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Iron Bowl Q&A: Ten Questions with the Joe Cribbs Car Wash

Jerry over at the Joe Cribbs Car Wash took the time to answer a few burning questions for us about tomorrow's edition of what will surely be the ugliest, boringest, most poorly played Iron Bowl EVAhS!!111, and we responded in kind. Though I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about him by now, the fact that he says nice things about us, thinks the old logo is the better one, and considers Ignatius J. Reilly a hero only serves to prove that this guy is just too damn cool to be an actual Auburn fan. But even with that minor failing on his part, and even though we hope his team is left a shredded, bloody mess tomorrow, we'd still let him sleep on the couch at Stately RBR Manor if it ever came to that.

There's plenty of couches to choose from, of course, but the cable and internet service sucks.

So without further ado:

1. Both teams have been up and down all year. There have been lackluster wins, dominating performances, and huge letdowns against teams that were dominated statistically but still walked away victorious for both. To what do you attribute Auburn's struggles throughout the year, and do you have confidence that those problems either won't be a factor for the Iron Bowl or have been fixed?

Honestly, with the exception of the sudden second-half collapse by the defense against UGA which I'm chalking up to the combination of 11-games-in-11-weeks fatigue and Knowshon Moreno, the roller-coaster ride has basically followed Brandon Cox's performances precisely. When Cox has played even adequately, Auburn has won. When he's been less than adequate, Auburn has lost. That simple. As for what that means for the Iron Bowl, there are earthworms, kitchen appliances, and Hilton sisters that have just as good an idea as I do as to how Cox will play this week. I'd like to think the extra week will do him good and that the size of the occasion will help, but we're not going to know until the very moment he drops back and fires on Saturday.

2. Do you put any stock into the "Tuberville to A&M/LSU/Arkansas/Whoever" rumors and how do you think they are affecting his team right now, especially considering the infamous "pine box" comments at Ole Miss?

There a brief moment of doubt to start last week when Tubby was still ducking the question and some reports characterized his press conference as awkward. But when he came out Monday and said he's be at Auburn as long as the administration wanted him and Jay Jacobs came out and said "We want Tubby here," well, sucker though I may be I'm 99.999 percent sure he's back next year and for longer. The "pine box" thing was obviously a mistake and is going to follow him around like Patrick Swayze in Ghost singing "Henry VIII I Am I Am" for the rest of his career, but he really was a lot younger, a lot less experienced at that point, and most importantly at a school that couldn't pay him as much as Auburn. I don't think there's a pattern quite yet. I won't argue that his dissembling might have had a small effect on the UGA performance, but damn sure not 25 points worth.

3. Should Alabama win on Saturday, do you think back to back losses to Auburn's two biggest rivals and finishing 7-5 would create enough pressure on Tuberville to make him think long and hard about taking another job, or does he have enough good will built up to insure at least one more season?

He's not getting fired even with a loss to the Tide. After Jetgate, there's going to have to be major, major fan unrest to get him tossed and even a craptacular season wrapping up in the most craptacular fashion possible isn't going to cause that kind of restlessness amongst the natives. Most Auburn fans don't have memories quite that short-term ... at least, I don't think.

4. How do you, personally, feel about Tuberville staying or going?

I very, very much want him to stay. One four or even five-loss season isn't the end of the world, particularly when Auburn won so many fortunate, we-got-outgained-and-won-anyway victories in 2006 that were bound to break the other way this season. Even if we ... lose Saturday AARRGGHH MY FINGERS IT BURNS IT BURNS five wins in six tries against Alabama is still five wins in six tries, and given that Tubby does so much recruiting outside the state I'm not convinced a loss next week is the Apocalypse. A nuclear missile causing California to break off and sink into the ocean with no Superman to stop it, yes. But not quite Apocalypse.

The real coaching question is whether Borges returns for another season at the helm of the offense, which has been utterly pedestrian for two straight years now. My guess is that's he's definitely gone with a loss and only 50/50 to return even with a win. Personally, I'd like to see him given the chance to work with someone else at quarterback, but given how little progress has been made over the past 20 games or so I understand if Tubby feels otherwise.

5. We all know about guys like Quentin Groves and Brad Lester, but who is one player on Auburn's team that we might not have heard of that's an integral part of the team and will make an impact on Saturday?

Just one? Can I limit it to one unit? The Moreno buzzsawing notwithstanding, the Auburn defensive line has been tremendous this season. Antonio Coleman has come on so strongly at defensive end they've moved Groves to a kind of 3-4 OLB / rush end hybrid and was the best player on the defense against both Ole Miss and UGA. But nose Josh Thompson, tackle Pat Sims, and end Sen'Derrick Marks have all had their moments as well. They've stuffed McFadden and limited Tebow and I have to say I like their chances against the Tide's running game. We'll see whether said chances like them, or something.

6. What worries you most about Alabama going into the Iron Bowl?

Saban. I can't imagine a) the Tide daring to mail in a game of this magnitude on him b) him not making sure his team won't have the absolute best possible game plan. Auburn is going to get Alabama's best shot, without question, and it's going to be a shot that will be more than good enough to win this game if the Tigers don't play a pretty damn good game of their own.

Also, if Auburn kicks to Javier Arenas at any point I may wet myself.

Luckily for you and unfortunately for us, Arenas has a high ankle sprain and is doubtful for the Iron Bowl, so no need to stock up.

7. Conversely, what weakness does Alabama have relative to an Auburn strength that makes you sit back, rub your hands together, and cackle with malevolent glee?

Going back to the d-line comment, forgive me for noticing that 'Bama hasn't broken 4 yards a carry against an SEC opponent since the Georgia game. Ole Miss held the Tide to less than 3. I would really, really hope that given how Auburn's front seven has played for most for the season, they could reproduce those kinds of numbers. I mean, if the Rebels can do it, Auburn can too, right? And if the Tide can't run, that means the ball will be in the benevolent hands of J.P. Wilson. That should cue a few cackles, yes.

8. If you could kidnap, brainwash, and somehow get eligible to play for Auburn before Saturday one player from the Crimson Tide, who would it be and why (please say John Parker Wilson, please say John Parker Wilson...)?

Arenas is tempting, but Auburn's wideouts are basically all built like steady, move-the-chains possession guys who don't even have very steady hands (Rod Smith's hands mostly excepted). They just aren't dangerous, just aren't the sort of guys announcers would love to say "the defense has to account for." They're all No. 2's. A genuine No. 1like D.J. Hall, however, would make a massive difference. Gimme gimme gimme.

9. And lastly, just for fun, if you were an up and coming assistant/co-ordinator in the collegiate ranks, and you had your pick of coaches to work with, who would it be?

Avast, ye mateys, I'd be stowing away aboard the good ship o' Captain Mike Leach and enrolling in his legendary Pirate School, the wonder and terror of the seven seas as well as Norman! Yarr!

Not only would I have guaranteed employment for the remainder of my days at mid-major schools looking to get a slice of that systemic 550-yards-a-game magic, I'd get to wear an eyepatch and a funny hat and wave around a little metal sword like my hero Ignatius J. Reilly from "A Confederacy of Dunces." Score.