The alarm clock on my phone rang out. I groped around my bedside table and shut it off. I glanced at the woman next to me, trying to remember her name. Stumbling over beer bottles, eyes filled with the drowsiness of the long night before, I drug myself out of bed. The creak from the door echoed like a cannon in my ears, the light coming in from the window blinding me. I trudged into the sitting room of my hotel suite and threw myself onto the couch, knocking the pizza boxes out of may way. My roomates were still passed out in the floor, bottles of Jack still in hand, one with his pants around his ankles. Why? I couldn't tell you. I glanced at the clock. 10:55. Entirely too early. How could anyone get up this early on a Saturday? I grabbed the remote for the TV, which had been left on the night before. I flipped around and found ESPN. They were just finishing up their picks on Gameday.....
GAMEDAY! HOLY S#!T! Auburn has a football game in 5 minutes! We'd better get ready.
And that's how the Auburn football team started their day on Saturday, or at least I wouldn't be really surprised if someone were to tell me that. By the time they got good and awake, the score was 34-3, and the game was as good as over. As it was, the above story was more like my own Saturday morning. Except for the crazy night before. And the fancy hotel. And the girl. I live a sad life.
After the initial embarassment of the game faded away, I came to realize that I'm not all that upset. Sure the loss hurts, and so does the fashion in which it came. But then I took a step back. We are 5-1, most likely 6-1 going into the LSU game. Had anyone said 7 weeks ago that we would have one loss at this point, I'd take it in a heartbeat. I also never would have guessed that I'd be this confident going into the second half of the season. I am going to make a bold prediction right now. Auburn should be a 10-1 team going into the Bammer game.
You might say I'm drinking the kool-aid, and viewing the world through my orange and blue glasses. But hear me out. In my opinion, the only team that we should lose to is a team with a strong offense. Our offense had a truly HORRENDOUS day on Saturday, and still managed to put up 23 points. So even if the offense comes out flat, and plays that way for an entire half, if the other team can't put up a substantial total on the scoreboard, we've still got a great chance of winning.
Let's take a look at the biggest challenges remaining on the schedule. The next big threat is LSU. Frankly, the only thing that scares me about this team is the fact that we have to play in Death Valley at night. But we've seen that Auburn can respond well to the intense, hostile environments this league can throw at you. LSU's offense gives Tennessee's a run for it's money in ineptitude. The only reason they don't have a 3-3 record at this point is MSU's quarterback's lack of awareness of how to score a touchdown, and a rediculous celebration penalty that never should have been called. I feel Auburn's losing streak in Baton Rouge drawing to a close in a narrow victory.
Ole Miss just has not impressed on any front this year. Their defense is solid, but Jevan Snead may have been the most overrated quarterback in history at the beginning of the year. He crumbles under any kind of pressure. If we can get any semblance of pressure against him, this game will be over. Their defense can't keep Todd & Co. out of the endzone as often as they'll need to win.
The only other threat on the schedule is Georgia, whose defense is probably worse than ours, and their offense has been inconsistent at best.
Bama is a different story. There may not be another team as well rounded as them in the whole league. Florida included. If there's one team on the schedule that I think "should" beat our Tigers, it's them.* But I will reserve my prediction on that for another time.
The point I'm making is that, on paper, Auburn should win it's next 5 games. Then again, Auburn should have won on Saturday. On any one of those five games, Auburn could very well come out half awake again, and drop a loss somewhere we shouldn't. Only time will tell. But right now, I feel like it will tell us something we want to hear. Keep the faith Auburn people! We're only halfway there!
*It hurts me to say that. Really it does. But I can't in all honesty say they haven't impressed. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go wash out my own mouth with soap. And yes, I will be using Lifebuoy.