Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Five Questions With Bourbon & Coke

The title sounds more like some of my weekend study sessions from twenty years ago than a blog post... but actually, I was asked by the guys at the Bourbon & Coke site to answer a few questions about the season to date and the looming 2010 edition of the Tiger Bowl.  Here's a sample:

B&C: We are running out of superlatives to describe Cameron Newton. As an Auburn fan, where do you rank his first seven games in a Tiger uniform, is his current run the best performance by a newcomer in the school's history?

FTB: The simple answer is first.  There just isn't anybody who compares as far as their first seven games go.  Bo Jackson, as great as he was, didn't get to the point where he could take over football games until about his sophomore year.  The QB/WR combination of Pat Sullivan and Terry Beasley were a huge improvement on the Auburn offense that preceded them, but they also didn't really light up the SEC until their second season (1970).  Newton has personally dominated every game he's played in to the point where, as you note, it's hard to find the right words to keep describing it, and there's just no precedent for his level of performance to date.

But all that said, we do have to remember that unlike Bo and Sullivan and most other great stars of the past, Newton isn't starting as a freshman (or a sophomore; in Sullivan's day, freshmen weren't eligible).  He's got a great advantage in that he's not debuting as an eighteen-year-old kid who's still trying to adjust to his first year of college as well as big-time football.  He's a 21-year-old adult who's had--as we're all reminded regularly by the media--significant life experiences.  Having come through all of that to return to SEC football has clearly given him a lot more maturity and stability than your average freshman is ever likely to enjoy.  

He's really something, though.  Newton isn't just playing football at an extraordinary level; he's obviously having the time of his life doing it. He's a joy to watch.

I mistakenly thought when I was answering that B&C was an LSU blog, but it turns out to be an all-SEC affair, and quite a good one.  Check them out.

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