football

Collier: Dog wont hunt

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There's rarely anything notable to say about a beatdown of a homecoming opponent--unless, I suppose, your team is Boise State and most of your schedule is composed of perennial homecoming opponents.
Since we're concerned with Tigers and not Broncos here, I won't be spending much time rehashing a 62-24 win that was quite literally over in the first thirty seconds. It was a lovely fall day for football, everybody except the waterboys got to play, Auburn is 10-0, let's move on.
The next two games, of course, will be a lot more interesting.
First things first: there are some Dawgies to deal with on Saturday. Besides the obvious fact that Auburn can punch its ticket to the SEC Championship Game with a win, there's plenty on the line, starting with the small matter of having dropped the last four straight games--a modern-era record--to Bulldog teams of varying levels of respectability going back to 2006.
AU and UGA has never been a nasty rivalry, but Auburn fans are by now thoroughly sick and tired of seeing the Tigers throwing late-season lifelines to their oldest rivals. Auburn's legion of players from Georgia are no doubt just as sick of hearing about those losses during visits home.
I'm not generally in the prediction business--not least because I'm really bad at it--but my feeling at the moment is that Auburn is well-positioned to end that streak and make reservations in Atlanta.
Georgia's A.J. Green may have a big mouth, but he's also got the big-time skills to back it up. I'll be astonished if Green doesn't find the end zone a few times on Saturday… but besides Green, I think the Bulldogs are going to have a tough time.
I expect Auburn to own the trenches on both sides of the football, and I don't think Georgia's defense can so much as slow down the Tiger offense. Georgia will have a chance if the game goes down to a fourth-quarter shootout, but I don't see any reason at this point to think they're as capable as, say, South Carolina or Arkansas, which both fell short in high-scoring games at Jordan-Hare.
The key matchup in my mind is Auburn's fearsome defensive line vs. UGA's experienced but thus-far unimpressive offensive line. If the Tigers win that battle and bring consistent pressure on freshman quarterback Aaron Murray, it should be a long day for the visitors.
And then the next game… well, we'll wait a bit to talk about that one. But it sure looks like it'll fun, doesn't it?
* * *
I've already said as much as there is to say about last week's Cam Newton media circus--which since last Thursday has deflated at a rapid clip--but there is one bit of fallout I'd like to address today.
WCNN-AM 680's Buck Belue and John Kincaid made particular fools of themselves last Friday afternoon. Ex-Georgia handoff artist Belue conducted a one-minute softball interview with John Bond, most of which was dedicated to Belue and Bond talking about how they'd been buddies since childhood. At the end, Belue obligingly tossed Bond a softball about the alleged Bond-Urban Meyer-Dan Mullen phone conversation. Bond denied the call had ever happened and hung up, and then the hosts were off to the races.
Kincaid, who was once described in 680's own advertising as "a token Yankee ass," proceeded to rip Jeffrey Lee, who first broke the Meyer story, as well as Scout's Mark Murphy and 247Sports' Phillip Marshall, who each independently confirmed it, as pathetic bloggers with no "journalistic" credibility. The tirade lasted for quite a while, and got nastier as it went.
I used to know John Kincaid slightly, not long after he first moved to Atlanta. My impression was that he's generally a good guy, but like most guys in radio, he has no off switch, and once he heads down a path, his only settings are "push harder" and "say it louder."
Kindcaid is from Philadelphia, and apparently the last decade he's spent in Atlanta didn't result in his learning anything about the sportswriters in his neighboring state.
That's the only explanation I can come up with for trashing Marshall, the dean of Alabama sportswriters. Marshall has a 40-year track record as a reporter for the state's biggest papers and several shelves full of awards for his work. Murphy was reporting on college football for a living when John Kincaid was still in grade school, and this site's own Jeffrey Lee, while a relative newcomer compared to those veterans, is a respected and diligent reporter with no history of chicanery.
Kincaid's current job isn't journalism, it's stirring things up on a radio show, but he has obvious ambitions towards greater things in his business. It's doubtful those greater things are going to be out there if he continues to pull stunts like trashing veteran sportswriters based on the questionable word of his broadcast partner's old jock buddies.
Given the fact that other media organizations, including all three major newspapers in Alabama, have now confirmed Lee's original reporting, Kincaid would be well-served to revisit and revise his ugly remarks from the immediate wake of the Bond interview.
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