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Optimistic TAKES for a less optimistic America.

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
I got behind. Six straight weeks of traveling and day job stuff and (paying) freelance stuff finally caught up with me. And then when it was all wrapping up, I up and decided to move (down the street). So TAKES was neglected. And there's no podcast anymore.

I've failed you.

You come here wanting TAKES, and I've not given you TAKES. But you managed just fine, right? Maybe that's because TAKES live with each of you. Make no mistake, the TAKES are only ever as hot as you want them to be. Sincerely. TAKES only matter because you want validation for something you were thinking or you want to be mad. I've done it, you've done it, Skip Bayless has done it.

So like cutting yourself just to bleed, let's see if my TAKES can make you feel something.

1. Remember when Gus Malzahn was on the hot seat? I mean, I don't. Not if you read and agree with TAKES. But if you read or listen to other people that are dependent on you clicking on their stories or sticking around through the commercial break to pay the bills, you probably heard a lot of it.

I remember one local radio host asking if Auburn fans "would take Lane Kiffin as their head coach" and a local columnist that already had Art Briles moving to Auburn based on well-sourced rumors.

Gus Malzahn was never going to lose his job this season short of absolute disaster. And it was never a disaster. I don't know why people couldn't step back from 1-2 for just a moment and realize that Auburn had lost to two really good teams, but that's neither here nor there. Malzahn very loudly handed over playcalling duties to Rhett Lashlee and Auburn's defense is amazing and it's all seemingly fixed. Like, a win at Ole Miss on Saturday almost guarantees eight wins and probably sets up nine.

And then who knows? Maybe the unthinkable happens after Thanksgiving.

What's that? Optimism? It is. While there's no denying that Alabama has strangled the life out of college football and its fans, only satisfied with perfection, the misery of others and telling other fans how much they know about their team, have ripped the fun out of it, I would be pretty okay with an excuse to go to Orlando or Tampa or something else wild in January. This team is one of my favorites, even though by the standards we now use to remember teams by, they aren't going to have much to show for it.

Would you have taken eight wins on August 31?

2. RBU. Auburn had one running back go pro (maybe prematurely?), it kicked one running back off the team and it had another transfer.

How then is this team at least four deep at running back?

Who is your favorite? Mine is Bubba Pettway. He's a battering ram and it's as fun to watch as this defense.

They're like The Beatles or something. Bubba is the tough one, Kerryon is the funny one, Stanton is the smart one and Eli is the quiet one. And I'm batting my eyes and just might faint I'm so damn excited that they've come to town.

3. Oh hey, Sean White was the one. I think I said that here weeks ago? I know I said that here weeks ago. But JF3 is finding a place and I'm happy that he has.

4. Dameyune Craig. I've seen a lot of folks hating on Dameyune recently. I think he probably made a bad career move and it's not gonna pay  off the way he had hoped, but he felt like he needed a change. I get it. I just moved for no reason other than I wanted to see something different out my window.

I have no doubt that Dameyune loves Auburn, but more importantly right NOW - the dude left Auburn STACKED with wide receiver talent. So maybe cut him some slack and go back to fond memories of him. Maybe one day he'll come back. He's still a young man in coaching years.