Tag Archives: Kirk Herbstreit

Herbstreit on Chizik

The irony is as delicious as January sugar: the first positive reaction – predicated on his role in Auburn’s stifling 11 points per game 2004 defense – to the Chizik hire from the national media comes from Kirk Herbstreit, who’s notoriously inexplicable “still-a-lot-to-prove” about-face in the wake of what was arguably our most dominant game (Georgia) of what was arguably our most dominant season – the one game he said would prove we deserved a shot at #1 – still best captures the injustice of ’04.

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Which, hey, might answer J.M.’s ‘why’d you leave for Texas, coach?’ — you can’t win a damn national title at Auburn going 13-0 and only giving up 11 points per game? Hell, go to Texas, make it easy on yourself. The undefeated 2005 Longhorns gave up 16 points per game.

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Quote Of The Day: 1/2/08 – Picking The Scab with Herbstreit and Georgia

By J. Henderson

“The AP should take the USC win into consideration.”

— Kirk Herbstreit on two-loss-couldn’t-beat-Stanford USC deserving to be post-season #1 in the Associated Press Poll. (I’m not positive that this quote is verbatim, but I am fairly certain that it accurately reflects the sentiment in Herbstreit’s Rose Bowl post-game comments.)

This, of course, is the same Herbstreit who reneged on his implied pledge to similarly vouch for the Auburn Tigers in 2004 were they to beat Georgia, which they did, soundly; after thrashing the Bulldogs 24-6, Herbstreit changed his mind and said Auburn still had much to prove.

Yes, the salt continues [Reggie Bush scandal] and continues [one-loss-to-Auburn Florida goes on to win the 2006 national championship] and continues to pour. Do we scream? Shriek? Write some books about it (but only when we’re really down, like Bama)? Howl it up?

Because now, two loss – two-loss LSU… two-SEC-loss-to-Kentucky-and-Arkansas LSU… is playing for the national title. This is the same LSU who jumped Southern Cal in the polls in early October to land at #1, a degree of mobility not only denied Auburn in ’04 but expressly forbidden from football logic entire.

I hope LSU wins, I hope they mop the floors with Ohio State, and I’m sure they will. If so, it will be the fourth time an SEC team has won the national title since the inception of the BCS in 1998; only one of those teams was undefeated (Tennessee in ’98). How in God’s name did it come to pass that 13-0 Auburn was kept from these ranks? How in the world are these teams allowed to lord one-loss rings and two-loss trophies over the Tigers?

Again Fate, take a look at the unstoppable force you rejected…

To add ironic insult to injury, 10-2 Georgia slaughters Hawaii of all teams, which had no business being in last night’s Sugar Bowl, and the press validates the very Bama-esque notion that a team which can’t even win its conference might, when the dust settles, be the real national champion. If this courtesy was extended to Auburn, I’m unaware of it. In fact, I believe the Auburn fans were and continue to be mostly mocked whenever they resubmit their claims, for the record and to effect a change in the system. I’m happy for the Bulldogs, but this is the same Georgia who lost to 6-6 South Carolina and was dismantled by Tennessee. And yet Georgia safety Kelin Johnson boldly proclaims “We’re No. 1. We’re supposed to be in the national championship game. The nation knows it, everyone knows it.”

So, in light of these myriad reminders of injustice and in light of our bowl performance, I have decided that, if time is supposed to heal all wounds, I’m going for a second opinion.

Calling Dr. Burns and Dr. Fannin, please report to 2008.

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Filed under Quote Of The Day

Geaux Figure: Reaction to the latest Polls.

By J. Henderson

In 2004, the Lord blessed Auburn with a magical team. Beer was colder that year, pizza hotter, Coke had more of a burn. The Tigers were alive like never before. We were number one in the hearts of heaven and on the fields of earth, though, in the case of the latter, tragically unrecognized as such – for the most part.

“We’re sorry,” we were told, “you’re only shot to play for it all is for USC or Oklahoma to lose, I mean, sorry…”

And then of course we, an SEC team, were denigrated for our schedule. Never mind that Auburn, Oklahoma and Southern Cal all played the same number of teams (six) who ended the season with losing records. USC’s closest game that year was a 3 pt win over 4-7 Stanford. OU only beat 4-7 Kansas State by 10, and a 7-5 Oklahoma State by 3. Meanwhile, Auburn’s closest game was a 1 pt. victory over 9-3 and defending (one-loss) National Champions LSU. The closest we got to losing to a team with a losing record was 18 pts (Arkansas).

Nonetheless they said — suck it, one of those two teams has to lose. And when they didn’t, and we were kept out, and freaked out, and howled for justice, they said to get over it and to stop acting paranoid, the world’s not against you, Auburn, “that’s just the way it works.”

Auburn knew better. When the Herbstreits said that beating #5 Georgia (10-2) would prove we were for real and deserved a shot and then immediately congratulated us for disemboweling that team by claiming that a blowout of the Bulldogs really didn’t mean anything, we knew. We were all walking to Toomer’s, through the dark tailgates and cellphones, and we saw him say it, right there in the HD glow. People said come listen to Herbstreit, you won’t believe it. We believed it. We knew.

When Florida, the team we were the only ones to beat, went on to win it all last year, we were sorta reminded. (Since the inception of the BCS, the only SEC school to go 13-0 and undefeated has been Auburn, and yet two SEC teams have been crowned champs.)

And when, last weekend, still hot with joy from gutting the (one-loss — to Auburn) defending National Champions, we hear that LSU jumped ahead of USC in the polls to land at #1, when USC struggled to beat a decrepit Washington and LSU struggled to beat a decrepit Tulane, we shook and hung our heads with knowing smiles.

Apparently USC doesn’t have to lose. Apparently you can jump another, higher ranked undefeated team when they’ve had a crap-day, and even when you’ve had a crap-day. Of course, we had no crap days in ’04, but Auburn, we were told, could not jump OU or USC were the Tigers to beat Michigan or Texas or Ohio State or anyone by 100 points as long as the other two teams beat some cripple by 1. When, as the issue was really being pressed on a November Saturday in the final stretch of the season, Oklahoma was beating a 5-6 team (Nebraska) by 27, while we were beating a 10-2 team (again, then-#5 ranked Georgia) by 18. When USC squeaked by UCLA (6-6) by only 5 pts a couple of weeks later, we were beating Tennessee (10-3, two of those losses to Auburn) for the second time, in a conference championship game, by 10. And yet nothing. While Auburn, whose entire backfield from that season was taken in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft, was beating and often blowing out top ten team after top ten team, both OU and USC were barely beating squads they should have destroyed. “But, hey, listen…”

Despite the Tulane angst, LSU deserved to be number one and they got what they deserved. And I hope they hold onto it until we beat them in a week or so, or you know, maybe still even then (I’m thinking 14-7). But yes, apparently that can happen – a team can jump ahead, jump even the vaunted USC Trojans, even in un-defeat… just not Auburn.

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