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TAKES. 2ND EDITION, VOLUME 8

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WHERE SHOULD YOUR LEVEL OF BARNING BE RIGHT NOW?

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

I went to the 72nd Magic City Classic on Saturday. What a fun time! The crowd attempted to do the world's biggest "Wobble," complete with recording artist V.I.C. on hand to perform the "Wobble!" It fell short, because the sound system at Legion Field sounds like you would expect the sound system at Legion Field to sound. Sunday, Gene Hallman was quoted making demands of Birmingham Mayor William Bell to fix the sound system so that next year, we can get the "Wobble" right. That's super funny! I would think both men would have more important things to do.

But here we are.

I enjoyed the "Tips and Chips," which was a pile of ribs on a pile of delicious nachos. I enjoyed the bands -- A&M's band opened with a couple of ditties originally performed by popular recording artist Justin Timberlake. But I think Alabama State's band won. We left after halftime so my pal could watch the end of his Tide's showdown with the hated Volunteers and so I could watch Auburn's game against the mighty Owls of Florida Atlantic.

The Good Stuff: Every quarterback that Auburn put in, every running back -- deep into the depth chart -- looked good, right? But it was Florida Atlantic. So I mean, whatever. I don't know what I'm supposed to take away from that? When I saw Jonathan Wallace complete a pass to Trovon Reed in mop-up duty, it kind of brought things into perspective, right? That was a normal thing last year. Or kinda. But those two guys are so far down the depth chart now, that was completely meaningless.

The Bad Stuff: That one play from Jake Holland that is floating around the YouTubes. smh. It was Florida Atlantic.

Bert Hate ENGAGE: Bert is a clown. As has been noted quite a bit, he looks like Old Butthead. I think he had a thing with Erin Andrews once? He likes real American football, and Clay Travis thinks that Bert's wife is hot, despite himself being married to a professional cheerleader and having, presumably, a high speed Internet connection with unlimited possibilities.

Bert has the potential to achieve levels of hate from me beyond Dan Mullen. But I've forgotten about Bert since SEC Media Days, so let's see how this plays out.

This is a special game for Coach Malzahn and Coach Lashlee. They have more talented athletes. Regardless of any other intangibles: location, Bert's "trolling," etc. I feel confident about it, BUT:

Pump the brakes: Let's have a little "Come to Jesus," here, gang. I have encouraged you to "Barn Hard" and do it without limitations. Do it. But let's not go getting our undergarments ruffled because this Auburn team missed the BCS top 10 by one spot on the final poll of October 2013. Let's worry about what Auburn can control. Beat Arkansas. Beat Tennessee. Beat Georgia. And if those things happen, Auburn has a real shot at knocking on the door of the top five -- depending on what other chips may fall -- as the Tigers head into the Iron Bowl.

If Auburn and Alabama meet as top-five teams in the Iron Bowl, it will be for the SEC West. It will likely be a stepping stone to an SEC championship. Take care of those things, and it won't matter what a computer said about Auburn in October.

But beyond that, how spoiled are you? Settle down. 3-9, y'all. Winless in conference play.

Here is your Barning meter:

My level of Barning right now is: "Maybe Auburn makes New Orleans?!"

That means Auburn beats everyone except Alabama, the Tide represents the SEC in the BCS Championship Game, and the Sugar Bowl takes the conference's second-best team.

If your level of Barning is above that right now, you need to reel it in.

I'm not saying it is an impossibility, but it ain't likely.

Don't stay awake tonight fretting over if Auburn was 11th or 10th in the BCS this week.

If Auburn wins, if anyone in the SEC wins, it will take care of itself.

Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

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