Running through a nice collection of positive stories from the past few days in Auburnland:
Langford ahoy. So hiring Tony Barbee took a long time to pay any dividends on the recruiting trail. A whole, what, two weeks? What took him so long?
I guess it’s been worth the wait, though: the state’s No. 1 player, Josh Langford, will sign with Auburn. A 6-6 forward, Langford is a three-star recruit to both Rivals and Scout but topped the B’ham News Super Seniors list, was a one-time Louisville commit (!), and held offers from the likes of West Virginia, Clemson, Cincinnati, Alabama, Ole Miss, etc. People are calling Langford Auburn’s biggest in-state signee since Doc Robinson, and who am I to argue?
Langford will not singlehandedly make up for the desertions from the class, but it’s a hell of a start, and I don’t think Vegas will even give you odds on this being Barbee’s last coup. It’s only going to get better from here, folks.
Besuboru! It’s a minor shame that Auburn had to take revenge at all against the likes of Troy, but there’s no arguing that a 16-3 horse-whipping says “revenge taken” every bit as loudly as we’d like.
Barbee and the Chiznick were also not the only Auburn coaches to haul in a whopper on the recruiting line this week, as John Pawlowski signed a major prospect in Phenix City product Bryce Lane. PPL has your rundown; sounds like a keeper.
Kevin’s also made note of the fact that it’s not completely crazy to think Auburn might host a regional:
What IS doable is sliding into the Top 16 RPI (aka the hosting seeds) by going 13-5 down the stretch.
Auburn has 18 games left. Let’s play the hypothetical: Say Auburn wins its three remaining midweek games (3-0), Then sweeps Mississippi State and Tennessee (9-0), and takes the series from Kentucky (11-1). Then Auburn could still drop the series to Mississippi (12-3) and Arkansas (13-5) and still hit the mark. Again, there are a ton of other factors in play here but it’s definitely a doable scenario.
Mostly crazy, OK. But not completely. (Especially since I think by the time that Ole Miss series rolls around, Auburn will be a clear favorite to take 2 of 3 from the Rebels.)
Feelin’ a draft. The big Auburn-centric question for the next couple of days is: how high will Ben Tate go? Let’s hope he goes in the second or third round tonight, or that Internet stream is going to make for a fairly depressing watch.
Fortunately, even though ESPN’s full 7-round mock draft has him going to the Dolphins in the fourth, the consensus is that Tate’s a likely second-rounder. Let’s hope so: not that the current Auburn coaching staff needs the slightest bit of help in recruiting running backs (or any skill position players), but watching one of our guys go from an afterthought to second-round money will be a hell of a selling point.
Walt McFadden and Antonio Coleman will be drafted somewhere, but probably not until Friday or Saturday.
YES. They’re not going to 96. THEY’RE NOT GOING TO 96!!!
I realize it’s possible I’ve been manipulated into ONE MORE TIME WE’RE GOING TO CELEBRATE OH YEAH ALL RIGHT DON’T STOP THE DANCING by the evil calculations of sinister bureaucrats who knew the best way to short-circuit grousing about four play-in games was the unleash the bogeyman of 96 on us all ahead of time.
I don’t care. My favorite day of the year is still 97 percent intact and might even be better–I feel bad for the three bottom-rung mid-majors who just got sucked onto the 16-seed line while deserving a spot on the 15, but this means that the 14, 15 and 16 lines will be that much stronger while one or two fewer deserving mids each season won’t have to face the snub. I can deal. After the threat of losing something I sincerely, unabashedly loved, I can do more than that.
Etc. Like most national/regional media stories, Tony Barnhart’s recap of Auburn’s 2009 doesn’t have anything groundbreaking but is a good read nonetheless. Gene Chizik opens the Tiger Trek in Columbus and doesn’t say a whole lot, not that you’d expect him to.