Saturday, November 13, 2010

To Cam or Not To Cam

Yeah, I'm interested in how all this is going to play out. I was talking with a friend last night, and we were trying to balance today's decision about whether or not Cam Newton will play for Auburn.

A couple of different scenarios:

1) The "Stand By Your Cam" Stance: Auburn maintains that it's all "garbage", Cam Newton did nothing wrong, and dammit, he's going to play. Totally fine with this if Auburn - at this point in time - HONESTLY believes that Cam Newton didn't do anything wrong.

If this is truely the case, Auburn could possibly side-step any huge (or at least 'more' huge) penalties with a 'we honestly didn't know about all this stuff' position if things go south.

But here's the problem - if things aren't on the up and up - don't you think Auburn probably knows that by now?

Which leads me to #2...

2) The "To Hell With You And All Your Rules - Cam's Playing" Stance: This is where Auburn decides to stay with their boy, despite knowing deep down that he's ineligible. On the surface, you can almost rationalize a "what else would Auburn have to lose?" theory - if they are going to have to vacate wins, what's the difference between 10 vacated wins and 12 vacated wins? In the grand scheme of things, not much, right?

Wrong. This would probably be the dumbest thing anyone could do. To know that it's wrong and be so stubborn to the point that you put the guy on the field anyway. It's kind of like a drunk guy that can't remember what he just said, but is positive he's right about whatever is going on.

And maybe Auburn fans would rally around this. They can hike up their britches, breathe in through their noses real deep, and give everyone a "what are you going to do about it?" attitude. That'd be awfully short-term thinking. And really, really dumb thinking. Who exactly are you thumbing your nose at? The 800 lb NCAA?

If you throw a guy out on to the field that you KNOW shouldn't be eligible to play - that's lack of institutional control. And Gene Chizik will have truely made his mark on Auburn football.

That's why I don't think he'll play today. Which is #3...

3) The "Shit. We Knew It Was Too Good To Be True" Stance: Yep, Auburn fans. Wave the white flag. I was actually pulling for you guys on this one. It wasn't too long ago that I was declaring Cam Newton as one of the greatest college football players I had ever seen.

I was listening to Paul Finebaum's show a week ago and a caller (surprisingly Paul was taking calls that day) was throwing a conspiracy rant on Mississippi State insinuating that they should keep their mouths shut and that they were "just mad they didn't get Cam to Starkville" and that "it wasn't like they'd be undefeated if they had him". I totally disagree with that. If Cam Newton was at State, they would be 9-0. Because what is Auburn minus Cam Newton? A lot like Mississippi State - or maybe not even that.

It's unfortunate it all had to roll out like this. One of the more exciting players college football had ever seen, mixed in with the Auburn Tigers legit shot at a national title, right on the heels of Alabama's win last year. Auburn would have shown that despite Nick Saban dominating the state press for the past four years, Auburn was still there and was a factor.

This would of been HUGE for Auburn.

Instead, they're now stuck with three undefeated seasons, no national title, and an NCAA (and FBI) mess for the next few years.

I'll be having fun with this throughout the day. Be sure to follow me on Twitter, @harry_long.
Picks and locks in a bit.