Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dr. Z's Ole Miss Preview

"What is it with Ole Miss and crazy people on the sideline?"

Houston Nutt is crazy. I know, tell you something you didn't know. Remember last year when he was rumored to be our next coach at Auburn? I fumed for a few minutes until I realized it wasn't true, because not only is he crazy, but he is a mediocre coach at best. If we get into a comparison, I am happy to have Coach Chiz and Co.

Which bring me to my next point. Our friend Jerry over at took me to task (in a really nice way) over my comments last week about Auburn getting worse while other SEC schools,namely Miss St. and Tennessee are improving as the season rolls along:

Another grenade I’ve seen lobbed at Chizik and Co. from multiple angles–one handy example, though Dr. Z is generally on point–is that Tennessee and Miss. St. are improving while Auburn is not.

First, this kind of overlooks the fact that a big reason Mullen and Kiffin have room for improvement in the first place is because Chizik whipped them both. Second, those teams’ “improvement” is overblown: Miss. St.’s best performance remains the shoulda-been win over LSU, and that happened one week after Auburn torched them. As for Kiffin, he’s done a great job getting Crompton’s head finally screwed on properly, but that’s been the only real difference in the UT of the first several weeks and the last few–their QB wakes up, ours falls apart, and that alone is enough to make Kiffin the better coach, even after he lost to Chizik in Knoxville?

Jerry makes some valid points as always, but it still does not change the fact in my eyes that on the field as a whole we regressed. We can blame that on all of the the different things that have occurred. Attrition, injuries, Tuberville, etc.

Rob talked earlier in the year about the enthusiasm of the coaching staff. He wondered out loud about what happens when things weren't going well. I think we are seeing some of that now, because to me we are not handling the adversity well.

I still believe that we can get it done, but I am as anxious as ever about the state and future of our program. Maybe the guys over at trackem are right with the 6-6 Saban first year comparison at Bama, but that guy at the airport stills screams "5-19, 5-19" in the back of my head. Anyway on to the game:

This is another chance for Auburn to climb to 7 or 8 wins on the year I still see us having a chance in the UGA game and hope springs eternal for the Bama game. Few wishes for us in this one:
1.Todd makes some throws.
2. If #1 doesn't happen, then Caudle makes some throws. His feet also can help us as well.
3. Get Mario some touches. I'd love to see him wildcat. Kodi's beat up, and he also needs some dental work after LSU.
4. Bring some heat Ted! Rob's right. We need to bring the noise with a blitz or two. Make Jevan Snead beat us deep or force a pick or two. It may be our only chance defensively. The 10 yard cushion is killing us.

Finally if I have sounded pessimistic lately, my apologies to all. I think I got too excited too early about this team. Now I am made of disappointment.

Oh yeah, the pick:
Hotty Totties 27
Auburn 13


  1. Doc, i think you make some good points. To me, the biggest key to Coach Chizik's long term success will be how the staff handles the upcoming QB transition and the next QBs success.

    If we lose Saturday, then we are playing to build for next year now and Chizik has to be careful how he handles it because what we do this year and next will determine his success long term. My thinking is if/when we lose Saturday you go with Rollison for Furman. I fully realize this would burn his redshirt, but honestly if we got 3 years and 3 games out of a QB wouldn't everyone be thrilled? Rollison pushed for time in the fall and I think if Todd hadn't come on strong he me be the starter already. Start him against FU and UGA and he has a off week to get ready for Bama. I don’t think anyone expects to win any of those other than Furman anyway. That puts us at 6-6 and probably the papa johns bowl giving him another month of practice with the starters. This will give him at least some experience against good defenses going into next season.

    This QB transition and that person's success is going to be most critical factor to Chizik’s long term success. Caudle very well may be the starter next year at which point I don’t see our record improving dramatically with him back there(probably won't be with a true Soph either). There is a reason Todd beat him out even after missing all of spring and summer and part of the fall. So, lets say Caudle starts next year and we go 6-6 or 7-5. Now Chizik is going into year 3 with a redshirt sophomore with little to no game experience in an odd year where we will be playing at LSU, Arky, UGA and S.C. (I think) plus Bama, and Clemson out of conference(not sure if home or away). Looks like another 7-5 season to me. Chizik will be squarely on the hot seat at that point. How will 2-3 straight mediocre years affect recruiting? What will our staff look like at that point? What will the evil empire across the state have accomplished by then? Trotter is the wildcard in all of this, but I don’t think his knee is ready to play this year. I think he dresses out more for window dressing to be honest.

  2. If we were playing Caulde,Benton, Blake and Lutz........I would say we were in a rebuilding year. But we are not. Therefore, this is a trash (throw away) year in the staff's mind. They count this against their grace period. '10 will be our rebuild year IMO