After moving further into the harbour, on 26 January 1788 Phillip raised the British flag at Sydney Cove. 751 convicts and their children disembarked, along with 252 marines and their families.
Two more convict fleets arrived in 1790 and 1791, and the first free settlers arrived in 1793. From 1788 to 1823, the Colony of New South Wales was officially a penal colony comprised mainly of convicts, soldiers and the wives of soldiers.
There are many metaphorical examples of why Auburn is the safe haven of college football. Although their athletic teams are called the Tigers, their official mascot is an eagle, an animal best known for symbolizing freedom from things such as colonization and The Intolerable Acts.
From Cam Newton to Nick Marshall to Tray Matthews, Auburn is a safe haven for those who act a fool at other schools. And, by God, does it work out for their football team.
Last year, Auburn had a season that Disney will totally buy the rights to within 20 years, if they haven’t already done so (not quite sure how that plays out in the SEC’s ESPN contract). Both Andrew and I were very high on War Eagle Kool-Aid when we picked Auburn to finish second in the SEC, mainly because we didn’t want to be blindsided by them (and you can find half of their season on my DVR from ESPN’s top 25 games of 2013). Did they catch the SEC off-guard this year, or is Gus Malzahn’s spread triple option set to be a problem until he leaves the Plains for the Dallas Cowboys next year?
As Hall pointed out, the scheduling the gods did Auburn no favors in scheduling. Road games against Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss, and Kansas State pit them against four teams ranked in the preseason polls. With South Carolina as the rotating crossover opponent, well, there are seven loseable games on this schedule.
Not to say they can’t exceed our expectations. They’ve done it before, but they tend to overachieve when slept upon and then fall back into the pack when highly-ranked. Like Australia: you see the Sydney Opera House, Melbourne, and crystal clear beaches. Then you realize its about 0.0001% of Australia’s land mass. The rest is dry, uninhabitable wasteland with the world’s deadliest animals waiting to eat you.
Five Players to Watch
*Excluding Nick Marshall, because obviously he’s important.
- Gabe Wright, DT: He stood out to me in multiple games I’ve reviewed, most importantly the BCS Championship. While he only had 31 tackles, 8.5 were for losses, and he is a solid anchor for a stout defensive line.
- Cameron Artis-Payne, RB: I heard in an interview with OL Reese Dismukes (love Sirius XM radio) that Artis-Payne would be the man at tailback this year. Although he was considered the thumper in the backfield last year, he averaged a full yard per carry more than Tre Mason.
- Shon Coleman, LT: Coleman is not a household name by any means, but he replaces one in Greg Robinson. Auburn returns the rest of their superb OL from last year, but it’ll be interesting to see how Coleman holds up replacing a superstar.
- Kris Frost/Cassanova McKinzy/Robenson Therezie, LB’s: Although their DB’s were beaten deep a fair bit last year, I feel like Auburn had a good bit of difficulty defending underneath. With a stout D-line, these guys should have ample opportunities to be difference-makers.
- D’Haquille Williams, WR: Everything I hear about this JuCo (SHOCKER!) transfer is that he is a Cordarrelle Patterson clone (he has the unique name and JC pedigree, for starters). Just another potential weapon in an offense that only lost one.
Random Betting Tidbit
Perhaps another factor of Vegas being slow to adjust their spreads (Georgia after the exploding ACL’s game was another example last year), but Auburn was 12-2 ATS in 2013, only failing to cover against Washington St. and Mississippi St. in the first 3 games of the season. Watch closely in August/September to see if Vegas overcorrects for last year or if the Tigers hit their stride and are an unstoppable force, even against Vegas odds.
NCAA Football 14 came out today.
I haven’t picked up the game yet because I’m a grownup and therefore too mature for such things (Psyche! I’m getting that after work). In any event: here is a first quarter simulation of Georgia/Auburn.
More importantly here is the live-blog.
- Auburn is 88 overall despite losing 67 games last year. That makes sense.
- New jersey numbers for Georgia. They’re whatever. I will say they seem extremely black…in a literal sense. The outline of them seems nonexistent.
- At the 0:50 mark Aaron Murray does some ridiculous dance that I wish was real.
Tim RigginsChase Vasser is a captain for the Dawgs (1:25). Much respect.
- Speaking of captains, Marshall “Captain” Morgan is not kicking under the influence (1:45). I don’t think.
- Special Teams still appears to be an issue for the Dawgs (1:55).
- Chase Vasser is going to dominate this year (2:20). Vasser 4 Highsmannn.
- Kirk Herbstreit says that Auburn’s “offense really struggled on this drive.” I think that was a soundbite recorded specifically for Auburn (3:05).
- Shocker! Auburn with a dirty play on a fair catch (3:30).
- Gurley gets tackled for a loss (4:05). I told you Gurshall might take a step back!
- Auburn recovers a BS backward pass/fumble (4:40). Glory Glory to Ole Georgia/Auburn plays.
- Auburn QB (I guess it’s sophomore Jonathan Wallace) breaks 1200 tackles before pitching to a running back who waltzes in for a TD (5:45). Auburn: 7, Georgia: 0.
- Gurley returns kicks! But he just kneels (Dude’s note: I just had a really hard time spelling “kneel.”) in the endzone (6:45).
- Gurley runs for 28 yards. I was kidding about him taking a step back (7:30).
- Aaron Murray just had four hours to complete a pass (7:45).
- Rantavious Wooten with the TD catch! Extra point is good. (8:20). Four play, 74 yard drive by UGA. Typical. Auburn: 7, Georgia: 7.
- Amarlo Herrera just did his best Ben Wallace impression (10:05). He blocked the hell out of a pass. DEFEEEENNSEEEE.
- Jonathan Wallace just pitched the ball to the middle of the field into a crowd (11:00). I hope this is a staple of their offense.
- Crap. He just threw a 59-yard TD strike (11:25). Auburn: 14, Georgia: 7.
- Aubie the Tiger is doing pushups. His form is terrible (12:00).
- Malcolm Mitchell returns this kick (12:18).
- Where is Keith Marshall? (13:00)
- Nevermind. Todd Gurley just broke an 85-yard run. This game is completely inaccurate though as he was caught from behind on the one yard-line. (13:05). Only Todd Gurley catches Todd Gurley from behind after an 85-yard rumble.
- There is Marshall. TD Georgia (13:45). Auburn: 14, Georgia: 14.
- Auburn connects on another deep pass down the sideline (14:45).
- Damian Swann just woke up in time to deflect one. He’d been getting worked all day (15:05). I thought that guy should have been MVP of the Capital One Bowl. There’s no way he regresses from being my favorite returning defensive player with my favorite nickname (Black) to being torched by Auburn.
- Long TD pass by Auburn (15:25). Dang.
- The guy playing is controlling Auburn. This is obviously being played on “Rookie” level.
- In the most Auburn-like play yet (other than the fair catch interference) Auburn kicks the ball out of bounds (16:30).
- At the end of the quarter and the end of the broadcast (thankfully) Auburn leads 21-14.
That’s all I got/
ESPN.com has a write-up on Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. If you don’t like to read the summary is this: They’re really good football players, but they’re surprisingly low-key off the field. I do have one bone to pick with these two Dawgs. Apparently they don’t play video games because video games are too low-key, and yet they recently took a trip to the movie theater to screen The Call. Halle Berry or no Halle Berry that movie’s entire plot hinges on a series of phone calls. That sounds more boring than a video game. The Call is sitting at a 39% on Rotten Tomatoes. Entertainment Weekly offered the most glowing review as follows: If you’re going to watch a move in which two people talk on the phone for most of the film, it’s not the worst thing in the world for one of the folks involved to have the face of Storm from the X-Men. Come on Gurshall!
Bob Stoops is Stoopid
This thing has probably been overblown, but in any event Big Game Bob (1-3 in BCS Championship Games, 1-5 in his last six BCS Bowls) deserves to be criticized. But I already did that.
Florida is Stupid
In 2012 the Florida Gators ranked 78th in offensive points per game. Here are a few of the Gators’ offensive highlights:
- Scoring 20 against Texas A&M
- Scoring 14 against LSU
- Scoring 9 against Georgia
- Scoring 14 against Missouri
- Scoring 23 against FCS Jacksonville State
- Scoring 23 against
Division IIBig East Louisville.
Those are they type of feats you achieve when your offense ranks 104th (out of 124 teams) in yards per game. How do you maintain that type of production? You keep your coaching staff in-tact. How do you do that? You give your Offensive Coordinator a $100k raise. Now that’s offensive.
Head Hog’s Kitchen
Bret Bielema tweeted a picture of a dog on a counter in his kitchen. I can’t out-do the coverage that has already been given this story, so read this for more thorough analysis. Get Bielemic!
If you enjoy the awkwardness of filmed comedy that is only enjoyed by those who were involved in the production of filming said comedy, then you’re going to love Auburn’s new series “The Bookstore.” The timing of this is certainly ill-advised as it’s made as some type of disgusting knockoff of “The Office.” I feel like “Office” parodies were awesome seven of eight years ago, but as the show winds down most of the people still watching just hang around out of sense of obligation (I know this because I am one of those people). Why capitalize on “The Office” now? Why anything, Auburn? Part one is here. Part two is here.
“But the reality is your class schedule is planned around football, not the other way around. It’s a business and there are players on the payroll.”
–Former Auburn Safety Mike McNeil
The full story – if true – is bad. Really bad.
BE SURE TO REGISTER FOR THE MARCH MADNESS MASTERY CONTEST FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN TICKETS TO SEE YOUR FAVORITE COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAM PLAY NEXT FALL.
Lesser known fact: We all know that the SEC has won every BCS National Championship since 2006. But did you also know that dating back to 2006 the SEC has won more NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships (3) than any other conference (ACC: 2, Big XII: 1, Big East: 1)? Now you do.
In honor of the Southeastern Conference’s domination of all things and the upcoming March Madness Mastery Contest, here is a preview of the SEC Basketball Tournament’s first day.
- There are two games today: South Carolina vs. Mississippi State at 7:30 (SEC Network/ESPN3) and Texas A&M vs. Auburn at 10:00 (SEC Network/ESPN3).
- These would be two compelling football games, but these aren’t football games.
- But before he made headlines as a wide receiver for Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks, Bruce Ellington made a name for himself by averaging nearly 13 points per game and over three assists as a true freshman on the Cock Hoops team.
- Of these four teams, only Texas A&M boasts a winning overall record.
- None of these four teams has a .500 record in conference play; the Aggies are the best at 7-11.
- Only two players on these four teams average more than 12 points per game. Texas A&M’s Elston Turner (a 6-5 senior guard) averages 17.7. Auburn’s Frankie Sullivan (a 6-1 senior guard) averages 14.4. Sullivan is shooting .367 from the field this season. So there won’t be a lot of offense on showcase.
- The winner of the first game goes on to take on Tennessee tomorrow at 5:30. The winner of the second game goes on to play Missouri tomorrow night at 10:00.
There you have it. SEC! SEC!
That’s all I got/