Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Works, swine flu-style

Maybe that explains it? Everyone's favorite porcine strain of influenza is back in the news, causing the cancellation of Ole Miss's "Meet the Rebels" Day and prompting the guys at RCR to round up a, uh, call it a bevy of less-than-flattering portrayals of fans of everyone's favorite porcine-nicknamed SEC team. And while I generally don't go in for the whole LOOKIT THIS DUMMY WHAT ROOTS FOR UR TEAM brand of trash talk, I have to admit I found this particular video ... intriguing:

The problem here isn't that these are college kids riding a carousel (I've been a fan of ironic carousel rides for years), or that they're "calling the Hogs" in the process, or that one of their number thought it was a cool enough moment to document and put on YouTube as a gift to the world. The problem is that this is a carousel in a mall. A mall carousel. Ewwww.

I wish I had your confidence. I think we've already found our winner in the 2009 contest for "Most Wildly Optimistic Auburn Football Projection by a Neutral Observer." Please accept your award, Fanhouse's Brian Grummell:
3) Auburn (8-4 overall, 5-3 conference) ... Its not that we necessarily like the Gene Chizik hire but it came with a great offensive coordinator and a schedule in which the Tigers are constantly in a position to ruin others' seasons, something they're adept at. They'll be involved in a pair of SEC shockers this year, losing to woeful Mississippi State in week two but also felling powerful rival Alabama in the final week of the regular season. Oh they'll lose to West Virginia, LSU and Georgia as expected but the rest of the SEC slate is winnable including games against Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and upstart Ole Miss.
That's right--Auburn's projected ahead of both Arkansas and the Rebels despite losing to Mississippi St. Even Phil Steele thinks this is a bold, bold move. How highly does this post think of Auburn? Here's a snippet from the Arkansas blurb:
They'll drop the obvious games to Alabama, Auburn, Florida and LSU, but also pick off mighty Georgia at home in week two
Man, I'm as orange-and-blue as it gets, but if Arkansas losing at home to Auburn in 2009 is "obvious" my name is Jorell Bostrom.

(As an aside, what the hell happened at the Fanhouse? Just last year they were playing host to stuff like this, and now they're pumping out mind-numbing pabulum like this. Actual paragraph:
But the quarterback who has taken the state of Oklahoma and college football by storm just wants to be another guy on campus, even if his face is everywhere in Norman. Obscurity, even in the classroom, is just not an option after became the second sophomore to win college football's most prestigious award last December.
I swear, the first 1,000 words of that piece would work as a satire of brainless jock-fluffery if you took them out of context. Fanhouse: Working Every Day To Become More and More A Crappier USA Today!)

TBD. I hate to file this K-Scar column on how Chizik really isn't going to screw with Malzahn's offense under "believe it when I see it." But ... I'll believe it when I see it, particularly when Auburn's nursing a 7-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter and Malzahn's ordering up the usual no-huddle, hurry-up sets.

No. Charles Goldberg put up some outtakes from a Chizik chat a couple of days ago, and most of it's worth a read, particularly the Chiznick's obvious frustration with his depleted roster. In response to a question about it affects the coaches' planning:
It affects everything from top to bottom. It affects right now what time of day you practice. It affects how much you're going to run after practice. Are you going to condition or are you not going to condition? It affects everything from top to bottom of your practice and it affects everything in recruiting. It affects everything in your special teams. The list goes on and on and on.

``We don't have a break till week 12. We're going 11 straight. Think about that. Put that in the equation.
Wait, what? Think about what? Put what in the equation? I don't know what you're talking about, Coach I can't hear you [*puts fingers in ears*] LALALALALALA DE DA I CAN'T HEAR YOU

Player stuff. Some assorted links worth passing on: Wes Byrum seems to have his head screwed on correctly (thanks in part to some feedback Jay Boulware gave him that I don't understand why he didn't get last year); Antonio Coleman is going to have to change his middle name to "Watch List"; and Travis Williams is back on the Plains as a grad assistant.

2005. Evan Woodbery takes a look back at Auburn's class of 2005, the group that, you know, signed immediately in the wake of the 2004 season. Given that even an undefeated season only gives a staff so much time to put it to use on the recruiting trail, the '05s were about as productive as we could have hopes. It's the 2006/2007 classes that should have seen the biggest benefits of '04--and haven't really quite worked out the way we'd have hoped.

War Eagle, ladies. Auburn's women's soccer team is picked second in the West behind LSU and opens play this Sunday; the 2009-10 Auburn women's hoops schedule is released. At Florida St. should be the biggest date on the nonconference schedule, with Vandy looking like the biggest home game of the year.

Etc. Will is unhappy--to say the least--with the editorial decisions at the Auburn Magazine ... I still believe the Colonial failure is much ado about nothing in Auburn football terms (if not a net plus because of Lowder's decreased influence), but Smart Football has some links you should probably peruse anyway ... somebody out there doesn't like Nick Saban; I can't imagine why, he's so friendly ... and from the "not Auburn-related, but funny" department, that word Cris Carter's using doesn't mean what he thinks it means, and courtesy of The Run of Play here's a very, very NSFW video of an English soccer streaker getting completely and totally pwned by the local mascot (seriously, do NOT watch this video at work unless you have an unusually penis-friendly work environment):

1 comment:

Roman said...

Concerning that K-Scar column and Chizik leaving Malzahn to run the offense, you wrote "I'll believe it when I see it, particularly when Auburn's nursing a 7-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter and Malzahn's ordering up the usual no-huddle, hurry-up sets."

I've read (as I'm sure you have too) that Chizik and Malzahn have been discussing how to handle the offense and what to do in game situations among which I am reasonably certain would be how to manage the clock while nursing a lead late. What I'd like to call to your attention in that regard is actually an interview with Herb Hand of Tulsa following his first year as Malzahn's co-offensive coordinator for the Golden Hurricane. From that interview:

Q: Tell us a little bit about the spread offense you run at Tulsa? (Run first philosophy? balanced attack philosophy (run/pass)? Tempo? Gun vs. under the center, Etc…).

Hand: We are a spread – no huddle team. We operate primarily out of the shotgun and strive to have a very balanced attack. In fact, our run/pass ratio was basically 50/50 this year (562 runs/564 passes). We want to control the tempo in every game with our no huddle. We operate at a ‘two-minute’ drill pace as our base tempo. Our goal is to snap the football with 17-20 seconds left on the play clock. We want to press the tempo, but we also want to use the advantage of being no-huddle to eliminate ‘oh-crap!!’ plays (plays where you say ‘oh crap’ before the snap because you know that the play is not going to work). We also have the ability within our system to slow down the tempo to control the clock or to force the defense to show us their hand with our ‘check-with-me’ procedure.

(End excerpt.)

My point here is that I don't expect Malzahn to be oblivious to game situations and appropriate strategy. Malzahn impresses me as a pretty smart guy and someone who learns everything he can at every stop along the way and then incorporates the best of it into his own system and strategic thinking. In other words, I don't expect that Malzahn will be taking unnecessary chances or otherwise ordering up hurry-up no-huddle sets if AU is nursing a lead late...with the caveat that if he thinks he smells blood and can put the game away with those sets/strategies, I would not put it past him to go for it.

BTW, nice blog. I read your work almost daily. Just felt a need to comment on this entry and bring the link to that interview with Hand to your attention.

(There is a second short Q&A with Hand from the spring of this year here.)