Another lazy Saturday prompted by a morning kick. Saving money for these two trips over the next two weeks has made for uninteresting viewing. I am supposing I'll be at some beach locale for Saturday's LSU game, and likely watching the Foo Fighters. So, that's something.
1. Kiehl Frazier. Looked better, didn't he? Sure, it's early to get ahead of ourselves and think everything is fine. But maybe this is why most teams schedule "cupcake" opponents in the first two weeks -- to allow an opportunity to work out the kinks before throwing young players to the wolves (or Tigers or Dogs). Kiehl did a great job of going through his reads, he went to the right receiver most of the time and he made some big plays that ultimately proved the difference (the Sammie Coates Hail Mary). I told people last week to ease off the "sky is falling." Frazier looked fine against Clemson. He didn't win that game, but he didn't do anything to lose it either. And he showed those same sparks of life, especially with the bomb to Blake.
2. About the Hail Mary. It was the wrong call. And I cursed aloud at my television and shook my fist. Cody Parkey could have knocked out that 52-yard field goal. I have no doubt. Now, it eventually proved to be the difference, as three points would not have taken that game into overtime. But it doesn't mean it was the right call. I guess it's better to be lucky than correct sometimes. I think I had a whole rant about how much I hated the call prepared, but it vanished as Coates made the catch on the next play. Whatever. Still, wrong call.
3. Onterio McCalebb. I believe I saw the stat (I'm nearly certain of it, I just can't find anywhere to justify it) that McCalebb is third in school history in Yards Per Carry. How nutty is that? In this game, Squirrel averaged 11.6 yards each time he touched the ball. That's goofy. Is it possible that at a school known for producing running backs that Squirrel could leave it as the all-time leader in this category? It's a lot of fun to watch him run. I'm not sure he can make it in the League at his size, and the carries will continue to be distributed among other backs, as is the M.O. of most all teams now. Still, keep an eye on this development. You could be watching one of the most underrated backs in the history of Auburn football.
4. Alabama is boring. A preface: If you are the type of Auburn homer that is easily riled, just stop reading now. I have spent nearly a decade in Birmingham media, and I observe things -- takes, if you will. It's frankly much easier to make honest observations about Alabama because I have no sentimental attachment. Another preface: I realize how absurd this topic is. And I absolutely admit that if it were my own team, I would love every minute of it. But it's not fun for the rest of us anymore. As a rival, I can't wrap my head around why even their own fan base thinks it's interesting. Further, as I engaged this topic on Twitter with many of their fans, they were convincing themselves that there are tough games on their schedule that are in doubt. No. There aren't.
USC's loss on Saturday is already setting up another scenario of Alabama and LSU playing twice this season, regardless of the first outcome. And it's setting up a scenario of that topic being all we talk about for the remainder of the season. And it's boring.
When Auburn won the national championship in 2010, it did so with some nail biters. Games were in doubt. Last minute victories. When Auburn survived Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday, there were moments that made me leave my seat (the Coates touchdown). Sure, I'd rather not have had that sinking feeling in my gut, but the Warhawks had beaten an opponent the week before that we imagined to be better than Auburn just two weeks ago. And Auburn found a way to survive.
The only time I've thought an Alabama result to be in doubt over the last two years was against LSU. ESPN is trying to drive an agenda -- propping up other teams, doing a weekly feature on Urban Meyer on GameDay. But it's kidding itself. There is such a separation between the top two teams in America and everyone else right now, that it's starting to get boring.
The Auburn fan base often complains that Alabama fans spend too much time commenting on Auburn, watching Auburn, making jokes about Auburn, the team they say they "don't care about." I have fully convinced myself the reason Alabama fans are spending so much time on Auburn right now is because it's more interesting. And that's to be taken nothing above face value. If Auburn turns this into a respectable finish or if the wheels come off and it collapses, it at least brings the element of uncertainty. And uncertainty is fun to talk about. We've spent nearly three years having to hear about Cam Newton because controversy is fun to talk about. Conversation about 52-0 victories over division foes isn't fun. At least, it's not fun for anyone else.