Auburn Football: Preview of an Arms Race at Quarterback

Ben WhiteAnalyst IJune 6, 2008

When I was thinking about how to preview the Auburn quarterback situation I kept coming back to the Cold War.

The battle for the elite position of quarterback at Auburn University is comparable to that of superpowers bent on world domination.

Also, it was fairly easy to fit both Burns and Todd into the stereotypes that surrounded the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.


Kodi Burns (America)

Americans have an obsession with speed and flash, and Kodi Burns has speed and flash in spades (maybe even in diamonds). He ran a sub-4.5 40 coming out of high school and has the shiftiness of a feral cat.

If Kodi were a sports car, he would be the Saleen S7 Twin Turbo, a car that goes from Zero to Mach Dammit in a hurry. He—like middle age American sports car owners going through a mid-life crisis—is sometimes all too happy to show off his speed.

The Tony Franklin system (Buy it now!) should give Burns easier reads and fewer rushing attempts. Of course, 2007 Troy quarterback Omar Haugabook led the team in rushing attempts.

Kodi has an arm comparable to the American AGM-114 Hellfire missile. He's a Hellfire missile with a damaged guidance system maybe, but a missile nonetheless. No one questions the strength of Kodi's arm, only the accuracy.

Last season, Kodi seemed to prefer carpet bombing which forced terrorists into caves. Hopefully this year he will switch over to laser-guided tactical missiles, which would be sent into those caves.

Potentate Franklin's work with Kodi has already paid off, as his accuracy and decision making seemed to be much improved this spring.

Like America—the land of the 44 0z. drink and teenage boob jobs—Kodi Burns is all about speed and flash combined with a big, erratic arm.

In all fairness, Kodi did as well as most freshman quarterbacks thrown into the fire their first year. He made his share of mistakes but also showed immense potential that will hopefully be tapped this year.

Preposterous Prediction: Kodi goes All-American over everybody's asses and leads Auburn to an undefeated 14-0 season. He is a unanimous 1st team All American and the only player invited to New York for the Heisman presentation.

Realistic Prediction: Burns splits time with Chris Todd and has an above-average year. Auburn finishes the season 10-2 with a trip to the SEC championship game. Kodi is semi-famous and gets free Momma's Loves from Momma Goldberg's for a whole year.

Pessimist's Prediction: Kodi has a horrendous first few games and losses playing time to Todd. Auburn flounders and finishes with a disappointing 7-5 season. No free Momma's Loves.


Chris Todd (Soviet Union)

I am not trying to imply that Chris Todd is the enemy. He is just the Soviet Union to Kodi Burns' America. Todd is relatively slow, older, creaky, sturdy, and reliable.

Well, reliable and sturdy might be a stretch at this point, but he does have more knowledge and experience in the Franklin system and his accuracy appears to be a tad better.

Chris made it to Auburn just in time, as it is rumored that Tony Franklin is drafting a "Franklin Document" based on the famous "Truman Doctrine" that will slow the influx of slow, unathletic quarterbacks to Auburn.

Similar to how the U.S. never really knew the real military capacity of the U.S.S.R., no one really knows the arm strength of Chris Todd. Franklin said his arm was everywhere from 60 percent to below 50 percent this spring and he missed a large chunk of spring action due to arm fatigue.

This could just be Viceroy Franklin protecting his chum, who appeared to have below average arm strength. Hopefully he is packing an ICBM that is aimed at the opponent's end zone.

The big advantage Todd has over Burns is knowledge of the Franklin/spread system. Todd's high school ran Franklin's offense and he also spent a year at spread heaven: Texas Tech.

Franklin really likes Chris' knowledge and pocket presence. He seemed comfortable in the pocket but did not have any better numbers than Burns did this spring. Is that because of his arm troubles or is Kodi's passing ability improving rapidly?

Todd may be slower, a little creaky, and possibly injury-prone, but he has more knowledge of the system and is more accurate. What Todd lacks in skill (technology), he makes up for with reliability.

So Kodi may be driving around in his 2008 Porsche Boxster with its fancy GPS, power locks, and A.C. having a grand time. Chris is more than happy to drive his 1988 turquoise Grand Am with no right rear window, bungee cords holding the trunk closed, and only one headlight. It is reliable.

Preposterous Prediction: Chris Todd completes every pass he attempts for the first five games and leads Auburn to a 14-0 national championship season. Co-eds all over Auburn throw themselves at his feet and he hoists the Heisman bracketed by the two girls Brandon Cox was seen with at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Realistic Prediction: Todd shares time with Burns and has an average season. Auburn finishes the year 10-2 with a trip to the Capital One Bowl. Todd is referred to as the "piece that stopped the puzzle from being completed." Kodi Burns is seen as the hero of Auburn and gets free sandwiches at Momma G's. Chris enters a deep depression that leads to alcohol abuse. He is arrested late one night for burning down the tree at Toomer's Corner while singing "What It's Like" by Everlast.

Pessimists Prediction: Todd's right arm falls off during the game against ULM. He gives up football and becomes infamous as the one-armed scalper. He develops a heroin addiction and dies alone.

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