But even I have to admit that this is a pretty freaking sweet photograph:
Anybody want to take wagers on whether Tubby was able to smooth-talk his way into a larger role? After all, he wasn't actually in the book at all, so he's already playing with house money.
Speaking of departed coaches ... via 3SiB, the Knoxville News-Sentinel has a must-read story about Eddie Gran, his family, their struggle with one daughter's terminal disease, and ultimately their faith.
Back in the saddle. It's probably news enough to note that Tony Barnhart's blog is up and running again for the stretch drive into the fall, but I also though this was an interesting side-note from his "welcome back" post:
Here is another fun stat: In this decade, the SEC has won at least one national championship in 16 of the 20 sports it sponsors. The four sports yet to win a national title in this decade are women’s cross country, volleyball, soccer, and softball.There's a lesson here, and the one I'm taking away is this: if you want to win titles in a deep-rostered team sport, you'd better have some kind of local talent base to draw from, a talent base that doesn't exist for SEC schools in sports like volleyball and soccer that Southern high schools have been much, much slower to embrace than other parts of the country. And though it's only a matter of time before an SEC softball team breaks through, it's not really a surprise that the SEC's been playing catch-up when for so long so many Southern high schools' girls' sports offerings were limited to cheerleading and hoops, is it?
BlAUgosphere. It takes a lot to rouse TWER from its summer slumber, but it turns out the death of Michael Jackson--and, more specifically, a picture of a stunningly waxen-looking Jackson hanging out with every Auburn fan's favorite Jackson--will do the trick.
In the wake of Tray Blackmon's CFL debut, The Pigskin Pathos imagines a Day in the Life of what has to be the most popular five-star washout in Auburn history:
7:12 Walked out of apartment. Remembered buy-one-get-one coupon for Egg McMuffin's. Celebratory fist pump. Started running.There's plenty more good stuff where that came from. And though this chart posted by the Auburner is, as they admit, "neither (as) funny or informative" as usual, it's still thought-provoking enough to qualify as "good stuff," too.
8:02 Arrived at McDonald's 27 miles away from apartment. Attempted to obtain two McMuffins, one for free with coupon. Was told coupon expired in 2003. Asked to see manager.
8:21 Manager started to jibber-jabber. Asked him when I was going to get my free Egg McMuffin. He said I wasn't.
9:13 Bailed out of jail by wife. Quick trip to hospital to remove glass fragments from leg and back.
Almost there! With two graduated, third-team seniors predictably (and acceptably) having left the team over the past week, Bama Sports Report reports that the Tide only has ... 10 more scholarships to free up over the rest of the summer! That's not too bad! Here, here's a handy alphabetical run-down of how many scholarships each SEC team still has to clear off the existing roster to bring in their full signing class in fall camp:
Mississippi St.: 0
South Carolina: 0
See, even if the answer to this question is zero, 'Bama's not really so different from anyone else! (I should note that 1) BSR's Ell isn't nearly so knee-jerk defensive about this issue as many of his fellow 'Bama fans, so the sarcasm here isn't directed in his, uh, direction 2) the "10" number here is on the upper end and could be as low as four or five, it looks like, depending on various other contingencies ... so 'Bama might only have to have four or five more kids leave the roster than the rest of the SEC. We'll see.)
Malzahn. Because "he was the only assistant coach hanging around the complex last week" (points for honesty, there) Andy Bitter profiles Gus Malzahn for the Ledger-Enquirer and at his blog. Lots of worthwhile comments in both places (that he says it's easy for the players to adapt and harder for the coaches seems to echo what happened on the Plains last year, no?), but my favorite is this:
Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s staid personality, one cut from the cloth of one of his coaching idols, Nebraska’s stoic Tom Osborne, doesn’t seem to fit the mold.If Malzahn's offense works, I call dibs selling the t-shirt with an outline of his glasses and NOT INTO PIRATES on it.
“Yeah,” Malzahn said wryly. “I’m not into pirates.”
Etc. Dewanna Bonner is off to a hot start in the WNBA ... and just for the hell of it, JCCW fave the Gaslight Anthem performing with their idol, the Boss, at the UK's giant Glastonbury festival: