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Ramblings of a College Football Junkie!

By on September 1st, 2014 in Member Post 24 Comments »
W Carolina Auburn Football

(photo:Auburn media)

What did we learn after the opening weekend of college football?

After watching many, many games this weekend, like a junkie trying to get back on top of an illicit drug, I came to a couple of significant conclusions:

1)   The SEC Network:

Is it just me, or did watching this channel seem like the “I love bama” channel? And these commentator’s, is this the best this multi-million $ network can do?  “Booger”.  Really? Come on ESPN!  With the best college football being in the SEC… “Booger” is all we get? Wow.  I say “flick it!” In my humble opinion this isn’t going to cut it. I don’t know if I can watch Greg McElroy, Tim Tebow, and Paul Finebaum meander around all season. Tim sounded like an adolescent boy right before his voice dropped and McElroy looks like a teenage Ope. They are about as entertaining as watching Jell-o jell. McElroy can’t say a word that I don’t question. Every time the camera pans to him I keep hearing that he never lost. And then see T-Bell knocking him senseless. Who came up with this roster in terms of commentary? And since I am on a tear on ESPN, OMG, do we not get replays anymore? Can’t we afford them? To me, this network is only a little bit better than Jefferson Pilot. I give it a “C-“.

2)   The pre-season polls:  

They may be right… but I can’t stress this enough, I think we have some over-rated teams in the top ten. I know it’s early, and there is plenty of football to be played… but seriously. Some teams will be able to make corrections and grow into being and earning their position in the poll. But some won’t. It’s a cheap observation I know, but it’s true. Give them a really tough opponent and some of these teams will drop like a rock. Other’s teams are clearly under-rated. There is no doubt in my mind that with any luck some of them will be in the final four. One thing is for sure… there are some interesting stories here in the making this season.

3)   Was Oklahoma State and West Virginia that good?

I tried to watch them but I was clicking between so many channels… the clear sign of an undisciplined addict who can’t control their desires, that I couldn’t really make an assessment. My first thought about FSU’s QB was that he was way too arrogant. I was hoping that somebody in the stands had some seafood and he would flash back to this summer… making a dash for tunnel with claws in hand.  But that’s just wishful thinking. The hypocrisy being shown here is amazing. My thoughts are that FSU has some issues that will need to be worked out before they put their hands on the crystal again. I still think they will have time to get them corrected. In my humble opinion, they only have two teams on their schedule that will challenge them at all. Bama, on the other hand, that’s a different story. No doubt bama has talent.  But I think bama faces three teams in the West that will beat them outright regardless at how easy their schedule is this year. I don’t think bama makes it to the SEC championship game based on what I saw Saturday but it’s early yet so there is no need to get ahead of ourselves.

4)   The rest of the West:

Texas A&M is the real deal! And MSU and Ole Miss won too! The only team that lost this weekend was Arkansas. That means the West is loaded.  Again! Still, A&M is a much improved team than what everyone thought. The SEC has a competitor with Kevin Sumlin.

5)   The East:

And as sad as I think it is to say… it’s probably time for Steve Spurrier to hang them up. Not just because USC lost… but specifically how they lost. Steve spends more time on the golf course than on the practice field. It’s starting to show.  To me, the CEO mentality is a lazy man’s mentality. It reminds me of Tuberville, a man that had the West by the collar and let it get away from him. There is no place for this mentality in College Football or more specifically the SEC. Obviously, South Carolina has talent. There is no doubt. They may beat Auburn as some predict. However, I would point out that if such a high stakes game like this one is an indicator of which team took it more seriously then things are not looking good for the Game Cocks. Depending upon Florida’s performance…. and how well UT looks today… over the off season the East just got a lot more competitive. UK won big (and yes, it was UT Martin).  Vandy lost big (and yes, it was to Temple). But UGA looks impressive. Very impressive. The Dawg’s defense looked awesome. To me, again, if this weekend is any indicator, the Dawg’s are the team to beat in the East. I am thinking USC will be lucky to be No.3 or No.4 in the East.

Auburn versus Arkansas: Post game comments

6)   The Referees:

To borrow a phrase I have already used, was it me or did it seem like these referees hated us? They called everything in the first half on Auburn. I am not surprised. With teams with this much raw talent, and don’t let anyone fool you, Auburn has it roaming the sidelines. All it needs to do is get more discipline in the system. In my humble opinion, that’s why we got some of the off field issues we do. Ultimately, even though I didn’t get to see many replays… the only one I recall was the Auburn fumble; I think the Ref’s did get it right.

7)   How many things could go wrong with Jordan Hare:

Let me get this straight… last game played in Jordan Hare was the iron bowl and since then NOBODY checked the game clocks? Really? Come on Jay Jacobs! I know it’s made of concrete but you do have to ensure that our venue is a venue that people want to come to (in order to get beat). I heard last night at half time, and I am not kidding about this, that the Arkansas coach’s that sit in the booth were stuck in an elevator and never made it to the locker room. They ended up talking to their players via cell phone. How embarrassing! I think it’s time either someone starts spending some of the money we make on our facilities. Maybe if they can’t get these things fixed… they take a pay cut so we can make Jordan Hare a premier facility. I was so annoyed at the clock last night (and SEC network) that I had to go to ESPN and look. Maybe that was by design.

8)   Bret Bielema is a shady coach:

I know his pedigree and the type person he seems to be. I guess Hog fans should feel somewhat better that he has brought Arkansas back from the depths of John L. Smith. But he does have a questionable character. He has no qualms with getting his players to lay down faking an injury to slow down Auburn’s offense. We all saw the game but in my opinion I think the game would have gotten out of hand in the 1st half if things didn’t start manipulating thing to affect Auburn’s game plan. By the end of the quarter… I was seriously concerned. Whenever the man smiles it resembles evil incarnate. He somehow got inside of Malzahn’s head in the 2nd Qtr and was for a short while dictating the game. He ended up riding the lightning. The results were the same.

9)   There were many Auburn positives throughout the game:

  1. The first I would point out is Jeremy Johnson’s performance. The kid can play ball.  He is a good passer.  And I think he has potential to be something special. I think he needs a good running game to support him… along with excellent receivers. I think we saw the future of Auburn next year and that’s something to think about. 
  2. Another positive I saw was our special teams play. Specifically we have an awesome kicker! And he is doing all of our kicking: kick offs, punts and field goals/extra points. Last guy to do that I believe was Damon Duval. That kid kicked a 62 yard punt! He flipped the field for us when we needed it most. And while he hit the upright on the last play of the 1st half… I think Auburn has someone that will do great things. I hope he can stay healthy! I think this kid has the potential to be someone special!
  3. Obviously, one of my main concerns in the first half was our defense. It was like 2012 all over again. During the first Half Auburn jumped out to a 14-7 lead.  And then our defense disintegrated. We couldn’t stop the run. And we couldn’t stop the pass. We were shredded by Arkansas. They tied us up near the end of the 2nd Qtr 21-21. The good news was during half time Ellis Johnson and Rodney Garner were able to make adjustments and suddenly to begin the 2nd half – AU had the Razorback’s number. I don’t think Arkansas was able to get over 20 yards in the 3rd and 4th Qtrs. Auburn became the defense I saw during A day. That defense has the potential to secure another championship. I think we may have something special here in the making.
  4. Nick Marshall was awesome. Ok, he still isn’t the best passer… but he brings the running dimension to our offense where defenses MUST account for him. Don’t do that… you will pay big. The razorbacks did pay big on the 1st Drive of the 2nd half when Marshall burned them for a 19 yard TD run. I think this guy has the ability to change the game for us.
  5. Our receiving corps… Man!!!  Holy crap. Folks, we are loaded!  Duke Williams is going to the NFL. Make no doubt. And Melvin Ray. Holy Crap! Sammy Coates was also producing. Don’t think Auburn can throw the ball? You die by the pass!
  6. Our running backs. I think we still got talent, and plenty of it. What we saw in the 1st half was a majority of Cameron Artis Payne. Grant played very well.  And when our offensive line started opening up run lanes…. We saw success. Regularly. We still haven’t seen Roc Thomas or Pettway. Peyton Barber got a good run at the end of the game. I think our running backs will do well. And there are more in the pipeline!

10)   Biggest take away:

Auburn is competitive! We are not a paper tiger. We are someone you better take seriously. If we can run the gauntlet of our schedule… we are going to be National Champions. But I would point out that Auburn must get better with every game. Starting in October… things become nearly impossible. We can’t afford to have a down game. We play LSU, Miss State, South Carolina, Ole Miss, TA&M, UGA… back to back to back to back to back. Then we finish with Bama. If we stay healthy and get better… anything is possible for Auburn this season.

War Eagle!

24 Comments

  1. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Good read WDE1988.

    Only thing I disagree on is Spurrier. For some reason the Carolina Chickens always lay an egg every year and then come back. I’m only disappointed that egg has been laid before they come to Jordan-Hare.

    By the way it’s not just you, the SEC network is now taking the Bama worshiping of it’s parent ESPN to a new level.

  2. wpleagle says:

    One game at a time! War Eagle!

  3. Two points:

    (1) NO, you are not alone!!!! The SEC network stinks. Yes, a bama network!!! Yes, reminds one of Jefferson Pilot!!! Where have all the replays gone???, “Long time passing.” Where did all the commercials come from???. Go back to “long time ago.” And Booger and the rest??? Please save me from these incompetents. Hope Auburn higher ups keep our great team off of SEC “stinkwork.”

    (2) I hope I say out of trouble with this comment. I have fouled up before. But, I really Like to watch Jeremy (great passer.) I guess folks are right about him and the future, but he needs nifty feet like Nick. Be at Jordan Hare next week. Me too, War Eagle.

    • mikeautiger says:

      I watched the replay yesterday afternoon but I only saw one time that they used the telistrstor or even tried to explain something that happend, the side kick to mis urged did. It have a clue how to explain the gsme.

      I think Jeremie Johnson can run and I saw a play last year where he made a nasketbalmove on a guy and he is still probably looking for that jock strap. So he has the moves but did. Ot even seem to tey to run him Satipurday. Maybe Gus is trying to keep that a secret and make people think he is. It. A runner so he can catch them off guard at some point on an important play. Gus makes no moves without a purpose.

  4. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I like your post! Most concerning was the facilities issues. As a Tragic City denizen, myriad Legion Field scoreboard issues were always shameful to endure. I hate that it’s happening at Auburn. On the other hand, if your coaches are lazy enough to ride an elevator instead of taking the stairs, what message does that send the team? On my August beach vacation, I stayed in a 4th floor condo, and we took the stairs every time, mostly to walk off the extra bacon and eggs I fixed…

    …..This may surprise some, but I have no problem with the “fall-down” slow-down tactic. Until some rule is instituted against it, coaches that are being hurried to death are wise to utilize it. This is simple strategy, folks.

  5. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    I think I threw up a little each time McElroy spoke, he comes off as a fake infomercial. Jesse Palmer is on of the most annoying color analysts I have endured, and Brent was making error after error in his play by play. I’m glad we are on ESPN2 next week (though I’m not sure who the crew is this year).

    I’m thinking next week we flip the QB script with Marshall starting the first half and JJ mopping up the second. Kansas St better be ready or it’ll be a primetime beat down, which would be a boon for AU in the committees eyes IMO. So glad football is back!

  6. uglyjoe says:

    Good post; couple of comments….

    1. Musburger is terrible. It’s not “Ob-burn”.

    2. Winston is as good as last year, but FSU lost a lot of their leaders, and I don’t consider Winston a leader. I think they will tank a game or two this year.

    3. Vanderbilt has returned to the cellar, don’t get hopes up about Kentucky, and I think Arkansas will be ok this year.

    4. Give Jordan-Hare a break. Things go wrong with electronics, and the coaches need to take the stairs.

    5. I think the lead-up to the Kansas State game is going to be big.

    • mikeautiger says:

      Winston was not that great last year and he showed he is only average without help around him this week. And what an ego, it will catch up with him this year and there will be several losses.

  7. mvhcpa says:

    Excellent analysis and observations, wde1988.

    On the subject of SEC Network, the Hooters where we watched had the sound on for the Georgia game, so we were spared listening to the studio or game commenters. I was very happy about this (and the lack of closed-captioning) when I saw Jesse Palmer’s name on the screen at the beginning of the game. Brent M. must just be getting old–but I’ll forgive him his long-standing “OW-burn” pronunciation in view of that great call in the BCSNCG, “This is for all the Tostitos!”

    As for the studio crew, I noted during the rain delay that the facial expressions of the three guys in the SEC Network studio looked like they were going to a funeral, until they came back from a commercial (I bet the floor director noticed the same thing and told them to SMILE some fake smiles). Even without listening, I got the feeling that any of the fans in Hooters right then could have gotten in front of the cameras and done as good or better as the “talent” on-screen.

    I asked this question earlier, and I got a few answers, but I need to know: Can someone explain how ESPN keeping their lips planted on Bama’s posterior helps their bottom line? Why does selling out to the Crimson-and-White make for a better business model for the Worldwide Lamer? It makes no sense to me how doing so increases the ratings among any advertiser-preferred demographic (I can’t see the typical Bama fan being able to afford that much of what was advertised).

    Michael Val
    (who, speaking of advertising, can’t understand to which expected viewers the many, many Zulily commercials during the game were directed!)

    • tigertracker says:

      Those zulily commercials were directed at the women who are slowly realizing that if they want to spend any quality time with their husbands on fall Saturdays then they better learn what a first down is and start screaming at the tv ;)

      No offense to the ladies here that really love football. My wife has become a rabid fan since our first game together. The app st game to open 1999 season after we had dated 2 months over the summer. Standing in the student section the whole game. I distinctly remember her laying her head on my shoulder (which totally disabled my shaker arm!)sometime in the second quarter and hinting that she was bored and we should leave. I said, “I really like you, but I LOVE Auburn football. If this is how it’s going to be maybe you shouldn’t come to games with me anymore. If you don’t like watching on TV either then it’s good we figured this out now.” Call me an a-hole, but I don’t believe in compromise that early in a relationship. Either we share common interests or we don’t and move on. The good news is she really liked me and was willing to learn the rules and understand the game. 11 year marriage anniversary later his month and two great kids so it all worked out.

      My daughter has really taken up a love for it too. Last fall she when she was 6 we watched a texas a&m game together with her laying on the arm of the recliner with me. Manziel was flushed from he pocket and did his patented reverse spin to avoid the rush. He looked downfield and then another rusher approached. Boom! Another reverse spin move and scampered out for a 12 yd gain. She casually turns to me and says, “Daddy, that’s the same move I use to run away from the fast boys on the playground.” To say she got some positive reinforcement and big hugs from dad after that is an understatement! So glad football is back!!!

    • wpleagle says:

      Small point, Michael, but us deaf guys live or die with closed captioning. Makes all the difference in the world.

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..My sympathies. I’d imagine captioning is pretty worthless, auto-generated stuff during football games, or way behind at best. I turn it on watching movies, though. My wife has converted me. She’s GOT to have captions on everything, and will watch a fair amount of shows with the sound off. Me, I’m a noise guy. I like it loud and vibrant.

      • mvhcpa says:

        Wpleagle,

        Closed-Captioning as a concept is a great boon for many reasons–What I meant above was that in view of the fact of what people said the commentators were saying (and the low quality of the commentary), I was glad I did not need to waste time reading it!

        Michael Val
        (who did have the strange owner of a bar in the Keys refuse to turn on the closed-captioning for a baseball game once, telling me I should watch the game, not read the commentary)

  8. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I was laughing about the commercials last season. It would go from Zales to Jarred, to every kiss begins with Kay. I use the commercial breaks to either check other games, or get up and stretch.

  9. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    Comment on some of the comments: (From the swamps of Louisiana)

    Remedy for the SEC network-go to Jordan-Hare or listen on the radio as all of us “oldtimers” did before “24 hour” TV football.

    Stairs are much better than elevators.

    The replays have been negated by our own Gus Malzahn with his HUNH offense. They can’t get them in in time. Too bad!

    I hope the committee of 13 took notice of our Tigers. We will get better. If we play them one game at a time, we can have a very special year, almost as special as last year, which was made extra special due to the year before.

    Never forget:
    IT’S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!!
    WAR EAGLE !!!
    GO BIG BLUE !!!
    STUN THE SPARTANS !!!

  10. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    I spent the better part of a happy hour as a bartender at Ivy’s in the hotel and conference center trying to get Musberger to pronounce it “aw-burn” prior to the UGA game in 88 or 89…hopeless. And yeah “booger” is a mouth breather.

  11. NoVaFan34 says:

    Anybody know the situation with Derrick Moncrief? I was surprised to not hear his name during the game and only found out later that he fell down the depth chart largely because of an illness in August.

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..Moncrief played maybe 20 snaps, mostly in the second half after Ford limped off. This wasn’t really a safety-centric game, unless we were noticing the making the tackle after a big run. Arkansas did not attack the middle of the field hardly at all through the air. Guys on the Arkansas boards were complaining bitterly about this, especially when Auburn started blitzing in the second half.

      • tigertracker says:

        What about our corners. Noticed Mincy in the game pretty quick. Maybe second series. Then on the deep ball that was dropped my attention quickly went to #25. Finally discovered that was trovon reed. Didn’t see much of 3 (jones?) or holsey, but tried to just enjoy watching the game and may have missed them. I know 3 and 15 (who I think was Holsey) were in some, but reed seemed to get most of the snaps when I started paying attention.

  12. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……Yeah, Mincy was in second series, and basically went the distance. Auburn actually ran kind of a West Virginia 3-3-5 package late in the game, and they put Holsey in as the fifth DB, kind of a center-safety. Jones and Reed alternated, about 75/25 in favor of Jones. Jones got beat once, then was flagged for a grab the next play. Other than that, he was danged solid. Reed wasn’t bad for the most part, especially considering this was his first college action as a cornerback.

  13. [...] the correspondent who brought you “Ramblings of a College Football Junkie”; this article will provide a weekly snapshot of the key matchups of the top 25 with particular [...]

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