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2015 Auburn Expectations: Too Much, Too Soon?

By on March 2nd, 2015 in Football 2 Comments »
carl lawson

photo by Julie Bennett/al.com

How’s it possible to lose four of your last five games, your starting quarterback and the league’s top rusher and still be the media darling heading into the 2015 season? Is Auburn and its fans being set up for too much, too soon?

That’s the narrative that will be discussed ad nauseam over the next six months. Can the genius of Gus Malzahn and Will Muschamp make up for the inexperience and youth that will come with this year’s team?

Clearly, the national media thinks so. Sports Illustrated has them ranked third in their early preseason poll and ESPN’s Brad Edwards picks the Tigers to win the SEC and qualify for the playoff.

Are we maybe a year too early on the hype?

Fueling Auburn’s rising stock is the off-season hire of Muschamp combined with the favorable home schedule that brings both Georgia and Alabama to Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Despite the screams, are we sure that Jeremy Johnson will be as effective in year one as Nick Marshall? Are we certain he’s even going to be the quarterback? A year ago this time, those to the west were waiting on the coronation of Jacob Coker.

There’s a lot of ground to cover between now and September, and even more before we reach Iron Bowl time. Behind that inexperience though is a ton of horsepower. That’s what has so many believing.

Perhaps just as important as coaching and schedule is what Auburn gains that it didn’t have last season. In that category, no one looms larger than Carl Lawson. With just an average pass rush last year, Auburn’s season would have looked different; and certainly would have made a difference against Alabama.

Throw in the heady expectations from Auburn’s highest rated recruit ever, Byron Cowart and you have to believe things will look drastically different on defense. An off-season of work under Muschamp for Kris Frost and Cassanova McKinzy should pay dividends from the start.

Malzahn will have more under the hood than just good play calling. Regardless of who’s over center, he should sleep well knowing what’s returning at tailback. While some believe Roc Thomas will inherit the mantle of league’s top rusher, others believe it will be passed to the nations’ top junior college recruit, Jovon Robinson.

The biggest key could be the return of Duke Williams for his senior year. Widely considered to be one-and-done, Williams will keep Malzahn’s offense lethal. Should Johnson win the quarterback battle, the connection could be lethal down the stretch.

Does it add up to another SEC title? There are way too many variables to know. One thing is certain: a five loss season is not in the realm of possibility. What becomes of this team is being accomplished now, in the dead of winter. It will continue through the Spring.

There are a lot of new talented faces. The biggest question is whether the senior leadership will be there to succeed.

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A Much Anticipated Offense!

By on February 26th, 2015 in Football 11 Comments »
New look offense Dangerous times are ahead for SEC defenses!(Photo by Acid Reign.)     War Eagle, everybody! The end of winter is near folks, and on this rainy night I am dreaming of Auburn football once again. The dreaded “Snowmaggedon” here in the Tragic City has resulted in... well, an inch and a half of rain. It won't be long before ... Read Full Story

Auburn Spring Sports in Full Swing Despite Cold Weather

By on February 25th, 2015 in Baseball, Other Sports 4 Comments »
17105945-mmmain Next to football season, spring in Auburn is the favorite time of the year for many of the Auburn Family. But with two to six inches of snow predicted across parts of central Alabama today, it just doesn't seem like spring is almost here. Yet Spring Sports at Auburn are already in full swing.No spring sport has been as successfu... Read Full Story

Football’s Big at Auburn, but Fans Prove They Love Tiger Basketball Too!

By on February 24th, 2015 in Basketball 5 Comments »
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Auburn is having the biggest crowds in over a dozen years. So far this season the Auburn Arena has been filled to 85.7 percent capacity - the third-highest among SEC teams, trailing only Florida (91.9 percent of capacity) and Kentucky (102.1 percent of capacity).

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Jury Is Still Out on Auburn Hires

By on February 23rd, 2015 in Baseball, Basketball 4 Comments »
clint myer It’s hard to argue with athletic director Jay Jacobs’s success in the hiring department, especially when it comes to the money sports. However, when you look at the lesser sports, his recent hires have been a mixed bag. I’m sure it’s not something that keeps the veteran AD up at night. When was the last time an athletic... Read Full Story

Discussing Nonconference Possibilities

By on February 20th, 2015 in Featured Article, Football 7 Comments »
55385701.0 Auburn's home-and-home series against California in 2019/2020 has been pushed back a year in order to accommodate the Bears' series with Ole Miss in 2017/2019. So now with Auburn and Cal's series pushed back to 2020/2021 that leaves Jay Jacobs with an opportunity to schedule another Power-5 opponent in the 2018/2019 seasons. Aft... Read Full Story

Living Large

By on February 19th, 2015 in Football 5 Comments »
Budget piece The Auburn Athletic Department ran a 13.7 million dollar deficit last year.(Photo by Acid Reign.)     War Eagle, everybody! A sobering bit of news came out this week from the Plains, amid great stories about new oaks, amazing basketball victories, gymnastics moving up to #8 in the country, and fine Auburn men at the NFL comb... Read Full Story

Quarterback or Cornerback?

By on February 18th, 2015 in Featured Article, Football 3 Comments »
nick-marshall Nick Marshall is on the horns of a dilemma.  The odds of making the cut on an NFL team as a rookie quarterback are incredibly steep, even for a dual-threat wizard of the zone read. The prototypical NFL prospect is usually three inches taller, with a  5 - 10% better completion percentage, has extensive experience receiving snap... Read Full Story

“I-I-I’ll Never Watch Football Again-n-n-n” (with apologies to Bacharach/David)

By on February 17th, 2015 in Football, Memories 3 Comments »
DionneWarwick

Those of you who knew who the above lady was before there ever was such a thing as a Psychic Friends Network will get this a little better--and the irony at the end. What do you get when you watch football? You see evil teams become ...

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Auburn Basketball vs. Bama … Time for a Little Payback

By on February 17th, 2015 in Basketball 3 Comments »
Auburn guard Antoine Mason (14) hits a field goal in Auburn-Bama rivalry game, Jan. 25, 2015. (photo:Vasha Hunt, al.com) One of the things that makes college sports so special, so different from the pro's, is its rivalries. Many people in America recognize the Iron Bowl as possibly the nation's fiercest college football rivalry. However, the Auburn - Alabama Rivalry transcends football and extends to every area of competition between the two schoo... Read Full Story

All is Right on the Corner

By on February 16th, 2015 in Baseball, Football 9 Comments »
auburn oaks Auburn feels whole again. It’s funny what two trees can do for a family. Several thousand braved the cold on Saturday morning to watch a little history. The Auburn Oaks, as they are now known, were finally put in the ground and with it a new chapter begins.In person they are much taller than I expected. While nowhere near the ... Read Full Story

Morning Musings – February 13th

B9p5J0oIcAA-k_j On Saturday, history will be made for Toomer’s Corner once again… as the new “Auburn Oaks” are being delivered and planted in their new home on the corner of College and Magnolia. Of course, nothing will ever be able to replace the magic and legacy of the old oaks, but it’s a necessary change in order to continue the f... Read Full Story

Ever a Changing Game

By on February 12th, 2015 in Football 8 Comments »
Ref Rule Changes Football continues to evolve, often in response to rule changes.(Photo by Acid Reign.)      War Eagle, everybody! National Signing Day has come and gone, and now we're in the throes of Mardi Gras. There's little football news afoot, but the NCAA Football Rules committee is meeting this week, and there is the usual talk of c... Read Full Story

Take Me Out to Plainsman Park – I want to see some Auburn Baseball

By on February 11th, 2015 in Baseball 4 Comments »
NCAA Regional Baseball With low temperatures hovering around the freezing mark and frost on the ground, it doesn't seem like it just yet, but spring is right around the corner. And that means America's pastime is almost here. Baseball has always caught our imagination. It reminds us of the days of our youth, of playing the game in backyards, of the s... Read Full Story

Where Will Mr. Football (Kerryon Johnson) Fit in at Auburn?

By on February 10th, 2015 in Football 10 Comments »
Kerryon Auburn just completed its sixth consecutive Top-10 recruiting class. It's full of some real gems, not the least of which is the addition of Kerryon Johnson, the 2014 Mr. Alabama Football.The 6'- 1", 205 pound running back scored 33 touchdowns his senior year, rushing for 1,659 yards and catching 22 passes for 598 yards. He was a... Read Full Story

Byron Cowart Looks to Back Up Expectations

By on February 9th, 2015 in Football 4 Comments »
coaches celebration It’s all smiles in the Auburn Athletic Department. There have been few weeks better than the past one. On Wednesday, Gus Malzahn arguably signed the best recruiting class in school history. Friday, the board of trustees approved the mother of all big screen televisions for Jordan-Hare Stadium. But the biggest winner of the we... Read Full Story

Bright New Faces

By on February 6th, 2015 in Featured Article, Football 8 Comments »
635586433313269287-USATSI-8365773 The fax machines have been switched back to the off position, and the ink of the signatures from the nation’s most gifted athletes has dried (unless you’re CeCe Jefferson, of course), as we welcome 27 bright, new faces to the Auburn family.The day began with an absolute red-hot start for Malzahn and his coaching staff, as t... Read Full Story

Tigers Land Another Top Ten Recruiting Class!

By on February 5th, 2015 in Football 10 Comments »
Duke Williams A Day Duke Williams had the most instant impact from last year's class.(Photo by Acid Reign.)     War Eagle, everybody! National college football signing day has come and gone, and those of us with shaky hearts can now take a deep breath. I've worried in this space in the past two weeks, because it looked like Auburn did not have ... Read Full Story

“We Want to Win the State of Alabama, and We Feel Like we Did That This Year” – Gus Malzahn

By on February 4th, 2015 in Football 9 Comments »
14222699-mmmain-JULIE BENNETT It was a great National Signing Day for Gus Malzahn and his staff. After some drama over whether the nation's No.1 prospect Byron Cowart's letter of Intent would be faxed in by Cowart's high school coach - the Tigers finished with the No.2 class in the nation according to Scout's AuTigers.com.No one knows for sure why Cowart's c... Read Full Story

National Signing Day: Live Blog

By on February 3rd, 2015 in Football 3 Comments »
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Please note that comment totals displayed on the front page counter are not the actual amount. As this is an Open Thread, you must click on the "Read Full Story" button to view all the comments. The last comment will be posted at the top of the thread under "New Entry". - It was a great day to be an Auburn Tiger.

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National Signing Day Primer

By on February 3rd, 2015 in Football 9 Comments »
Spanning the Globe in search of Auburn Men We are expecting guests for our special event tomorrow. New recruits will join the Auburn family, and we want to make them feel right at home.National Signing Day is a remarkable event in many ways. Lives are changed forever, relationships are formed, and old high school friends are left at home as the young student athlete star... Read Full Story