So, this is awkward. Like Match.com first-date awkward. Texas A&M and Auburn have only played twice in either school's entire history, so forgive us if we're still trying to get familiar with one another. We've read a little bit online, but still have much to learn. Auburn is in the SEC West and won the national championship a couple years ago, so they're probably really good, right? Well, not exactly. A&M is an all-male military school, right, since those are the only students shown whenever they play on TV? Ugh. No. In football as on dates, there's only one way to remedy this: let's crack open some drinks to take the edge off and get to know each other before it's time to GET. IT. ON!
War Damn Feeble
So... as you've probably noticed, my game prediction was less than stellar last week. If you use anything I say for gambling purposes you're a moron and people shouldn't trust you with their belongings. I'm not a football expert, I'm just a caveman. So we gave away a winnable game last week. What now? Is there hope? Yes. We have a new team, new system, new conference and a stellar crop of young talent lead by Johnny (insert swear word tirade here) Football. Oh, you know what else? We're playing Auburn this week. This is the team that lost to Arkansas. Transitive property of football aside, that's just deplorable. On that note, LET'S GET TO SOME UNINFORMED SMACK!
I took a slightly different route on my quest to become less uninformed this week and I sent it out to the twittersphere (I'm @thacktor) and will now base my commentary solely on the links that were provided to me by my knowledgeable followers. This first link comes from an Alabama fan site. Did you know that Auburn fans are in full-on meltdown mode? No? Well check this out. These comments are regarding a head coach who won them a National Championship two years ago. Granted, they had a professional quarterback on a 1-year loan, but still. The former head coach of Iowa State is getting lambasted by the same fans that wanted to erect a statue in his honor just two years ago. So this is what it sounds like when War Eagles cry.
Additionally, I had never seen these. I think they were once used to clean up after glorious Auburn victories, but now are used to soak up the tears of their languished loyals. I like that the "Chiz Rags" are chamois cloths. Like every male student at Auburn lets loose with enough DNA to merit the wonders of a ShamWow. That thing soaked up a 3-liter of soda. Unnecessary. Maybe they should sell "Gene Pools" that you can inflate, use and then dump in your favorite storm drain. Where's a little something for the ladies, y'all. They make 80% of household purchasing decisions, so let's market to the female Auburn fan. What about a "War Kegels" instructional pamphlet? Too graphic? Probably too graphic. I'd like to apologize to my family for that rant.
COMPLETELY ABSURD GAME PREDICTION
Johnny Football has spent all week meditating on vengeance. Inspired by this, Damontre Moore has spent the last several days with Pei Mei learning the five-point palm exploding heart technique. This is not good for the reeling Auburn team. A&M comes out fired up as hell and flat lays the wood to the Auburn Tigeagles for four quarters. JFF is too fast, Mike Evans is too big and Swope's hair is too good to lose this game. Moore, Porter and Nealy live rent-free in the Auburn backfield, wreaking havoc on whatever QB Gene Chizik decides to feed them.
After the game, Chizik rips off his Auburn windbreaker to reveal that he's wearing an Iowa State Cyclones t-shirt, tells the crowd that Ames is in his heart, flips the ungrateful fans the bird and tells the media in a post-game interview that he personally handed Cam Newton a briefcase full of cash, cocaine and hookers after every game. It was a big briefcase, he's surprised they missed it. Kevin Sumlin just laughs because Kevin Sumlin has a hell of a sense of humor.
Ags 56 - Auburn 17
Cast of Characters
#10 Sean Porter and #94 Damontre' Moore, QB Aficionados
Wait, they have two guys running this offense? Oh. Oh, my.
#20 Trey Williams, KR/Dancer
Hopefully won’t have many opportunities this week, but he broke one for 76 yards against LSU. You can dance if you want to, Trey. We love the energy.
Mark Snyder, Angry Defensive Coordinator
It’s been a rough few weeks for the D. Tee off, coach. If NCAA offenses were celebrity voices, Auburn would be Fran Drescher. If NCAA offenses were N64 Goldeneye weapons, they’d be the Klobb. You get the idea.
#25 Daren Bates, Entire Defense
Hint for Johnny: this is the only guy on their team with an interception. Throw it somewhere else. Anywhere else. You could probably hit one of their DBs in the head and it would bounce into Mike Evans’ hands.
#4 Quan Bray, Best Passer
Second on the team with one TD pass (one behind Kiehl Frazier, who only has 102 more attempts.) Also plays WR and returns punts on the side. He’s like a QUAN-si Randle El. WOMP WOMP.
#10 Kiehl (pronounced KEEL) Frazier, Other QB
Dear parents- what’s with the weird alternate spellings? Did you name his siblings Dacoda and Stehpfannii? There’s a correct spelling for what you were attempting, and it is KYLE. You’ll probably remember after next year.
What to Watch For
A return to sanity on offense?
I guess I should use the term "sanity" loosely. After all, A&M did still manage to put up over 400 yards against a stout LSU defense last week. But we only scored 19 points and turned the ball over four times, so it was naturally time for fans in College Station to hit the panic button. Fortunately, Auburn's defense is a little more generous, plus they're currently minus-10 in the turnover department. Sounds like the perfect slump-buster to me! I expect a strong start for the maroon and white and a decent lead at the 30-minute mark, but I currently have no confidence in our coaches' ability to make halftime adjustments other than "stop running the ball." A healthy, clock-killing dose of the running game in the second half would actually do wonders for the box score, plus it would give Kliff Kingsbury the pleasure of watching a bunch of confused fans desperately scramble to find something else to complain about on the internet.
Our kindred soul fans
Aggies have so much in common with Auburn fans, I almost hate that we're going to be enemies for a few hours on Saturday. Our land-grant, all-male pasts. The fact that we both used to have "Agricultural and Mechanical College" in our names. Irrational hatred of a larger in-state rival and a willingness to fight anyone who refers to us as "little brother." Ags, if you thought our Burnt Orange Media Conspiracy (perfect, and legitimate, example here) was extensive, ask an Auburn fan to explain how Bama has been holding them down all these years (spoiler alert: it usually starts with NCAA President Mark Emmert's ties to Nick Saban from their LSU days). Fan bases who have been conditioned to expect the worst at any moment. It's almost TOO perfect. Wait a second, a total stranger invited us in (to their conference, in this case) and now we're slowly becoming just like each other? We've seen this before. Run, Ags. RUN!
A taste of SEC expectations
I guess we do have one difference, though. Two years ago, Gene Chizik led Auburn to a BCS national championship. Today, that same Gene Chizik is rumored to be on his way out. In our Big XII days, if any coach had won a national championship at A&M, we probably would have required all future Fish Camps to be named after him and dug up all the Reveilles in front of Kyle Field and built a shrine to him in their place. And he probably would have been allowed to run our program into the ground for as long as he wanted afterward since we couldn't DARE fire the man who took us to the promised land. But now? Just because I guess we're supposed to, we'd fire him before the bowl game when we went 8-4 the next season. To illustrate how bad it's gotten in Tiger Country, I perused some Auburn message boards this week and could barely find anyone even talking about our game. They're obsessed with speculating about their next coach even though the season is barely halfway over. And really guys? Bobby Petrino is an option? Might as well go ahead and start planning for the coach after him, too.
Military Appreciation Day
Sorry guys; there are no jokes in this paragraph. Looks like Auburn has some pretty cool stuff planned for Saturday, hopefully along the lines of what happened at the South Carolina game a couple weeks ago. If there's anybody who needs to be appreciated more, it's the military. Never forget that the only reason you're able to sit in your cubicle surfing the internet and reading about college football on your employer's dime is because people a lot braver than me are stationed around the world dodging bullets, bombs, and rockets to defeat a bunch of savages stuck in the eighth century who are hell-bent on destroying our country and everything we stand for. In light of their immense sacrifice, one day doesn't really seem sufficient, does it? In all seriousness, thank you guys.
Alright, now back to our regularly scheduled game preview.
Off the Wood: Injury Assessment
1. Dee Ford (DE)
Undisclosed injury, questionable. Undisclosed injury? Yeah, he's sick of playing for Auburn this year.
2. Avery Young (RT)
Undisclosed injury, out for season. Sick of playing for Auburn, too.
3. Kiehl Frazier (QB)
Arm injury, questionable. He'll play until the third pick. Then he'll play some more after the other QB's third pick.
4. Philip Lutzenkirchen (TE)
Hip injury, out for season. I think you have to scream Phil's last name, right? Sounds like something Hans Gruber would yell after finding the note "Now I have a machine gun. Ho. Ho. Ho."
5. Taylor Bertolet (K)
Has to still be injured. Has to. Taylor, I know you've had a rough week. I know it. Get your plant foot right, bro.
Gentlemen, Place Your Bets
Statgasm: Milk your own cow
In Any Event
IN THE EVENT OF A... WIN
We beat a team with one win. It's a road win at Auburn, but that's lost a little bit of its luster this year. The Auburn tail-spin goes into full effect and the Auburn fan says some deplorable shit on Twitter. Gene Chizik's walking papers are all but signed just 2 years after bringing the National Championship to Auburn. Cam Newton checks his investment portfolio.
IN THE EVENT OF A... LOSS
The Yell Leaders write another op-ed to The Battalion, telling students that A&M didn't lose, we just ran out of time. Remember, Ags, our record is 5-0-0 with two games that we really should have quit on in the 4th quarter on Playstation because then it doesn't count. If say we lost, you're not a true Aggie and you're forced to throw your precious into Orodruin. Kevin Sumlin shows up at every Aggie's house over the course of the next week to yell at you. You let him in and feed him after you get your conditioning in.
IN THE EVENT OF A... TIE
We all quote Guy Morris for a week.
In 140-character Conclusion...
No, there should not be a Billy Gillispie movie. There's enough here for a TV show.
Finally, gentleman, the question facing the nation: Would you morally support the hiring of Bob Petrino at Auburn? #debate
Auburn has lost 6 games in 7 weeks. Alabama has lost 6 games since November of 2007.
I think a scrambling Johnny Manziel throwing a left handed pass directly to a DB who drops it is my favorite play ever.