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Couch Potato: Tennessee at Auburn a clash of sorrowful futility; Tua’s hurt, and yet the cruel sun yet rises

None but a fool ever wrote but for money. Some English guy said that back in the 1700s or thereabouts, and when I studied all that worthless shit in college, I thought, “Yeah, that’s truth, right there.”
But here I am, writing Couch Potato, and writing it on Saturday morning in a hurry before I have to go to work – and before the bloody Mary games kick off — because the nine people who read this shit get all sad and stuff when I say I’m going to quit.
Here it is. How do I start a Patreon page? Or y’all can just send me money. Cash: 2306-D Boultier Street, 36106.
I don’t care if the hackers know my address. They already know. I’ve been hacked more times than Shaq. If you get that joke, you’re the one I do it for.
Tennessee at Auburn
In 2013, Gus Malzahn took over a flagging Auburn football team armed with a variation of the wing-T offense and a dream. Running a no-huddle swarming attack with a defensive back who could outrun most motorcycles playing quarterback, the Tigers imposed terror on all concerned and Gus was hailed as the offensive genius of the new millennium. They beat Alabama on a breathtaking, 99.999-yard, last-second return of a field goal for a game-winning touchdown and then lost the national championship game to Florida State and their incredibly talented quarterback Jameis Winston, an accused rapist.
 
In 2017, Malzahn beat Georgia and Alabama back-to-back and parlayed that into a $7 jillion pillion a year contract before getting his ass beat by Georgia in the SEC title game rematch, thence stricken, he stumbled bowlward to Atlanta and humiliation at the hands of fake national champion UCF. 
 
Last Saturday Auburn got gut-stomped 23-9 by a Mississippi State team that had lost its last two games to Kentucky (in football) and Florida. The Tigers’ offensive line devolved into chaos after not being very good in the first place. The Auburn defense, which is pretty good, fought nobly against a Bulldogs offense with a big, slow quarterback, one running back who is pretty good and nine other guys. But the War Eagles ran out of gas in the fourth quarter because you know, when your offense can’t score a touchdown or make a first down, that really makes it hard out there for a defense, and you wind up looking like Kanye West dressed in a water bottle suit waving at the gigantic Nick Fitzgerald as be goes rumbling up the middle of the field, knocking you down.
 
Today in Auburn, it’s Tennessee that was itself once very good according to accounts found on ancient clay tables recovered in the Knoxville area and a few Smoky Mountain cave glyphs. Last week, explorers recovered papyrus scrolls that said Tennessee beat an SEC team 11 games ago. More research is required.
 
Tennessee has been godawful this season, just unbelievably bad, like the high school play I was in where the main character forgot her lines and all us cast members sat on stage in silence for about 10 minutes, a dramatic tableau, experimental theater, before the girl playing my wife suddenly got up, sauntered across the stage and said, “Daddy, why don’t you go break grandmother’s TV set?” I stood up and said, “If I must, I must.” It was my last line in the play, about 20 minutes ahead of where we were supposed to be, so I went backstage, took off my makeup, got in my car and drove home. I never acted again.
 
O, but despair not, ye fans who attire yourselves in Orange-centric shirts and blouses and march with sullen determination to cheer on your desultory teams. Seek joy in small things, for Tennessee and Auburn will both be good again one day, far from now, in the distant future, when Knoxville is a city on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and Auburn floats above the clouds, levitated by devices invented by the guys at Apple Computers, which is run by a dude who graduated from the War Eagle School of Engineering.
Until then, here we are. Rejoice and be glad, and drink brown whiskey. The weather finally turned and it’s delightful in Auburn today, ideal for bourbon.
Missouri at Alabama
Why the hell is Missouri in the East division of the SEC? It’s halfway to Cali-damn-fornia and the people in the central plains don’t display appropriate reverence for grits and salt-cured ham. They do have good barbecue, I’ll give them that, but it’s not as good as they think it is. Nothing is as good as Missourians think their barbecue is. The sauce is too sweet.
Also, this is the Southeastern Conference, and Missouri is southeast of only eight states, nine if you count Alaska, but all 48 contiguous states are southeast of Alaska if you think about it.
The Tigers do love to throw the ball and they head into Tua-scaloosa, where the Hummin’ Hawaiian has turned “Run Da Bawl” Bama fans into “r’ar back and fling it” boosters overnight.
Alabama’s defense got lit up like a roman candle by Arkansas last week, and this is cause for concern, because:
Arkansas sucks. And it gets worse.
Tua’s hurt. Tua hurt his knee. Nick Saban said it’s sprained but that hasn’t affected the number of reps he’s taken this week at practice and it’s not expected to be a factor in today’s game and he’s wearing a brace.
Would you believe Nick Saban if he said goats are mammals? I would be suspicious. I’d check it before I printed it. They are, by the way. They have fur, milk, etc. Mammals, check goats off that list.
Here’s the deal. Last week at Arkansas, Tua threw touchdowns easier than most men can throw wadded-up paper into a trash can 10 feet away. He was on pace to score about 200 with 5 minutes gone in the first and then, bam! Arkansas tackled him, one of the first people they’ve tackled all season, and he came up limping. The trainers gave him a knee brace, and he kept playing, but he didn’t throw a touchdown every pass, so there was a drop-off in performance.
The defense will have to play better if Tua can’t wreak utter havoc because he is a little gimpy. (I had a colleague once who said you should’t say the words “gimpy” or “crippled-up” in sports stories because they are derogatory to gimps and cripples and therefore politically incorrect words. I told him that he’s the reason people vote for Donald Trump. By the way, I am both a gimp and a cripple since I started taking statins, and so are all my friends, and this is how we speak amongst ourselves. Gimp, gimp, gimp. Cripple, cripple, cripple.)
This whole thing is complicated by the injury to Taye Diggs, the Bama starting cornerback who also hurt a knee last week. (There’s an obvious conspiracy. Russia is doing collusion with Arkansas. It’s in Hillary’s emails, you can read it there. Everybody wonders where they are. Well, she sent them to me, and I have them. She also caused ice cream to be fattening. Damn her.).
Mizzou’s QB Drew Lock, who is pretty damn good, by the way, might not want to do the natural thing and throw it at Diggs’ replacement, because it’ll probably be that Surtain kid, who is holy hell. But somebody will be starting and playing more than ordinary and he could be as low as a four star, or even a three.
Alabama is in danger. It’s a trap.
Georgia at LSU
Will LSU rebound from last week’s loss at Florida, where the Tigers offense once again strained to score like an old man who didn’t eat his prunes? Will Georgia, the other major badass in the SEC, struggle because of the intimidating atmosphere in Baton Rouge?
Hell, no.
Look, Tiger Stadium isn’t all that. It’s a big-ass stadium, and it’s loud, and the fans all get drunk and holler shit at your players and you – in other words, it’s like every other stadium in the United States of America, even soccer ones.
It’s going to be interesting to see if LSU’s defense can expose anything about Georgia’s offense that we don’t already know. Hint: Probably not. But LSU’s defense is pretty good even if they did give up 27 to Florida, which isn’t as bad as you think. Well, actually, seven of those points were given up by LSU’s quarterback accidentally throwing it to the Florida guy, who ran it all the way back for a touchdown, so yeah, LSU’s defense is pretty sporty.
Georgia’s defense isn’t as good as it was last year, but there’s a good chance Kirby Smart will figure out a way to stop the three plays LSU runs.
LSU could win this game if it were a better team. Maybe even if it’s not, but I’d be surprised.