Hello. It's been a long time. How have you been? Oh me? Well, I've been really busy since that nearly last second loss in the BCS Championship Game. Oh well, I've moved on and hey, I see you have brought some fresh new faces with you. Welcome to Wednesdays with me, Oscar Whiskey, and just like you, I am quite excited for the soon to begin 2014 college football season. What with all the new changes and additions to the landscape that is college football. Hey! Did you know there is going to be a 4 team playoff this year? That's pretty cool right? I'm sure it is going to work out swimmingly for everyone and we, as college football fans, will finally have the champion we deserve...as long as it's not Alabama. Anywho, let's get this started, shall we?
The Return of the Braggart of Prophetstown
Last year before the game against Arkansas I made it quite clear that I do not care about Bret Bielema. I do not care about the things he says or the way he acts. I did not care before, during or after that game and now, leading up to this year's contest I still do not care about Bret Bielema. Let him talk all he wants because that is part of his job and if you think that what he is saying is ignorant, uninformed or downright stupid then think about the absurd amount of money he is being paid to say those things and take solace in that.
That doesn't help? Too bad then and honestly, why in the hell do you give a crap what BERT says? He's not the coach at Auburn. Gus Malzahn is the coach at Auburn and he's the only person we should listen to in the first place. Followed by his assistants and then the staff and maybe the players and a few of your favorite Auburn bloggers, I guess...just come here first though.
The only thing that truly matters about this match up with the RazorBERTs is that this is an SEC West Division game and the only acceptable result is a check in the Win column. Whether this win comes about via Jeremy Johnson's arm or the winged feet of the Tigers' RB Crew or hell, maybe Auburn's defense steps up and crushes the life out of Arkansas' offense.
Comfort Food for Thought
Since joining the ranks of college football coachdom, Gus Malzahn is 6-2 in opening games. The two loses came against #6 Southern Cal in 2006 (his first year in college football) and in 2012 against #5 Oregon (his first year as a head coach). More importantly, Malzahn is 4-0 in openers for the Tigers.
The lease amount of points a Gus Malzahn offense has scored on the first game of the season is 14 points, which was against USC. The transverse being the most points scored; 52 by 2010 Auburn against Arkansas State.
The total amount of points across eight openers: 290. That averages out to 36.25 points a game and granted, a lot of those points came against not the best of competition, however, Malzahn's 2012 Red Wolves put 34 on the board against the Ducks...who were being blown out 50-10 in the first half but that's beside the point.
What I am getting at here is that I honestly do not expect this latest iteration of the Auburn Tigers to slow down in the slightest. This isn't boasting or overconfidence or even a lack of respect for the Razorbacks as it all boils down to simple trust in Gus Malzahn. It was his appointment at Offensive Coordinator 5 years ago by Gene Chizik that made me okay with Chizik's hiring. Malzahn's return to the Plains as head coach last year had me thinking maybe Jay Jacobs does have a brain in that skull of his (not a very big one though). When Auburn was making its final drive against Alabama in the Iron Bowl and Malzahn kept calling the same play with the clock running down all the while I'm screaming "GUS STOP! STOP CALL TIME OUT! GUSSSSS!" he kept making the calls and we all know how that ended.
I sure would have loved for Nick Marshall to start this game and give Auburn's visored and spectacled skipper his first returning quarterback ever, but Marshall made a mistake and Gus made a decision. That's part of Malzahn's job and these are things I trust him to do correctly and not let them be the focal point of his program. For once, it honestly feels like Auburn has a man at the helm who is looking up past the bow and not what's getting churned up in the wake. I trust in what he does and I take comfort in that.
As in the total mileage I will be covering on Friday from Houston, TX to attend this Saturday's game. It is not the first time I've traveled this distance for a weekend of football and Auburn Jesus help me, it won't be the last. It is important to keep oneself entertained on long hauls such as these. Some people listen to music at full blast in their vehicle and sing along terribly. Those traveling with families play car games like "I Spy" or "20 Questions" or "See Who Can Go The Longest Without Talking," which usually ends with someone cheating, lots of yelling and threats of no Dairy Queen dip cones for anybody.
Last year I suggested several podcasts as it still remains, for me at least, the best way to kill time and distract you from all the things you might encounter on the road like hitchhikers, road signs, speed traps and power-mad state troopers. Yes, it is very important to maintain your focus while driving at all times because you know no one else is (I'm the only good driver on this planet and the rest of you are just in my way).
Well, that's it from me this week and I hope to see y'all out there on Saturday. Make sure to tune in next week, same Whiskey time, same Whiskey channel, College and Magnolia dot com.