Did I tell you Mila Kunis was hot, or what? If you haven't seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall yet, she's half the reason you should. Shout out to Clay for enjoying this particular specimen, too, as noted below.
Disclaimer - Pay attention fuckwads. I will put this atop every guest writer's article in the hopes that you will truly understand that what is being said in the following article are NOT my words, even though some may end up being true. So if you have a problem with anything being said or any grammatical mistakes or spelling errors, direct it toward him/her, not me, or I will bring the Joker wrath. And you and I both know you don't want that. And if you do, as Hank the Dwarf so eloquently quipped..."Your mutha."
I would like to send out a big 'Ello' to all of those Joker Report fans and readers out there. Like many of you, I have been an avid reader of the Joker's work. Unlike many of you, I am an Auburn fan....just to get the proverbial "cat" out of the bag.....ha. As much as I appreciate and enjoy both the Joker's work on football related matters and random, but sometimes lustful commentary (with a quick shout out to Mila Kunis, who has shot up my list as of late), I am not here to offer the same brand of interpretation of information. To the contrary, I am here to offer another perspective on all things football, with a focus on the college game. Sometimes this perspective will differ starkly from my esteemed colleague, and sometimes it will fall in line. Point being, I am here to spice it up, and the first bit of spice that I have to add will be a hint of paprika....j/k....the first bit will come in the realm of recruiting.
Make no mistake, the uncompromising boosting of all that Alabama will no doubt only increase as will the unwavering salvos of ammunition fired across the state towards the Plains. Be that as it may, I am not an Alabama hater, I am an Auburn fan. That is a differentiation that needs to be made. I am also a huge fan of the Southeastern Conference, and while I have some dislike for some teams within it, and some coaches, my loyalties generally stay here in the South. And, yes, that includes favorable feedback about Alabama football, as soon as they actually do something that merits some of that feedback. There is plenty of news about the recruiting in T-town and, as usual, there is plenty of news about the latest problems with the NCAA. I will leave it there for now.
Alabama, LSU, Florida, and USC have set a new precedent in terms of recruiting. Particularly in the early phases. The whole recruiting game has been changed since the moment that Nick Saban arrived on campus in Tuscaloosa. For me, that is a disturbing yet irrefutable fact. The numbers over the last few years back this up. The situation was about to become dire for Auburn's football recruiting, in particular, as we share a state. But then, amidst the usual controversy, Tubs was fired and Chizik was hired. There was no shortage of criticism for either part of this move and the Auburn nation trembled as the thought of a further backslide settled in. But then, Chizik made some great hires on staff. Including but not limited to the addition of Gus Malzahn, Curtis Luper, Tommy Thigpen, and Ted Roof. This, along with a revitalized spirit around the campus and a general buzz about the football program has put many Auburn fans in a position that they did not expect to find themselves in. Instead of the negative feedback that the AU nation experienced leading up to last season and continuing throughout, instead there is positive feedback. As previously mentioned, the campus is buzzing as are the recruiting trails and Auburn fans find themselves hopeful, and feeling good about the way things are going. A welcome sensation, I am sure, for what became a beleaguered fan base last season.
The rest of the SEC will have to adapt as well. Florida had already established success on the field and in recruiting, and LSU with Les Miles has done equally as well. Tennessee has their formula for recruiting....I will hold my keystrokes....and they used to have a formula for winning. That one seems to be MIA, and it remains to be seen if everyone's 'not-so-favorite' coach, Mr. Lane Kiffin, can do anything to change that developing trend. Really rootin' for ya' buddy.....yeah right. One more media blurb from 'Lame Kitten' and, "POW, right in the kisser!" Who hasn't had enough of that guy.....ALREADY. Lord. Play one game before you start the yapping, please.
Ole Miss and Arkansas, I believe, are back on the rise in recruiting and on the field. I can't help but feel like South Carolina has to eventually have some success. Miss. St., just hang in there. Something is bound to happen for you, that is, besides beating Auburn or Alabama (which has clearly been the biggest thing to happen for the bulldogs in many years). There are many, as of yet, unmentioned teams from our wonderful conference, but the idea stays the same. Recruiting will never be the same. Not just in the SEC, but nationwide.
While Alabama is having another great summer in recruiting, and is still leading the state with their in-state recruiting, I believe the real story comes out of Auburn. Where a new, and 'questionable' coach is changing his school's and his fan base's concept of recruiting. A school that has never subscribed to the theory that if you get the best athletes, you have the best team. Auburn, in years past, has instead opted for a different approach. One that involved recruiting a few high profile recruits, and getting a majority of 2 and 3 star recruits and coaching them up to higher levels. This strategy did pay some dividends in years past, but none of Auburn's past success came without a Bo Jackson, a Pat Sullivan, a Cadillac, a Ronnie Brown, a Stephen Davis, a Carlos Rogers, etc., etc.....
Point being that it is hard to compete at the high level that SEC competition demands without some studs and it appears that the new staff at Auburn fully understands this. Again, Alabama is still winning the in-state battle getting commitments from players such as DeMarcus Milliner (#1 player in state), and Jarrick Williams (#2 player in the state) amongst others, but Auburn has been anything but lax already landing the state's top WR in Jeremy Richardson, (#6 player in state), and the state's top Outside LB Jawara White (#9 player in state), amongst others. The game is on, and it sure will be fun to watch! Limos, Big Cats, and more promise to make discussing Auburn's approach to recruiting an interesting discussion.
My next installment will be focused on Auburn's 2010 recruiting class. I will then move on to some other SEC teams and their recruiting, depending on if the Joker is willing to play along. Until then, my fellow football enthusiasts, try to make yourself useful and give us some feedback. And I'm out.
-J. Clayton Bailey, Jr.