Monday, October 5, 2009

What we learned . . . .

Michael Gordon:

1. That Auburn's offense will cause universal headaches. The Tigers' Tora! Tora! Tora! attack spread Tennessee out like salt water taffy, and the defense was good enough, albeit against UT's worst offense since . . . last year!

2. That Alabama must make some adjustments on its run defense. Kentucky hurt the Tide too often by simply knocking them off the ball. Bama, though undefeated, must do a better job filling the hole left by the injury to Dont'a Hightower. Fortunately, they still have Rolando McClain, the best single football player in the SEC.

3. That the SEC -- and college football in general -- has got to get a grip on the "celebration'' penalty. The two called at the end of the Georgia/LSU game were preposterous. As bad as it was, the flag thrown on Charles Scott's point-to-the-sky gesture was the lesser of the two and had less impact on the game. But I half-expected the zebra to announce, "After the play, unsportsmanlike conduct -- No. 32 and God." Compare those flags to the ones not dropped on Notre Dame's last two scores against Washington, when the Irish end zone looked like the preening celebration at the close of a bad gladiator movie. This rule needs a review, a long one.

4. That LSU will go only as far as their quarterback, Jordan Jefferson, will take them. He took them down the field twice in the fourth quarter against Georgia, after being dragged through the hedges for the first three. Compare that performance to those of Kentucky's Mike Hartline and UT's Jonathan Crompton. Want to know how much they're struggling? Neither would be a sure bet to start at UNC.

Peter St. Onge:

Auburn 26, Tennessee 22 - Another test, passed. Auburn will face only a couple of defenses as good as Tennessee's, and the Tigers moved the ball in Neyland Stadium better than Mr. Tebow did on the Vols in Gainesville. Auburn's defense? It battled. It slowed Tennessee's run game often enough. And yes, it benefited from that inept Vols passing game. Still, Auburn controlled the game. On the road. In the SEC. Against a heralded D-coordinator. We're not a top 10 team, talentwise, but we're good enough to scare those who are.

R. Trentham Roberts:

* That Nick Saban is cooking up some not-so-kind karma when he goes to throwing against Kentucky with a minute and a half left and up by 18 -- from the Wildcats' 14. Not that it'll much matter against Ole Miss, because from what we've seen of the Rebs so far, they have no shot to win.

* That LSU is like that character from the movie who says "Us Yellowbeards are never more dangerous than when we're dead." Florida had best watch out if the Bengals are hanging around late.

* That even this weekend's undercard is going to be good -- Auburn @ Arkansas and Georgia @ Tennessee.

* That while I hate to go the Rep. Joe Wilson route on the Rolando McClain speechifying, he's not really a cut above Eric Berry, Brandon Spikes, Eric Norwood and Chad Jones, is he? (And that's just on the defensive side of the ball).


bama brother said...

Well, Mr. Mike,
I would have to agree with you on most points, but Auburn showed a lot against Tennessee. Granted, the Vols have got to some stuff to work on - catching passes would be a good start - but the Tigers showed a lot of speed, power, and savvy play calling and they have room to improve.
I know this comparison has some holes in it, but while watching Auburn on Saturday night, I could not help but think of Terry Bowden's first Auburn team in 1993, which ran the table and physically and psychologically whipped Alabama. Yeah, there are miles of pig trails to go in this season, but I think those boys from the Plain bear watching.

Bigdawg said...

Were we lucky to be in it after getting trampled by LSU in the first half? Sure. Did the officials help LSU come back at the end by unfairly flagging AJ Green for excessive celebration? Absolutely. Either the rule has to be changed immediately or the officials may as well toss some dice at the end of every big play to decide whether to throw a flag. Right now the excessive celebration penalty feels completely random. Congratulations to the Tigers but this one hurt.

Anonymous said...

OK, now I'm getting giddy.

The Coach We Didn't Want is such because he won 5 games in 2 years with a Big 12 North team. I'll bet not even his mama thought he'd win his first 5 games at Auburn.

After the West Virginia game, I was worried we might not have enough speed on defense. That still may be true in the Iron Bowl, but I think we have enough for the rest of the SEC.

Hey Gordon, are you sure the SEC is a 2-team affair?????????