Category Archives: Auburn

#SECPreviews- West: #2 Ole Miss Rebels


Do you know how hard it is to say to yourself, “yeah, I could be right, but let’s play it safe so I don’t look like an idiot”?

I do it on a daily basis, and it applies here. I wanted to pick Ole Miss to win the SEC West. Reasons being:
– The nation’s best defense;
– Everyone ELSE is losing their QB too, Ole Miss is the only one losing someone guaranteed to lose them games (RIP, Dr. Bo);
– Nobody else I’ve seen has had the balls to do it.

Alas, I also lacked the cojones. Coming in at #2 in the West, Ole Miss.

What Happened Last Year?

In the Fall of the Mississippis, Ole Miss joined Mississippi State in enjoying an epic ascendance to the top of the polls followed by a precipitous and somewhat disastrous drop.

On the strength of a 7-0 start including wins over Boise, Alabama, and at Texas A&M, the Black Bears rose to #3 in the polls at a time where that was good enough to put four SEC West teams in the top 10. Then the injuries came. Consecutive heartbreaking losses against LSU and Auburn (as always with stupid Auburn magic, not GIF-fing the way Ole Miss lost that one) followed. An inexplicable shutout loss at Arkansas came two weeks later.

After beating Mississippi State, well…their second trip to Atlanta didn’t work out so well.

ouch

42-3 losses sting. Much more coming off your program’s breakout year. Even moreso in a bowl game. But the worst is knowing that the final score should’ve been even worse. One doesn’t come out -300 yards that relatively unscathed that often.

Three Key Games

Hell, after the TCU game, they’re all key. But…

Oct. 3 at Florida: Let’s assume that vengeful Saban gets a home win on Sept. 19, and that Ole Miss recovers to beat Vandy the following week. After that, all of the games are…pretty winnable! Don’t be the team Florida gets to point to as a turnaround point, Ole Miss.

Oct. 31 at Auburn: So, pretty tough road slate, huh? This is kindof the anti-Texas A&M. Ole Miss’ top opponents are road tilts when you consider the fact that the Egg Bowl visitor (which Ole Miss is) is 2-14 the last 16 years.

Nov. 21 LSU: The disclaimer up top preassumes that I think a West title is still in play at this point. As such…

Five Players to Watch

ROV Tony Conner: One of my favorite players to watch in the SEC, Conner can drop into coverage as a true safety or lay the wood in run support. At 6’0 220, he’s not QUITE your prototypical box safety size, but he’s close and it doesn’t matter.
DE Marquis Haynes: The sophomore won’t get the hype of the Nkemdiche brothers, but led the team in sacks as a true freshman with 7.5.
LT Laremy Tunsil: World’s greatest domestic abuser and one of the four guys from that inexplicable recruiting class of 2012 that merits ‘could be a marquee player anywhere’ consideration, Tunsil is the rare O-lineman whose name we know better than the QB’s. Unless the QB’s name is…
QB Chad Kelly: Oh, shit.


I don’t know if this represents progress from Dr. Bo.

TE Evan Engram: The best TE in the SEC, assuming Lane Kiffin continues to forget about O.J. Howard.

#SECPreviews- West: Ugh, #3 Auburn


Coming from ACC country, I was not indoctrinated with the proper hatred for Auburn in my childhood. They were largely irrelevant on the national stage throughout my childhood, as a quick scan of my brain pre-2010 really only registers the 2004 Cadillac Williams/Ronnie Brown/Jason Campbell team, which (lol) didn’t get a chance to play for a title even though it finished undefeated.

That worm has fully turned. Starting in 2010 with the fully hateable Cam Newton and Nick Fairley squad, I began an irrational loathing towards Auburn that has only escalated rapidly since starting and finishing my time in Athens.

Now, just…ugh. The lucky plays in 2013. The former Dawgs having successful careers there. The admittedly fun to watch offense. Now, Will Muschamp round two.

Eff Auburn.

What Happened Last Year?

After a 5-0 start with impressive wins against Kansas State and LSU, the Tigers completely fell off the map. It was glorious. I realized they still finished with a respectable 8-5 record, but it may be a little bit deceiving.

A loss at Mississippi State was followed by a dangerously-close home win against South Carolina, who had a Hail Mary chance of tying the game as time expired. Speaking of close calls, they won at Ole Miss the next weekend by 4.

Then, finally, the levee broke. Home loss to Texas A&M. Blowout loss at Georgia in the second-most-fun-game-I’ve-seen-in-Sanford. A pedestrian win over Samford. A shootout loss at Alabama. And to top it all off, a nice Outback Bowl loss to an interim-coached Wisconsin team.

I’m selling on Auburn’s high preseason expectations (they got the most votes to win the SEC at Media Days despite not being picked to win the West). Those last eight games I mentioned? 0-8 against the spread. Hopefully, we have more ‘warm beagle’ to come in 2015.

I wanted to pick them lower. But, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on two factors: the possibility that Will Muschamp rights the ship on D (impact likely to be overrated opposite a HUNH offense), and the opinion that Jeremy Johnson adds the vertical passing game element that Nick Marshall largely did not provide.

Three Key Games

The overarching theme in these previews is that all of the SEC games are key. Having said that…

at Arkansas, Oct. 24: There’s a pretty good chance Auburn comes into this one 6-0 (3-0), making a road game against an up-and-comer like the Hawgs (who also do a pretty good job of controlling tempo) Verne and Gary production. It also opens a stretch that finishes with Ole Miss, at Texas A&M, and…

Georgia, Nov. 14: They had their manhood taken by the Dawgs last year. A win would put them 2-0 in the cross-divisional games, giving them hope for the West title if everything shakes out.

Alabama, Nov. 28: You mean to tell me that a battle of 4 of the last 6 national champions is still big news? How about that. The last time this matchup took place in Suburban Opelika was the kick-six game, so…yeah, top that please, Iron Bowl.

Five Players to Watch

DE Carl Lawson: He tore his ACL before the season last year, but was a freshman All-America as an SEC D-lineman. No small task. Muschamp’s hybrid 3-4/4-3 will call for Lawson to be the versatile point man.
FS Tray Matthews: Last time he had live action in Auburn, it didn’t go well (not linking the Prayer GIF again). He joins a secondary of three returning starters, and craptheirdefenseactuallylooksprettygoodonpaper.
QB Jeremy Johnson: The junior has played well in spot duty for two years, completing over 70% of his passes (and never an interception) in both 2013 and 2014. In the driver’s seat now, the only question I have is whether he can replicate Nick Marshall’s success running the ball.
WR Duke Williams: The scariest of the returning receivers, Williams burst onto the scene with 16.2 yards per catch, falling just 11 yards short of leading the Auburn team in receiving. With Sammie Coates and Quan Bray gone, he’s a safe bet for a 1000+ yard season.
LB’s Cassanova McKinzy/Kris Frost: Had to skip back to the D, because they’re going to help Lawson create a pass rush. Both were over 87 tackles and 6.5 for loss, both had interceptions, and both have been starters for two years now. The back seven is looking strong, unfortunately.

Dude’s Top 10: No. 6 – The Tray Matthews Thing


This series focuses on my favorite posts of all time. Lest I be labeled as overly arrogant, please note: 1. This was new DYC Editor-in-Chief Chad Floyd’s idea. 2. These are my “favorite” posts not my “best” posts. I don’t have “best” posts, because that would imply that I had better posts and good posts to begin with. For the rest of the Dude’s Top 10 Countdown, click here.

We’re not really in the news-breaking biz here at DudeYouCrazy. But a tipster gave us interesting insights as to the reasoning behind Tray Matthews’ dismissal in 2014.

The story, as reported to me, went a little something like this:

Apparently, Tray Matthews was enrolled in a Maymester class.  My buddy happened to be in the class (Children’s Literature) with Matthews and roughly 30 other students.  According to my pal, Matthews was consistently disruptive and disrespectful during class.  Matthews apparently spent most of his class time talking with those around him and would even go so far as to pull out his phone for calls during the class.  Again, this is a relatively small class, so you can imagine the kind of distraction that would cause.

His antics culminated on the final day of class (yesterday), when the professor stopped teaching and told Matthews to get out of the class.  Matthews feigned an excuse by saying he was “just asking a question,” but the professor had already reached a breaking point.  So he reiterated the command adding, “You have been disrupting this class all semester, get our of my class.”

Matthews responded, “Or what?”  After a long, awkward pause the professor asked (perhaps rhetorically), “What do I have to do? Call the police?”

Matthews did not leave the classroom and the professor backed off of his threat, but not before commenting that he had never had to stop class like that before in his career.  He added (still in front of the entire class) that Matthews was the most disrespectful student he had ever had (in 37 years of teaching).

This thing kind of spiraled out of control with most people either adding to this tale and making things up or calling us liars. Ultimately it seemed to have some truth to it.

Here’s the initial post on Matthews. And here’s a follow up we published the next day.

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

 

For the rest of the Dude’s Top 10 Countdown, click here.

 

#SECPreviews: West- #4 Texas A&M Aggies


Texas A&M is, by far, the most difficult team to peg in the West. The difference between them potentially WINNING the division and finishing in the cellar can be answered in three questions:
– With the ridiculous amount of young talent on both sides of the ball, can a team that started (at times) 13 freshmen and sophomores mature?
– Can former LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis fix an absolutely horrendous defense which allowed 36.6 points per game and netted the team -87.3 yards per game in conference play?
– Can Kyle Allen and the ridiculously talented receiving corps progress from ‘pretty good’ to ‘borderline unstoppable?’ 

What Happened Last Year? 

Webster’s defines bipolar as follows:

1) having or marked by two mutually repellent forces or diametrically opposed natures or views;
2) having or involving the use of two poles or polarities.

That, more or less, describes the 2014 Texas A&M Aggies.

They started with an absolute bang, spanking South Carolina (refrained from saying ‘spanking the Cocks’)  in front of a national audience and immediately jumping into the top 10 behind Kenny ‘Trill’ and 1094 yards, 11 TD’s and 0 picks in the first three games. Remember him? He’s gone.

After a 5-0 start, Trill and the Aggies dropped the next three by a combined 95 points, culminating in a 59-0 defeat at Alabama. Allen took over the next week against Louisiana-Monroe (Georgia’s opener, BTW) and struggled mightily, but the Aggies won 21-16. They then took to the road and beat then-#3 Auburn by 3, and lost close home games to Mizzou and LSU to close out the regular season.

In one of the most fun bowl games of the year, they upset West Virginia 45-37 and the offense was ROLLING. 235 on the ground, 294 through the air. It at least gives some credence to the possibility that, yes, this offense is ready to get back to the Johnny Manziel glory days.

Three Key Games

Sept. 5, vs. Arizona St. in Houston: Opening with a top-2o opponent and following with two patsies was a recipe for early success last year, and will tell us a lot about how far Chavis was able to take the defense in the offseason. There’s already a fantastic preview of this game out there, one which I hope to be able to imitate for the Dawgs this season: http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2015/7/15/8915161/texas-am-arizona-state-game-2015-preview

Sept. 26, vs. Arkansas in JerryWorld: Another neutral-site game, the Aggies’ 35-28 OT win last year was predictive in both A&M’s shortcomings and Arkansas’ improvement. As the SEC opener for both squads, this is a table setter for the Ags, who follow with home games against Mississippi State and Alabama sandwiched around a bye.

Nov. 7, vs. Auburn: The schedule breaks out nicely for A&M, as Alabama/at Ole Miss is the only likely back-to-back top-25 opponent run on the slate. Holding serve at home (with the Arkansas game on a neutral site, they only have 3 true road games) would go a long way towards their case to win the West*.

*They are the fortunate souls that get Vanderbilt on the road, so four home wins + Arkansas + Vandy and they’re right there.

Five Players to Watch

Dude. So. Much. Talent.

DE Myles Garrett: The SEC’s next Jadeveon Clowney, with a massive head start. As a true freshman, he singlehandedly made the Aggies’ pass defense ‘passably awful’ instead of ‘Bombs Over Baghdad’. 53 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 10 QBH…and the whole DL returns, so it’s not as if you can double-team him on every play. His only weakness? An outie belly button. Good thing the NCAA outlawed belly jerseys.


S Justin Evans: Part of what made the Aggies’ pass D so unbearable was watching De’Shazor Everett get beat over the top, time and time again. Enter Evans, a highly-touted JuCo who immediately took the reins as the starting FS in spring practice, and pray things change.
WR’s Speedy Noil, Christian Kirk, Ricky Seals-Jones, Josh Reynolds: Of these guys, only Reynolds (who was the team’s offensive MVP with 842 yards and 13 TD last year) was not ranked in the top 5 at his position coming out of high school. The Arizona State preview linked above charts how these guys will be used, and it’s mildly terrifying. Oh, and only two are draft-eligible.
LT Avery Gennesy: Another JuCo (though he redshirted at A&M last year), he replaces three straight A&M LT’s who have been drafted in the first round, which is crazy. A big dropoff on Allen’s blind side may curtail the improvement from the rest of the offense, so his performance is going to be paramount.
QB Kyle Allen: Of course, you have the triggerman on here. Kevin Sumlin has been blessed by stellar QB play in his three years at A&M. Assuming Media Day reports are true and Allen has taken ‘the leap’, not only is Allen a legitimate Heisman threat, but these guys are going to be FUN to watch.

 

There are prognosticators bolder and better-informed than me picking A&M to win the West. If they can answer the three opening questions, they have the talent to do so.

Dude’s Top 10: No. 9 – Dear Auburn Fan


This series focuses on my favorite posts of all time. Lest I be labeled as overly arrogant, please note: 1. This was new DYC Editor-in-Chief Chad Floyd’s idea. 2. These are my “favorite” posts not my “best” posts. I don’t have “best” posts, because that would imply that I had better posts and good posts to begin with. For the rest of the Dude’s Top 10 Countdown, click here.

 

In 2014 the Auburn Tigers played got their tails whipped in Athens, Georgia. Apparently that didn’t make for a pleasant trip for a few Auburn fans. One of them took to the internet to voice frustration with a letter of complaint and (somewhat) anonymously bemoaned how awful everyone in Athens is/was. I responded with an open letter of my own:

Dear Auburn Fan,

Grow up.

I’m not even going to call into question the validity of your story (though I’m sure that some inconsistencies could be found), instead I’m just going to tell you to move on.

I would expect a Georgia Tech fan or someone along those lines to take to the nerdy corners of the internet and troll Reddit with tales of woe, but I would think an SEC fan would be better than that—or at the very least more accustomed to the behavior allegedly witnessed.

I can guaran-damn-tee your group was hassled in downtown Athens if those with you wore the visiting team’s colors.  You can defend the wearing of Navy and Orange as coincidental and argue that the apparel worn didn’t even feature Tiger/War Eagle/Plainsmen logos all you want.  But don’t be that ignorant.  Show up to Georgia/Auburn weekend wearing Blue and Orange and you’re an Auburn fan.  Show up to Georgia/Tennessee wearing orange and you are a Tennessee fan (or maybe a Home Depot employee).  Proceed to do so in downtown Athens, an alcohol-fueled beauty of a mess, and you’ll get hassled.  The home field advantage extends to the bars.  A few short weeks ago I shouted at Tennessee fans downtown telling them they were not allowed to assemble in public.  This happened.  I have no shame.  They didn’t take to the internet to complain.  Most of them laughed.  Some of them sang “Rocky Top” even louder.  All of them moved on.

Did you have drinks thrown on you?  That’s possible.  But in my experience most folks at college town bars are too busy drinking, dancing, making bad decisions and chasing seemingly attractive people of the opposite sex to waste a perfectly fine alcoholic beverage on someone without provocation.  I can’t recall seeing a time when a bar-goer was so drunk that he or she wasted precious, paid-for alcohol on an unsuspecting party.  That just doesn’t happen.  Not in happy places like Athens.

 

For more of my snarky response, click here. And for my response to the backlash to my snark response, click here.

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

 

For the rest of the Dude’s Top 10 Countdown, click here.

 

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