Published September 6, 2011 - 7:19pm
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Tuesday Night Tailgate comes out every Tuesday night in season…TNT discusses the important and not-so-important issues in the world of college football each week. Why? Because nothing makes more sense than mid-week tailgating and football talk.
College football is like an old friend. You may only see him once a year, but when he’s in town, it’s like he never left. Week 1 brings that usual feeling. Games are back, and it’s like they never left. Falling into our gameday routines is like riding a bicycle; you never lose that skill baby.
Thankfully, we’re getting the hang of this Tuesday night tailgate concept as well – soon it will be a staple of my lifestyle like church on Sundays and drinking beer at lunch on Fridays. Err, nevermind.
We kick off the TNT with talk of the two big games that took place in Arlington and Atlanta. One a big win for the conference and the other, well, not so much. The game of the week as indicated by the location of the ESPN GameDay broadcast was of course the LSU / Oregon game. I predicted an ugly, low scoring game in which LSU won. I got the ugly part right, but because of some key plays, the score was higher than I thought.
The main question here is whether or not LSU is that good or maybe Oregon is a little overrated. Probably both, but I’m going to lean on the Oregon being overrated part. Imagine if LSU actually had a passing game how nasty they’d be. I suspect the LSU season will look a lot like last season where they go something like 10-2 with a bunch of close wins driven by the combination of dirty defense and Les Miles magic.
It is awesome to be an LSU fan. Not only do you have this weird guy as a coach who just flat out wins games, but you also have your own language. Sure Alabama fans have their “Roll tide” saying and Auburn fans acknowledge eachother with “War Eagle,” but LSU fans take it another step further. They have replaced “GO” with “GEAUX.” Awesome.
The main reason this is awesome is that it allows immense creativity in the signage department. Take for instance the image of the “Les Miles is a homeaux” sign that I reach and try to find a reason to post on nearly every article I write.
I’d really like to see this continue to evolve. Oregon bleauxs. Jeaux Paterneax is old. Petrineaux is the man. Our team is 1-and-eaux. You get the point.
On to the debacle inside the Georgia Dome – a game I got to see live. Let me just say this before I start, I saw Kellen Moore in the press conference and this guy should not be able to dismantle an SEC defense. The guy looks like an actor from the old show, The OC. Similarly, Aaron Murray looks like he belongs on Jersey Shore. Which would you prefer? Well, on Saturday, The OC won.
Also interesting was the amazing transition from a championship-like atmosphere with the stadium full of Georgia fans (incredibly loud) – climaxing of course at the point of Boykin’s 80 yard touchdown run – to a crowd leaving early in the 4th quarter. I know the five points in downtown Atlanta is tempting, fans, but let’s support our teams a little better please?
It looks like 2011 might be the year that we get to see the old “good guy” vs underachieving team argument play out centered of course around Mark Richt. Approximately 75% of Georgia fans defend Mark Richt by his character and what he means to the community.
I don’t know if it is a good thing or a bad thing to have the reputation as a swell guy if you’re a coach of a major college football program. I mean honestly, always being defended as a “great guy” typically means you’re a terrible coach. It’s like when a girl breaks up with you but tries to downplay it by calling you a “good guy.” It sucks. I’m thinking the answer is to just be an all out ass. Then, if you are a winner, everyone just defends the fact that you’re such a jerk by claiming it’s part of the formula for winning – a la Michael Jordan.
The guys and I decide to play a game where one person calls out the name of a coach and someone immediately responds by describing him in a few short words or less.
Will Muschamp. Boom! (What does this even mean?)
Nick Saban. Dominate.
Houston Nutt. (awkward silence)
Derek Dooley. Nerd.
Steve Spurrier. Hilarious.
Les Miles. George W Bush.
Mark Richt. Great guy.
See? You should try it on a co-worker. Tell him you’re going to name a few names and to respond with the immediate words that come to mind. A few names in, give him “Mark Richt.” It’s pretty comical actually how consistent this is.
It’s similarly comical to that scene from The League where the guys are discussing how you can always tell if someone is talking about a black football coach because they always describe him as “classy.”
Joker Phillips. Classy.
Mark Richt. Good guy.
As we look to next week, we’re pumped because conference play gets underway and frankly, there are some big time games. Mississippi State / Auburn will show us just how good Mississippi State is and just how bad Auburn is. Honestly, how many Auburn fans mentioned the huge Gene Chizik contract extension when it looked as if Auburn was a minute away from blowing week 1 at home against Utah State?
If you take away victories that are led by Cam Newton, Gene Chizik is 12-24 as a head coach. Now, nobody is saying Chizik isn’t a worthy Auburn coach. The question is did you really need to raise his guaranteed salary from $2.1 million annually to $3.5 million?
Can we use the Mississippi State / Auburn game to make a final call on whether or not Gene Chizik or Dan Mullen is a better coach? I don’t see why not. After all, I enjoy making large, definitive statements based on a small sampling of data.
The South Carolina / Georgia game is amazing. Think about the impact potential of this game. It could be one of the last nails in the coffin of Richt’s career at Georgia or one more implosion on the Stephen Garcia multi-year train wreck. Throw in some of the most exciting young running backs in Marcus Lattimore and Isaiah Crowell and this is going to be awesome. The loser of this game has never won the east… nothing like a week 2 elimination game – especially considering the drama on both teams.
Here’s a question to consider… what would be more odd, to see Mark Richt break his good guy mold and go Bo Pelini on one of his players or see Steve Spurrier show some love to Stephen Garcia and maybe wash his feet on the sideline? Wow, I couldn’t even keep a straight face as I typed that.
Ok, enough nonsense for this week. Enjoy week 2.