Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From the Weekend That Was (and Monday/Tuesday)

Since this is a few days late, I'll get straight to what happened over the last five days...

The Ole Miss basketball team is as interested in playing defense and rebounding as Auburn is in hiring a black coach. In the previous two seasons, we've seen Andy Kennedy's teams at least attempt to play defense, but have never been very good at it. This year's team naturally stinks at defense, but to compound that problem, they don't even try. There's little to no communication between the players and help defense is nearly non-existent, and when it does arrive it's so awful it essentially just leaves an opposing player wide open elsewhere.

We also don't have much on offense, but not everyone can play offense. Everyone can play hard on defense and that's my biggest problem with this team. I know a lot of these guys are young, and losing Eniel Polynice definitely hurts, but it's going to take Kennedy making it perfectly clear that whatever's going on right now isn't acceptable. And if there's not any improvement as the season progresses, then (gulp) it might be time to ask some questions about Andy Kennedy. I think it's a stretch to start doing that now, but if it's mid-February and we're still getting shredded on defense, it might be time.

One quick point on the offense, the three-headed monster of Kevin Cantinol, Malcolm White and DeAundre Cranston might be the worst combination of offensive forwards in Ole Miss history. Those three are bringing NOTHING to the table on the offensive end of the floor. White has two more points than personal fouls (39 to 37), while shooting 35% from the floor, and Cranston has six more points than fouls (28 to 22), while shooting 39% from the floor. Paging Andre Burnside, paging Andre Burnside. Ugh.

Seriously, Gene Chizik? If you had given me 100 guesses as to who Auburn might hire for its next head coach, I wouldn't have come up with him. The guy was an 0-4 start in 2009 away from being canned by IOWA STATE, a place where .500 will keep you around. It's very rare someone can go 5-19 in two seasons, end the second season on a 10-game losing streak and get a promotion.

Predictably, Auburn fans were a little upset. Well, actually one fan:

We can probably assume the rest of the Auburn fans were preparing for another march on the president's house, only this time they were carrying gasoline, torches, tar and feathers.

To calm the irate Auburn nation, AD Jay Jacobs sent out an email/letter trying to assure everyone that Gene Chizik was in fact the right man for the job and that everything will work out just fine. Even former coach Pat Dye got in on the action and said he fully supported the Chizik hire. Both of those calmed exactly zero people. This is going to end well to quite well.

The Lions threatened, then became the Lions. A feisty effort from the Detroit Lions this week as they were tied with the Colts in the fourth quarter with nine minutes left before finally falling 31-21. There's a little too much fight left in this team, and with the Saints coming to town this weekend, the perfect season could be in jeopardy. And what a fitting end to the Saints' season that would be.

Peyton and Eli Manning can now follow the upstart NFL tradition of opting out of the Pro Bowl. If you took the 50,000 to 1 odds that any combination of the Clausen brothers would make the Pro Bowl before the Mannings, you lost. But it was a good run.

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