Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Friday, October 17, 2003

What’s that?!

Why, it can be none other than the Ugly, Stumpy, Smush-faced Dogs of Mississippi State slobbering and panting and licking themselves as they roll into the Loveliest Village on the Plains to take on the finally-playing-like-they-mean-it Auburn Tigers!

Good afternoon, sports fans—as you no doubt have reckoned, it’s time once more to bring you the Possumblog Pigskin Prognostication Program from the lushly appointed Possumblog Sports Center!

This week’s lineup has a resurgent, 19th ranked Tiger squad (4-2, 4-0 SEC) playing host for the 58th consecutive meeting (out of 76 total) between themselves and the Boys from Starkville (2-4, 1-1 SEC). Kickoff will be at 1:30 Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

After playing good, sound football against its last four opponents, the Plainsmen may be thinking they can put The Cadillac in cruise control and coast along to victory number five, but this being the hypercompetitive Southeastern Conference, State could easily turn around and bite a plug out of them.

Former Tide player and current Bulldog head coach Jackie Sherrill, despite the glowing palaver on his web page, has been roundly criticized for losing four games this year before finally getting a victory (over the vicious Vanderbilt team). With not only a shot at the conference title still (mathematically) within his grasp if State wins, but another nail in his coffin if they lose, this becomes a crucial game for him, which has probably been impressed mightily upon the Bell Ringers.

But it may not be of any use. The Tigers have finally begun pulling together like a well-plowed muleteam, having gotten back their preseason confidence and a level of poise necessary to compete even when the chips are down. They do come away from Tennessee and Arkansas tired and beat up, but with their depth, playing State may be just the ticket to get some of their younger teammates into the rotation for a few plays.

“WHAT ABOUT THE IMPORTANT MEASURES OF SUCCESS,” you may shout by using your Caps Lock key. Well, in this area the Tigers and the Dogs are relatively evenly matched—the Staters bring with them their tough Maroon Squad. Tough, but like every other squad in big-time college football, seriously hampered by an extreme abundance of guys. On the other hand, there IS the Pom Squad, which has a nice selection of big ol’ healthy-looking girls who would look right at home shaking a set of pom-pons OR dressing a deer.

The Tigers have still a ways to go to ever compete with the likes of USC, but they continue to slowly add a few more pictures every now and then. AND, the Tiger Paws finally got an updated picture for themselves, too. So, progress is being made in the decisive area of the spirit squads. It remains to be seen if it will be enough to ensure success in the coming weeks.

Now then, on to the weekly prediction. As you know, our long-time Possumblog Sports Statistician, the flame-haired, vigorously-muscled Ipsa Dixie has been absent from her workstation, causing me (out of necessity) to rely heavily on various computerized oracle devices available to users of the miraculous Internet.

This would not be a problem but for the fact that they have been highly accurate and not the least bit inclined to go on a tire-slashing rampage in the parking lot.

I have been led by these facts to question why we even HAVE a Sports Statistician on staff, given her penchant for less than stellar accuracy, as well as having a less than pleasant workplace demeanor. Obviously, though, asking questions is a very bad thing in light of the evidence. (In the form of the large dent in my desk caused by the last hunk of concrete she threw at me.)

So once again, I have requested Ipsa grace us with one of her wonderfully well-reasoned and calculated analysis of the various statistics available to her to arrive a prediction for the final score.

Ahh, and here is it, wrapped within the latest restraining order—Auburn 42 – Mississippi State 14. There you go.

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