Thursday, September 13, 2007

Guide to Football and Beer Drinking: Week 3

Most blogs post Friday commentary on who they think will win games. They use the spreads and (gasp) stats. Well, I absolutely stink at guessing which team will cover as a roaddog or will continue their dominance when playing on a Saturday night with a full moon. I'll say it a different way: I suck at picking teams.

However, there are two things I'm good for on Saturdays: Drinking beer and watching football. So, let's look at my schedule for tomorrow along with how many beers I think I'll drink watching each game.


Pittsburgh at Michigan State (ESPN)/Central Michigan at Purdue (ESPN2)

ESPN had the Miami/Oklahoma game last week at this slot. Of course, that means that it has used up all of its 11:00 "Marquee Game" alottment for the season. Back to crappy Big Ten matchups. Where the cheese runs like a river and you can't tell the gender of a fan until within five feet. Since the games are completely devoid of any interest, I thought I'd list some notable alumni from each school:

Purdue: Ted Allen, listed as "one of the fab five on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" (their description, not mine) and George Peppard (better known as John "Hannibal" Smith from the A-Team).

Michigan State: Chris Hansen, of "To Catch a Predator" Fame, and actor James Caan

Pittsburgh: Presidential "Hopeful" Ron Paul, and Gust Avrakotos, a CIA agent who, during the 1980's armed, the mujaheddin in Afghanistan (thanks for that).

Central Michigan: Jim Meyers, better known as George "The Animal" Steele of wrestling fame, and Jeff Daniels, who you may remember from his tour de force "Dumb and Dumber.


ESPN loves you and I hate you with all of my soul.

2 Sips of One Beer


Mississippi State at Auburn (JP)

All right. I had to take the week off from updating this blog because last week AU lost to USF. USF. Cripes, USF. The optimist in me points out that it was an unbelievable feat for the AU defense to take the game into overtime despite five turnovers. The rest of me says HOW THE HELL DO YOU HAVE FIVE TURNOVERS AGAINST USF???? Well, a freshman runningback making his debut doesn't help. Fannin's going to be a stud (as my family is tired of hearing me say), but if he fumbles another time this season he's going to have a hard time showing his face around campus. Then, there is Brandon Cox. Brandon, what has happened? When did you start consistently thowing off of your back foot? What could possibly be the excuse for fumbling on a quarterback sneak? Why have you gained the wonderful habit of staring down receivers from the time you leave the huddle up until the ball is intercepted in triple coverage? You're a sixth-year senior. Act like it.

All right. Enough of the rant. Now, the offensively hapless Bulldogs come to Auburn flush with a great victory over Tulane. Bulldog fans are actually talking smack. The apocolypse is upon us surely. Let me clue you in on something, MSU. You suck offensively. Your quarterback has the armstrength of a three year-old toddler. And I don't care how much it is "All About the Maroon", it ain't gonna happen this week. I want AU to come out and score around 35 on these chumps. If we start with a consistent running game, I think it's possible. If the running game falters (Lord help you if you fumble Fannin), I'll put the score at around 21. But rest assured, MSU, no matter how well or badly AU's offense plays, the MSU score will still be the same: 0

6 Beers


Notre Dame at Michigan (ABC)

As if Michigan is not having enough problems, "star" quarterback Chris Henne won't be playing. That means that Freshman Ryan Mallett will be starting in his first game. Money quote from the linked article: The freshman from Texarkana, Texas enrolled at Michigan in January and participated in spring practice. "That helps a lot," offensive tackle Jake Long said. "It's kind of like he's a redshirt freshman."

Such strong words of confidence have never been spoken.

0-2 Michigan...0-2 Notre Dame...True freshmen quarterbacks...I think it will look something like this:

I'm putting the over/under for interceptions at 30. And that's because neither defense is very good.

1 Beer

Tennessee at Florida (CBS)

{Sportscaster voice} This SEC Showdown will go a long way to showing who is the Cream of the Crop in the SEC. Powerhouses Tennessee and Florida Face Off in what is sure to be a Game of the Century.{Sportscaster hangs himself in gleeful anticipation}

I really don't think this is going to be much of a game. After being slaughtered by Cali-"We don't play defense in the PAC-10"-fornia, Tennessee played a very close game against Conference USA juggernaught Southern Miss. Southern freakin Miss. USM quarterback Jason Young threw for 254 yards on Tennessee's defense. Jason WHO?

I know, Florida hasn't exactly been going up against stellar competition (although Troy is certainly no pushover). But, in two games, Tim Tebow has thrown for 536 yards, completed 73.8% of his passes and six touchdowns with no interceptions. Oh, and he's just run for 131 yards with three touchdowns. And that's while only playing parts of the first two games. This kid is an animal and I fully expect him to destroy Tennessee's porous defense.

2 Beers

Texas at UCF (ESPN)

This one's a little strange. So far, Texas beat Arkansas State by only eight points (and may have won only due to a blown call). They followed this up with what looks to be an impressive 34-13 win over TCU. Until you notice that Texas was trailing TCU at halftime 10-0. The Knights upset NC State in their first game 25-23. Will they follow it up with an even bigger game? Probably not. But still one to keep an eye on.

2 Beers


Arkansas at Alabama (ESPN)

I'll admit it. I was scratching my head when I saw the line on this game (bama with 3 1/2 points). Isn't this the same team that was beaten by Arkansas last year? Well, no. And it's not the same Arkansas team, either. Yeah, Arkansas has a Heisman hopeful at running back, but its defense lost a large chunk of its experienced talent to graduation. And don't let the Troy score fool you. Troy was giving Arkansas all it wanted until Troy's quarterback (who accounts for about 99.9% of the offense) was hurt in the second half.

Then you have bama. Going into the season, I thought a major weakness on offense was going to be the running game. Well, against a decent Vandy defense, bama ran for over 220 yards and had 371 yards in total offense. I think Arkansas has the talent to score on bama; but, I don't think they have enough horses to keep up. I see bama scoring 35-45 points. Arkansas can't match that.

3 Beers


Southern California at Nebraska (ABC)

I don't care how much The ABCDISNEYESPN Overlord wants to hype it, this game is going to be ugly. Nebraska is a decent team. They've beaten a bad Nevada team and a decent Wake Forest team. But, let's be serious. This is USC. This is the same team that intentionally took a delay of game penalty on a PAT kick to honor a dead kicker. Sure, it's a nice gesture. But, they feel so confident (rightfully) of winning games that they don't mind being penalized. How do you compete against that Nebraska? You don't.

One Beer

Boston College at Georgia Tech (ESPN2)

Does anyone really care about a matchup between two middling ACC teams? Me neither.

Sips of Beer

Friday, September 07, 2007

Interview with the Groves Family

Phillip Marshall continues to cover the Tigers in a manner all too often missing from today's "journalist". In his latest column, Marshall recounts his interview with Quentin Groves and his wife, Treska. It brings to mind the better traits of a marriage: support through the bad times and motivation when complacency sets in. How a person can make your life and values more concrete, more real and more fulfilling. Or, just know how to push your buttons:

"I remember the South Carolina game," Quentin says, laughing and shaking his head. "I had like 8-9 tackles. I think I had one sack. After the game, I had a voicemail to call her. She said 'You weren't hitting them hard enough.' I said I was just trying to get them on the ground, not trying to kill them. She said, 'I know, baby, but your tackles are looking weak.'"

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Guide to Football and Beer Drinking: Week 2

Great googly-moogly! Football from 10:00 in the morning to 11:00 at night!


West Virginia at Marshall (ESPN2)

Ugh. Nothing like an early morning game to get the day going. It's no 2004 Boise State v. SJU, but it's still early enough to not properly be called "football".

I feel sorry for Marshall. Once, they were that plucky underdog that powerhouse schools regretted scheduling. Now, the only thing they're known for is a movie. A movie starring this guy. That's just sad.

Last week they got pummeled by a recovering-but-still-bad Miami team. This week, they're going to get slaughtered by a West "We Need Style Points for the BCS" Virginia team. At 10:00 in the morning. Ugh.

One Glass of Milk and Scrambled Eggs ( you think I'm in college or something?)


Miami, FL at Oklahoma (ABC)

Speaking of recovering-but-still-bad, Miami enters this game having been thoroughly embarrased one month ago by this event. The Fighting Ibises (or Ibisi?) follow-up their creampuff opener against Marshall by traveling to Oklahoma. Oklahoma is a team trying to find its identity. It lost its best runningback to the draft only one year after losing its best paid quarterback to the NCAA.

Actually, this is going to be a pretty good game. Certainly not as good as it may have been five years ago, but definitely the best game I've ever seen at the 11:00 ESPN time slot. Ever. Throw in the Cunningham/Franklin duo as commentators, and this is a game I can settle into watching.

3 Beers

Nebraska at Wake Forest (ESPN)

Nebraska thrashed Nevada last week 52-10. But then again, no offense to the Wolfpack, but it was Nevada. Wake Forest should be a much touger opponent. Both teams play like they belong in the SEC. If only they had demure women and classy coaches, they would fit right in. Should be a slobberknocker dominated by defense and strong running games.

1.5 Beers


Alabama at Vanderbilt (JP)

The time has arrived. The Dubose Franchione Price Shula Saban Era has begun. After its (ahem) monumental victory over Western Carolina, Alabama heads to the golden plains of Vanderbilt to take on the Commodores. Let's go ahead and get this out of the way: Vanderbilt will not upset bama. Not going to happen. At one point, Vanderbilt may have snuck up on bama. After all, this was the "Best Team Vanderbilt Has Had in Years"™. That's kind of like saying Houston Nutt only text messaged someone 35 times in one night. Sure, it's less than normal, but is it really saying much? Too much noise has been made about this game. As I read elsewhere, if everyone is picking an upset, the big dog is going to win. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Saban-coached teams can't be snuck up on. He is just as prone to lay an egg as Tuberville (see 2000 UAB, 2000 Arkansas, 2001 Ole Miss, 2002 Virginia Tech, 2002 Auburn, 2002 bama, 2004 Troy State and his entire career as an NFL coach). But, if Vanderbilt wins, it will be because it out talents and out coaches bama; not because it surprises bama. Even with bama's pencil-thin depth at defensive line and lack of talent and/or experience at linebacker, I just don't see it happening.

However, that doesn't mean I won't be watching and hoping.

3 Beers


N.C. State at Boston College (ESPN2)

Welcome to North Carolina State, Coach O'Brien. You spent years building Boston College into a respectable program only to leave and lose your first game. To UCF. You know, UCF? The team that lost last year to Rice, Tulane, Pittsburgh and Houston (among others).

Now, after going through that in your debut, you get to play the team that you spent every waking moment of your life building for the last few years. Boy, they sure looked good last week beating Wake Forest, didn't they, Coach? Did you see that Ryan kid throw for five touchdowns? You recruited him, right? didn't sit in his living room, in front of his momma and daddy, and promise you were going to be with him all the way through college if only he would come play for BC, did you? And then leave to an intra-conference rival? Yeaahhh...ummmm...this could get ugly.

1 Beer


Oregon at Michigan (ABC)

Psst. You want to hear my upset special for the week? Lowly Michigan is going to become this year's Cinderella, Giant Killer by knocking off BCS favorite Oregon. Oregon is looking past this game to Fresno State. They think they can throw their jocks on the field and win this one with no problem. That, my friends, is how upsets happen. Bet the house on this one. Championship teams have to take all games seriously (even the creampuffs). Oregon is about to learn that lesson.

2 Beers


South Carolina at Georgia (ESPN2)

In this game, Spurrier faces his one weakness: A snarkless opposing coach. Seriously, how can the Ole Ball Coach be expected to make smarky pre- and post- game remarks against Mark Freakin' Richt? Hey, Steve O, Richt has adopted two kids from the Ukraine, is featured on Wheaties boxes and appeared in an evangelical football movie, for cripes sake. How about that, OBC? What...nothing? That's what I thought.

2 Beers


Notre Dame at Penn State (ESPN)

Two of the most overrated programs in the history of collegiate football playing against each other. One coach is known for accidents. The other spent his last game rotating quarterbacks quicker than you can say "Set It and Forget It!" (That's a rotisserie joke. Because he's fat). Neither are very interesting to me.

Two Sips of One Beer


USF at Auburn (ESPN2)

At one time, USF was sneaking up on Auburn and had a very, very good chance of pulling off an upset. Two things have changed since then: (1) People noticed how good USF is and began picking them as an upset (see Vandy/bama comment above); and (2) KSU almost beat Auburn last week. Based on these two things, I like Auburn's chances.

But then, I read this from Tuberville:

"You always change your gameplan," Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said. "There's not a panic. We've won a lot of games with what we are doing. You can't change in midstream with what your quarterback knows and what your offense knows. If you changed, you'd have to go to a whole new offense and you'd be susceptible to disaster. We'll change some formations and some things. Hopefully, we hold our composure a little better and we don't lose our concentration and fundamentals, which we lost last week."

Ugh. You mean the offense that gained 291 total yards last week? Look, I understand and agree with the quote above. Tuberville has two options: (1) stay with the same gameplan and hope for consistent improvement; or (2) put in a new gameplan between games in hopes of bringing an innovative offense to the table. I KNOW Number 1 is the best choice. But, I really wish Tuberville could have just lied and said we were going to sling it all over the field on quick slant routes and screens, followed by go-routes and counter runs up the middle.

I'm looking for a good game with focus and intensity. The latter is not usually a problem; let's hope that the former isn't this week.


Virginia Tech at LSU (ESPN)

Should go a long way to determining who plays for the national title. I won't be watching.

Sips during commercial breaks.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Willie's Chant

Look, I respect K-State after Saturday's game. They outplayed the competition for 3 and 1/2 quarters and, in my opinion, came in with a better gameplan. But, unless the last name of the coach is Barfield or Bowden, Auburn will never...ever...lose to a team that uses purple dishrags and 80's rock to promote itself.

Oh, and when did KSU change its mascot to Brak?

Go KSU Wild Sharks!!!

Far Sides, SEC Style

If you get a chance, check out Gump For Heisman's "Far Sides, SEC Style". (HT to Everydayshouldbesaturday). Mr. Gump takes Gary Larson's strip and gives it an SEC flavor (from a bama fan's point of view). I especially like this one:

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Posted Without Comment

Except to say that, while it doesn't eclipse Neil Lifer's photo of the Cassius Clay/Sonny Liston fight in 1965, it is just as devastating. Also, possibly the most homo-erotic football picture I've ever seen. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Well, maybe not THE most homo-erotic:

Monday, September 03, 2007

Ugly Win, I'll Take It

During the first quarter of Saturday night's game, I couldn't help but be reminded of the 2003 USC/Auburn game. Auburn's offense was absolutely atrocious and the defense couldn't seem to stop anything. I swear by all that is good and holy, if I never see another tight end drag, I'll die a happy man. In the end, though, Auburn pulled out a win against a quality opponent that will probably win seven or eight games this year. Here are the things that (1) impressed me; and (2) made me want to curl up in the fetal position:


(1) Quentin Groves: This guy is officially a monster. As a defensive force, Quentin has become the type of player that team's have to specifically gameplan against. He has the ability to single-handedly take over games, something that is extremely rare in the SEC.

(2) Defensive Line: Although Groves will get all of the headlines (deservedly), AU's d-line could be one of the best to ever suit up in the orange and blue. Sen'Derrick Marks, Josh Thompson, Pat Simms and Groves are absolutely filthy. Add in quality backups like Michael Goggans, Antonio Coleman, Antoine Carter, and Jake Ricks, and this D-line could be extremely special.

(3) Tray Blackmon: Although he was out of position on a few plays in the first half, Tray showed the speed and leverage that are going to make him a household name. Between blitzes and breaking up passes across the middle, this kid was a terror on the field. His last play was an interception right before halftime. During the return (in which he ran like a freakin' deer for 49 yards), Tray twisted his ankle and was out the rest of the game. If you need any evidence of what his play brings to the table, all you have to do is watch K-State's first two drives after halftime, which resulted in K-State's lone touchdown and a fieldgoal. The ankle injury reportedly is not serious and Blackmon should be fine for the USF game.

(4) Defense: Give credit to Muschamp. K-State came out with a very, very good offensive game plan: short passes, dink/dunk drives that didn't give time for AU's d-line to reach the behemoth that is Josh Freeman. After two drives, Muschamp adjusted effectively and took Freeman out of his comfort zone. Then, after K-State put together impressive drives coming out of halftime (see #3 above), Muschamp, again, put the D in a position to make plays. The end result was 318 total yards of offense (not bad), but only 13 points (when it could have been much, much worse).

(5) Special Teams: If you would have told me that the special teams were going to be the biggest strength in the game, I would have laughed in your face. Freshmen punter and field goal kicker with both starting kick returners out should have resulted in at least seven points for K-State. As it was, the special teams did not skip a beat from last year. Ryan Shoemaker averaged 42.7 yards per punt with a long of 53. Wes Byrum made 3 of 4 fieldgoals (missing a 47 yarder). Robert Dunn returned a punt 58 yards. Great observation by Ed Cunningham (who, along with Ron Franklin, is the Best Commentating Duo on T.V.): Dunn is not a blazer, but he has great body control and it certainly showed on that return.

Field goal kicker Byrum is quickly becoming one of my favorite players. When I think kicker, I think 5'8", 160 lbs soaking wet. Wes is 6'1", 213 lbs. On the opening kickoff, Wes twisted his ankle while trying to get in on the tackle. Tuberville's reaction? "He has not watched film: Kickers do not run down the field and make tackles," joked Tuberville. "That's the ol' defensive mentality." Beautiful.

(6) Ben Tate: Although his running was not overly impressive (23 carries, 82 yards, 3.9 per carry), Tate did a lot of the things you want your starting back to do. He ran north to south and followed his blockers well. He didn't fumble the ball. And, if you want some fun, rewatch the game and take a look at his blitz pickups. He was delivering some devastating blocks to protect Cox. Without Tate's blocking, Cox is sacked 3 or 4 more times. Running north/south, not fumbling, blitz pickups...doesn't sound like much, right? But these are the little things that are the difference between winning and losing ballgames. Give him some decent blocking and this kid will be reeling off 100 yard games. I was extremely worried about Lester's suspension. Now, I think AU will be fine.

(7) Receivers (catching): With the exception of Tommy "Not a Blocking Tight End" Trott, I thought the WR's and TE's did a great job catching the ball. Rodriquez stepped up and gave Cox a good target. The diving catch Gabe McKenzie made on 3rd down showed the remarkable athletic ability of this 6'4", 253 lb sophomore. All in all, a good game for a group of players that historically have not performed up to their potential.

Fetal Position

(1) Offense: The playcalling of 2004 and 2005 were nowhere to be found Saturday night. I'm not sure what has happened with Borges. It's one thing to have to gameplan with injuries (as he did last year). It's another to obstinately stick with a gameplan when it just isn't working. Here's the thing. K-State's defense was pretty predictable. They stacked the box and blitzed frequently. That meant, hypothetically, (1) it would be difficult to sustain a running game; and (2) Cox would be sacked on slow-developing pass plays. And guess what, it was difficult to sustain a running game and Cox was sacked on slow-developing pass plays. These two things happened over and over until the last drive of the game. Then, Borges called quick slants and TE releases and, I'll be damned, AU scored it's lone touchdown. Amazing. I have no idea why it took that long to change the gameplan. It may have been the stubborn need to create a running game; it may have been a desire not to "give away" looks for future opponents (doubtful); or, it may just have been an off night for Borges. Regardless of the reason, the playcalling was severely lacking.

The scary part: Every Defense Is Going to Play Auburn the Exact Same Way. Borges better be able to come up with an answer (which I think he partially did on the last drive) or it's going to be a very, very long season.

(2) Offensive Line: All right, going into this game, I wasn't expecting anything spectacular from the OL. Two freshman and only one returning starter tempered my expectations. But, 5 freakin' sacks? That doesn't even count the number of times Cox was hit after the play. The worst part? Oscar Gonzalez King Dunlap, left tackle, fifth year senior, preseason All-SEC pick and the only returning starter, graded out the worst. That is extremely disappointing. Cox (who suffered a bruised right shoulder and torn fingernail) will not make it through the season if this continues.

(3) Brandon Cox: OL woes aside, Cox played well below the expectations of what a fifth (sixth???) year starter should look like. He was staring down receivers all night (resulting in two interceptions). There were numerous plays where he focused on the "go to" receiver and missed open receivers. Even his audibles (usually a strong point) were often wrong, allowing blitzing LB's to come through unscathed. These are all things that he should not be doing this far into his career. Look, the kids a gamer; he's a winner; but last night he made a lot of stupid mistakes. What concerns me is that he should be beyond these mistakes by now. For now, I'll chalk it up to opening game jitters. Hopefully, by next Saturday, we'll see improvement.

(4) Receivers (blocking): Even though the receivers (TE's and WR's) did a great job catching the ball, they were pretty piss poor on blocking. There were a number of plays that could have resulting in big yards if the WR's had just blocked downfield. Instead, Tate or Stewart were gang tackled either at the line of scrimmage or in the backfield. This is usually a strong point for AU, so I expect to see this taken care of pretty quickly.

(5) Tackling: As with blocking for receivers, AU usually plays very good fundamental football, including tackling. Last night, however, I saw a lot of arm tackling and bad angles (especially from the secondary). If we play like that against LSU, there will be about 300 yards made off of bubble screens and slants across the middle.

Bottom Line

A win is a win is a win. Get ready, because a lot of the games this year are going to be this way.

For a little perspective, though, remember, this weekend included the greatest upset of all time (and that is not hyperbole); an emotional V-Tech barely beat East Carolina; UCF beat NC State; SEC East darkhorse South Carolina did not play well against the Ragin Cajuns; and Texas was almost upset by Arkansas State. In other words, take AU's performance with a grain of salt. It was the opening game, where Goliath's are taken down and anything can happen.

As I wrote above, it was an ugly win, but I'll take it.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Guide to Football and Beer Drinking: Week 1/Part II


Oklahoma State at Georgia (ESPN2)

You like that? Well, neither do I. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. But this is what "Pundits" are predicting. They aren't counting on one thing: Matt Stafford. This is a kid that benches kegs and is secure enough in his masculinity to spoon other men. He calls Jared Lorenzen skinny. Do you really think a guy like this is going to be scared of a team formerly coached by this guy? Uh, no. Basically, if any Oklahoma State DE tries to tackle him, Matt is simply going to eat the defender (because running is for dummies).

2 Beers


Kansas State @ Auburn (ESPN)

Contrary to any conclusions you may have reached through ESPN's marketing decisions, Auburn is, indeed, playing K-State Saturday night. I know, I know, you thought the Cal/Tennessee game was your only choice. But no, there is another alternative. I've already written how I think this game will go: Just Want Ugly Win. Since that posting, however, we've learned (1) that Brad Lester may not play and (2) that two freshman will be protecting Brandon Cox's blindside on the OL. You know, Brandon Cox? The guy that looked like this most of last season? That can't be good. Look, I'm going to be drunk Saturday night. The only question is whether I'm going to be Mr. Happy Drunk or Dear Lord Put Me Out of My Misery Drunk. Lets hope for the former.

12 Beers and 1 1/5th of Vodka


Tennessee at Cal (ABC)

This should be a very, very good game; but let's be honest. It's opening night for Auburn. This game could be mini-Ditkas vs. God and I still wouldn't be watching it. Sorry.

Sips during Commercial Breaks

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Guide to Football and Beer Drinking: Week 1/Part I

It's finally here. Gone are the days of watching MAC Championship or Notre Dame replays on ESPN Classic just to make it through the night. Football is here; and I am as giddy as Nick Saban at a J.C. Penny's Gray Suit Sale; Urban Meyer during a Point and Stare competition; Ed Orgeron before he gets a hummer; Steve Spurrier in a battle of wits with Phillip Fulmer; Phillip Fulmer upon hearing that David Cutcliffe was coming back (thought I was going to go with a fat joke there, right?); Houston Nutt when he heard about the text ban for recruits; or Les Miles while he's game planning for f'ing Alabama. I'm ready.

Now, a little recap of what this Guide is supposed to be (from a previous post):

Most blogs post Friday commentary on who they think will win games. They use the spreads and (gasp) stats. Well, I absolutely stink at guessing which team will cover as a roaddog or will continue their dominance when playing on a Saturday night with a full moon. I'll say it a different way: I suck at picking teams.

However, there are two things I'm good for on Saturdays: Drinking beer and watching football. So, let's look at my schedule for tomorrow along with how many beers I think I'll drink watching each game.

Here we go:


LSU at Mississippi State (7:00 ESPN)

This truly could be one of the worst SEC openers. Ever. But, just like a bama fan making meth at his momma's house in Arab, Alabama, I don't care what the product looks like. I just want my candy. LSU has beaten MSU by a combined score of 120-13 over the past three trips. Based on how LSU's defense is looking, it may be 160-13 after Thursday night. Coach Croom had this to say about the game: "I'm not one of those it's always nice to start off good. I'm more worried about how you finish...Regardless of the outcome against LSU, we're still going to be a good football team before the year's over." Just remember, "good" is a relative term.

3.0 Beers


Washington at Syracuse (7:00 ESPN)

Twenty years ago, this would have been a great game. Now, it's like a modern day struggle between Turkey and Greece. Two once-proud programs reduced to bickering over the true origin of male bathhouses. But, it's still the opening week of college football, so:

3.0 beers



East Caronlina at Virginia Tech (ESPN)

Pirates, you are doomed. Let's get past the fact that V-Tech is a much, much better football team. That's a given. Just realize that if you win this game, you will be the guy who kicked the little puppy. It would be like Ivan Drago beating Rocky. Yeah, I know. You should be Rocky (all scrappy and spunky); but, this year, you're not. Get over it. Just collect your paycheck and be glad your villany is tempered by your lack of russian accent.

1 Beer

UAB at Michigan State (ESPN2)

ESPN2 continues its yearly pitiful offering in the 11:00 time slot. For years, UAB was pretty good about playing out-of-conference teams tough. Those days seem to be gone. Even Michigan State shouldn't have any problem here.

2 sips of one Beer


Western Kentucky @ Florida (JP)

The Hilltoppers join the ranks of Division 1 Football this year. And what do they get, but an opening game against Florida. Just damn. More importantly, congratulations, Florida. At the time you scheduled WKU, you thought you were getting a 1-AA champion. The football equivalent of the best hooker in Wiggins, Mississippi. Sure, she's a good egg and will give you her best shot, but she's still from rural Mississippi and no one's heard of her. Instead, you've now get a very crappy Division 1 school. Basically, a middle-aged stripper from New York. Nothing to be proud of, but at least she's not from Mississippi.

1 Beer (and a penicillin shot)


Washington State @ Wisconsin (ABC)

Honestly, these are my favorite non-SEC teams. WSU will forever hold a soft-spot in my heart for allowing Auburn to get over its "preseason game" jitters last year while still remaining a respectable win by going 6-6 with wins over Oregon and UCLA. Wisconsin? Well, besides my unhealthy fascination with P.J. Hill, Wisconsin is very similar to Auburn football: Pound-the-rock running game; smash mouth football; and love of a good fan cheer (Language):

Three Beers

Georgia Tech @ Notre Dame (NBC)

Jackets, take a deep breath. Enjoy the moment. You are now entering the post-Reggie Ball era. No more throwing the ball out of bounds on fourth down or academic suspensions from bowl games. Of course, you also don't have Calvin Johnson. So, we'll call it a draw. Notre Dame lost, well, everyone in the draft and Charlie Weis is trying to keep anyone from noticing by playing the part of the coy southern girl and keeping the starting quarterback's identity a BIG SECRET. Guess what? Don't care. Georgia Tech should pound Notre Dame into the ground. But, being that G-Tech is not not playing Auburn, the Jackets will probably lose. Should be a good game, though.

Two Beers

Missouri @ Illinois (ESPN2)

In this clash of the Big Ten/Big Twelve Titans, these two teams will square up against...I can't do it. No interest whatsoever.

Make Beer Run

All right. I'll continue the rundown in Part II. Real life interferes.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A K-State review from a Longhorn's Perspective

Scipio Tex at Barking Carnival gives an excellent review of this year's K-State Wildcats. No signs of bias and packed full of stats.

[Disclaimer: By that, I mean it's biased and has very few stats.]

Obvious Laugh Line: "Josh Freeman is averse to almost of the principles espoused by Mr Joseph Pilates. He played as a solid 235 pound freshman, channeled his inner Kristie Alley to balloon to 265 in the offseason, and then Ron Prince stuck his fingers in Freeman’s throat to get him down to 253."

Subtle, Yet Impressive Line: "Leon Patton is my favorite guy on the team. Like most decent players in the Big 12 North, he hails from Texas. He’s a poor man’s Darren Sproles, who is, in turn, a poor man’s Brian Westbrook. He runs with heart, he’s quick, and he produces when played: a 5.6 yards per carry average. Naturally, Prince won’t give him the solo starting gig, sometimes preferring James Johnson, who is as common a RB as his name suggests."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sometimes it's the little things

Outstanding job:

Also, if you feel like wasting a little time, check out Saban's press conference after the last scrimmage. Zip past the yadda yadda until the ten minute mark. The guy basically says that his children picked up on things quicker than the press. Over the course of the interview, he calls the press corps idiots about four times. I can't wait until Saban's first blowout/egg loss. I'm going to play a drinking game. Every time Saban tries to act like a member of the press is asking a stupid question, I'm taking a shot. And then laugh.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Little Prognostication

Last year was an up-and-down experience as an Auburn fan. Highs (LSU/Florida) gave way to lows (GA/Ark); but, it was Tuberville's best year of coaching. This year, he may have to do an even better job to reach the ten-win mark. An extremely tough schedule, replacing four out of five OL's and finding a go-to receiver could result in a disappointing year for some AU fans.

Let's look at the first three games on AU's schedule. I'm also including some photos of the biggest "fans". Know your enemy and stuff. I'll wait to break down the other games after we play a few:

Sept. 1, 2007
Kansas State (ESPN) 6:45 pm CT: It's a quality opener. It's not Texas; but, it's not Western Carolina, either (ahem). More importantly, I am thankful it's not Texas. The D will have to be ready out of the gates, because the offense won't be. Look for an ugly win (but a win, nonetheless).

KSU was not exactly a world beater last year. They finished the year ranked 105th in scoring offense (21.2 points per game) and 122nd in scoring defense (22.7 points per game). It was a schizophrenic team throughtout the year, indicative of the youth it started on both offense and defense. KSU won its first three games (Illinois State, Florida Atlantic, Marshall), lost 4 out of its next 5 games (Louisville, Baylor, Nebraska, Missouri), rattled off three impressive wins (Iowa State, Colorado, Texas), and then promptly lost its last two (Kansas, Rutgers).

As I said, it was a young team (and will continue to be this year). Four out of its eleven starters on offense are sophomores (including returning starter Josh Freemen at quarterback). The defense is a little better with only two sophomore starters.

The Cats should be better this year with another year of experience under its quarterback's belt. The Texas win was huge (even though Texas's aptly-named quarterback, Colt McCoy, was knocked out early in the game) and probably gave the kids something to draw upon. However, AU should win this game.

Sept. 8, 2007
South Florida (ESPN2) 8:00 pm CT: Holy crap this game scares the bejesus out of me. USF's D is good and has the potential to be absolutely filthy. Last year, it ranked 18th in scoring defense; 26th in total defense; and returns seven starters. Offense is so/so, but USF's QB is a gamer. USF ranked 65th last year in offensive scoring (AU was 56th).

The major problem with this game is that, while it may be "just another game" to AU, it is the game of the year for USF. That means we are going to get their best shot. We better be ready and pumped. Otherwise, it could get ugly. Hope for a win; any win will do.

Sept. 15, 2007
Miss. State (LF Sports) 11:30 am CT: Thank you, Jebus, for allowing AU's SEC opener to be against MSU. Amen. I don't think I really need to break this game down. MSU is not, well, what we call a good football team. In fact, they, uh, suck.

I'm leaving the rest of the schedule up and will comment at a later time. Until then, I leave you with this great photo from the folks at Rivals:

That's Mario Fannin. He's going to be good. And stuff.

Sept. 22, 2007
New Mexico St.
6:00 pm CT

Sept. 29, 2007
at Florida

Oct. 6, 2007

Oct. 13, 2007
at Arkansas

Oct. 20, 2007
at LSU

Oct. 27, 2007
Ole Miss

Nov. 3, 2007
Tennessee Tech
1:30 pm CT

Nov. 10, 2007
at Georgia

Nov. 24, 2007

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

10-2, outstanding year...

Most people fail to recognize that this year is possibly Tuberville's best year of coaching. The talent disparity between 2004 and 2006 is not glaringly noticable, but its there. Add to that the fact that the 2006 squad suffered an injury almost every game, and, in my mind, 10-2 as an outstanding season.

Look familiar?

When the season began, I thought we would end up 9-3, with losses to Georgia, LSU and Florida. On the plus-side, Auburn took care of Florida and managed to scrape by LSU. Unfortunately, I was correct about Georgia (I could pull a bama excuse and say Tuberville was looking forward to Thumbbowl, but I won't). The Arkansas game came out of nowhere at the time, but looks much better now considering how Arkansas has played to date. On a side note, just once I would enjoy seeing Auburn shut down a power running back from Arkansas.

Fred Talley, is that you?

Finally, there was Tuberville's masochistic beating of Mikey Shula. Auburn's defense played its most complete game. It's offense did just enough to win. Will Herring should be barred from his future occupation as a chiropractor. I'm sure something in the Chiropractic Oath keeps a practitioner from creating his own patients. Apprarently, Quentin Groves is getting a kickback, as well.

Collectively, the games this year have shown a lack of consistency and only strengthened my belief that being an Auburn fan is hard damn work. However, there is something noteworthy about the fact that some fans are complaining after a ten win season. That says a great deal about the state of Auburn football and its fans.

So, enjoy the lead-up to the bowlgame, and, without a doubt, fear the middle finger.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Quick Post...

A promotion-in-name-only has kept me busy for the past week. You know, same money, more responsibilities?

Anyway, it's Georgia week. Here's a little smack to get everyone in the mood.

So I guess it is best that we just come out and say it: Georgia, your football team sucks. And what's worse, your sucky football team is the reason our last home game of the season is being played at 11:30 in the morning.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Auburn Linkage:

Just a few links I found interesting:

Odd article about Matthew Motley, Auburn's kick holder and Team Captain. Why Team Captain, you ask? Because he is an expert on coin tosses (seriously).

Birmingham News Sports Columnist Kevin Scarbinsky puts Auburn's season into perspective. His final analysis:

This team tends to scare its fans more than its opponents, to give up big plays as fast as it can make them, to make people think it would have no chance if it found itself face to face with Ohio State.

This team is not a great team, but it still has a chance to do great things.

This team could go down against Georgia or Alabama, or it could go down in Auburn history.

Like the 2004 team.

AuMicBK of rolls out his weekly update on Auburn players as they advance up the all-time records set by some of the greats. Did you know John Vaughn broke the all-time made field goals record or that Courtney Taylor passed Terry Beasley and Tyrone Goodson to become second in career receptions? Pretty impressive.

Another odd stat, Brad Lester is averaging touchdowns per carry at a rate higher than any other running back in Auburn's history.

Not that anyone may care, but, a little inside info from Arkansas State's perspective.

And finally, just for fun, a pretty pathetic interview with Jimmy Johns, Alabama running back, in which he describes why the upcoming weekend is a revenge game. Basically, Croome told him he would never play quarterback, but could be a very good running back. Mikey Shula recruited Jimmy Johns as a quarterback. Of course, Johns is being used almost exclusively as a running back. For that, Johns is mad at Croome. Figure that one out. Plus, some quality third person references at the end.

By the way, I understand that college football can be a crazy, confusing sport. If you have any questions (or just want to chat), be sure to shoot them to Yahoo Sports' new College Football analyst. Kind of a "where are they now" thing. Just be sure to bring some phone books if you think the conversation will take a long time. That way, he'll be on your eye level.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Good win, move on to next week...

JCCW has an excellent breakdown of Auburn's 23-17 win over Ole Miss. Pay particular attention to his "what-if-Auburn-had-blown-OM-out" scenarios.

As I said to a buddy of mine who is an Ole Miss alum, if Patrick Willis isn't drafted in the top five, some people in the NFL deserve to lose their jobs. I can't remember how many running plays he single-handedly turned into a one yard loss. Unbelievable. He collapsed running lanes all day long. Add to that an offensive coordinator smart enough to capitalize on gaps in the linebacker pass coverage, and Auburn was in for a tough game.

The Auburn offense responded with 428 total yard of offense. Brandon Cox was sharp (absent one play in which he lost the ability to see an OM safety), completing 21 of 34 passing attempts for 253 yards and a touchdown. Kenny Irons had the most quiet one-hundred yard game in recent memory. And Courtney Taylor (whom the 3 Daves believe is a talented actress from "Friends")caught 8 passes for 108 yards. All in all, pretty good offensive output.

On the other side, Auburn did a great job of limiting OM to just 86 yards of rushing. Schaeffer passed for 161 yards, but 78 of those yards came off of just two plays. Both involved the dreaded fullback out of the backfield. For whatever reason, Merril Johnson was fooled twice, resulting in significant gains the two times the play was called.

Not a great defensive performance, but certainly not a bad one.

Auburn played well enough to win. I would love to have seen a fifty point beat down. All I got was a win. I'll take it.

Also, some Auburn fans are griping about homefield calls by the refs. Don't. Auburn has benefited from a few "close" calls this year. As many of us told LSU fans, it happens; move on.

Friday, October 27, 2006

News from Afghanistan...

Again, thanks to Miserable Donuts

- Taliban believes the hype thanks to the European Press

- USDOD's Five Year Afghanistan Report. A few interesting facts from the Report:

(1) Women in Politics: Women hold 68 of 188 seats in the lower house of parliament.
(2) Independent Radio:There are now 32 independent radio stations that reach 60 percent of the population.
(3) Refugees Return: At least 4.7 million refugees have returned to Afghanistan.
(4) Education: At least 5 million students are enrolled, a 500 percent increase since 2001. Of these, 40 percent are women and girls.
(5) Health Care: At least 80 percent of the population has access to at least basic health care.
(6) Economy: The Afghanistan economy was valued at $2.4 billion in 2002. The number for 2006 is $7.3 billion, and projected to rise to $8.8 billion next year.
(7) Per Capita Income: Doubled since 2001.
(8) Property Rights: More than 3 million land deeds and more than 55,000 businesses have been registered since 2001. At least 85 percent of all property deeds have been restored or reorganized, decreasing land-ownership disputes.
(9) Tax Revenue: The government of Afghanistan collected more than $177 million in revenue in 2002–2003, and $300 million in 2004–2005, an increase of 70 percent. President Karzai estimates the revenue for 2005–2006 will be $500 million

Not too shabby for just five years.

- Afghan soldiers and police training in the U.S.

Funny or not funny?...

South Park's latest episode is set at a Halloween party in Hell. During the party, guests (including Hitler, Notorious BIG and Princess Diana) are insulted that someone is dressed up as Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter. All of the guests believe this is in terribly bad taste until he is able to convince them that he is the real thing.

South Park is one of the few television shows that sometimes gives great insight into modern western culture. Other times, it just appears to be going for shock value. Which is this?

A few issues:

(1) Is it ever in "good taste" to satirize someone's death or someone who is dead?
(2) If so, is there a waiting period and for how long?
(3) If someone is offended by the satire, what should that person's reaction be?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Week 9: D761's Guide to Football and Beer Drinking

Football, Beer, Nirvana. I'm not an alcoholic, but football makes me drink like one.


Oklahoma at Missouri (ABC-regional): Missouri played the part of an overhyped paper tiger last week, losing to an absolutely pitiful Fran-led Texas A&M team. Apparently, the nasal-induced tranquility of Franchione's voice lulled the Tigers into a loss. Or perhaps it was the seamless gameplanning and coordination for which Franchione is known.

Regardless, Missouri has a good chance of showing that last week was a fluke. Oklahoma, a mere shadow of itself after losing its starting quarterback (who was only trying to make a living in the helter skelter world of car dealerships) and Heisman-hopeful running back, is still a quality football program. A team, however, can only lose so many playmakers before the bottom drops out.

1.5 Beer.

Notre Dame at Navy (CBS)- I'm not sure if Charlie Weiss will be able to coach after being verbally castrated by D.J. Gallo. Assuming Charlie is able to recover, Notre Dame will continue to show the Nation how it is an annually overrated program. Navy will not win, but its 30's style offense will give Notre Dame trouble (just like almost every other opponent this year).
2 Beer.

Northwestern at Michigan (ESPN)- Can a team truly recover from pulling the worst chokejob of any modern sports team? Even under normal circumstances, probably not. Against arguably the best team in the nation? Abso-freakin-lutely not.
Five sips of one Beer.

Illinois at Wisconsin (ESPN2)- Notre Dame has an exclusive contract with CBS. Apparently, Wisconsin has an exclusive contract with ESPN/ABC for an 11:00 kick-off. This will be the third week in a row that Wisconsin fans try to cheer for their team through a hangover-induced haze from the night before. In the minds of some U.S. Senators, this type of behavior is considered torture. I'm calling this the Red Eye game, because of the Canadian drink and the gesture Wisconsin fans should make to their admins for allowing the game's airtime.

I'm sure Ron Zook will do something to embarrass Illinois (or, worse for Illinois fans, actually win the game).
1 Beer.


Auburn at Ole Miss (JP) - Although it shouldn't, this game scares me. Auburn's D has shown weaknesses against two types of players: A mobile quarterback (see South Carolina) and a good, power runner (see Arkansas). Well, Ole Miss has both.

Okay, maybe I'm giving Brent Schaeffer too much credit. He's only completing 47% of his passes this year and, based on last week's game, believes that WR's are allowed to catch the ball out of bounds. But, he has shown a knack for smart running and the big play. Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis, on the other hand, is not getting near the credit he deserves. All he is doing is leading the SEC in rushing behind one of the worst OL's in the nation. Without a doubt, this kid is a quality SEC back who is a presence on the field. He is the type of power runner that can cause some big problems for AU's smallish D Line.

Having said all of that, the absolute playmaker on this OM team is Patrick Willis. He is averaging 10.4 tackles per game. He leads the SEC with 86 total tackles. I don't think I've seen a better sideline-to-sideline linebacker in my entire life. The guy is a beast. Watch him during the game shed blocks and pursue the ballrunner. It is a thing of beauty.

The bad news for OM fans: After Willis, it is a collection of Cutcliffe leftovers (which is not a compliment) and freshmen. Add to that multiple suspensions this week, including a key linebacker, and you have a defense that is just not that good.

If AU can establish the running game early and then allow Brandon Cox to hit receivers on the playaction pass, this game could get out of hand quickly. If the offense stutters, it could result in something usually only reserved for Bama: a Close Game with Ole Miss. (shudder).
4 Beer.


Miami at Georgia Tech (ABC) - This installment of the Larry Coker Farewell Tour will showcase a well-established Georgia Tech pattern: Get destroyed by a team one week and then show up the next looking like a NC Title contender (Sound familiar?). Reggie Ball will throw for 250 and Calvin Johnson will catch 10 passes. Miami will then jump on the mid-field "GT" after the loss to show their "dominance" and raid a local orphange for "disrespectin the U". 1 Beer.

Georgia at Florida (CBS)- Despite Georgia President Mike Adams attempts to change the nickname, I doubt we're going to see OldTime Lemonade become the drink of choice for this game (unless Vodka is added). This game could get ugly quick. Florida doesn't need much help to win. It has beaten Georgia 14 out of the last 16 times. Even Ron Zook beat Georgia.

Despite Mark Richt's lobbying for the ever-elusive "sixth year of elligibility, D.J. Shockley has graduated. Georgia now has a quarterback system that could not beat Vanderbilt. This is the team that was forced to rely on pathetic coaching decisions by Sylvester Croome to "win" over Mississippi State. Not good.

On the other side of the ball, Florida is coming off of a bye week after losing a heartbreaker to Auburn. Pent up frustation= Tebow runs for days and Thomas destroys whichever quarterback Georgia decides to trot out.
2 Beer

Southern Cal at Oregon State (FSN)- Maybe if USC were playing the other school in the State of Oregon, this would be interesting. As it is, its just another game in which USC will pull out a win after trailing an inferior team.
.5 Beer.


Washington State at UCLA (ABC)- If UCLA had decided to play defense last week in the last minutes of the game against Notre Dame, I would watch this just for the "Notre Dame goes down!" recaps. I'm still going to watch some of this game because both teams are playing solid football. A win by Washington State could put them in the AP 25. They've only lost to USC, Auburn and Cal, all ranked in the top 10. This past week they got a win against a ranked Oregon team. Washington State is a well-coached team.

More importantly, I have a special place in my heart for Washington State. Mike "Sugar Bear" Price left the comfortable confines of Pullman to a "better coaching opportunity". Price's confusion over the meaning of the phrase "Control your own destiny or someone else will" resulted in one of the funnier events in college football history.

For that, Cougs, I say thank you.
2.5 Beer.

Florida State at Maryland (ESPN2)- Wow. This is going to be a Craptacular game. Of course, the best commentating team will be announcing it to ensure that as few people as possible actually hear them. The only fun thing about this game will be reading the signs from FSU boosters that say "Diddy don't know Diddley". Or, for the more politically-inclined, "Jeff Bowden is to Florida State Football, as James Carville is to political strategy.
.5 Beer.


Tennessee at South Carolina (ESPN)- Yet another chance to see Spurrier beat Fulmer. After the win, make sure to order your print of "The Cock will Lead the Way".
3 Beer.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Do you know who Ethan Albright is?...

Do you know who Ethan Albright is? John Madden does. Mr. Albright is an offensive lineman for the Washington Redskins. He also holds the distinction of being the lowest-rated player on the popular Madden '07 football game.

Ethan is not happy about the rating. In fact, he's mad as hell and he's not gonna take it anymore.

I have received the impression that you feel that I am lacking in the agility category. I should consider a walk through my living room where I don’t crash through a wall or kick over furniture a resounding success. My agility rating on your game is 33. It makes it sound like I just topple over if I start walking too fast. Ted Washington is rated a 40 in agility. He is listed at 365 pounds. If Ted Washington tied a white lady up and made her wear a metal bikini, he’d look just like Jabba the Hut.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

AU D: Good, Bad or just Ugly?...

After reading some "analysis" from the Tulane/AU game, I noted that many AU fans are complaining about the defense. Without doing any research, I believed that AU had an extremely inconsistent defense. It is certainly capable of shutting down an offense (see LSU); but has given up its share of yards.

I decided to look at the statistics to determine the nature of the AU defense to this date. All statistics are based on last week's rankings, as they have not been updated for this week's game. As a baseline, AU's D is ranked 5th in scoring, giving up an average of 12.1 points per game. However, it ranks 19th in total defense, with opposing offenses rolling up 276.88 yards per game. AU will probably drop in that ranking after giving up 389 yards of offense to Tulane.

This only tells part of the story. Another method would be to break down whether AU held each opposing team's offense to less than its average to date.

Washington State:
Game- Total Yards (TY): 274; Points Scored(PS): 14
Yearly Average- TY: 405.43 (22nd); PS: 23 (71st)
TY: (- 131 yards); PS: (- 9 points)

Mississippi State:
Game- TY: 161; PS: 0
Yearly Average- TY: 256.14 (110th); PS: 15.85 (105th)
TY: (- 95 yards); PS: (- 15 points)

Game- TY: 311; PS: 3
Yearly Average- TY: 417.17 (14th); PS: 35.57 (12th)
TY: (- 106 yards); PS: (- 32 points)

Game- TY: 198; PS: 7
Yearly Average- TY: 310.40(90th); PS: 18.33 (97th)
TY: (- 112 yards); PS: (- 11 points)

South Carolina
Game- TY: 240; PS: 17
Yearly Average- TY: 352.33 (58th); PS: 21.33 (77th)
TY: (- 112 yards); PS: (- 4 points)

Game- TY: 366; PS: 27
Yearly Average- TY: 383.83 (31st); PS: 28.17 (33rd)
TY: (- 7 yards); PS: (- 1 point)

Game- TY: 279; PS: 17
Yearly Average- TY: 394.14; PS: 27.29 (42nd)
TY: (- 115 yards); PS: (- 10 points)

Game- TY:389; PS: 13
Yearly Average- 369.17 (43rd); PS: 22.00 (78th)
TY: (+ 20 yards); PS: (- 9 points)

Now, some of those are going to change based on this week's games. But, for the most part, this should give a good idea of what the teams are capable of doing.

Based on these statistics, Auburn's defense is actually quite good. It has held every one of its opponents to less scoring than each team's season average. The average works out to being 11.8 points less per game. Further, prior to this weekend, the AU D had held each team to 68.25 yards below their season average. In some cases, the AU D has held opponents to vastly less points than they are averaging. This is even more impressive when one considers its two "best" opponents (LSU: 8% of yearly average; Florida: 62% of yearly average).

Going back to the initial paragraph, AU is giving up 12.1 points per game and 276.88 yards per game. Raise your hand if you think this year's D is worse than last year's. You'd be wrong. AU finished the season giving up an average of 12.2 points per game and 290.9 yards per game. Another fun tidbit, in 2004, AU was ranked #1 in scoring D and #5 in yards allowed. That squad allowed 11.31 points per game and 277.61 yards per game. Do the math. This year's D is allowing only .8 more points per game and is actually allowing almost one yard less.

Can the D play better? Absolutely. But AU fans need to acknowledge that the D is playing pretty well as it is. Kind of a scary thought.

It must also be kept in mind that this year's D may look worse than it really is due to the problems on the other side of the ball. AU offense is ranked 71st in total offense (330.14 yards) and ranked 48th in scoring offense (25 points per game). As a point of reference, AU finished the season ranked 30th in 2005, averaging 423.6 yards per game and 32.2 points per game.

In the end, the biggest problem at AU may very well be the offense, not the defense.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Week 8: D761's Guide to Football and Beer Drinking...

It's time for my weekly guide to football and beer drinking. As mentioned before, this is not intended to predict which team will win what game. I won't post my can't-miss-road-favorite-lock-of-the-week. Mainly, because I'm never right.

So, let's start with the morning festivities:


I tried to hold my nose last weekend to tune in for the ABC/ESPN Game-of-the-Week Infommercial (a/k/a Gameday) because it was at Auburn. Well, I made it about fifteen minutes and realized it was still an over-hyped waste of my time. Corso still acted like the bastard love-child of Lou Holtz and Dick Vitale. Herbstreit still dazzled me with his highlights (hair, not video). And Chris Fowler still had that same frozen smile on his face that couldn't completely hide the pain of being stuck on this low-wrung of his career ladder.

This weekend: Relax, maybe watch pool tournament re-runs on ESPN Classic. It will be more entertaining than the alternative.


Texas at Nebraska (ABC): This game looks a lot better now than it did at the beginning of the season. Texas and Nebraska have quality records and quality players.

But, Texas has the best QB name (Colt McCoy) since fabled righty-gunslinger Brock Nutter guided the Fighting Troy State Trojans over Mississippi State in 2001.

Assuming Callahan doesn't fold up in the fetal position after halftime, 2 Beer.

Wisconsin at Purdue (ESPN): The Pain Train has a new conductor, and his name is P.J. Hill. As noted in an earlier post, he enjoys long walks on the beach, introspective conversations, and tearing the spleen out of anyone that gets in his way. Purdue is giving up 190 yards of rushing per game against BCS opponents. This could get ugly. And I'll definitely be watching. 2 Beer

Illinois at Penn State (ESPN 2): Mr. Magoo will have no mercy on the Zookster. Three sips of 1 Beer.


Ole Miss at Arkansas (JP): Ole Miss, you had your chance. You played well against bama last week but just couldn't get it done. This week, Ole Miss is reportedly going to be without several key defensive players due to injury, along with solid (meaning, their best) wideout Dexter McCluster.

Arkansas players, it's time to implement the offense Cutcliffe used while at Ole Miss: Hand off to the left, hand off to the right. Trust me, the irony will not be missed on the Ole Miss faithful. 1.5 Beer (just because I'm an SEC homer).


UCLA @ Notre Dame (NBC): Since half of this matchup is PAC10, while the other half involves one of the more overhyped programs in the history of college football, I'll flip to this game in between commercials. Sorry. It will probably be a good game. It just doesn't interest me.

I'm sure ESPN will have Full-360 coverage of Brady Quinn throughout the day. I'll just borrow Beano Cook's TIVO of the "action" and catch up on the game later. 2 sips of 1 Beer.


Iowa at Michigan (ABC): Man, this game sounded like it would be a ballbreaker four weeks ago. Now, not so much. Losing to Indiana will do that.

Honestly, Michigan is arguably the best team in the country (the other would be Ohio State). They should have no problem with an Iowa team that, I'll repeat, LOST TO FREAKIN' INDIANA. Kirk Ferentz, I don't think I've ever seen one game destroy a coaching reputation like that one. Luckily, no one pays much attention to Iowa. Maybe everyone missed it.

Half a Beer.

Alabama at Tennessee (CBS): Autumn is here. Leaves begin to turn, the wind has a little bite. And two evil forces converge in Knoxville, surrounded by a sea of rednecks. Like This Guy.

I expect a hard-fought game. bama shut down a very good back (Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis) in the second half of the Ole Miss game. I don't think Tennessee has a running back as good as Green-Ellis. In fact, Green-Ellis has rushed for more yards than Tennessee's top two leading rushers combined. bama may very well shut down Tennessee's not-so-vaunted rushing attack.

That would leave Ainge to carry the offense, something he is certainly capable of doing. Ainge is a completely different quarterback under the tutelage of Cutcliffe. He makes good reads and currently has a mind-boggling 171.57 qb rating, with 14 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions. Even though bama has played stout pass D, they haven't faced a QB as good as Ainge all year.

Offensively, for bama, Darby has woken up over the past few weeks. He is running with the authority he showed last year. I expect to see much of the same against Tennessee. The flipside is that John Parker Wilson may not have the luxury of tossing prayer passes to his receivers. Both D.J. Hall and Keith Brown are nursing injuries. John Parker is good for 4-5 interceptions/overthrows/misreads per game. It will be interesting to see if he can keep up his current streak of at least 200 yards passing per game.

Also, interesting to see how many times (1) The Volunteer Band plays Rocky Top after Fulmer eats a hotdog; and (2) The over/under on the number of F-bombs Coach Mike "do you like my gold chain" Shula drops on the sidelines.

3 Beer.

Washington at Cal (FSN): Cal is good. I'm sure they'll win.


Rutgers at Pittsburgh (ESPN2): The only thing that is less interesting to me than a PAC-10 battle, is a Big East battle (unless one team is Louisville and the other is West Virginia).


Georgia Tech at Clemson (ESPN): Now, this should be a good game. Both teams are fairly matched in their ability to follow up lights-out football with "Holy Crap Why Are We Here????" football. Who knows whats going to happen. 3 Beer.

By the way, Mike "Dumbass" Patrick is commentating this game. That adds another beer to choke down the frustration of having to listen to him let loose with completely incorrect analysis and stats. Read JCCW's recap of the Florida/AU game. There is no limit to Mike Patrick's ineptness.


Fresno State at LSU (ESPN2): This appears to have the makings of a pretty good game. I don't think Fresno State is as good as they've been in the past, but they usually play teams tough. 2 Beer.

ESPN once again shows its inability to judge commentating talent by assigning this game to Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham. Pathetic. ESPN, two suggestions: (1) Please, for the love of all that is good and righteous, put Franklin and Cunningham back on ESPN; and (2) Mike Patrick should be paired up with Bob Davie to create the worst commentating duo ever. That would be so horrible the fabric of space and time would be ripped open. Or something.

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cover up...

In what has unfairly been described as the most heinous act of violence over the weekend, the "Melee" between Miami and FIU has been dissected and discussed by numerous pundits.

However, all of these sanctimonious talking heads have completely shut down any conversation of an equally stunning fight. On Saturday night, football players for both Dartmouth and Holy Cross discarded all rules of civility and severely thrashed one another.

According to sources, the Holy Cross players taunted Dartmouth players in a most dissatisfactory manner following a 24-21 victory over the "The Big Green". Specifically, the Holy Cross players "celebrated atop the Dartmouth D painted on the field". Thereafter, the Dartmouth players gave some Holy Cross players a good drubbing. This, of course, is not surprising considering these hooligans' choice of mascot, Keggy the Keg.

Holy Cross player Finington Wentworth, III, was visibly shaken after the fight, stating "It is difficult for one to understand why this fight began. We were merely reacting to the Dartmouth players' unruly chants that 'That's allright, that's okay, you'll be polishing our silver someday.'"

Reporters attempted to contact Dartmouth players, but could not be reached because they were "bummed out that their trust fund payments were reduced" as a means of discipline.

Holy Cross has (predictibly) attempted to whitewash all acts of wrongdoing on the part of its players. Holy Cross Sports Information Director Charles Bare stomped on the tradition of Holy Cross, stating, "we did not see anything from Holy Cross players that warranted disciplinary action." One cannot see what one does not want to see, Mr. Bare.

In contrast, Dartmouth Athletic Director, Josie Harper, showed the spirit required for the situation, stating, "We're not going to be docile on this. I'm going to talk to as many people as I can.".

We can only pray that she finds enough people to talk to.

In the meantime, the question still remains as to why such a blood thirsty event is completely shut out of the public eye, while a comparably innocuous "skirmish" between Miami and FIU is blown out of proportion.

The answer, of course, is racism.

Article brought to you at the direction of Larry Coker and Lamar Thomas

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Runningback U...

Courtesy of crashman009, you forget how many good ones have come through Auburn. Man, I can't watch this enough times:

And for those who want to enjoy Saturday night, again (courtesy of autiger96):

U.N. Seat Still Up for Grabs...

After ten votes, it is still unclear who will be appointed to the remaining U.N. Security Council. South Africa, Belgium, Indonesia and Italy replaced Tanzania (seriously), Japan, Denmark and Greece.

However, Guatemala and Venezuela are fighting over the remaining spot, alloted to a Latin American country. Although Guatemala won 9 of the 10 votes, it failed to obtain the 2/3 majority required to be appointed.

As with all bad news, Venezuelan officials blamed the U.S.

"Venezuela will not withdraw — we're fighting until the end," Cardenas said. "We are fighting against the first power of the world, the owners of the universe. We're happy, we're strong and we will continue."

Wow, the U.S. is doing a lot better than I thought. Not only is it led by a supernatural creature with power to entice and tempt, it also "owns the universe."

Talk about cornering the market...

In semi-related news, Chavez is training terrorists. This is exactly the kind of country we need to add to the Security Council. One that is not afraid to bring down the greatest threat to the world: The United States.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Random Thoughts on a Sunday Night...


All right. Auburn defenders, you showed last night in the second half how you can play. You showed how you can dominate both the run and the pass. Keep it up.

Quentin Groves, you showed what you are capable of doing. You showed that you are worth more than just a ten yard bull rush. Keep that intensity.

Pat Simms, that move that you made on the goal-line stand was an eye-opener. 304 pound men should not be able to move that quickly. Keep that determination.

Linebackers, you stuffed the run when you had to. Keep that discipline.

Which brings me to my next thought:

Tray Blackmon:

A little background here. Blackmon (#10) was the Number 1 ranked linebacker in the nation coming out of high school two years ago. After a redshirt season, he was primed to become the next in a long line of great AU linebackers. Unfortunately, while at home over the summer, he made a very poor decision and was busted for under age drinking.

As a result, Tuberville suspended him. Not for one game against a key opponent like Arkansas State, but for HALF the SEASON. Throughout the suspension, Blackmon repeatedly stated that he trusted Tuberville to do what Tuberville thought necessary. I know, that's what he was supposed to say. But based on comments from suspended players at The School Up The Road, Blackmon's attitude is refreshing. That attitude also included working his tail off during practice, showing up every day as if he were starting.

The fact that he had a prominent role Saturday night is secondary. It's nice, but it's secondary. The important part is that Tray Blackmon appears to have entered the path to manhood on the right track. That's more important than football. And I'm glad Auburn's head coach feels the same way.


So, Auburn is Number 4 in the BCS?

I don't care. I stopped caring about polls in 2004. It's good pub for AU and that's about it. Hope for two Arkansas losses, win the SEC. The rest is a beauty contest.

(Unless, of course, AU is ranked #1 or #2 at the end of the year. In that case, the system is fine.)
The U :

It is an abomination to see how far Larry "Uncle Fester" Coker has allowed Miami to return to its Jackass Tradition.

Mr. Coker, it appears that you will have some time on your hands in the very near future. I've taken the liberty of forwarding a book to you. It's called "What to Do When You Have Nothing to Do". It's been autographed by the author, Terry Bowden. Like Terry, you won with the previous coach's players and then proceeded to run the program into the ground. Also, say "Hi" to your professional commentators, I'm sure they will join you soon in the unemployment line. Make sure to listen all the way through.

Freshman to Watch:

Even though it was an ugly game (definitely not a 2 Beer game), I enjoyed watching the Wisconsin/Minnesota game for one reason. That reason's name is P.J. Hill. This freshman is 5'11'' and weighs 240. So far, he has rushed for 1,011 yards and scored 11 touchdowns in just 7 games. Did I mention he is a freshman? Kid is averaging 5.8 yards per carry. If he can stay injury-free (not a definite given his punishing running style), he will be a monster for the next few years in that system.

Florida and Auburn fans:

Both fanbases need to read Orson's post over at EDSBS explaining why AU won (and Florida lost). Florida fans should read it before they start whining about bad referee calls. Auburn fans should read it before trying to talk classless smack.

Bottom Line: It was a classic game and both teams left everything on the field. No reason for the fans to belittle it by acting like jackasses.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

That's Auburn Football...

That's what my wife said to an FSU fan during the game. During the game when Vaughn missed the fieldgoal. During the game when there was plenty of time left for Florida to win.

It's also the same thing I said to my wife after Auburn won 27-17. That's Auburn football. The highs. The lows. The missed opportunities. The freakin' unbelievable play by the defense in the second half. The Irons missed interception. The Brock interception. The Vaughn missed fieldgoal. The Vaughn made fieldgoal. The Tebow score. The crushing of Leak coming out of the halftime.

That's Auburn football at its best. It makes you sick and then makes you scream WARRRR EAGGLLLEEE after a huge win.

Great game. Great effort. Great adjustments.

Stout win by a stout team.

Friday, October 13, 2006

News from Afghanistan...

As always, Miserable Donuts does an outstanding job of keeping everyone up-to-date. Possible Pushtan meeting...Oil reserves larger than previously expected...Interesting statistical study on the progress made since the fall of the Taliban...President of Upper House of Parliament resigns in protest...and more.

Some success, some loss...moving forward.

D761's Guide to Football and Beer Drinking...

Most blogs post Friday commentary on who they think will win games. They use the spreads and (gasp) stats. Well, I absolutely stink at guessing which team will cover as a roaddog or will continue their dominance when playing on a Saturday night with a full moon. I'll say it a different way: I suck at picking teams.

However, there are two things I'm good for on Saturdays: Drinking beer and watching football. So, let's look at my schedule for tomorrow along with how many beers I think I'll drink watching each game:

9:30- I'm going to end my year and a half boycott of Gameday. I haven't watched this godforsaken show since 2004, when the pundits gleefully declared that AU had no business playing in the National Championship game. Herbstreit (the Man Whose Hair will Forever be Highlighted) had previously said if AU beat GA, he would put AU Number 1. Well, AU beat GA, so Kirk had to change that to, if AU beat bama, AU would be Number 1. Needless to say, the corporate sponsors of ESPN (go to hell Home Depot) ultimately put USC and Oklahoma in the NC game. Bastards.

I'm hoping for two things: Class from AU fans; "Corso = Phallic symbol" signs are cute, but, come on, AU fans, don't be those fans) and a pinpoint earthquake that swallows up the Gameday set (built by Home Depot). One can always hope. Rumor is Gameday will be putting on a docudrama about Tim Tebow. No word as to whether Chuck Norris has agreed to play the part. No beers (I stopped being an alcoholic when I graduated college).


Minnesota at Wisconsin (ESPN)- Two middle tier teams with good defenses and running games. Wisconsin ran with Michigan earlier in the season, but then were overpowered by one of the best offenses in the nation. The draft took Minnesota's best running back last year. Two evenly-matched teams. Should be a pretty good game. Entertaining if you enjoy analysis of field positions and yards-per-carry. I'm rating this a 2 Beer game.

Iowa at Indiana (ESPN2)- Geez, has the 11:00 ESPN2 game ever been any good? Shame on you ESPN2 for making us have to watch this game. Shame. Will click to during commercials.


Iowa State at Oklahoma (FSN)- Yawn. No Beer for you.

Vanderbilt at Georgia (JP)- All right, if you are not an SEC fan, quickly scroll through this. You don't understand the strange thing that is Vanderbilt football. For those of you who are SEC fans, my brothers, this is going to be a heck of a game. GA is coming off a loss to Tennessee. If you happened to miss the game, let me recap: GA exploded during the first half using Coach Richt's foolproof three-quarterback rotation (rushing, we don't need no stinkin' rushing). At halftime, Cutcliffe knew that the Vols were in trouble. Luckily, he watched "The Waterboy" the night before. During halftime, he pulled Coach Fulmer aside. Speaking gently, he convinced Fulmer that Mark Richt was really "a wittle baby" and all of the GA players were doughnuts. The Vols proceeded to thrash GA in the second half. True story.

Back to the game this week. Fulmer ate GA's soul like it was barbeque fatback. GA is limping into this game. Vanderbilt lost a tough game to Ole Miss in which the Vanderbilt offense rolled up 400 yards of offense to Ole Miss's 171. Multiple turnovers resulted in a loss. That's Vanderbilt football. Play tough and find a way to lose. Although I think Georgia will win, I'm rating this a 3 Beer game.

On a side note to our friends at the Lincoln Financial Advertising Department, you got screwed. This time slot will forever be known as the "JP Game". No matter how much money you sink into the broadcast, 3 Daves = JP. Get used to it.


UCLA at Oregon (ABC regional)- I don't follow PAC-10 football. I heard something about Oregon getting some good calls in a previous game. Oregon is ranked so they must be pretty good, right? 1.5 Beer game.

Ohio State at Michigan State (ABC regional)- I think John L. Smith is still on suicide watch. That's what happens when The Fighting Weises come back on you and the next week you lose to Ron Freakin Zook. No amount of meditation gets you through that, Johnny. Ohio State enters this game as the "No-Doubt-Number-One-Team-in-the-Nation". I don't see any reason that will change. Assuming OSU is blowing out MSU in the first half- 1 Beer; If MSU makes a game out it by pulling its patented "Hi, I'm Sybil and I have friends in my head" - 3 Beer.

Ole Miss at Alabama (CBS)- I see this as being Duke Redux. Last weekend, the mighty tahd let Duke hang with them until the fourth quarter. As pointed out by the rabid fans at KeepMikeShula, this was merely a reminder to the bama faithful that Coach Mikey can turn on the offense anytime he chooses. Look for something similar in this game. 2 Beer.


Oregon State at Washington (FSN)- Again, PAC-10 football? The only thing this game has going for it is Oregon State's choice of mascot. 2 sips of 1 Beer.


Florida at Auburn (ESPN)- Guys and gals, this could get ugly. OL need to finish their blocks; WR's need to finish their routes; Brandon Cox needs to throw the ball away or he will need a walker by the end of the game. Defensively, DE's need to keep contain on the edges (Pass rush does not equal run ten yards straight up the field); DT's plug the holes; LB's this is not the game to play with reckless abandon. Keep mind of the misdirection and delayed runs; DB's, safeties have to play their assignment, don't bite on the playaction.

I just want to see a well-played game by the Tigers. Play with heart, play with pride. Execute. Execute. Execute.

12 Beers, unless I pass out in the third quarter.


Michigan at Penn State (ABC regional): In what should be a good game, I won't be watching. Therefore, sips from Beer during commercials of the AU/FL game.

Arizona State at USC (ABC regional): See Michigan Penn State.

Bonus: Sunday at 7:00

Boise State at New Mexico State (ESPN): Don't care.
On a side note, which wife of upper-level management did Ron Franklin screw? This guy is one of the best in the business, and he is usually relegated to crappy games. At least Bob Davie has been replaced by Ed "The Archie" Cunningham. This is a good pairing that I wish ESPN would use on the "Prime Time" games.

Well, there you go. That's what I'll be doing on Saturday. If a filth-laden post goes up here at around 8:00, don't hold it against me. It just means that the LeakBow offense is destroying my beloved Tigers. On the other hand, if a slurred post goes up here at around 9:00, it means that I am a happy, drunk-as-piss AU fan and will soon be passing out.

War Eagle.