Git ur h8 on. It’s Tennessee week, and if the collapse of Tubby’s and Fulmer’s twin dying stars took some of the edge off the 2008 version, the Vols remain one of Auburn’s oldest, biggest rivals and now–BONUS!– employ the SEC’s least-likable head coach (nonhumans excluded). TWER’s kicking things off right with a good old-fashioned mascot theft:
For their part, Vol fans are coming up with cutting, hurtful new insults for Auburn fans like “you work with cows.” Good one, Chet!
Brief history lesson. Well, OK, it’s a 7-minute history lesson, but check out Pat Sullivan at work back when this series was annual and a Big Freaking Deal:
Polls schmolls. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the polls are still not cooperating, with Auburn “27th” in the AP, “28th” in the coaches, and “26th” in the Harris. I’m honestly not that exercised about it–most of the big upsets this week took place in the top 10 rather than the back end of the poll, and the teams sitting in front of Auburn do generally have either good wins or leftover goodwill from the past couple of years (which shouldn’t matter, of course but are as much of the polls’ DNA as SID’s voting). The teams that ought be ejected in Auburn’s favor are teams like Penn St. and Ole Miss that haven’t actually won jack squat yet this season, but expecting the voters to send teams from the top 5 all the way out of the poll is like expecting your pet bear not to raid your honey closet. That’s just what they do.
But if I’m not surprised or upset, that doesn’t mean I don’t fully cosign JRS’s salty-language assessment of the polls. Evan Woodbery’s examination of the Harris poll’s failings is recommended as well. For a neutral perspective, Blutarsky’s wondering the same thing we are.
Tragic. You may have seen this already, but Rod Smith’s family home burned to the ground last week. Smith was recently cut by the Chargers and has been working out in Snellville with hopes of landing a CFL contract; this just makes things that much tougher, thoug hthe good news is that no one (pets included) was injured. Thoughts and prayers are with Smith–one of the very best stories of the Tubby years– and his family. (HT to Beaver.)
This is why. Via Andy Bitter, this John Adams column from the Knoxville News-Sentinel is why I want a win on Saturday more than I’ve wanted a win over the Vols in a long, long time. Adams wraps up a Kiffin-to-Chizik comparison with the following:
Kiffin is assembling a top-five recruiting class and getting so much publicity from a 2-2 start, you would think the Vols were 4-0. The Tigers are 4-0, and just two victories shy of being bowl eligible.
So the two programs have achieved a parcel of common ground as they prepare for Saturday’s meeting. They’re both making progress.
One is just making more noise in the process.
Yes, the Vols might be 2-2 and the Tigers might be 4-0. But see, Tennessee has such great publicity and they’ve got such a great recruiting class coming in, why, they might as well have the same record! I’d say that even though one is .500 with an ugly home loss and a wheeze past a MAC also-ran and the other has won every game it’s played by double-digits including wins, these two programs are on exactly level footing and their coaches have done equally good jobs to date, wouldn’t you?
I hope Auburn wins by 70 this Saturday.
Reax. Will on the Ball St. game:
The kicking game also brought us the first really bad in-game decision of Gene Chizik’s tenure, namely the boneheaded decision to go for a fake punt midway through the third quarter. Let’s not gloss over here. It was a dumb and unnecessary call that darn near got a major cog in the offense, Onterio McCalebb, injured. McCalebb didn’t return to the game, but he was walking around normally on the sidelines shortly after being examined by the team doctors.
Bad move, bad call. Don’t do it again, and get busy fixing the regular, non-trickery stuff the special teams are doing so badly right now.
On that last point: yes. Elsewhere, Acid offers his postgame grades, both Dr Z. and Rob Pate weigh in at Eyes on Auburn, and Jay Coulter says the season starts now. (I think the season started against West Virginia, personally, but until the ‘Eers start beating teams with a pulse it doesn’t feel like it, does it?)
You can get the Ball St. perspective (and you should) from Alan at OverThePylon.
OL krootin’. That’s the most important kind right now, of course, and Auburn maybe is getting some good news on that front from Valdosta tackle Ed Christian, who decommitted from Florida St. in the immediate wake of a visit for the BSU game (HT: the AJC recruiting blog). He’ll be back for an official visit for the Kentucky game. Quotes from Christian about Auburn’s “family first” emphasis avilable here.
Landing Christian would be a big deal for Auburn–I mean, landing a refrigerator box that could line up at tackle would be a big deal, but Christian is a four-star at Rivals and gets four stars and rave reviews from ESPN. Given Auburn’s desperation for linemen, commitments wouldn’t get a whole lot bigger for Chizik and Co. than this Christian’s. Fingers crossed.
Awesome. “Why I’m an Auburn fan” pieces will never, ever get old, and Kevin Ives’ version is just another example why. (One minor complaint: this feels like an Iron Bowl week post, doesn’t it, rather than a Ball St. week post? We’ll just have to dig it out again whe nthe time comes.)
Etc. 100 percent co-sign with Orson on Mullen’s goal-line play-calling; if Lee doesn’t rifle the thing over the line or Jones doesn’t make an incredible play, Mullen’s a genius … Marquis Daniels should probably watch his tweets a little more carefully.