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Make my next drink Kool-Aid free

October 18, 2009

Yeah, I picked Auburn to win, and win big. 38 points of big, hairy, physical offense – nothing like Fayetteville and certainly nothing like last year – running at will and throwing deep to keep Kentucky’s defense gasping.

Why? This guy:

Drink me, and go 5-0! Get ranked!

Drink me, and go 5-0! Get ranked!

I will say it appears for the second consecutive week, we’ve seen the resurgence of a forgotten team whose determination, grit and talented playmakers have stepped up in ways unseen previously this season. Randall Freaking Cobb was a name largely uncalled until late in the second half. I doubt I’m able to sleep tonight without seeing him bulldozing through the defense. Mr. Indiana Football as a freshman QB? Just replace him with another inexperienced kid who wants to beat Auburn for the first time since his parents were teenagers (or younger).

I did it to myself. I closed out the summer and walked into Ariccia’s for that first Tiger Talk live in the fall thinking this was a 6, maybe 7 win Auburn team. The logic was sound at the time and I pencil whipped my mental list like a senior in a golf scramble. Crap shoot at QB? Check. No proven WRs? Check. Severe lack of depth across both fronts? Check and Check again. Closer to none than some depth at linebacker? Check Mate. All reasons to believe Auburn has to win early to get bowl eligible before fatigue, injuries and a brutal conference schedule kick our Tiger fangs in.

Then something funny happened. Our offense surprised the hell out of me against La Tech. And again against Mississippi State, and West Virginia. We weren’t ranked and TV announcers and commentators were openly questioning why not. And then the defense struggled against Ball State and maybe we didn’t put up as many points as everyone thought we should have. But, there was Tennessee on the road and the Senior Kiffin’s defense. We didn’t stand a chance, and yet we soared all over Rocky Top. I drank so much Kool-Aid I told anyone who would listen, “We shock the football world and meet Alabama, both of us undefeated, to close out the season.”

Um, then Fayetteville and tonight. Yeah. Here I am today:

No more, thank you.

No more, thank you.

Todd arguably looked even worse than he did at times last year. Ben rushed for 132 yards, a TD and no fumbles, but in a losing effort and largely all alone from the backfield save Kodi’s runs and a few scrambles from Chris. I think the offense missed McCalebb sorely, and I think not having Fannin touch the ball in a meaningful way hurt as well. Then again, when you pile up more penalty yards than your longest scoring drive, you don’t give your playmakers many chances.
Overall, the defense played better at times and looked like they decided to apply pressure – I thought the zero third down conversions for Kentucky until late was a good sign. Special teams continues to be special, short-bus special. On offense, well they just didn’t do their part. You can either go here or Haley Center to get your grades though.
Just someone please tell me we don’t get gang raped like a banana-necklaced chimp surrounded by silver back monkeys in Baton Rouge and at home against ‘Bama?
A few random thoughts as my head clears from the fog of Kool-Aid:
  • Opposing defenses have figured out how to stop Adams and Zachery – and Auburn has no other receiver to turn too
  • Chris Todd lost a ton of confidence somewhere in the Arkansas game and then hit rock bottom tonight
  • The rushing attack needs a McCalebb type player to be truly effective
  • The defense lacks an identity, or the one they have lacks a killer instinct (unless you count personal fouls)

This isn’t a give up on Auburn blog Saturday night/Sunday morning after losing to Kentucky for the first time since 1961 at home. This is a back-to-reality-again Sunday morning avoid real work blog. Let’s face it though: (1) Chris Todd is hurt, physically or mentally, (2) our men are worn out at week 7 due to lack of depth with four games to go until an off week, (3) the offense needs more than Ben Tate with a sprinkle of Kodi Burns every Saturday, and (4) things can and may get worse before they get better.

Yes, Joe needs a stronger drink – but for the love of all that is holy and right – make it Kool-Aid free until after A-Day next year.


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