Well Tiger fans, it has been a minute since last season. We all gained and lost weight, we all experienced the great highs that came with basketball season and some of us even made 12 dollars off of a certain parody song that is now on spotify and apple music and amazon music...
This season, Auburn starts with a tough opponent in the Oregon Ducks. To make matters worse, they have a great QB and our QB has never taken a snap in a college game before. Our starting QB was born only five summer olympics ago. He was born after the Y2K bug crashed all our computers and sent banking into the stone age! He was born after two of the Toy Story Movies were released! Dude’s only been alive for half of those toys’ story! Anyway, I’m nervous.
We need something to make us feel better about this week. We need to be able to look at past events in an effort to know the outcome of Saturday’s game before it happens. Luckily...I still remember how to do it. I think.
Let’s reach not into the esoteric ether of future events but instead back into the precise concrete pond of the past.
The Battle of Lake Poyang
The week of August 31, 1363. A massive naval conflict was raging between two rebel groups on one of China’s largest freshwater lakes. The forces of Zhu Yuanzhang were up against the navy of Chen Youliang. This was part of the Red Turban Rebellion as sunset fell on the Yuan dynasty. These two groups were fighting to gain control over the Yangtze valley and also to see who would be the dynasty to replace the Great Yuan.
The favorite going in had to be Chen Youliang with his much larger fleet and 650,000 men. He had the experience and struck first. Zhu Yuanzhang led a smaller fleet, but used aerial attacks of fire to destroy Chen’s ships. Chaos rained down on the Chen fleet as a weapon called the “NO ALTERNATIVE” was used. Basically this was a bomb on the end of a stick that was dropped onto another boat when Chen’s boats got close enough. These bombs were full of nails and bullets and gunpowder. Zhu’s forces got as close as possible to each ship and then threw fire bombs and shot proto-guns at the more experienced, larger fleet.
Basically a bunch of fast ships rode around and lit the higher ranked (the Coach’s poll was high on Chen) ships on fire with bombs and bullets. When they were done burning all the ships they could, Zhu’s boats rammed full speed into Chen’s and then shot crossbows at everyone in sight. Chen was shot in the forehead with a crossbow and that basically ended his campaign for dominance of the Yangtze valley on account of it killing him.
This battle cemented Zhu’s Mings as the leading rebel group and the one that would take command when the Yuan dynasty eventually fell five years later. You all obviously know Zhu by the name Hongwu which he took when he became the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty.
The Auburn-Oregon Game
Fast players? We got em!
Oregon comes into the game with experience, with a fancy low number next to their name, and with a big time prospect at QB. Auburn comes in with incendiary weapons on the defensive line.
If Derrick Brown—who I will now call NO ALTERNATIVE Brown—gets close to Herbert enough times, the Ducks will feel like everything is burning down around them. Auburn’s defense has the ability to make chaos happen on every single play. The entire starting front four is a reed tube stuffed with gunpowder and nails.
On Offense, Auburn can shoot some bombs themselves. Whether or not Anthony Schwartz plays, I look for a few deep balls thrown by Bo Nix to try to take the top off the Oregon defense.
This season can be a definitive one for Auburn and Gus Malzahn. Someone needs to be strong when the dynasty up north eventually collapses, and Auburn needs to position itself in the best way possible for that. A win against Oregon on national TV could go a long way in doing that.
I know what you’re thinking. The Battle of Lake Poyang started on the 30th and the game is the 31st. I know. Do you want something that actually started on the 31st?
You do don’t you?
Well. On August 31, 1864 Maj.General William Tecumeh Sherman (not a big fan of Tuscaloosa, may I remind you) started his assault on Atlanta. Talk about a sign. SEC Champs 2019 BABY! WE BURNIN EVERYTHING!