Note: Inspired by the greatest piece of sports-writing in American history, our intrepid Wishbone columnists have a few thoughts about the recent LSU game. Enjoy.
It was a hell of a storm. The rain poured down in waves like the LSU offensive line pounding on your head. It washed away Auburn’s hopes and a few loose footballs. And when it was over then things got really crazy. Crazier than drunk Cajuns in ponchos.
At the start the rain poured down in sheets and the mad bull Jeremy Hill smashed through Auburn’s defense again and again and again. The Auburn defenders were swept aside like a leaf before a wave of water from the monsoon. The holes opened wide and Hill smashed through them. Again and again. Always to the center and straight through. The blue clad defenders lay on their backs, reaching in vain for Hill. In vain.
Hill is a beast of a ball carrier. Watching him go through the Auburn defenders was like watching a man get hit in the face again and again. It isn’t pretty.
And then went things were dark for Auburn they got worse. The rain poured down. The visiting Tigers were deep in their own territory. The rain poured down, washing away Auburn’s hopes. The ball was snapped to the punter Clark and he dropped the ball! The wet ball squirted away. The rain poured down. Clark picked up the wet ball but was pummeled to the ground by two of the white clad defenders. The rain poured down.
Then the sky cleared. And the poncho wearing home fans quieted as the blue clad defenders from the Plains began to stonewall the hometown offense.
At one point in the contest a brief intermission of silliness. A former basketball player of the home team appeared on the field and chatted with the players and coaches. Coach Miles ignored his charges and looked up at the giant of a human. Even the biggest linemen seemed small in comparison.
And then Marshall went on the attack. Malzhan wheeled his arms and pointed and yelled. Faster. Faster. Hurry to the line. Pick up a first down. Do it again. Marshall fired the ball to Coates. The cool rain had passed and now the Auburn passer was slinging the ball all over the field and moving the visitors towards a comeback.
But the rally fell short. The fates and the clock intervened. And a replay official who missed a call on the onsides kick. If I ever catch that man I will beat the living snot out of him for betting on LSU and the points or smoking crack during the game or both, strongly disagree with his interpretation of the events in question.
Questions to consider during the bye week:
1) How will the Auburn defense play if/when everyone is healthy and on the field?
2) The coaches and the team are clearly doing a great job with adjustments at halftime and as the game goes along? Can Auburn change what it does pre-game so the defense comes out more prepared to succeed in the first few minutes?
3) What should Auburn’s running back rotation be? How many carries is the right amount for each back against SEC teams?
4) Can this team cut down on the turnovers?
5) What is with the return of the “Shacket” to the Auburn sideline? Isn’t that trademarked?
6) The games between SEC West foes this weekend will provide good insight for Auburn fans: Can Ole Miss move the ball and score on bama the way Texas A&M did? Can Arkansas hang with Texas A&M? Can Texas A&M’s defense stop anyone?
7) What can we learn about our future opponents?
The Wishbone Power Rankings
LSU (How good is LSU? We are about to find out.)
The Very Good:
Texas A&M (Enjoy Fayetteville.)
Ole Miss (they can move the ball on bama, but can they stop them?)
Florida (Are they better off without Driskell? The one team in the conference that plays old school SEC defense.)
Tennessee (worst offense ever in the first half last week)
Missouri (sneaky good so far – they get Arkansas State this weekend.)
Arkansas (lost to Rutgers last week and gets torched by Texas A&M this week as punishment for embarrassing the conference)
MSU (bye week is favored by 4 over MSU)
Kentucky (they get Florida this week so expect an even uglier performance than normal from UK)
Van Allen Plexico managed to attend Auburn (and score student football tickets) for some portion of every year between 1986 and 1996. He realizes that’s probably not something one should brag about, but hey. He teaches college near St Louis (because ten years as a student was somehow just not enough time to spend at school) and writes and edits for a variety of publishers. Find links to his various projects at www.plexico.net.
John Ringer graduated from Auburn in 1991 (which may be the greatest time ever to be an Auburn student – SEC titles in 1987, 88 and 89 and the 1989 Iron Bowl). His family has had season tickets every year since well before he was born and he grew up wandering around Jordan-Hare on game days. He currently lives in Richmond, Virginia where he spends way too much time reading about college football on the internet and teaching his children to love Auburn football.
Previous Wishbone columns are waiting for you here.
* Football rankings guru Richard Billingsley says Auburn should claim century-old crown: ‘My national championship for Auburn in 1913 is a very valid national championship’
* Auburn wore green jerseys TWICE in the 1930s
* Auburn coach car endorsements of yesteryear
* Gus Malzahn in college
* That time a cow won Miss Auburn