We were going to have an Auburn Hate Week piece ready last night, but it turns out that Jeremy Johnson threw it to the wrong blog. We apologize for the delay.
Even though Auburn managed to eke out a victory in overtime against an FCS powerhouse,* the weekend wasn't a total loss, as college football fans united throughout the nation to declare with one voice: Man, we really hate Auburn. It's nice that Auburn could bring so many different people together. It was sort of beautiful seeing the Ohio St and the Alabama fans both cheering for the same thing... well, other than drowning puppies.
* "Hey! A lot of those guys used to play on SEC teams before they got kicked out of school! Jacksonville St is actually a real good team!" - Auburn Fans
Auburn is a despicable program with a tradition of cheating on and off the field, intentionally injuring other players, and beating Alabama occasionally and then not shutting up about it. LSU and Auburn have the same number of wins against Bama this decade, but guess who gets treated like they have figured out the secret sauce?
That's right, Auburn. Your preseason pick by the media to win the SEC despite going 8-5 last year and then losing just about everyone off of their offense except for Duke Williams, who they lost, got back, lost, and then got back again. I'm sure that'll work out fine. Taking on players of questionable work ethic never fails to pan out.
Is there a program on earth that gets more credit for less accomplishments? I mean, other than Ole Miss. Auburn has not had back-to-back ten-win seasons since Pay Dye was busy slipping envelopes full of non-sequential bills to high school prospects. Yet Auburn has been picked to win the SEC because last year was just an aberration. Sure, it was.
That's because Team Overhyped found the perfect coach, a man somehow more overhyped than the school that now employs him. Just go ask Paul how great Malzahn is. That's the spell this man weaves... even LSU fans are caught in its web. Yes, he runs a prolific offense. Of course, he apparently thinks defense is the down time in which he can try and think up new plays.
Who was standing on the sidelines when the SEC's reign of terror of college football came to an end? Oh, that's right. And how did they lose? You guessed it. Because Auburn's defense couldn't stop a guy with a roll of hundreds from scoring in a whore house.
Everyone realizes that Auburn had the same record as LSU last year, right? And that Auburn ranks 81st in the nation in returning starts and 11th in the SEC in returning offensive starts? That sounds like a preseason first place resume to me! Oh, but they hired Will Muschamp, who is going to spread his magical defensive dust over their corpse of a unit.
Gee, how could this plan fail to work? You mean a quarterback with only 37 pass attempts isn't an out of the box Heisman candidate? Will the surprises never cease?! You mean just hiring a defensive co-ordinator doesn't suddenly make all of the players on the defense more talented? This is crazy talk!
After their close call last week, it appears the spell Auburn has cast over the national media is beginning to weaken. Some people are evenly openly questioning whether Auburn might actually need a defense to compete in the SEC. It's baby steps, but it's there.
But here's the thing, the spell has weakened, but it is not broken. The JSU game was fun, but in the end, Auburn won. It gets flushed down the memory hole or worse yet, becomes part of a narrative of character-building struggle if Auburn wins this week.
Toto has pulled back the curtain, but no one has looked over the see the man pulling all of the levers. It's time to wrestle that son of a bitch to the ground and make him cry uncle.
Yes, Jeremy Johnson has thrown so many terrible passes this season that the announcing crew honestly questioned whether he has problems with his eyesight. Yes, they were outplayed by an FCS team. Yes, Louisville rushed for 238 yards against them at 5.0 yard/carry clip. Yes, their quality win then proceeded to lose to Houston. Yes, they look like a team just moments away from being exposed as a fraud.
But that's what makes this game so dangerous. The villain doesn't turn himself in. He needs Scooby Doo to hold him down and remove the mask. Auburn is reeling, so now it's time to deliver the knockout blow.
Is there anything that could feel better than being the team to send Auburn's season on the road to ruin? I can't think of one. That's right up there with "getting married" and "birth of a child". That's how much I like beating Auburn. It's a feeling I've gotten to enjoy every single time Auburn has played in Death Valley this century.
Here's to one more.