This edition of the Crimson & White Roundtable was hosted by Tower of Bammer. You can follow the Roundtable at its website. I intended this to post yesterday morning, but I forgot to upload it for that purpose. D’oh!
1. While the actual players and coaches deserve some of the credit for last season’s success, it was our collective superstitions and dark rituals that brought home the championship. What was your superstitious contribution?
Alas, I’m boring and have no superstitions. Unless you count trying to engage in each of the seven deadly sins on Saturday a superstition—with special emphasis on gluttony. All those hot wings. MMMMmmm. And, that really is more like a tradition than a superstition.
2. Put on your Finebaum hat, dip your arrows in vile poison, and tell us which SEC coach is gonna be the first to get canned/and or bolt for greener pastures… like golf courses.
You could easily point to LSU’s Les Miles or South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and you wouldn’t be wrong. Those coaches must produce this year, or face serious consequences. However, the most obvious coach on the hottest seat is Auburn’s Gene Chizik. Put aside all the love and family nonsense you hear from Auburn people these days. Chizik remains on shaky ground. And if you doubt Chizik could be fired after one bad season—just head to Lubbock and ask Tommy Tuberville about how one bad season will doom you with the absurd expectations that float around Auburn. Never forget that Tuberville was a coach who won six straight games against Alabama and was fired because Auburn fans fear Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.
If Chizik cracks, and it is entirely possible because the guy is a mediocre coach surrounded by disloyal assistants like Gus Malzahn—and if you doubt Malzahn is disloyal just ask Houston Nutt—then Auburn will fire him. Don’t believe the family bull for a minute. When a good man like Tommy Tuberville is treated in such despicable fashion, you know Auburn will do anything to win.
This is a fertile subject because Derek Dooley at Tennessee is in a difficult position too. He is an outsider and is being treated much the same way Bill Curry was treated at Alabama. Dooley is a better coach than Curry, but when the house is divided against itself then problems follow.
3. We would love for this to go on forever, but let’s face it, we have to lose a game at some point, right? What team on next year’s schedule (pronounced shed-jewel) should cause the most concern?
Arkansas’s pass offense against a young secondary is always something to worry about. The game is on the road too. However, my pick will be the road trip to face the South Carolina Gamecocks. Provided South Carolina continues to play strong defense, then anything can happen. It falls after the Florida game so that could be an additional distraction.
4. Joe Paterno has already screeched “You can’t count on freshmen. Do you want to go down to Tuscaloosa with freshmen!?” but Penn State fans are buzzing about how true frosh Paul Jones looked in their spring game. Is JoePa playing it smart, clinging to an outdated case of freshmanastartaphobia, or just planning on starting a sacrificial lamb QB so Marcel Dareus doesn’t eat his good ones?
Paterno is correct. Young starters provide additional troubles because they haven’t played the game at full speed in a critical situation. Take a quick look back to the national championship game where the Texas quarterback comes in with limited experience. It took him a couple of quarters to get into rhythm. Most young players take several games to get into the speed and complexity of the game in college—and traditionally, the NFL was a season or two. While improved offensive drills in high school and college have helped improve the talent pool, it still makes sense to worry over inexperienced quarterbacks.
5. Everyone I know has a crazy story about dealing with an out of control swamp-thing rival from Red Stick, whats the craziest thing you’ve ever seen an LSU fan do? (Just to make things interesting, lets disqualify Shaquille O’Neal’s performance as a genie in Shazam)
The craziest thing that I ever experienced from an LSU fan was walking out of Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2003. It was a miserable game. Late. Horrible offensive performance. And don’t forget Mike Shula’s first season. One older LSU fan, probably in his 70s, was very happy walking out of the stadium. He was smiling. Talking. Turned over toward me with the biggest smile. The smile then faded into something else. Pitty. He shrugged his shoulders, looked back into the stadium and then said, “I don’t understand it, but don’t worry. You’ll get better.” The class was shocking. However, the pitty still makes me sick to my stomach.