Our early season successes are still garnering us respect. Aside from keeping a #1 vote in the AP Poll this week, the Tigers still command plenty of respect around the blogosphere - notably here and here, among a few others.
Are they more objective than we? Probably. Do I think we deserve the #1 slot? It's arguable. We have the best wins out of any of the one-loss teams, with a six-touchdown annihilation of otherwise-undefeated Va Tech and a fairly easy win over otherwise-undefeated South Carolina. And Ohio State hasn't played anyone. And, till tonight, USF had a couple pretty solid wins (Auburn, WV) as well. Who knows. Right now it's all semantics. All I care about is that we win out and just finish in the Top 2 in the BCS. At this stage, IF we accomplish the former, the latter seems likely. USF has gone down, BC still has to go through Va Tech in Blacksburg, Ohio State still has to go through the gauntlet of @ Penn State - Wisconsin - Illinois - @ Michigan in consecutive weeks, and I have to think Arizona State - as impressed as I am with Dennis Erickson - will falter somewhere in this upcoming stretch of Cal - @ Oregon - @ UCLA - USC.
So it's on us. We very likely still control our own destiny.
By the way, I know our defense has been panned after last week and is likely still a very good unit, but did you know we are dead last in the SEC in redzone defense? Opponents are 15-15, including 11 touchdowns. 11 touchdowns!!!!
Even starting cornerback Jonathan Zenon thinks we should blitz more. Darry Beckwith says "Our play didn't represent us." Let's hope it's proved that way on Saturday. Auburn has proved a couple times in recent weeks that it's no slouch in hostile environments with wins at Florida and Arkansas. I'll be in Baton Rouge, and while I expect the crowd to be loud, it seems a stretch to believe it'll come remotely close to approaching that during the Florida game.
Other than the USF loss tonight, the best news I've heard all week: Early Doucet should play Saturday. It's about damn time. Now let's see that passing game start to WORK.
And while we're at it, could we maybe get this guy a little more involved, please?
Check out our fellow SBN blog Track 'Em Tigers for his week's worth of posts leading up to the Auburn game. They're WORSHIPPING ex-LSU defensive coordinator Will Muschamp over there (sample quote: "Women love him and men want to be like him"), and not just because he rattled off a couple f-bombs to his team on national television in last week's win over Auburn (Jay's got it up on Track 'Em, go look).
For other solid Auburn takes, read what Jerry has to say at The Joe Cribbs Car Wash. He notes that an Auburn win this weekend leaves the SEC West in their hands, as they'll only need wins at home against Ole Miss and Alabama to earn that trophy. We will need to be stout, as a slip up here and EVERYTHING that seemed so tangible seven days ago could be up in smoke.