History Repeating?: An Auburn fan/ "historian", attempts to predict outcomes of Auburn games by looking at seemingly unrelated historical events. A waste of time? Only if it doesn’t work.
Two straight? You bet! Win this week and that is called a winning streak. It has happened before.
So let’s see some hustle! Let’s jack it up a little! Obviously, we all need to be on our game when the Tigers go on the road for the first time all season. Especially when that road game is a conference game, and especially when that road game is in Starkville. Day games also give me the shivers, since I remember the Streak. No, not Auburn’s amazing run of wins when scoring 30 or more points, but a different weird statistical anomaly. Did you know, from January 1, 2006, at the Capital One Bowl against Wisconsin to the October 2, 2010, ULM game, Auburn lost 6 straight games against teams with maroon or red as their primary uniform color, when kickoff was before noon central? Pretty awful stuff. It took Cameron Jerrell Newton (praise him) to end that streak.*
Now we have a chance for a three-game winning streak? Something Auburn hasn’t had since 2014? I need to tread lightly here. The bad mojo of maroon/red teams before noon can’t cloud my vision as I peer into the past to determine the future.
One wrong step and all of it could vanish...
The Implementation of the Gregorian Calendar
On October 8, 1582, nothing happened. In fact, that date doesn’t even exist in many countries now, and if you lived in Spain, Portugal, or Italy in 1582, you skipped that date all together as it happened. How is this possible? How can a date just disappear?
Pope Gregory XIII had a problem. The Julian calendar, which basically the whole western world used, was causing a fuss with seasons and church holidays. It was about 10 days behind the actual changing of the seasons, and holidays were floating all over the place—dangerously close to Christmas being in the summer and Easter in the winter some years. Dogs and cats living together. Total Chaos. This calendar had been in place since 45 BC and wasn’t adapting well to the modern age. Gregory needed to fix it, so he appointed a commission of scientists, astronomers, and mathematicians to tweak the existing calendar and give him something he could work with.
For five years, these guys tinkered and tweaked the numbers before figuring out a solution that would make the Pope happy. The problem was, they needed to make a few days disappear—ten to be exact. On September 14, they presented their solution to Gregory. He approved, and informed all the Catholic countries they would be skipping October 5-14 that year. Basically, you would go to sleep on October 4 and wake up on the 15th. Everyone was going to have to move their birthdays by ten days as well. Some countries couldn’t get it done in time, the Germans rioted, the English and other protestant countries just flat out didn’t listen, and the result was a weird period in history where you could cross a nation’s border and have to set your watch forward or back 10 days, not just hours.
On October 8, 2016, the Mississippi State Bulldogs will realize something no longer exists: Dak Prescott. Well, he does exist, but he is just playing for the Dallas Cowboys these days. Without Dak Prescott, Mississippi State will find it extremely hard to move the ball against Auburn. Deshaun Watson found it difficult, and he is infinitely better than whoever Nick Fitzgerald is.
Auburn has made opposing offenses disappear all season, limiting teams to under 20 points in almost every game. Auburn forces its opponents into 3rd and long 53 percent of the time, and only allows 3rd and long to be converted 20 percent of the time. That is salty. Dan Mullen will have to go deep into the playbook to get Auburn off the ball Saturday, but Auburn will excommunicate those trick plays in ways that would make a pope from the 1500s like Gregory proud.
If Auburn loses to Mississippi State, fans will want this season to not exist. Three of the past four times these teams have played, the Bulldogs have won. The three seasons Auburn lost to Mississippi State are all considered disappointing years or even failures. This season hinges on this game. I know that sounds dramatic, but a good Auburn team can’t lose this one. A bad Auburn team definitely loses.
This is a good team, mainly because of the defense. Auburn fans will be pleased with the way it plays on Saturday, but will probably still find things to complain about on offense (I know I will).
Auburn wins a slugfest.
*Auburn is 4-5 AC (after Cam) in games that kick off before noon Central against teams who wear maroon/red as a primary uniform color.