Membership in the “Hey, ESPN’s showing our game in its prime evening slot during a dog of a week” club has its privileges: Gameday is coming to town for the first time since the 2008 LSU game. (When your humble Auburn Blogger snapped the above picture of Mr. Fowler working his mad skillz on the radio.)
Sure, that game doesn’t bring up many fond memories, and neither does Auburn’s last encounter with the Gameday crew anywhere else–the ’08 Vandy game, pardon me while I take a mallet to the part of my skull that houses the memory of that night–but the 2006 Florida game and the 2004 Georgia game are two of the better games of Auburn’s past decade … so it’s at least as positive a harbinger for the Tigers as negative. Add in the attendant hoopla for the supposed flurry of recruits on campus, the “big game” label that hopefully will have both sides of the ball a little more focused than they’ve been the previous couple of weeks, and there aren’t any downsides here.
And speaking of “no negatives”, I was expecting to be disappointed in this week’s edition of the polls, since it would be classic voterthink to look at Auburn’s escape from Starkville as a disappointment while only sliding, say, Miami a few spots down the conveyor belt for being “competitive” at Ohio St. But lo, there are no one-loss teams in front of our Tigers in either the AP or the Coaches’ polls. The coaches even see fit to rank Auburn ahead of a South Carolina team that beat a better opponent in more convincing fashion in both Week 1 and Week 2, which would be cause for a brief rant if I were a ‘Cock fan but from this perspective is just funny. (Interesting note: both polls have the same set of 16 undefeated teams at the top of the poll, just in different orders, before slotting the Hurricanes in at No. 17.)
Considering the difference between this year and last year–when it took five straight wins, including victories over a ranked West Virginia team and Tennessee on the road, just to get Auburn into the polls at all–Auburn’s got it good.