Editor's Note: If you haven't figured out by now, the whole "Zone Read Between the Lines" series is all satire and just having fun. I note this at the beginning instead of the end, as I did last time, to appease some of the powers-that-be who have become concerned that blogs doing "fake news" stories and not being clear about it are hurting relationships with schools, conferences, etc for the network as a whole (that's more about April Fools Day than stuff like this, but still [Insert inappropriate back-and-forth hand motion, here]). Now please enjoy.
Ball stopper Nick Ruffin was asked questions after working out with his run/pass game teachers a few days ago. He had some things to say about day to day ball stopping and about how Josh Holsey is doing after getting his knee cut by a doctor. All pretty normal stuff. But I'm not writing about what he said. It's how he said it that caught the attention of beat writers and computer writers like me.
If you have seven minutes, watch this moving picture with sound of Ruffin talking to beat writers. I wrote out some of the most interesting things he said below, showing my interest with bigger letters.
And he [Coach McGriff] expects a lot out of every single player, whether it be a walk-on, scholarship, starter, backup, it doesn't matter. He expects the same amount of intensity, effort, and physicality out of all of us, and it CORRELATES to the rest of us.
Coaches make those decisions on who play, and he felt that somebody was more ADEQUATE to play than me at the time.
We do a lot of coding, programming, JAVA SYSTEMS, things like that. The purpose of WIRELESS ENGINEERING is designing defense systems, softwares, things like that...
Using big words like those, something quickly became easy to see to those in the room.
During his time at the podium, Nick Ruffin (@nickruffin20) used the words "correlate" and "implicitly." He's a really smart dude.— Ryan Black (@RyanABlack) March 23, 2016
Was probably the smartest person in that room today. https://t.co/ykYkceAqzQ— Tom Green (@AUBlog) March 23, 2016
He also mentioned that being a ball stopper in Muschamp's playbook isn't much different than being a ball stopper in Steele's.
Knows the game of run/pass ball pretty well? A student of doing stuff without metal lines between things that do other stuff? Someone who uses big words? All at a school well known for getting around the way things are supposed to be done?
Nick Ruffin is a bad man that knows things.
So what's his plan? Luckily, I have a handbook on these sorts of things. How to Rule the World, by Andre De Guillaume
First of all, Ruffin is in the right field. Part 3 of the book gives ten jobs that will probably lead to world controlling. Number four...
4. Computer programmer: The careers of Bill Gates, Bill Hewlett, and Dave Packard prove that the geek really can inherit the earth.
And you can add Tim Cook and Jimmy Wales too, both Auburn guys who control the world in their own ways with computers.
But will Ruffin wait until he enters the workforce to start his plan for taking over the world?
If he doesn't wait that long, he has a pretty good path for rising to power while on a team that plays run/pass ball. Part four of the book says that power can be reached by getting people to choose you more than others. Players are chosen over others as leaders of the team who then get to call heads or not heads before games. Once becoming leader, perhaps he puts together a quick "take their place" plan against the run/pass game teachers and Ruffin becomes the first player-teacher in big time college run/pass ball in tens of years.
Once in power as a player-teacher, he has to keep it. Part 5 of the book explains how to run a country, but it could give us an idea as to how Ruffin would make the Auburn run/pass game team his own in full once in power. He would immediately change the way of moving the ball and stopping the ball, maybe using a three-choice plan paired with letting the people on computers choose ball stopping plays like TURN AROUND. There would be nothing left over from the Malzahn times.
Keeping control is something different. Making Auburn people happy is the best way to keep control but it's easier said than done. Ruffin must win pass/run games and win a lot. As for those on the team that want leave for another school to get away from him? Part six of the book calls for "cruel and unusual punishments" in cases of acting against your leaders. The same thing for college pass/run game teams is to block going to another school. And you suddenly thought Kirby Smart was a bad person starting this week. Wait until you see the ways Nick Ruffin keeps people from going where they want.
The book goes on to break down the ways money and love change power, and how a leader might make the changes of his time last far beyond his years, but if Ruffin gets that far, then I failed at bringing the bad news of this man to light.
So, I'll just give you a couple of easy-to-see signs that, should they start to be seen with Ruffin, you will know it is time to act.
The first is about how news writers and picture takers act around him...
Television cameras should always shoot you from below to accentuate your height, and shoot your opponents from above to make them seem puny.
The second is to watch the way he acts when talking to the news writers and picture takers...
Above all, gesticulate. Wave your hands about when you give speeches.
Maybe Ruffin isn't the Nick we should be worrying about.