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Plainslinks sighs wistfully for its lost youth

Nothing this cool ever happened when I was in school. You should have already seen this in TWER’s Daily Believer, but just in case, via the amazing Twitter feed of Kenny Smith comes this … and whatever you want to call it, it landed at the wrong website:

mlia

Don’t see how this is evidence that “My Life is Average,” unless campus has gotten a lot more exciting since my time there. (Not that it wasn’t exciting, of course.)

Notes from the Beat. The big news yesterday, aside from the BIG news, was that Auburn will shift Demond Washington to strong safety to replace Zac Etheridge in the starting lineup. Washington has already played so many positions that one more switch shouldn’t be too difficult for him, and if there’s any silver lining to Etheridge’s absence, it’s the timing: Washington will have one “practice” game against Furman in his new digs before having to go up against the likes of A.J. Green in Athens in two weeks.

But if this decision shows how much confidence Washington has earned from the Auburn coaches since his fall arrival, it also shows how little they have in poor Mike Slade. You could kind of see it coming when Chizik deemed Slade’s performance in relief of Etheridge “adequate,” but this season still has to sting Slade like nobody’s business: first Bates leapfrogs him after McNeil goes down, and now there’s another safety vacancy and it again goes to someone else. Slade’s still slated to come onto the field in nickel packages (with Washington moving back to corner), but damn.

Elsewhere, Auburn’s keeping mottos written on their wrists, and Andy Bitter has the usual truckload of useful player and coaches’ quotes: check out Malzahn’s take on the reserve QBs and 4th-down conversions, McFadden’s misfire with the “Shhh” thing, and this intriguing tidbit from Ben Tate on Terrell Zachery:

“We’ve been knowing that T-Zach can do things, but when you’re just a player you can’t voice your opinion, your opinion doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’s up to the coaches. I bet you you can ask a handful of guys, a bunch of guys on the team that have been here since T-Zach has been here, we all know he can play. We asked him, ‘Were you doing something wrong? Were you doing this or that?’ But you can’t really get into that because you’re not supposed to and it really isn’t any of your business, but we all knew he could play. He’s just getting his opportunity.”

You know, something just tells me Tate doesn’t think that highly of Auburn’s former offensive coaches. Just a hunch.

Sports that are not football. If you’ve got a free afternoon down by the gulf, you might want to head to Orange Beach, where at 2:30 the sixth-seeded Auburn soccer team will be taking on Ole Miss in the first round of the SEC Tournament. The Tigers finished with 6-5 SEC record after beating Alabama for the fourth straight time–HA-ha!–2-0 in the regular season finale. Four different Tigers were honored by the SEC, with sophomore striker Katy Frierson named first-team All-SEC for the second straight season.

Auburn’s injury-struck women’s hoops team was still picked to finish eighth in the rugged SEC because Nell Fortner’s just that awesome. Some news that’s just as big: Auburn’s new arena will play host to two rounds of women’s NCAA Tournament action in 2010-11. With any luck, Rutgers will be a second seed and have to come play seventh-seeded Auburn on the Plains.

Lastly, the SEC held its cross country championships over the weekend: the Auburn men placed third, the Auburn women seventh. Felix Kiboiywo, Jean-Pierre Weerts, and Joe Bobby Jones Ben Cheruiyot finished 3-4-5 for Auburn, but the Tigers’ fifth runner was well behind the pack in 61st. (Those of you who’ve never been to a XC meet: each team gets points based on where your top 5 runners place. For example, Kiboiywo’s third-place finish gives Auburn 3 points. Lowest score wins. So your fifth guy is exactly as important as your first guy. It’s kind of a cool sport that way.)

BlAUgosphere. Will has nice things to say about Ted Roof for what might be the first time this season:

The next-best treat this Halloween was seeing Etheridge’s teammates get up off the deck and start playing like a real football team again. Ted Roof has deserved some of the criticism he’s received over the past month. His secondary continues to play with too-soft cushions, for instance, but let’s give him some credit today: after that ugly first drive, he was able to adjust to bring more pressure on Jevan Snead, making that first touchdown drive the Rebels’ last for the day. Holding any SEC team to one drive and one big play was something I really didn’t think Auburn was capable of this year. I cordially despise “bend, don’t break” as a defensive philosophy, but I suspect it’s all Roof is able to do with the current team. When it works, and it did work Saturday, he deserves the recognition.

Seconded. Elsewhere, check out Acid’s grades, Joe Auburn’s Furman facts, JRS’s typically kick-ass review of the SEC’s alt-uniform Halloween, the WarBlogler lands an interview with Tyrik Rollison (not too many juicy quotes from Tyrik, actually, which simultaneously pleased and disapointed me), and this interesting post from Rob Pate:

Chizik’s sideline demeanor would make me love playing for him- Terry Bowden didn’t even watch the defense when I played. Tommy Tuberville gave us the brief clap of approval when we made something big happen. Gene Chizik meets the players at the hash marks throwing atomic fists, yelling approval and praise in ways a head coach rarely does. I love it and would have greatly appreciated the head coaches recognition so openly displayed when I was a player.

I’m all for the rah-rah stuff as long as it’s genuine; the great thing about this Tiger staff is that you never get the sense it’s not.

Gossom. Friend-of-TWER and Auburn legend Thom Gossom spoke at the Montogmery QB Club last night and, predictably, killed.

Tubby. Pretty sweet (and gracious, where Auburn and Chizik are concerned) Q&A with Tubby here from OnlineAthens. Anyone out there holding out hope Tubby would come rescue your D as a coordinator, you can pretty well put the kibosh on that. It’s obvious Tubby would rather come back sooner than later, but with precisely zero SEC jobs likely to come open after this season–Spurrier’s the sole candidate, and I can’t think SC would want to hire yet another retread with Brian Kelly available–and Sherman getting things together in College Station, where’s he going to go?

Etc. This is entirely disrespectful and entirely awesome … Auburn’s up to fifth in this week’s SEC Power Poll … Red Cup Rebellion breaks out the Faulkner references after the Auburn loss.

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