Hobbs Column: You reap what you sew in the SEC

By By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

I have absolutely, positively never seen anything remotely like what unfolded at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium last Saturday.

I mean, it was one of those deals when you’ll always remember where you were and what you were doing when you realized what

was happening, that you were witnessing history, that college football might never ever be the same again.

The Auburn touchdown return on Alabama’s missed field goal attempt was pretty spectacular, too, but rather old hat.

Although the stakes weren’t quite as

high and the entire free world wasn’t tuned in on television and the

future of the planet

wasn’t hanging in the balance, LSU’s Odell Beckham did it way back

in September. If anything, his was maybe a half-yard farther

than the Chris Davis romp into Iron Bowl lore and Auburn


So been there, seen that, even if Beckham’s fun run was more of a curiosity piece than a moment that made the Earth stand

still and rivers to reverse course.

I also saw, with my own eyes, the

Bluegrass Miracle, the Warren Morris home run and the Aints become

Saints and win a Super

Bowl. I’ve seen Tiger Stadium hit by earthquakes and tsunamis, and

I’ve seen it rain oranges on the turf and, shoot, I once

saw a gentleman bring his very large horse into a yuppie bar for

happy hour.

But never, in all my born days, had I

ever seen a major college football team, in the middle of the Game of

the Year, whip

out an electric sewing machine on the sideline and start steady

backstitching like Auburn did at one key point in the second

half Saturday.

Who knew? Who has that kind of forethought?

And is it, at heart, a textbook case of over-coaching? Or at least over-equipment-managing?

Did Alabama have a sewing machine on the Crimson Tide sideline?

We don’t know, but you can bet Nick Saban is on the case. It’s now part of the famed “process,” along with advanced fanned-out

field goal coverage practice.

I did text an LSU official to ask how they handle those tricky seamstress problems that inevitably come up.

No sewing machines on the LSU sideline, it turned out.

“But we do have one nearby in the locker room,” sports information director Michael Bonnette replied.

Maybe I was on to something.

Do you have an Assistant Athletic Director for Embroidery (they have one for everything else)?

“Not yet,” Bonnette replied.

Key word being “yet.”

We all saw the results at Auburn. The possibilities are limitless.

It turned out, that linebacker LaDarius

Owens, who would later throw about the only block Davis needed, had a

nasty tear in

his jersey. So, quick as you please, there was burly equipment

manager Dana Marquez sewing away right on the sideline, looking

for all the world like grandma stitching Christmas mittens.

It’s now obvious Auburn is ahead of the

curve with its own Singer right there in the storage box, always at

somebody’s fingertips.

The SEC arms race is ever-escalating and the secret is now out.

The next round of LSU ticket price increases will come with the warning that this is the price of doing business at the top

of the SEC, that Auburn has a sewing machine right on the sideline and LSU is falling hopelessly behind and wasting valuable time dashing to and from the locker room when the need arises.

Hey, it’s the little things.

Do you want to be reduced to being a needle-and-thread outfit like Mississippi State?

What I want to know is, if there’s a live sewing machine in that Auburn emergency storage box — apparently it had been there

for years — what else is in there we still haven’t seen yet?

A chain saw? Jumper cables? Curling iron? Maybe an Easy-Bake Oven?

You never know what might come up in a football game.

Certainly Alabama wasn’t expecting a return of its own field goal to beat the Tide.

Saban should have.

True, there had only been four documented cases of this phenomena in all of college football’s long history. But one of them

was Beckham, this very year against UAB.

Before then, you had to go all the back to the 1960s, on the West Coast, where a lot of strange and wacky stuff was happening

at the time.

That means it’s officially an epidemic

now. Two of the five came this year and both of those came against

schools in the University

of Alabama system.

• • •

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com