Friday, November 29, 2013

The Bama Preview: Auburn: America's Team

If Auburn loses, the terrorists win.

The eyes of the nation will be on Jordan Hare in less than 24 hours. Most of those, I would argue a vast majority, will be pulling hard for the orange and blue.

The nation is sick of Bama. Tired of Nick Saban and his condescending tongue-lashings. Sick of what even the man's wife says are spoiled rotten fans.

Yes. Forget about the Cowboys, Auburn is America's team this weekend. No one wants to see the evil empire play for a third straight national title. No one wants to see that forced evil smile on Nick Saban's face holding up another crystal football. No one wants to hear Brent Musberger verbally undress AJ McCarron's girlfriend on live TV.

The time has come for the the Tide to lose. Democrat or Republican, Red State, Blue state, it does not matter. They all say War eagle this weekend.

How does Auburn do it? The same formula holds true. Run the damn ball. Play action. Trick em. Out flank em. Be fast. Hit hard. The stadium will be jacked...and loud.

Oh will it be loud.

Defensively, Auburn must get to McCarron. Hit him. Rattle the cockiness right out of him. Dee Ford needs to know what his brand of cologne is by the time this thing is over.

Hit Yeldon. Hit him hard. Make him rue the day he flipped his commitment two years ago. Stir it up. Play with swagger. Bama does not believe Auburn is back. We have had to hear it on talk radio for two weeks. Serve. Them. Notice.

They will know quickly come tomorrow, that we are back.

It might have happened in the blink of an eye, but here we are. The Tide has to go through Auburn now to get to Atlanta. In our house. They are nervous as hell about November 30th at 2:30 PM, take that to the bank.

Win this game. Defy all odds. Defy every football pundit.

Win for Auburn. The nation is behind you.

War Eagle forever.

Auburn 35
Bama 30

Monday, November 25, 2013

Iron Bowl Week-People Get Ready

Iron Bowl week is upon us, and my oh my, how crazy a week it will be. And after a weekend where Baylor goes down in a flaming heap and Oregon loses big, the stage is set for a BCS championship elimination game...maybe.

Alabama can punch a ticket to a 3rd straight title game with a win over Auburn and a surprisingly stout Missouri, though neither is predestined. Auburn will most likely need some help to get there. Even with a win over Alabama and Missouri, Auburn will still need either Ohio State or Florida State to lose to get in to the national championship game.

The fact that I wrote that last paragraph at all tells you that win or lose come Saturday, Auburn has risen meteorically from the depths of despair in 2012.

The job Gus Malzahn and his staff have done since taking over the reigns last January has been simply astounding. In just a few short months, the attitude and psyche changed 180 degrees. WE figured he would have an easier time of it since he recruited most of these players. But 10-1 going into the Iron Bowl? I would've told you I had a better chance of walking on the moon.

No doubt, this weekend will be crazy. I will be down there in Auburn, tickets in hand to witness what will hopefully be one of those amazing Auburn Iron Bowl wins like 1989 or 1993. I am giddy.

Preview coming later this week. And if you are in Birmingham, just turn off the sports talk radio full of Bammer homers.

War Eagle!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Georgia Review-That. Just. Happened.

To Err is human, to Barn hard is divine.

It's Okay to watch this over and over again. You can trust me. I'm an optometrist.

To paraphrase myself before during and after the aptly named "Prayer in Jordan Hare". It went something like: Why the hell is he just throwing it up for...Oh my God, Oh My God. Whoooohoooooo!!!!!! I then proceeded to mumble that last part of the phrase for twelve hours.

I couldn't eat. I didn't sleep. I got home and watched the replay. This was after burning up my iphone battery on the gifs and video of everything associated with Marshall to Lewis.

Not lost upon me in all the hoopla is how much Auburn dominated that game for three quarters, only to nearly squander it away. If not for the catch, it really could have been one of the most epic of meltdowns ever to occur for Auburn.

I was witness to one of those in 1996, when Terry Bowden's Tigers blew a 21 point lead to a rudderless Georgia team, losing a five overtime game. It took me a while to get over the hangover from that one.

I wonder how long it takes the Georgia faithful to get over this one.

Auburn played three complete dominant quarters of football against a Georgia team that was close to its early season self. Auburn learned a valuable lesson: you better play all four. Especially against a quarterback as gutsy and as good as Aaron Murray. Yeah, I have given him grief about Nick Fairley and will probably give him more about Dee Ford, but he is a great player, and Georgia will miss that guy next year.

This will be one people talk about for 50 years. The dominant Auburn in the first three quarters. The resillient Georgia in the 4th. And one catch that probably should have never happened, but did.

In 11 days, Auburn plays Alabama for all the marbles. But fans, take just a little longer to savor this win.

Like this...

And this...

Our old blogger buddy Rob's reaction is flat out priceless in this one. Pretty much how every Auburn person reacted.

10-1. One more guys. Come on.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Georgia Preview-Raising the Stakes

Aaron Murray still cries at night.

Let's take a trip in the way-back machine to 2010. Auburn fell behind two touchdowns to Georgia and Aaron Murray, only to come roaring back to win in a laugher 49-31. One of the subplots from the game was Nick Fairley basically trying to end the existence of Aaron. Yes, Nick hit him late once, drawing a 15 yard penalty. The rest of his hits were legal, though hard hitting. Nick was doing his job that night and boy did he do it well.

To this day the Georgia faithful still complain about Nick. He's in the league now, wreaking havoc on NFL signal callers, and is considered Mr. Clean next to his comrade Donkey Kong Su (which is what I call him since I am too lazy right now to look up how to spell the guys name.

Odds are good that if Auburn beats Georgia Saturday, the Georgia faithful will whine like my 3 year old after I take the Ipad away. It's just their nature. For some reason they think they have an elite program. I think they have the right to feel like they should have an elite program (even though they don't). They are the only game in town (sorry ramblin wreck) in a state that is loaded with talent. Problem is they lose out on a lot of this talent to Auburn. Think about Cam Newton, Takeo Spikes, and Ronnie Brown, just to name a few. Georgia is a notch below Auburn historically, and I think that drives them nuts.

The game this weekend shows how high the stakes have been raised for Auburn. A win here and all of a sudden the Iron Bowl becomes epic. An Iron Bowl where the winner takes all.

But let's look at the task in front of us. Georgia will come to town with something to prove. They are healthier than they have been in weeks so they feel like they have a good shot at a win on the plains. Todd Gurley is back in the backfield, and he will make a difference, even at 80%. Murray is Murray. He plays well against Auburn, even though he still wets the bed thinking about Nick Fairley.

Georgia's defense will be the X factor in this. Can they stop Auburn's running game? Not likely, but they can slow it down and make Auburn throw. I have heard pundits all week like "expert" Tom Luginbill say that Auburn doesn't throw because they are deficient in that area. I wouldn't call it deficient. I would call it smart football. Run it till they stop it. That is football. ALways has been. It doesn't matter what the formation is. Nobody has come close to stopping Auburn's running game recently.

Auburn has been strategic all year in their offensive scheme. They have pretty much run it at will on everybody since the second half of the LSU game. Marshall has gotten better with accuracy, though he is far from polished. I also think he is better rolling out and throwing. Standing in the pocket, he looks like he babies throws, almost like he is thinking too much. On rollouts or scrambles, he seems to be much more accurate. It reminds me a lot of Auburn coach Dameyune Craig, who could roll out and chuck it 65 yards on a dime.

My guess is Auburn gets Nick outside the pocket to throw or run this weekend. I also think he will have to throw more for Auburn to win. Georgia is good up front, and they will challenge Auburn's tough offensive line. Look for the Dogs to score points, but they fade in the 4th.

In the end, it will come down to running the ball and stopping the run. Whomever does that the best, wins this game.

Auburn 41
Leg Humpers 31

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Threatdown Week 11

And then there were two.

Georgia Last week-Sleepwalked through the first half, but woke up in time to whip a bad APp State team 45-6. The final score might look impressive, but this is not your typical FCS "scare the pants off of a D1" team that we have come to expect out of the boys from Boone. Georgia is getting healthier, but I would say Gurley is only about 75-80%. Bennet is back but still banged up, and the rest of the UGA walking wounded are still questionable. All of that still doesn't change the fact that teams score lots of points on Georgia. They are better against the run than teams we have played recently, so we may have to throw the ball about 12 times to win. Threatdown Level...Stable and medium.

Bama Last week Poured in on in the end beating LSU 38-17. This game was tied in the 3rd quarter. Then LSU ran out of gas. ANd after having watched the Tigers several times this year, they just don't look well-conditioned to me. Auburn, Ole Miss, and Alabama all ran roughshod over them in the 4th quarter. But give the Tide credit, they are well conditioned, so I guess they do more than sign with agents in the weight room. Threatdown Level...Maxed Out.

Amen corner is upon us, and at the beginning of the season, if you told me I would be disappointed going 1-1 here, I would have had you committed. No doubt about it, the friendly confines of Jordan-Hare will be rockin' come Saturday afternoon. I can't wait to see it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tennessee Review-Passes? We don't need no stinking passes.

Runnin' down a dream

Auburn beat Tennessee like a drum last Saturday. Auburn threw exactly 7 passes. Seven.

Auburn could have thrown zero passes and the result would have looked very similar, because Tennessee's hapless defense had no answer to the two play drive.

Needless to say Auburn's power running offense is shockingly good. I heard a Bama fan Saturday night say that Auburn's too one dimensional to beat Bama. What he, and the rest of the Mullets, don't comprehend is that not being able to throw and choosing not to throw are too entirely different animals. Why throw on a team that can't stop the run even with putting 8 and 9 in the box? Alabama will likely have to do the same thing. Do I think Bama can stop Auburn's run game with 8 and 9 in the box? I do. Do I think Auburn will exploit it if they try? You can bet your ass.

This Auburn team is on a mission to erase all doubt in everyone's mind, including their own, about 2012. Forget about it. It was a fluke brought on by poor coaching. Any doubt after two curb stomping road wins should be gone about this Auburn team being for real.

Yet Auburn opens as a 3 point favorite against Georgia. Georgia, who barely escaped with their lives against the same Tennessee team Auburn just took to the woodshed. Georgia who squeaked by hapless Florida. To that I say-Keep disrespecting Auburn. Be my guest.

Auburn will beat Georgia. Mark my words. Last Saturday put to rest any doubt in my mind. They believe again, therefore I believe again. My guess is the rest of college football will too. Very soon.

I haven't seen a resurrection like this since about 33 A.D.

Other thoughts:

-Auburn's defense still shows a wart or two, until the opponent gets inside the 30. Then the 85 Bears show up.

-Chris Davis needs a nickname. Like the honey grizzley or something. He would destroy a honey badger. He doesn't care.

-Auburn has the best offensive line in the SEC. And they'll all be back next year.

-Auburn has the best trio of running backs in the SEC. They too will all be back next year.

-I like the wacky Butch Jones at Tennessee. He seems like a more intelligent version of Houston Nutt. He is doing well on the recruiting trail, and he needs to. This team has zero team speed.

War Eagle everybody. It is time to finish this thing out. Auburn fans bring your lungs to Jordan Hare this Saturday.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tennessee Preview-I hate Rockytop

Who knew UT was so liberal and accepting of trans-gendered couples?

I have in-laws that live in Knoxville. I like my in-laws, save for the fact that I have to go to Knoxville Tennessee to see them. To the Auburn fans that are making the trip up this weekend, it sucks. Like a big orange. It is the worst stadium I have ever set foot in as it is basically an 87000 seat stadium with the seat markers painted close enough together to make it hold 20000 more people than it should. The upper deck feels like you are looking straight down. You also feel like you could fall to your death at any moment.

Other than my in-laws and the few dirty hippie grad student that we met, the people there are...there is no other way to say it, white trash. I tell people Knoxville is where you take a white supremacist to prove them wrong. You can't throw a Psedofed without witting a methhead. I'm talking Hills Have Eyes creepy people

About what you'll see in South Knoxville

As far as this game goes, it has me nervous. Sure, the Vols got run out of the stadium by Missouri last week, but they have played much better at home this season, with a win over South Carolina and could have been win over Georgia. They also are better after playing lousy the week before. They played lousy last week before and the week before that against Bama, so are they due to step up and play better?

Butch Jones is a pretty good coach, no matter how outlandish he can be. I have a feeling they Rocky Tops will be ready for Auburn. The crowd will be important as well, but it is an 11 AM game, so that should help the visiting Tigers. Win here, and Auburn gets to play for the SEC West crown within the friendly confines in their final two home games.

But again, this game is more about Auburn than Tennessee. Auburn has been to tough places on the road already and won. This team runs the ball as well as any Auburn team since the mid 80's. Teams that can run the ball on the road tend to win games as long as they do not turn it over. I also get the feeling the defense will want to come out and play a little better than they did last week as well. COmbine those factors with a true freshman QB for the Vols and that is a recipe for victory on Rocky Top.

Auburn 31
Kissing Cousins 20

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Week 10 Threatdown

Amen corner started off with a blowout. Let's see if we can keep it going...

Tennessee Last week- Blown out by Missouri 31-3. I honestly don't know what to make of Tennessee. They looked hapless on the road last Saturday night, but have looked good at home against teams who were due for a letdown. Can they catch AU looking ahead with two big rivalry games coming up? I think Auburn's letdown was last week. Still, Threatdown Level...Up.

Georgia Last Week-Escaped with a win over Florida 23-20. Georgia looked better for a half against a downright bad offensive Florida team. Getting Gurley back helps, but he looked totally out of game shape after weeks on the shelf. With all the players getting healthy for UGA, we will say Threatdown level...up.

Bama Last week-BYE. Saban would consider leaving if the correct pressure were to occur. Consider Gus Malzahn the vice-grip. Threatdown Level...Terminal velocity.

This weekend will be a huge test for Auburn, and I have a pretty big concern about this being a lookahead. More on that tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Arkansas Review-Real. American. Football.

"We just threw 9 passes and kicked your ass. How's that for real American football?"--What I wish Gus would have said

So ho hum, Auburn just blew out an SEC opponent on the road. By 18 points. The stadium was a ghost town by the 10 minute mark in the forth quarter.

And Auburn did not even play well.

Yeah. I said it. That was as bad as we have played since the first half of the LSU game.

This was a let down game. Ask anyone who has ever dressed for Auburn who played a game at Arkansas will tell you it is a place to have a let down. And again, this game was never in doubt.

Other random thought:

-Auburn threw 9 freakin' passes in this game. Somewhere a wishbone coach from the late 70's is smiling. The long one to Sammie Coates was a thing of beauty on the back shoulder. I have no idea if it was intentional or if Nick's sore shoulder made that happen.

-Defense must be better against the run. Arkansas ran right at Auburn and had success. Linebackers were not stellar in this one.

-It really looked like Auburn ran about 4 plays in this game. I am sure that is not the case, but we didn't give very much for teams down the road to see.

-Tre Mason is a workhorse. He is so patient waiting for a crease to develop. He has also emerged as a leader. I think that is why we are seeing less and less of CAP, though I personally would like to see both more.

-My kingdom for a cornerback. Auburn is dangerously thin in this area right now. I don't know that it hurts us too much against Tennessee, but those guys need to be well before UGA and Bama.

-Faking injury? Gus says no way. I believe him. It looked like Swain was limping back during the replay. Personally thought the ESPN guys made a big deal about it because the game was not close and uninteresting.

-So that's why he wanted video ofr the swinging gate. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, Coach Bert. And while we're on the subject, is it real American football with all the swinging gates, halfback passes, and onside kicking? Just sayin'.

I have heard some Auburn folks grumbling about this win. To them I say, lighten up. We were due a letdown, we had one, and we blew Arkansas away not playing our best game.

Now on to Tennessee and the worst run defense in the SEC. (Hint: if they are worse than A&M, they are in trouble)

8-1. War Damn Eagle!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Arkansas Preview-A Proud History of Jerkwad Coaches

Bert Biellema has been a burr in the Auburn fans saddle since arriving in Fayetteville. Most recently he complained about Auburn not including thier extra point formations in the game film. We might all think that is silly, but if you consider how many touchdowns Coach B is anticipating from Auburn, it makes sense for him to really study our 'swinging gate' P.A.T. formations.

Yes, it was a dick move to question that publicly in a presser, and it was almost as irritating to suggest Auburn, Texas A&M, and most of the rest of the teams in college football do not play "real American football", but consider for a moment what it means to be an Arkansas head coach. I mean, you pretty much have to be a dick to coach there. Let's look at their recent history...

Lou Holtz

Long Before he was a dick at ESPN, Lou Holtz was cheating up a storm at Arkansas trying to keep up with SMU. He has some sort of weird dislike of the Orange and Blue, so much so that he pretty much picks against them every chance he gets.

Houston Nutt


Houston Nutt is a crazy, lovable dick. I can't really despise him like some of the other Arkansas coaches in this list. Gus Malzahn can probably call him a dick because if Nutt would have let Malzahn run the offense at Arkansas in 2006 he could have been a title contender with McFadden and Felix Jones in the backfield. The Hogs were cruising until Nutt replaced Mitch Mustain, Malzahn's choice at QB, with Casey Dick. The Hogs predictably imploded after that.

Bobby Petrino

The most hated dick of the bunch and likely the best coach as well. Petrino pulled the ultimate dick move by hiring his mistress and then taking her joyriding on his motorbike. He then crashed and burned, in every sense of the word.

So Bielemma is just holding up the proud tradition of dick coaches at Arkansas. Unfortunately for him, his team is lousy, and when you are a dick, it pays to have a team that can back you up. He most certainly does not this year.

Auburn shows him what American football is all about by running it down his throat, and stopping Arkansas's only hope in their run game.

Auburn 45
Shredded Pork 21