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Plainslinks would come first alphabetically if we went by first names

This much we can say: the worst is behind him.

Proposed: we replace “wicked” with “savage” when we use it as a positive adjective. As in “Having this guy back is going to be savage sweet.” This guy, of course, meaning Aairon Savage, who met yesterday with Auburn’s collection of beat writers to talk about his planned comeback after two years away with injuries. Your money quote:

“I’m 100 percent. I can do everything.”

Commence fist-pumping. Other highlights:

— How long as Savage been at Auburn? Gene Chizik recruited him … as Auburn’s defensive coordinator.

— Thanks to a discussion of Achilles injuries in his kinesiology class the week before, Savage knew what had happened as soon as he realized what felt getting kicked wasn’t.

— Savage doesn’t know and says he doesn’t care if he’ll play safety or corner.

— One of Savage’s mentors in the recovery process: Willis McGahee, teammate of Ben Grubbs in Baltimore and someone who knows (obviously) from serious injury recovery.

— “How can you let it go? I’ve been doing it since I was 5. It’s just something in me, man. When you’re out there, you’ve got 10 other guys with you. You’re going to war. You’ve got 10 other guys ready to go to war with you, why not go?”

So all that’s great. From the football perspective, you just have to echo what we said regarding Zac Etheridge’s potential return: if he and Etheridge and McNeil are all as healthy as we’re told they could be, Auburn’s secondary will go from being one of the thinnest stretches on the depth chart to one of its deepest. Things are good.

Our guy. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, a happy confluence of the “It takes a …” phrasing and a question about group effort. But I’m choosing to believe that when Gene Chizik said this to Jay G. Tate about Taylor and Luper’s Rivals recruiting honors …

“That’s great for them. It’s a recognition they deserve. They’re very good at what they do. With that said, we recruit as a team. We recruit as a village. That’s how we do it. If some guys get isolated for what they do, they get some awards, that’s great. At the end of the day, everybody on your staff knows it’s a team deal. They all carry their weight in different ways.”

… he said it because he lives and works in the village that is Loveliest.

There are, by now, a thousand reasons to embrace Gene Chizik as the right coach to lead Auburn’s football program. But that Gene Chizik has embraced Auburn as the right place and the right program to lead is No. 1 with a bullet.

Like that all over. One of the great ironies about newspaper columnists decrying the Internet as the end of civilization is that nowhere on the Web does civilization’s future look bleaker than in the forums at … newspapers. Ask any sentient Auburn or Alabama fan and they’ll tell you never to look into the abyss of an al.com comment thread; the AJC serves the same shorthand purpose for Dawg fans; and if you’re an Ole Miss or Mississippi St. fan, the equivalent is ClarionLedger.com, as Red Cup Rebellion makes hilariously clear with a look into the comments on an AP story reporting on the Rebel mascot question. One of many highlights–including a profane-but-perfect “Entourage” gif–goes like so:

User solutions1 writes:

I am a State fan and I completely support Col. Reb!!! I am so dang sick and tired of everything turning into a race issue!

This is just the first comment out of dozens such as this that I’ve stumbled across.  I find it a bit amusing that the very fan bases which use Ole Miss’ history and imagery to deride the school, students, fans, and sports teams are the same groups of people who, in large numbers, tell us that we shouldn’t remove these things.

Tell me, solutions1, is it because you are just as enamored with imagery of the Old South, or is it because you like your insults against us to be prepackaged and convenient?

Mocking random newspaper-site commenters is the blog version of shooting fish in a barrel … but damn if there aren’t times it isn’t fun to watch those fish take one for the team.

Confirmation. When Chizik first put together his staff, the expectation was that with a collection of recruiters as geographically diverse as Luper/Trooper/Thigpen/Grimes/Rocker etc., Auburn would be able to look far afield for its talent as well as close to home. This examination of the SEC’s new recruiting classes by geography at Mr. SEC pretty well confirms that; Auburn signed players from a greater number of states (11) than any SEC team not based in talent-starved Tennessee.

Etc. I don’t care, but some of you will enjoy this (via @warblogle) … Three links from the WWL: Chris Low ranks Auburn 5th in his “pre-spring power rankings”–better than I expected, frankly–and names Antonio Coleman the SEC’s 10th-best player this past year; J.C. Shurbutt gives us a D.C.-based name to watch for the 2011 defensive tackle class.

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