24 November 2008
Last week, the internet (well, our little Alabama/Auburn corner of it) was abuzz with an argument the usually good and right fellows at the Joe Cribbs Car Wash made about Bama fans.
The argument (if you don't want to read it all) goes like this. The national mainstream media posted a couple of letters from Alabama fans griping about the lack of respect we're getting in our Florida matchup (we'll get to that next week). Therefore, all Bama fans are looking past Auburn to the SEC Title game. And, therefore, the team is looking past Auburn to Florida. Therefore, Auburn wins.
Not only about the prediction. Now, it is college football, and the unthinkable can happen. Oregon State beat USC earlier this year. Iowa beat Penn State. Vanderbilt over Auburn. Wait... that's a bad example this year. At any rate, you get my meaning. I don't think Alabama will lose to Auburn; you'll be hard pressed to find any reasonable "pundit", internet or otherwise, who will pick Auburn over the Tide. But it could happen. And I hate like hell to type it.
But that's not my real quarrel. My real quarrel is with the argument that Tide fans are looking past the Iron Bowl. It's patently false. Yes, there's very little chatter out there about this game.
There are a couple of reasons for this phenomenon. First, as pointed out by Third Saturday in Blogtober, the national media isn't interested in the Iron Bowl. It's not a "good" game by any reasonable calculus.
Last week, we didn't spend one single word addressing the Iron Bowl. We didn't talk about the SEC Championship Game much more than that. We didn't talk about bowl predictions, we didn't talk much about the national title game. We didn't do much of anything. We were resting. Now, we're ready.
The second reason for the lack of excited chatter is the team we're playing this week is a big underdog. Alabama is listed as a 13.5 point favorite in most places. That's the same as the line on the Ole Miss game (at a time when Ole Miss was getting no votes in any poll). Here's a short list of games that Alabama was favored by more than that margin this year: Tulane (30), Western Kentucky (28), Arkansas State (23), Mississippi State (21.5), and Kentucky (16.5).
We didn't spend a good deal of time talking about those games either. And yes, some of them (Kentucky and Tulane for instance) were much closer than expected.
Take heart, Joe Cribbs Car Wash (and other Auburn fans). There will be plenty of discussion about this week's game right here. It's going to be a good week - a short one a work and one with lots of turkey and then napping... then the Iron Bowl.
I know it can be frustrating to head out on the world wide web and expect to read a bunch about your team on the opposition's blogs and in the national media and get... nothing. I understand that.
But sometimes it's not someone "overlooking" you or being overconfident.
Sometimes, your team just isn't very good. And that means you get very little national ink. So, while it's fun to grasp at straws and point out your team and coach (funny time to be defending him) have pulled out other upsets, the point here is it'd be just that - an upset. Of the fairly major variety.
Auburn, if you want more chatter about the game, there's a simple solution. If you more attention, field a better team. It's worked for us.
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