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In the perfect world, I want Auburn to move the ball relentlessly. I want Auburn to turn the ball over as infrequently as possible (how about never?). I want Auburn to score obscene amounts of points -- dozens more than its opponent. I want Auburn to have some games where the defense has a huge margin for error that is relevant only in theory.
I don't give a #badword# how that is accomplished, or what it looks like ultimately, as long as it is accomplished by the guys in the blue jerseys (or white, as the case will be this weekend).
But, since I live in reality, most of all I want what we have been receiving pretty consistently for most of the Tuberville era.
Like some other folks here, I have grown to be impressed with Tommy Tuberville (although I fully confess I would have fired him after the fake punt from our own endzone in the 2002 Florida game had I possessed the authority -- I was that angry. Luckily for Auburn and for me, firing Tommy Tuberville that night was nowhere in my job description). I want him to be Auburn's head coach until he retires because he is doing it the right way. He is winning, and he is doing it with players who, on the whole, seem to be high character folks, who primarily seem to take the education part of the college experience seriously. I think Tubs and the Auburn staff are building the character of these young men. That is, in a very real sense, also an important part of their education. And I cannot think of a game since he has been at Auburn when the team has not given maximum effort. Sure, there have been days when we looked like dog#badword#, and prepared gameplans that were in retrospect unwise, but I have never seen a Tuberville team fail to succeed because of lack of effort --on the field, the sidelines or the press box. This is a marked departure from his immediate predecessor.
Auburn football is not an offensive formation. I have loved Auburn football when we were throwing it all over the field (Sullivan to Beasley et al.; Stan White) and when we were running it down folks throats in the early part of the Pat Dye era. One of the best Auburn teams ever was, to be charitable, mediocre on offense -- the 1972 team. Its QB, Randy Walls, was perhaps the least physically talented QB I have ever seen behind center for Auburn. That team played to its strengths and won. All of these teams possessed a grit, determination, and intelligence that made it "Auburn football." I would like to be able to describe it more precisely, but you know it when you see it. Tuberville gets to or near this quality virtually every season in damn near every game.
So, I think Tuberville will do what is necessary to make this as good as it can be this year. He ultimately will play to the team's strengths. What your strengths really are is sometimes not apparent until a number of games have been played. That is what I have come to like about him. That may end up being disappointing to some. Frankly, I never expected the spread, or any formation/scheme, to cure what was ailing us on offense the last couple of seasons. Al Borges was a superb offensive coach in my view. He mixed formations and approaches very, very well. I always enjoyed following what he was trying to do.His system was not the problem. Apparently, he was not so great at recruiting. If that was the problem, then it had to get fixed, as recruiting is the lifeblood of this thing, like it or not.
Franklin may prove to be a huge mistake. He may work out. I still think it is too soon to tell. But I know the guy in charge knows enough to tell when to fish or cut bait on that issue. And I know he is trying to do what's right.
So, in the meantime, I will quibble here and there with things, because it is fun and I have been doing it so long I don't have the smarts or energy to change. But, mostly, I will try to focus on what is right about this season and this program, because this still could be a very, very good season. And this is a damned good program.
Stepping off the soap box now.
g off the soap box now.