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Plainslinks applauds the mother of invention

Truth hits everybody. I would have thought student newspapers would have been immune to the desperate sensationalism now plaguing mainstream newspapers as they scramble for every sold issue and pageview they can manage, but … et tu, Plainsman?

Guess not. Of course, as desperate sensationalism goes, this is most definitely the way to go about it. Clever thinking, Plainsman staff; WBE approves. PPL’s got the rest of the story.

We’re better at branding than you. Between the Limo Gambit, Big Cat Weekend, “Every Day …” and the new football site–whoops, there went 27 minutes–we already knew that no football program in the country is sharper at this whole marketing thing than modern-day Auburn. The latest evidence, of course, is the new “Tiger Trek”, a title I peg at 1,274 times more appealing than “the rubber chicken circuit.” Why can’t football games by decided by who can come up with the cleverest names for things? Auburn would be this year’s national title favorite.

Expectationswatch. My buddies at Arkansas Expats have taken a look at the early-early 2010 projections and found the same thing I did: that the Hogs are being set up as this year’s “surprise” team in the SEC and that Auburn will likely be projected fourth in the SEC West.

To which I respond: mwa ha ha ha ha!

Um. We’re already working not to judge Tony Barbee by the head coaching company he kept at UMass and Memphis, but guess what? We’re now going to have to also not judge him by the administrators who hired him at UTEP, who responded to his departure by hiring Tim freaking Floyd, the guy who just got finished throwing USC under the NCAA’s bus for various O.J. Mayo-related shenanigans–including allegedly paying straight cash money to one of Mayo’s handlers. As Brian said, if you’ve put yourself in a position where Gregg Doyel is giving you sound advice, you have made a very grave mistake indeed.

The positive spin here is that if UTEP had a certain patina of skeeze during Barbee’s tenure, what with welcoming the transfer of Derrick Caracter and other BCS-level rejects, then apparently this wasn’t necessarily a product of Barbee’s arrival; the skeeze started all the way at the top. The negative spin, of course, is that between Calipari and the people who would hire Tim Floyd, Barbee has known little but skeeze for most of his coaching life.

The odds remain overwhelming that Barbee will be fine at Auburn, and that we’ll have a program that Auburn fans can be proud of both for its victories and its off-court demeanor. But I can’t help but wish his background was so much less … well … blotchy.

(And while I’m linking up CBS columns, I don’t know how many Auburn fans other than Kurt really wanted Jacobs to spend time chasing after marquee names that would have used Auburn for nothing but a raise, but Gary Parrish and the bumblers at DePaul–who we’ve got to thank for Barbee in the first place–explain why that would have been a bad, bad idea.)

This again? This is more a personal interest thing than an Auburn thing, but the Lakers visited the Hawks last night, and with the inevitable influx of purple-and-gold in Phillips Arena it apparently meant it was time to break out the “Why is Atlanta such a bad sports town?” pieces again.

My response to that one is the same as my response to all of them: Atlanta’s not a bad sports town. It’s a great sports town. It’s just a bad pro sports town. Sure, the flood of transplants and relative youth of the ATL’s sports teams–the culprits Kevin Arnovitz cites in the post above–work against them, but it’s not that Atlantans don’t have century-old sports ties like Bostonians or Chicagoans. Those ties just happen to be for college teams, the Dawgs and Jackets, instead of professional ones. And since the (mostly East Coast-based) national media never truly has cottoned on to the fact that fans really can care more for their college teams than their pro counterparts, they think no one in Atlanta cares about sports. In a word: nonsense.

(And as for the Braves failing to sell out their playoff games … dude. Let’s see Milwaukee or Kansas City win 14 divisional consecutive division titles and still sell out their opening-round series.)

Etc. It’s old cheese by now, but I still haven’t linked up Jay Coulter’s outstanding argument for Auburn great Ken Rice as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, which you should definitely read if you haven’t … You’ll never guess which SEC team is in imminent danger of getting slapped with APR penalties, unless, of course, you guess the team that’s spent the last several years being coached by Ed Orgeron and Houston Nutt … Darvin Adams is one of CFN’s Five New SEC Stars to Know, just like under-the-radar non-entity Randall Cobb. Who’s ever heard of that guy? … and finally:

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