Friday, November 14, 2008

Let's all meet at Toomer's ....

....for lemonade and toilet paper.

I'd like to start by apologizing for my recent poor attitude. Given up all of these touchdowns has made my head spin and my blood boil. To make myself feel better, I broke down and finally read the AIG Prospectus that came in the mail two weeks ago. In short, I now feel much, much better about what happens on the gridiron......

This week the players have come to Martinez's defense, have had a players only meeting and have decided they need to have more fun on the field. I hope that more fun translates into more sacks, TFLs and other general pain and discomfort for our remaining opponents. CMR busted out some stats of his own and produced the little nugget that our opponents have enjoyed some nice field position as of late due to offensive miscues and breakdowns in teams that are (less than) special. He agreed however, that it would be nice to force some FGs instead of missing tackles that lead to TDs. Of course, I paraphrase.....

But what could be more fun than a Brad Lester fumble after getting slobberknockered by the Liberian Linebacker?!?!? According to Curran's Facebook, he has gotten more birthday wishes this week than all of BDB readers combined in all their years on Earth. This blawgger hopes his wish(es) comes true.

Lester on the other hand did his embattled coach no favors this week by promising, ensuring or maybe just suggesting that the War Kittens would win their final two games to make the season a little brighter. Word from the plains is that O line coach and former UGA lineman Hugh Nall ran out of duct tape sometime Tuesday night.

Auburn wide receiver Rod Smith meanwhile stated that he didn't like the fact that our team danced on the sidelines last year while our scrubs were cleaning up at the end of the game. Note to Nama: make sure and pack extra tissues, this young man needs to dry his eyes.

For more complete coverage of the whining on the plains, follow this link to Paul Westerdawg's blog. But a word of caution: if you are one of those wierd Michael Jackson fans, you may be offended. If not, you will laugh heartily!!

Yes, things at Auburn are a little chaotic. Many outsiders believe it all started on a runway outside Louisville back in 2003. There Auburn officials (baaaah!) were in tow as Lowder met with Bobby Petrino, hoping to oust Coach Tuberville. The meeting was as infamous as the one in Havana between Michael and Fredo. "I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart!" Back in Auburn, the PR backlash was immense, the explanations as clear as mud. End result - Tuberville survived and beat hated Bama. Lowder's jet was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team.

But a closer look says the chaos starts with some confusion deep within Auburn's storied history. Over 86,000 plainsmen enter Jordan-Hare stadium each Saturday and see an eagle named Tiger fly around the stadium, they scream "War Damn Eagle", they watch a student dressed as a tiger mascot named Aubie lead them in cheers, and then they cheer on a team with Tigers as their surname. Talk about making your head spin! As long as it makes sense to them....

The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry has been well documented as a CLOSE one. Auburn leads the overall series by three games and although the series has been alive and well since 1892, the -total points scored tilt only slightly in the Dawgs favor, 1730 - 1685. Indeed these two teams are like cousins that can sit together at the Thanksgiving table nicely ("Please pass the gravy."), but in the yard when the annual family football game starts they act more like the bloods and the crips. It gets ugly ..........and dramatic!

A few cases in point:

1986 Georgia wins the game 20-16 at Jordan-Hare and kicks Auburn out of the top ten. As Georgia fans soaked in the excitement and rushed the field to congratulate their players, Auburn turns on the hoses and the fans begin to soak in the freezing cold air. The UGA infirmary extended their operating hours the next week in order to cure all the happy sniffles!

1996 Ten years later, Georgia found themselves down three TDs and Uga V in a foul mood. Robert Baker nearly lost his manhood and the players followed their mascot's lead to force the SEC's first overtime game on a long bomb from Bobo to Corey Allen. The Dawgs prevailed 56-49.

1997 Georgia was riding high after beating Florida and carried a 7-1 record 'tween the hedges,
coming off a bye week to boot. Auburn smiled and laid a haymaker from the opening kick and then held us out at arm's length until the buzzer sounded. Big bully! Auburn 45, UGA 34. OUCH!

2002 Auburn was within a breath of spoiling the Dawgs' chances at an SEC title when Greene hit Michael Johnson on 70XTakeoff. "Touchdown, My God, touchdown!"

2005 Facing 4th and 14 from their own 35 with a little over two minutes left, Auburn appeared to be on the ropes. Brandon Cox hits Devin Aromashodu who evades our three deep umbrella. After running the clock down, the tigers kick a FG with 6 ticks left and escape the Hedges with a win.

Whether on or off the field the two programs remain connected in many familiar, somewhat awkward ways.
  • Joel Eaves was a former Auburn basketball coach who later became the UGA Athletic Director who made one its most important hires - Vincent Dooley. On the eve of Georgia's National Championship game against Notre Dame, Dooley was being courted to return to Auburn as head coach and Athletic Director. Dooley eventually said no of course and was given complete control as UGA's AD, a job he had shared prior to Auburn calling.

  • Pat Dye was a two time All American lineman for the Dawgs in '59 and '60 under Coach Butts before later becoming Auburn's head coach. After 2005, he can also take credit as an inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame.

  • Since the matchup historically takes place late in the season, the winner often earns a trip to Atlanta; or back in the old days the game would sometimes decide who won the conference outright.

  • Coaches Richt and Tuberville even coached together this summer in the UnderArmour Bowl while visiting troops in Iraq. Their team won 14-12.
And the similarities don't end with our coaches' summer plans as both teams' seasons have been downers, albeit on different levels. In fact, if Dawg fans think this season has been disappointing for them, Auburn fans would gladly pick that bone. Preseason rankings had the Dawg fans barking across the southeast and the nation. Auburn meanwhile was predicted by many to win the SEC West. The were coming off a dramatic win in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl over Clemson, they had a new OC with a brand new shiny spread system and a head coach with a reputation for steadiness. A month into the season however, the wheels were coming off.

The ax fell on OC Tony Franklin early after he reportedly alienated other coaches and continued to use Todd as his starting QB over the perceived better spread offense fit of Burns. Tuberville immediately felt the heat under his seat.

I think Tuberville is a great coach. I'd be surprised if he is not the head coach at Auburn next year. But he is going through coordinators like they're pieces of gum. Some have left on their own volition, ie. Muschamp. Others have been shown the door suddenly, ie. Franklin and Borges. A defensive Tuberville began making excuses quickly after Franklin's car left the parking lot:

"Al (Borges, former OC, twice removed) was with us four years. That's a pretty long time," Tuberville said. "And he did good. If we wanted to stay and keep doing that, Al knows the offense. That's not the reason I made that change. I made the change because I wanted to do something different because of recruiting. We were just getting hammered in terms of getting wide receivers."
- courtesy of The Birmingham News

Now, I understand bringing in certain coaches to help with recruiting. I also understand changing offensive philosophies, although I thought Auburn was doing a pretty good job under Borges. But what I don't get is bringing in a new OC and offensive system just to land a few wide receivers? They're a dime a dozen.

AJ Green has made a big difference in our offense this season. If we hadn't signed him back in February, it surely would have hurt. But I don't see CMR firing Bobo and bringing in a gunslinging WAC coordinator to help land next year's big time 5 star WR. Am I off base here? This kind of soap opera madness seems way below the caliber of coaching that ol' Big Ears is known for.

Tomorrow's game on paper has the Dawgs cruising to victory. But most of us realize we left our cruise control in the desert. The visiting team usually does well in this series which bodes well for us, but the war tigers are due for a game where their offense doesn't stink up the place. Remember, this is the team that beat the other dogs in the conference 3-2. But I think our defense rallies to support their coach. This Dawg defense is falling well short of Junkyard status, but I believe there is talent there. Time to step up and make good. Otherwise it could be a long bye week leading up to Tech.

Dawgs 24

plainwarcateagles 9

Before we get to this week's trivia, would like to officially welcome my favorite buzzzzz fan to the BDB fold. Chris Miranda once helped Bernie close down Peppino's in downtown Athens (yeh....THAT long ago) only to threaten his knowledge of SEC football. Luckily brother Jim intervened .......... I think. Unfortunately, I doubt we'll hear much from Chris in the COMMENTS section, as I quote:

To quote Coach Boone, "I don't scratch my head unless it itches". If you invite me to dinner, I don't show up with a Wendy's bag and if you invite me to read your blog I don't show up trying to irritate a bunch of Dawg fans.

Nevertheless, Chris assures us he will read BDB in the weeks leading up to the Georgia/ga tech game even though it will likely just "piss" him off. Thanks Chris, you're a helluva engineer!! Trivia this week brought to you by American International Group, Trust us, Seriously. The next two teams that the Dawgs play were once coached by the legendary John Heisman. He coached at Auburn from 1895-99 and Georgia Tech from 1904-19. Where did Heisman coach in between these two stops?

Meet you all back here Tuesday when we'll all take a deep breath heading into the bye week. Enjoy your weekend. Don't get hosed....



namaman said...

The answer my friend would be the Clemson. He apparently managed to coach several of our most traditional rivals at one time or another!

Adam W. said...

I appreciate the shout-out, there. I will do my best to catch a few naps between classes, that is, when I get up and go to them.

As for Heisman, I've always loved how Tech had him, but we've had two winners and they've never had one. We'll see how the bees do in a couple weeks. I think their option play has been enhanced by playing an ACC defense. We'll see how they stand up. With two weeks to prepare, and some time to really get into that system, we should do just fine. See you there!