Is everyone feeling rested after having the day off last Saturday? I must admit it was nice to not be stressed about an Auburn game. Of course, I kind of wish we were able to see our guys take the field after they almost knocked off LSU. Since it’s been two weeks since we’ve looked at Auburn viewing habits, we should see some fun things this week…but let’s start in Arkansas and gauge how the Hogs are feeling about coming to The Plains.
To say this season hasn’t gone the way folks in Arkansas had hoped would be an understatement. Just before the season began, Bobby Petrino was fired when his inappropriate relationship with a young woman in the athletic department came to light. Then the team was upset at home by Louisiana-Monroe, while also losing quarterback Tyler Wilson for a few games. Throw in a coach in John L. Smith who many on the outside would argue has lost his team and you can’t be surprised that fans are despairing by turning to Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. It might feel like the Razorbacks are lost at sea with a captain who doesn’t really know north from south, but not everyone has thrown in the towel.
Fans in Fayetteville seem to be finding some hope and inspiration from Sandra Bullock (we’ve all been there). Now that Wilson has returned, Hogs fans are probably hoping Knile Davis or Kobi Hamilton bring new life to their team like Michael Oher did his high school team in The Blind Side. When the season began many expected the impact player to be Knile Davis, but if the Hogs can’t “run the dang ball” they have a player in Hamilton who can give Auburn’s defense some problems.
Again, some believe the Razorbacks have given up on the season. I don’t. The good folks of Fayetteville haven’t, at least if watching local favororite The Hunter to match their mood. They plan on getting their season back on track by watching their team beat an SEC West opponent on the road Saturday morning. Coach Chizik and his Tigers know that Arkansas is still a talented team and I have no doubt they’ll come into Jordan-Hare looking to go on the attack from the first kick.
Perhaps I am crazy, but I really felt as upbeat after a loss as I ever did leaving Jordan-Hare the night of September 22. Sure our guys lost, but they played extremely hard and fell just short against what was at the time the second ranked team in the nation. Don’t get me wrong, I hate losing, but I took solace in the fact that we had our bye week coming up and a close loss to LSU at home was going to present our team with a lot of good learning points.
I think it safe to say our defense really turned a corner in the LSU game. Sure they yielded more points than our team scored in the end, but they weren’t run off the field by LSU like they were the year before. Fans seem to have enjoyed seeing the return of hard nosed defense to The Plains as Lockout makes an appearance on the Auburn local favorites list. A more aggressive defense will hopefully lead to less points for the opposition. Sure, us fans might be getting ahead of ourselves looking for the D to pitch a shutout by locking opponents out of the endzone, but I think we are watching Lockout more for figurative reasons than literal.
The Dark Knight also checks in as a local favorite. One of the main themes of this epic Batman film was that “The night is darkest just before the dawn”. Fans in Auburn have to be inspired by their team’s effort against The Mad Hatter’s henchmen. Whether or not the dawn is breaking on this season is yet to be seen, but a win Saturday goes a long way in helping fans on The Plains judge exactly what time it is.
To say that Saturday’s game is important for both teams is another gross understatement. A win for either team helps them crawl out of the basement of the SEC West, while slamming the cellar door in a division rival’s face. Fans in Auburn seem to be taking the game a bit more seriously, as evidenced by the inclusion of the gloomy Jennifer Lawrence vehicle, The Hunger Games. Saturday we shall see young men representing their universities clash on the turf of Pat Dye Field. Although they aren’t fighting to the death, you could definitely make the argument that the loser’s season will be dead… some holes are just too big to climb out of. Here’s to hoping the AUdd’s are ever in Auburn’s favor!
*Note: Alabama is off this week. All you need to know is they are still undefeated and Nick Saban doesn’t like the spread offense.
Stephen Savage, Auburn Man exiled to Baton Rouge, is currently working on his PhD in Political Science. In his free time he enjoys watching movies and writing about them on his blog, Movies N’ Munchies. For more evidence of how Netflix movie rentals reflect the psychology of local fan populations, click here.
* So a Playmate walks into Jordan-Hare…
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* Glee star Naya Rivera wears Auburn shirt in FHM photo shoot