Week 2 is almost here. I love those fly by four day work weeks. Nothing like a little Auburn football to break the monotony of eye care, although today was kind of exciting since I removed a piece of metal from the left eye of a squirmy 5 year old. Good times. Anyway, on to the Maroondogs of MSU.
Mississippi State as a university is a lot like Auburn...50 years ago. I think they have a two lane highway running through there and that's it. I hear they used to have a grove like at Ole Miss, but they cut it down for pulpwood or something. You might want to fact check me on that.
All kidding aside, the 'Dogs have fallen on hard times lately. A few years ago they hired a Bear Bryant disciple in Jackie Sherrill who cheated his rear end off and was pretty successful at it until he finally got busted. He gave MSU a few of their most successful years ever until they finally landed in the NCAA pokey. Sherrill beat Auburn for four straight years, believe it or not, including two years (97 and 2000) when we made the SEC championship game. After Sherrill's not so graceful exit, MSU called on another Bear Bryant henchmen in Sly Croom, who's claim to fame was embarrassing the Crimson Tide a couple of times. Sly never had a chance given the hand he was dealt. He resigned after last season and an embarrassing loss to Ole Miss.
Dan Mullen began his head coaching career with a win last week over Jackson State. It looked good on paper as a 45-7 whitewashing. I saw a good bit of this game on the U Saturday and the first half was really hard to watch. I'm talkin 4th quarter of AU-Tennessee 08 hard to watch. Sloppy, ugly, all over the place bad. State picked it up a bit in the fourth quarter, but they never drove the ball at all. Everything was a short field touchdown courtesy of a Jackson State turnover. Defensively I thought they looked OK. Pretty hard to tell against JSU.
-Anthony Dixon returns after a 1 game suspension. This guy is good. He ripped us a couple of years ago in that humiliating home loss. My hope is former AU WR coach Greg Knox is as good at coaching up running backs as he was receivers.
-Dan Mullin. I really don't know what to make of this guy right now. He did a pretty good job at Florida as an OC, but let's face it, he had a pretty good arsenal to work with. Nothing like the bare cupboard he has now.
Depth. As in Auburn's lack of on defense. MSU's spread will be more demanding on our LB's and DB's this week. Will we hold up? Here's hoping so because it is not too bold a prediction to say this might be the weakest SEC offense we will see all year.
What Will Happen
AU's offense exorcises the demons of 3-2 with a strong performance. Look for fewer touches from Ontario Speedwagon (check yo-self Chris Berman), but expect a long run or two. Burns throws a TD pass this week from the Wild Eagle. Todd stays solid with another 250+ passing night. The D is soild again, but begins to develop a chip on their shoulder from being overlooked.
It stays tight for a little longer than La Tech, but we pull away in the fourth....