Saturday, October 27, 2012

Confidence, Week 9

Halloween party last night. That equals late jump on the day.

So, not much to say here, other than us being 14-2 on the year. It's been a little crazy.

Okay, what I know:

Well, I dialed in earlier on South Carolina -13. But that does you know good right now. Sorry.

So, here are two more confidence plays...

Alabama -22'
I'm going to be there. Going to be an ass-whoopin'. Too bad for my boy Mullen.

Auburn/Texas A&M UNDER 53'
Auburn D keeps this number down. Auburn doesn't win, but not a total blow out.

Go get it.

Twitter: @harry_long

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Confidence, the Ocho

Alright, good morning to everyone. Let's make this a prosperous day. Whatever prosperous means to you, go for that.

We are 12-2 on the year by going with confidence. Should of been doing this all along. This week, it is simple and it is tricky.

First game is Alabama @ Tennessee. I've had Bama fans in the last 24 hours talk to me about being concerned about Tennessee's passing game and worried that they could jump out on Bama early.


Alabama's three defensive levels are all top-notch, and will come into the game looking to totally deflate the Vols. Erik Ainge was no help to the Volunteers this week. It's also worth noting that Nick Saban really seems to hold a value on this game. Winning it means something to him, as he always mentions how big this win is for the school each year. That's all I need to know. AJ can wear his brace all he wants. TJ Yeldon with 2 scores in his inaugural 3rd Saturday in October.

CONFIDENCE: Alabama -20

Over to College Station. No bomb threat as far as I'm concerned. I think there are a lot of people who are thinking that Texas A&M can put up some points. But I'm sure they are mistaken - Texas A&M is about to run into a real SEC defense. Any trips to the redzone will leave points on the board for A&M, as they'll be putting up 3s instead of 7s. And that'll cost them, but not us.


Let's keep this merry-go-round spinning.

I'm on Twitter. Check out the intellectualness. @harry_long

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chizik Being Left To Twist in the Wind

I guess my Auburn hate continues... Sorry, but that's the story of the past and present weeks.

I had a quick thought hit me on the ride back from Oxford. Where's the support for Chizik? (Other than his wife's Facebook page.) The Auburn administration has been awfully quiet this past month.

Lonesome Gene.
The longer that there is no positive statement by Auburn officials that Gene Chizik is their football coach for 2013 (I have yet to be able to find one - positive or not), the WORSE it gets for Gene.

Here's why: There's not one winnable game remaining on the schedule remaining that is significant enough to change the doubters' minds. Just look at it. They'll beat Alabama A&M and New Mexico State, but the rest of that slate?

Beating Vandy? That doesn't save jobs. Beating Alabama and/or Georgia? That might, but it ain't going to happen.

The longer the losing goes on this year with no statement or backing (besides the BS stuff you are hearing from Pat Dye on Finebaum's show) from Auburn brass, the public pressure will continue to mount on that group to make a move, because there's nothing on the horizon that can be done on the field to relieve that pressure.

Jay Jacobs - nothing to say here.
Jay Jacobs? Dr. Gogue? Anything to say? Where are you guys?

Rightfully or not, Chizik's being left out to dry right now.

Check me out on twitter for even more greatness, in 140 characters or less. @harry_long

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tuberville's Revenge?

Reporting LIVE from Oxford, MS!! As if that makes much of a difference, but whatever.

I'm sitting at a table with a load of Auburn fans who all they can say is how bad their team is. They're not angry, upset, distraught, none of that. It's like they've hit a wall of acceptance.

I'm glad I'm with these Auburn fans and not the looney tune faction. Because if I was, I think it'd be a different story.

As I type this (on an iPhone, which is awful for doing +140 characters), Tommy Tuberville's Red Raiders are up 35-7 on the #5 team in the country.

It would surprise me if there wasn't some faction of Auburn fans that, after watching the loss to Ole Miss today, are thinking, "We ran off Tommy Tuberville for THIS?"

From beating Alabama six times in a row to very possibly not winning a conference game.

Even though Tommy wasn't getting along with ANYONE towards the end (it seemed like everyone wanted to make each other's life miserable), I've always felt that pushing him out was a bit of a panic move.

And with what all has happened today, it continues to look more and more like a bad move.

I wonder if Tubs takes any enjoyment in all this. He has to, right? Do a great job for about ten years, get run off, and while there has been some success - let's not totally forget about that national title - his successor is getting the same grief he used to get.

And HE is about to pull off a huge win for his new school.

I can't say Tommy would be doing any better at Auburn today, and his success today may or may not have anything to do with his time at Auburn. But I think Tuberville is getting the last laugh today.

Twitter me, yo. @harry_long

Confidence Supported By An Air Mattress, Week 7

Today confidence comes from an air mattress in Oxford, MS, as I am here to witness the continuation of a debacle of a season. I don't know what Mrs. Chizik was up to, and I don't think that whatever it was that she was up to was what she ended up doing. (Now that is a sentence for my 11th grade English teacher.)

Regardless of my grammatical extensions, Auburn seems to be in quite a pickle. I hear that Moseley is going to start at QB for the mighty Auburn Tigers. Well, here's what I know...

Clint Moseley ain't good. And everybody who's been watching the last two years knows that, too. Kiehl Frazier? Well, he hasn't been consistently good, but he has shown a flash or two.

At least with Frazier you can hold on to 'hope'. With Moseley, there is no hope.

But what this sniffs to me, in the larger picture, is a desperate coaching staff. For real - this Auburn coaching staff is in danger of not winning a single conference game. Like, Woody Widenhofer territory.

And nobody wanted Woody.

Yeah, I think this is a panic move. I was telling my Auburn fans last night that with Moseley at QB, I bet that Auburn will try to keep their game to under 100 total plays. If they snap the ball before 5 seconds in the play clock, I will be beyond surprised.

Which leads me to the important stuff...

WE ARE 11-1 so far this year, by the way.

What do I know for tomorrow? With how I expect Auburn to try to navigate this game, we are going low, shorty.

CONFIDENCE: Auburn/Ole Miss UNDER 49

Next up, I don't know what everybody's thinking when I hear all this positive talk about Tennessee. Mississippi State's going to win 10 games this year. I've already told you that. Why won't you listen???

CONFIDENCE: Mississippi State -2'

I'm on Twitter, so clickety-click that Follow button. Even though Oxford, MS has ZERO cell service. @harry_long

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hot Seats

I got to checking out Coaches Hot Seat Rankings this afternoon, and down near the bottom (which is better for the coach), I saw a name that kind-of surprised me: Dan Mullen.

It's all subjective, but I do think it's pretty interesting how six weeks and a 5-0 record can totally change things for a football coach. Mullen came into this year with a donut against anyone in the SEC West that wasn't Ole Miss. Expectations had been all over the place - some met, some not.

Mullen's sitting in that cool, cool green.
I've been calling it - State's going to win 10 games this year. But to see the support (stability) swing so well. Mullen started out the year at #94 (higher the number, the cooler the seat) and now finds himself at #113. Just 11 slots below Nick Saban, who has a pretty secure gig.

I've already harped on this earlier today, but to compare how dramatic a little over a month of football can really be...

Preseason Coaches Hot Seat Ranking
#91 Gene Chizik.
In the neighborhood with Bronco Medenhall, Steve Addazio, and Frank Solich. Pretty stable guys.

And on Tuesday, Oct. 9th?
#3 Gene Chizik
Now hanging out with Derek Dooley (#2), Jeff Tedford (#4), and Joker Phillips (#5). Pretty toasty crew.

Please note that this is not an anti-Auburn blog site. I personally couldn't care less. But these situations fascinate me. Ask anyone who was around me during the Francione/Price/Shula debacle. I loved every second of it. So don't consider this piling on - it's kind of just what is going on right now.

And Gene's in that hot red.
That's 88 slots in the wrong direction. And by no means is Coaches Hot Seat scientific, but what percentage of the guy's in Chizik's company on that ranker will be at their school next season?

50%? Is that high?

Gene Chizik is 14 months removed from being the defending national champion. Now he's #3 on the hottest seats in college football.

So, uh... more attractive job or less attractive job?


Get your momma 'n em to give me a follow on Twitter. @harry_long

Auburn: The Bar Is Set, Make Your Move

Chizik - Straight rocking that chain.

Oh boy. This is a tough one.

I've been reading and listening over the past two days, and yeah, the Auburn faithful ain't happy. The over-reactive 'Chizik on the hot seat' that peered it's head out back in September was something that I thought was a bit media-created and endorsed only by the looneys.

Now, not so much. I've got Auburn fans - the sane, logical, intelligent ones, mind you - expressing to me how frustrated and - here's the key - doubtful they are about whether or not they have the right head coach. That's where you find the tipping point. Once you lose the rational fan base, you've got job security problems.

What I can't figure out, however, is the way the argument is set. Here are the numbers, and then we'll go from there:

Iowa State: 5-19 (but you knew that)
2009: 8-5
2010 with Cam Newton: 14-0
2011: 8-5
2012: 1-4

That's 36-33 overall. 15-12 in the SEC.

Where everyone gets all funky - rightly or wrongly - is that many use the opportunity to discard the 14-0 with Cam. Many pundits (Mr. Finebaum included) ask the question, "But what has he done without Cam Newton?"

Well, you see the numbers above. If 2010 was eliminated from history, he'd be 22-33 overall, and 7-12 in the SEC.

Those... those are not good numbers.

Back to what I can't figure out. Do you or do you not count the Cam wins? They happened. We all saw it, and until the NCAA or Danny Sheridan come up with a man with a bag, then it's going to stay that way. Gene Chizik was at the helm, and Auburn was All-In.

Is it fair to take that away?

It seems that anybody could of won with this dude.
When it comes to that question, I believe that much of the Auburn fan base is coming to the conclusion that anyone could have won the BCS title with Cam Newton at QB. And maybe they're right - it's kind of one of those things that you could spend forever (or hours upon hours of talk radio) debating. There is a lot of discomfort about the future direction of the program, and is a guy who just happened to have one silver bullet the key to a consistently winning and competitive program?

Fair or not, this is where the Auburn fan base finds itself...

But where is this?

Well, I think I can help figure that out. How bad are things at Auburn right now? Well, check out this list of comparables...

Your baseline, with the Bizarro "No 2010/Cam Newton World". I am completing this Auburn season at 4-8. (1 out of 3 in the Ole Miss, Vandy, A&M stretch. Take your pick.)

Gene Chizik, Auburn, '09 & '11-'12
20-18 (52.6%) overall
9-15 (37.5%) SEC
No division/conference titles
No appearances in SEC title game
No appearances in Final Coaches Top 25

Syl looking Sly
1) First up, Sylvester Croom. Mississippi State, '04-'08.
You know the story, but here are the numbers:
21-38 (35.5%) overall
10-30 (25%) SEC

Conclusion: Things aren't going well for Gene, but they ain't this bad. If only he was coaching at a pre-Dan Mullen Mississippi State, Chizik wouldn't be having any worries.

2) Ed Orgeron, EhrmesssRubbles, '05-'07.
Eddy spent more time 'cruitin and not coaching.
10-25 (28.6%) overall
3-21 (12.5%) SEC

Conclusion: The Ed Orgeron experience was high comedy for everyone (and on some level, maybe even including Ole Miss fans). Gene is well above the cartoon that was Orgeron. At least Ole Miss got The Blind Side out of it.

3) Gerry DiNardo, LSU, '95-'99
32-24-1 (57%) overall
18-20-1 (47%.4) SEC
2 co-division titles, no appearances in SEC title game

Hmmm... This is where it starts to get close. DiNardo has Chizik on the percentages, and Gerry picked up a couple of co-division titles (which don't count for much, but oh well). His last two years, though, he had a 2-13 SEC record and wasn't allowed to finish the '99 season. Chizik has the national title, of course, but in terms of where the program is heading, it definitely bares a DiNardo-ish look.

4) Ron Zook, Florida, '02-'04
23-14 (62.2%) overall
16-8 (67%) SEC
1 co-division title, no appearances in SEC title game
3 appearances in final Coaches Poll ('02-24, '03-25, '04-25)

Numbers be numbers, and when it comes to these numbers, Zook's got Chizik beat, hands down. The worse news for Chizik? He was fired mid-season, when they were 1-6.

Poor Mike.
5) Mike Shula, Alabama, '03-'06
26-23 (53%) overall
13-19 (40.6%) SEC
1 appearance in final Coaches Poll ('05-8)

Oh yes I am. Couldn't leave out my boy, deer-in-headlights. And WOW - those numbers are awfully close, aren't they? In the Cam Newton-less world we are talking about here, at the end of the 2012 season, he will have a slightly WORSE record (percentage-wise) than the great Mike Shula. Chizik is unquestionably a more dominating, confident figure than Shula, but results are results. Pat Dye's "nice guy" argument is going to get put to the test, because nobody was a "nicer guy" than Mike Shula.

If Auburn fans are worried about directions, just think back to the good old days of six in a row. Now flip it.

Whether or not it's fair to remove the Cam Newton days from the equation is debatable and I'm open to those arguments. But the rational Auburn fans who are now starting to rethink this situation, maybe there is something to it.

Four out of five of the above teams made moves and benefitted from it. Florida, LSU, and Alabama all won national titles and maintained a high level of competitiveness. Mississippi State appears to finally be making up some ground. Ole Miss... well, Hugh Freeze has a lot of work cut out for him.

The key here is that those programs didn't try to wait out the "good guy" longer than the minimum. If it wasn't working, the coach had to go, and they brought in someone new. It is this post-move sustained success that Auburn is trying to achieve - and why the Auburn faithful are starting to believe that a change is the best option.

And that's why they are taking Cam away.

UPDATE 2012-10-09 11:21
Some reader feedback from Alex D.:
Regarding your Chizik blog, I agree with you 100%. I think I recently referred to 2011-present as "AU's Shula Years" the other day, but your post got me thinking...Didn't Shula accumulate those percentages while on some sort of probation that limited scholarships? I'm too lazy to look it up, but if that's true, then #5 on your list carries even more weight.
I appreciate the honesty on your level of laziness. Everyone should be so up front.

As to your point, Shula sure did. The probation was a big factor in why Francione ditched Tuscaloosa. Shula was also battling the public relations disaster that was Mike Price. I still think Shula was incapable of managing four quarters of football, but he didn't have it easy either.

I'm on Twitter, and it would behoove you to follow me. @harry_long

Friday, October 5, 2012

Confidence Rolls Into October, Week 6

Well, I'm not going to point out that we went 90% in September. I'm just not going to do it.

Instead, I'm just going to go collect, and keep it all. Then spend it on alcohol and women who aren't really interested in me.

That's what I'm going to do.


Man, did we kick the shit out of September or what?!?!?!!

Confidence rules like a steamroller. And there's more pavement to lay. Lets do this.

Confidence oozes through Columbia one more time. I've a couple of UGA fans hit me up this week and ask me me my thoughts.

I tried to warn them before I answered, but they wanted to hear it any way.

I'm certain that Carolina's defensive ends are going to be highly acclimated with Aaron Murray Saturday. Also, Murray doesn't beat top 20 teams. Or at least he hasn't yet.

With South Carolina getting the homefield and having the better - yes BETTER - running game, Carolina wins and covers a less than field goal game.

All you kiddos yapping about Georgia's running-by-committee game, save it. Lattimore is about to have his best game EVER. Before and after.

South Carolina, minus the deuce.

Up in Lexington, the wrong-line game. A glitch or mistake had Kentucky as a 14' point favorite in the early part of the week. Unfortunately, my man had caught the glitch.

Still, State is giving ten. I don't think that's too much for a team that could win 10 games against a team in the bottom 5% of the FBS.

Confidence: State -10

Let's continue the diabolicalness.

I'm on Twitter, and there is no doubt you would benefit socially by following my every word. Do it. @harry_long