Whew, it’s been a ride already, hasn’t it?
After four games, it’s hard to believe the 2017 Auburn Football season is already one third of the way over. It seems like only yesterday we were giving out our annual Preseason “Looks Great in Practice” Heisman Trophy to another quarterback and then immediately demanding that the entire offensive coaching staff be fired when it doesn’t work out perfectly! I feel like we’ve gone through an entire season’s worth of emotions already, and it’s still September.
We’ve come a long way in a first trimester that has been daunting, harrowing, and even sometimes downright sickening, but we’ve arrived here together. If you’ll indulge another ridiculous metaphor, let’s take a look back at the classic* side effects** of early season Auburn football:
This usual suspect is one Auburn fans know well. One quarter you’re fine, watching your offense move the ball on the defending national champions, and the next, you’re dry heaving over a broken box score. Don’t worry; they say it passes.
Luckily, it’s not all bad. Sometimes you get to be excited about a brick wall defense eating quarterbacks for lunch. But then inexplicably you have to miss the exciting end of the Florida/Tennessee game because you’re in a nail-biter with MERCER***. What I’m saying is that things are unpredictable, especially this early on, and everyone just needs to be understanding of that and love you anyway.
Whether its a victory plate
Or a nice comfort pizza after a #badsports day
Look, sometimes you just have to eat your feelings. Unfortunately, those feelings can leave a lasting mark on our physiques. Good thing we’ve got such a strong and supportive family to tell us we’re beautiful! No really, I need to be told at least once a day.
Unlike football-induced binging, football-induced fasting strikes at regular, predictable intervals. I don’t know about you, but I experience this one just about every time Auburn kicks off. It has less to do with the quality of the opponent and much more to do with the ten million butterflies doing parkour in my tummy. This season has been no exception, with each game having so many question marks going in, mostly about Auburn. Meals in my house are scheduled entirely around football, with late kickoffs requiring late dinner. I can’t even think about food until the clock hits 00:00.
Sometimes your eyes can deceive you, and the offense you wrote off as ineffectual and the coaches you declared grossly incompetent a few weeks ago can put together a dominant performance against a team they were supposed to beat! Honestly Auburn’s dressing down of Mizzou’s already beleaguered squad may have been expected on paper, but I wasn’t going to believe it until I saw it with my own yes, and see it I did! After weeks of tough lessons, the team and coaches seem to be learning from their mistakes. Playcalling and execution finally met on one field, and the result was a sound thumping of a conference opponent****.
One of the side effects of having a productive offense after wandering in the desert for 40 quarters is the wonderful ALL CAPS stream of consciousness all of our followers are privy to on Twitter. Unfortunately not everyone finds our joy endearing. Some people were questioning our sudden enthusiasm, predicting it would cease as soon as Auburn played a team better than Mizzou (aka any other team). But while I am cynical overall just generally as a person, Auburn’s potential looks a lot bigger this week than each of the last three. I said I was done if Auburn didn’t show improvement, but it has. I’m not saying this team is an automatic playoff lock, but I am saying that they’re going to be fun to watch. So if you want to be a grumpus while we shout for Will Hastings, various Davises, the one good Holland, Kerryon, and the Kams, knock yourself out. The rest of us know we’re just thirsty but we’re good with it.
So where does that leave us going forward? Auburn is 3-1 heading into the meat of its SEC schedule with the Land-Grant Bowl staring us in the face. I wanted to name this column “Cow[bell] College” and explore the similarities***** between Auburn and Mississippi State before MSU’s game with Georgia replaced half of that hypothetical column with question marks. They looked unbeatable against LSU and completely mortal against Georgia. The season is still too young to know which team that says more about, so I’m just totally flummoxed going into Saturday’s game. I’m definitely glad they’ll be playing at Jordan-Hare, though. An evening game at JHS is never easy for any team, much less an opening SEC divisional opponent. And Auburn fans don’t even need cowbells.
If the Tigers have indeed built on each week’s struggles, I see us stealing a win at home. Some little bird told me we opened as a favorite, but I reject that.
Underdogs over everything. Onward and upward, Tiger fans.
Until next time—War Eagle!
*Or so WebMD says
**I promise not to get too icky
***One of my law school classmates is a proud Mercer Bear so I don’t actually mind it too much. They’re also playing Alabama so they should end up with some nice paydays for crossing the state line.
****Yes, I know they were very bad. But Mercer was in question last week. BABY STEPS.
*****You guys know I am a sucker for an ag school. MSU’s cowbells may be the worst, but they produce good vets (I mean, not as good as Auburn but still) and they have really, really good cheese.