miss, Furman, Georgia, and Alabama remaining on the schedule. If the Tigers can't defeat the Wildcats, the odds of upsetting any of the 4 remaining SEC opponents will be low.
The level of glad I am that this game is in J-Hare: very, very glad.

Beer: Via Doug:

This goes to show you that independent breweries have about the same impact on the general public that independent movies and music do: Michigan is packed with them (there's more brewpubs within walking distance of my friends' downtown Ann Arbor apartment than there are in all of Alabama) and there's essentially none in Alabama, but look who drinks more beer.

The U.S. Women's Open: Auburn's Candace Schepperle is participating. War Eagle, Candace.

Curtis Luper: Not that you'd expect him to think any differently, but guess what fellow former Oklahoma St. running back and teammate he's talking about here:
I was bigger and he was a little quicker, but I was faster. He was probably a little more mature. He was more of a city guy and I was a country guy. Other than that, there wasn't much difference between us two.
Why, just NFL Hall-of-Famer Thurman Thomas. Like all of the entries in this "10 questions" series, though, there's a ton of great stuff here: Luper's day at Okie St. with Thomas and Sanders, why the Blue Man Group is overrated, and, of course, the orange sunglasses and why they're not really sunglasses.

1957 Auburn cheerleaders: As TWER shows, they were awesome. One of them, at least.

Lists: As Blutarsky points out, it's stunning how stupid they can be. Honestly, Austin Murphy: I'm sure Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis were incredible players, but if a magical sports elf shows up on your doorstep tomorrow and says "Hey, look, magic tickets to either see Bo freaking Jackson in his prime or Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis ... pick one," you'd really take the tickets to the see the dudes from Army in the mid-1940s? Riiiiight. (Note that Bo did make SI's NFL list. But not the college list. It makes so much sense.)

Krootin': Look, yes, Auburn's being "selective" about their commitments compared to last season, when Tubby was taking on guys from all over the place. But are they being "selective" when compared to Alabama or Texas or Florida? Uh, no. Auburn would have been more than happy to have accepted a commitment from nearly all of the prospects who have committed to those schools. I wouldn't give Chizik and Co. all that much credit for being picky just yet.

That said, do I like this approach better than Tubby's? Given how much success Auburn had down the stretch last spring at finding solid kids who weren't entirely happy with their situation and getting them to the Plains, yes, yes I do. There's a lot fewer commitments on Auburn's list than at this time last year, but the average quality of that commitment seems much, much higher this go-round.

Also: Corey Grant visited Auburn again midweek, but Tide fans are still optimistic. We'll see what happens, but it seems like Auburn might have--at the very least--outlasted Florida in the race for Grant. That's something.

Clarifications: TSK wonders if, as I posted yesterday, the Vandy game last year was really more frustrating and anger-inducing than the Iron Bowl. And yes, yes it was: maybe I speak just for myself, but when Auburn played Vanderbilt, it was obvious they could win if they'd just coached and played the game correctly. When Auburn played Alabama, it was obvious early on the only way Auburn would win was if Alabama played the worst game of their season and Auburn simultaneously played far beyond their abilities. The Iron Bowl was more depressing, more painful, but it wasn't the kind of game to make me angry; the Tide were just better. It would be like getting angry at the sun on a hot day.

Arkansas: Dude, John Pelphrey is the suspendingest coach I've ever seen get his suspending on. (And while you're headed in that direction, check out the latest edition of the Wally Watch. Good stuff.)

The Mexican national team: As a U.S. Soccer fan, I abhor them with a great abhorrence, and this kind of horsedung is why.

This week: Play it off, 8-bit Keyboard Cat!

Enjoy your weekend, folks.


t said...

Given that Auburn has offered to as many prospects as anyone else. I would say that the PROSPECTS are the ones who are being "selective".

t said...

Ben Tate..... eyes and ears of the offensive line. It has a nice ring to it.
I like this new offense already. No seriously.