Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Week 5: Auburn vs, Tennessee

For some reason, this is the game that nobody's talking about. Tennessee, like Auburn, has a new offensive coordinator. Also, they have a good QB with a bit more experience than ours. And Tennessee is in a position that Auburn normally enjoys, a good team flying under the radar. Florida and Georgia are the focus of everyone, with Georgia being a favorite and Florida an outside favorite to take the SEC and possibly the NC.

Tennessee is good, but Auburn would win most of the time. However, on the heels of a contest against LSU, the most physical team Auburn faces each year, Auburn will find itself in poor shape against the Volunteers. Tennessee won't be in much better shape, given that Florida will drop them the week before. However, the loss to Florida will provide them with motivation. Auburn has won the last three contests. We will not win this one.

Predicted score: 23-21
Predicted Auburn record: 4-1

9/21/08 Note: If you're reading this now, please look in the archives on the right hand side. I will post both a more detailed preview of this game as well as post-game comments for this and every other game on the schedule. Please check back often.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Week 4: Auburn vs. LSU

Week 4 promises to be a intense, as our beloved Tigers welcome the ones from Baton Rouge, in the annual contest to decide SEC West supremacy (at least it should be, if we don't screw things up by losing to Arkansas like years past). Ryan Perilloux's (sp?) exit was early enough to be caught in pre-season polls by all of the major magazines. However, there was a split down the line as to which set of Tigers would bring home the SEC West crown. In my opinion, LSU's QB loss was actually LSU's team gain. The Purple Tigers will play better without the headcase than with him.

However, it still won't be enough for them to stave off defeat. Auburn will win this one, making it the 8th straight win for the home team. Look for ESPN to drag Chaz Ramsey's name through the mud and to replay that game ending TD from last year until fans are sick of it. It will be close, but not as much as previous years.

Predicted score: Auburn 27-21
Predicted Auburn record: 4-0

9/17/08 Note: For those just reading this now, please click on one of the links under blog archives on the right for more recent Auburn vs. LSU postings.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Week 3: Auburn at Mississippi State

Last season, the headlines read that MSU partied like it was 1999, after their upset of Auburn. MSU showed that it wasn't an accident, as they produced enough victories to go bowling in 2007. Congrats to them! Sylvester Croom is a class act and deserving of respect. He took a program in trouble and has made incredible strides with it. I give profs to him, even though he's an Alabama grad. (I also give profs to former Alabama QB Jay Barker, who managed to get engaged to Sara Evans. Impressive! That's it, though.)

This year, Auburn will travel to Starkville. Wih LSU one week away, Auburn may be tempted to look towards that game, but last year's loss to MSU will ensure that the Tigers focus on the Bulldogs. It will be SEC hard-nosed football, no matter what wrinkles Tony Franklin has in the offense. However, the Auburn defense will rule the day.

Predicted score: 24-7
Predicted record: 3-0

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Auburn vs. Southern Miss

As Auburn starts the year with one Louisiana school, Southern Miss starts with another: Louisiana Lafayette. Both are good openers for each team. Both teams will face tougher opponents in Week 2. Southern Miss has a new coach and, like Auburn, a new high powered offense. Plus, they return a lot of talented athletes that they many schools in he SEC ignored, athletes that would like to make a statement.

Last year, Auburn was upset by a team with South in its name, South Florida. Southern Miss, which will go bowling this year, looks to do the same. Both teams will come into the game 1-0. Look for Brett Favre's alma mater to make this competitive into the 3rd quarter before Auburn pulls away.

Final Score: 31-13
Auburn's record: 2-0

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

First game: Auburn vs. Louisiana-Monroe

I know. I said Monday and it's Tuesday.

Auburn opens the season against Louisiana-Monroe, similar to the way it did its undefeated season in 2004. Normally, there would be no time for trash talk, but Alabama's loss last year to Louisiana-Monroe, combined with expected comparisons that NC-wannabe pundits will want to make will give this game a lot of edge.

Auburn will win this game, but expect some initial fits and starts. Kodi Burns (my projected starter) will get the opening nod, but Chris Todd will also get time under center, directing Auburn to at least one and possibly two of its scores. The defense, which returns 6 of the 7 starters from last year in the back seven, will show that it's learned to put its hands in the air to block deep balls.

Final score: Auburn 38, LA-Monroe 14.
AU Record: 1-0

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Yes, I’m rooting for Greg Norman.

Neither for nor against the Shark when he was more active on the tour, the one enduring image I have of him is that collapse at the Masters. In 1996, he led by six shots on the final day, only to blow it and give the tournament to Nick Faldo. Greg Norman always seemed like such a nice guy. He deserves a better image than what most remember of him. Win and people will not only forget about that day at Augusta, they’ll even forget the supposed asterisk created by the absence of Tiger Woods.

Starting Monday, my predictions for the upcoming football season for Auburn, You won't want to miss them. I've been away from the discussing football for too long.

Friday, July 18, 2008

One For The Girls

Earlier this week, my older sister, Elizabeth, told me she wanted me to spend a day watching her daughter, Andrea. Andrea, my adorable goddaughter and niece, was named after the same relative that my son, Andrew, was. My boys both love their cousin, Andrea. When she was born, my younger son, Christopher, referred to her as HIS baby.

My wife and I would love to spend a day watching Andrea. She (and her parents) live northwest of Atlanta in Cherokee County and the trip is well over an hour each way, taking away the possibility of just dropping by and saying “hi.” I hope to do so soon. What was funny, though, was a reason my sister gave for wanting this: She thinks it would be funny to see me write in this blog about taking care of a little girl.

I admit it would. We don’t have a daughter and I don’t know squat about what it means to take care of a little girl. My wife loves our boys. Years ago, though, she jokingly lamented not having “someone to shop with.” Little girls are sweetness and nice. Little boys are a handful. I don’t know if that’s completely true. (I have heard that this view reverses when kids hit the teen years.) What I do know is that, as destructive as my little guys can be, they’ve met their match in Andrea. My niece once thought it would be a good idea to flush an entire roll of toilet paper, at one time. (She was training the potty to flush.) Thankfully, the plumber was able to help my sister and brother-in-law avert any permanent damage.

I admit though, there are joys my wife and I will never know. I understand Transformers, but have no true “appreciation” for the American Girl craze, other than knowing it’s huge. At North Pointe Mall in Alpharetta, there is an American Girl Boutique and Bistro, where little girls can take their dolls for shopping, lunch, and a makeover. Much younger cousins of mine are making the trip this weekend to go to the AGB&B. Amazingly, they had to make their reservation over two months ago. That fact blew me away.

So, what else am I missing? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dealing With Heat

The weather has been hot outside, though I think last summer was worse. My younger sister commented that we missed the worst of this summer while we were in Japan. (If that's true, we were lucky.)

Worse than the heat, though, is the price you pay to stay cool. I hear and read about stories of monthly power bills that are very costly. One of the ways we keep ours down is the way we use the air conditioner. If it's hot enough to need the air conditioner, instead of keeping the temperature set at a specific number, we look at the current temperature inside the house. Then, we set the desired temperature at 1-2 degrees below that number. Doing so keeps air moving in the house and in turn keeps us cool.

What things do you do to stay cool during the summer months?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Even My Wife Is Asking

Last night, my non-sports fan wife asked me, "So what's wrong with the Braves?" I answered that they're not hitting. I then qualified it by saying that they're "not hitting enough with men on base. " Truthfully, I wish I knew what the problem was. When I look at the Braves line-up, I see the makings of a good team, a team that needs breaks more than wholesale changes. Yes, there have been injuries...LOTS of injuries. There have also been a number of games that they should have won that they blew in the late innings.

Still, the pitching staff has the second best ERA in the National League. The second best!Hampton had a good start last night at Myrtle Beach and is supposedly one more minor league start before returning to the top club. This should improve the pitching staff even more. However , we're now 8 games under 0.500. This is nuts!

Is there a chance? Yes. Part of the reason can be traced to one thing...the Phillies. The Braves have now lost eight of nine to the Phillies, the same number of games they are under 0.500. Win half of those and we're in it.

There is still time, though. And this team, if healthy, is good.

On a Japanese baseball note, the Chiba Lotte Marines dropped the third game of three game series against the SoftBank Hawks. The score was 7-6, causing the Marines to miss the sweep. It was the second straight series win for the Marines, who are 4-2 since there All-Star break.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Welcome to Anna Adams' Readers

I just caught the reference at Anna Adams' blog about coming to my blog to read about my family's trip to Japan. The trip is profiled at my blog at Atlanta Parent magazine. Click here to go to that blog and thanks for coming.

Enjoy the Day

Happy 4th of July to all. It's days like this where the history geek in me remembers that the Declaration was actually approved on July 2nd, but signed on the 4th. Its days like this where my wife says shut up an enjoy the fireworks. :-)

Enjoy the fireworks and any other celebrations.

Today's the Day

Happy 4th of July to all. It's days like this where the history geek in me remembers that the Declaration was actually approved on July 2nd, but signed on the 4th. Its days like this where my wife says shut up an enjoy the fireworks. :-)

Enjoy the fireworks and any other celebrations.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Where Are The Mets When You Need Them

Last night, I came home from work, ate dinner, and then took the boys to the swimming pool. When we left, the Braves and Phillies were 0-0 early in the game. When we got back from the pool, the Phillies were up 5-0.

Tonight, I got home from work, ate dinner, and then took the boys to the swimming pool. When we left, the Braves and the Phillies were scoreless. When we returned home, the Braves trailed 5-0. It's the 8th inning and the Brave trail 5-3 now, giving me hope. However, the Phillies have beaten the Braves six out of seven. The Phillies seem to own us. However, having the Mets in town (or going there) seems to improve us.

And speaking of the Mets, former Mets manager Bobby Valentine, now manages the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan. Since the team's week off, the Marines have played two games against the Rakuten Eagles, winning one and losing one. A picture of my boys, with a half-statue of Valentine, is below.