Your New Auburn Coach? Gene Chizik

I was so depressed after the SEC championship game, so much that my laptop decided to give its last goodbye as it went to the PC afterlife. Then I saw the news that Auburn hired Gene Chizik, aka Coach New Coke.

newcoke

Does that confuse you? I’ll explain.

The Coca-Cola company changed its original formula many years ago. They feared that their brand was starting to become stale and irrelevant in the marketplace. They wanted to excite a new generation of consumers, so they decided it was time to “insert” some new energy into the Coke brand.

They forgot the fact that the Original Coke was the one that got them to where they were as a program. Even though its simple style was showing signs of possibly falling in popularity, it was still a proven winner as a product and brand. But, the head men running the Coca-Cola company felt that a preemptive move would stave off any decline in the Coke brand.

Auburn University has hired New Coke to coach their football team. Jay Jacobs, Bobby Lowder, and the Board of Trustees were afraid that Auburn football would be steamrolled by Nick Saban and the other high profile SEC coaches, causing their program to fall in stature and quality. So, they gracefully “retired” Coke Classic, AKA Tommy Tuberville, and brought in Gene Chizik, AKA New Coke.

He’s very similar to Coke Classic: Great Defensive Coordinator for a National Champion, runs a below average offense, and has a hard last name to spell. But, he’s younger than Coke Classic, and came about just because a group of older gentlemen with white hair wanted change for changes sake.

Tommy will continue to take the path that Coke Classic will take……… to a certain degree. Tubs probably won’t return like Coke Classic*, but he will become appreciated a great deal more because of this ordeal. Likewise, Chizik seems to be picking up where New Coke left off; being heavily criticized by the media and consumers (Auburn fans) alike. It seems ironic that this has happened in the south, a region that played a major factor in New Coke’s demise.

I could be wrong about all of this when it is all said and done about Gene Chizik’s tenure as the Auburn head coach. New Coke did stick around to become Coke II, but it eventually faded into obscurity. I’d rather be somewhat wrong, because I don’t want this rivalry to fade into the doldrums yet again.

Auburn will give him time, they have no choice at this point. He’ll probably land some solid defensive recruits, but you have to wonder what the offensive talent in this state  thinks of this hire. Time will tell, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Good luck to ya CNC.

*to Auburn that is

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Alabama Shoves #7 Down T-Tub’s Throat

Amazing how Tuberville was able to predict the number of losses his Auburn Tigers would suffer
Amazing how Tuberville was able to predict the number of losses his Auburn Tigers would suffer

Alabama wins 24-20

That was ugly, but an SEC win is always big. Stats are available at ESPN.com, but these numbers are all that matter: 7-0 (4-0 SEC), 45-9-2 against Ole Miss, 5 straight over the Rebs, and Saban moves to 6-1 against them fine Hoddy Toddy folks.

Congrats to Ole Miss and Houston Nutt for that comeback. I have to admit, even though we all like to have some fun at HN’s expense, I hate playing any team he fields. You’re always in for a tight game with that man on the other sideline.

I won’t go into great detail about how bad that 2nd half looked, but here are my thoughts expressed in one picture:

The Gut and I: Alabama vs. Ole Miss

This game is really hard to get a hand on for a number of reasons. Both teams are coming off of bye weeks. Both bye weeks follow lackluster performances, which follow a week where both squads beat Top 5 teams on the road. Alabama is #2 in both polls, while Ole Miss has had an up and down season comparable to only the U.S. Stock Market.

I could go on. But, as Houston Nutt would say during a boring movie, Let’s just skip to the funny part!

Picture via Gate 21. No disrespect to HN of course.

Reasons for my gut to say Alabama wins

  • The Rebs don’t like it when other teams decided to actually pass the ball. They made Chris Smelley look like Peyton Manning, so we can only hope John Parker Wilson turns into Tom Brady.
  • Alabama is coming off of a poor performance, but an SEC win nonetheless. A week off was needed due to a grueling schedule during the first half of the season. A fresh mentality should hopefully lead to a good victory for Bama.
  • I know they are touting that Wild Rebel stuff, but this only shows that they cannot beat us if they line up and play standard, smash mouth SEC football. We have to force them to play our game, something we’ve been able to do pretty well during the first 6 games.
  • Ole Miss beat Florida with some fortunate turnovers and some nice moves by McCluster. If we keep the football in our hands (lookin’ at you, Glen), then we should be fine.
  • Our D-line is one of the best in the nation. They might try to trick us on these constant trick plays, but they surely can’t beat us up the gut.

Reasons for my gut to say Alabama losses

  • For some reason, Houston seems to get a lot going his way durin these types of games. I don’t know if he has a football version of the farmer’s almanac, but he certainly has a history of making big statements at just the right time. Of course, he’ll probably drop a few more SEC games due to an inconsistent coaching style, but he his a threat against ranked opponents.
  • I still worry about Alabama’s Special Teams. Tiffin has missed a few big FGs, and we really seem to give up big returns on kick-offs and punt returns. If McCluster is allowed to return a Touchdown, we’re making it much harder than it needs to be.
  • Ole Miss has had success against other team’s turnovers, and Glen Coffee had a few issues with that against Kentucky. Keep the ball in your hands please.
  • Jevan Snead has a very good arm, and our Secondary and overall Pass D has given me moments of concern. If we are to have a breakdown on this side of the ball, it will be in this area.
  • We don’t have enough deep talent to make up for early mistakes and a tired 1st string. We also need to keep our focus. If we lose our focus, hello 2007.

Ole Miss can win this game is they come with more intensity than Alabama. If we’re evenly matched in that department, Bama will end up winning the game. We just have to stick to our assignments, play physical football, and keep our foots on the gas if given the opportunity. Ole Miss is very capable of covering the spread (around 13 points…. I think). Alabama should win, 27-17.

The Crimson & White Roundtable- Host Edition

I’m back, and I’ve brought the CWR with me!

I will perform the hosting duties this week, which hasn’t happened since I first started organizing this Roundtable forum. It seemed like so long ago….

Remember when this guy used to coach? Talk about forever-ago!

Since last week was an idle weekend, I decided it would be best to avoid the standard questions concerning Bama’s last performance. Therefore, this week’s set of questions is rather short and simple. I have been known to over analyze certain situations in order to have something to talk about, so this could start to sound like the inconsistent rambling of a crazy man. Let’s overreact!

1. What are your feelings on Alabama’s current position in the polls? Are we Overrated? Underrated? Just right?

It is probably for the best that Alabama isn’t ranked #1 right now. While I would like to see it for the first time in years, that is more added pressure than I am comfortable with right now. We’re about to play a team that beat a top 5 squad on the road and Tennessee. I know the Vols have been down recently, but you never know what’ll happen in a rivalry game.

2. Kentucky’s Defensive Line gave Alabama an afternoon of problems. Considering that Ole Miss is said to have a better D-Line, is there a cause for concern, or our we just over-reacting to a tired team’s performance?

Even though some will automatically say “no, they were just tired”, I thought this would be a good question to make others sit back and consider the fact that injuries could really mess up our Offensive Line.

Think about the Andre Smith injury, and the mini-hold fest he had once he came back into the game with a tweaked elbow. You also should remember the Tulane game when Andre and Marlon Davis were both injured. This is a squad we really need to stay healthy for our offense to continue to play well. Hopefully, game changing injuries won’t happen again*knocks on wood repeatedly*.

Big Andre will carry this offense whether they like it or not.

If injuries do start to take their toll on our physical O-line, then bad things could start to happen to both the offense and defense. We’ve got talent on the 1st team, but we’re mighty thin when it comes to the 2nd string on down. The offense could start to sputter, forcing the defense onto the field longer that we would like. They’ll get tired, and could possibly break down towards the end of games.

Maybe I’m just an overly cautious guy, but I do think my concerns are legit.

3. What part of Alabama’s team concerns you against Ole Miss? Likewise, what aspect of the game should Alabama control?

With the domination of Clemson, Arkansas, and Georgia, most people have spoken very little of the problems we’ve had when it comes to Pass Defense. Clemson had no O-line, so it really never showed up, but it has given us a few problems from game 2 on. Matthew Stafford is going to get his stats no matter where you go, but they certainly were able to make the game much tighter with an impressive air assault. Even Mike Hartline of Kentucky looked fairly good when he was handing the ball to Rolando McClain is terror.

Jevan Snead is one of the better QBs in the country, so we better be prepared to see the guy tossing the ball around as much as he can…. whenever Nutt isn’t running his Wild Tecmo-Cat-Hog-Rebel formation.

I got a TD!…. Did that dude just wet himself?

If our Pass Defense has been a tad bit suspect, our Run Defense has been the Steel Curtain. Mount Cody and crew have been shutting down top back after top back, and I’m not sold on any Ole Miss Offensive Lineman not named Michael Oher having the ability to stop them.

If we can stop Spiller, Davis, and Moreno, then we can stop most anybody in the country (in theory).

Alabama Wins 17-14

Yeah, that wasn’t the prettiest game I’ve ever seen. Still, any SEC win is huge if you want to do well in the conference standings. Kentucky certainly did not back down for a full 4 quarters, and that deserves a hat tip to Rich Brooks, Mike Hartline, and whoever else played a key role in that performance.

Alabama had around 400 yards of offense, and only scored 10 offensive points. The cause can be tied to many mistakes by Alabama’s offense and special teams. What helped us out were 1 lucky roll after a mistake, and a case of butterfingers by Hartline. Those two plays kept this from becoming a much tougher game for the home team.

Saban’s reaction to the end of the game reflects the feelings of the entire Alabama fan base.

Yet the odd thing about this win was that the players with the biggest mistakes were able to bounce back and win the game for Alabama. Glenn Coffee had a case of the fumbles, but racked up a Touchdown and 218 yards on the ground. Leigh Tiffin missed 2 FGs, but hit the eventual game winner with 2 minutes to go. The O-line had too many holds for such a veteran group, but they provided the huge holes that gave Alabama that critical 8 minute drive for the last FG. Yes, our offense stunk it up in the 2nd half, but they did what it took on that monster FG drive, which included a midfield 4th down conversion.

It is now clear that Alabama has 3 critical issues that will come back to haunt the Tide later on in the year. They include: inconsistent Quarterback play, depth concerns, and poor Special Teams play. I’ll have more on that later in the week.

The rest of the SEC was good, but not great. Still, the Auburn-Vanderbilt game was a bit shocking. Even though the ‘Dores are ranked, nobody expected them to beat a much more physical and faster Auburn squad. Tiger fans are extremely unhappy about their current situation, so I imagine Tuberville will “encourage” Franklin to quietly send out his resume to non-BCS schools.

Arkansas fans must really be hurting right now. I hope they take some solace in the fact that it wasn’t a bad as the score indicated. Yes, they hung pretty tough for 3+ quarters.

Congrats to South Carolina and Tuscaloosa native Chris Smelley. Some say this was the law of averages for Nutt, but Ole Miss certainly has plenty of holes to fill. You should still give them a lot of respect, because they are dangerous enough to take advantage of a sloppy offense with multiple turnovers (see Florida from last week). I hope we got our turnovers out of us against Kentucky.

I want a grand finish to this post, but I’ve got nothing. Roll Tide.

Another LOLz Post

There are plenty of Bama-Kentucky laughs after the jump…

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