Auburn fans can’t help it. Gus Malzahn keeps pointing it out. Let’s just call it human nature. We can’t continue to compare last year’s Auburn team with this season’s bunch.
In the bowels of Bill Snyder Family Stadium following Thursday’s uneven win over Kansas State, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn preached that this team is different with its own personality. Comparing the third contest of last year, a dramatic win over Miss St., with what transpired in Manhattan is useless in sizing up this team.
What it does do is serve as a reminder. Gus Malzahn’s offense wasn’t nearly as fine tuned last September as it wound up being in late November. To expect that kind of production before fall arrives is far-fetched.
There are no preseason games. Nick Marshall continues to receive criticism in some quarters for his throwing ability. I’d remind those critics that he’d only played a game and a half this season before going on the road against a Top 20 opponent.
Before declaring he’s made little progress throwing since last season, let’s give him another game to knock the rust off. I’ll remind those same critics that he was pretty good in the second half Thursday, converting on 8-for-11 third downs.
What does feel different this year is Auburn’s resolve. While they may still be looking for their identity, they expect to win, something that is drastically different from last September. Marshall deserves a lot of the credit.
“You know Nick is always level headed, and he keeps his spirits up no matter what,” said Malzahn. “Whether he completes three passes in a row or whether he gets ten drops in a row, he is our leader so we look to him.”
Regardless of whether you view the glass half full or half empty, there’s no arguing the significance of a win over a Top 20 opponent. When the playoff committee meets later this year, they won’t remember how Auburn played in Kansas, but they will see the win on the road.
It would be foolish to dismiss this team as not good enough to make the playoff. After all, who had us playing in Pasadena a year ago yesterday following a 14-point loss to LSU?
The naysayers who insist that Auburn has to play better to win the SEC are right. History tells us that’s what Malzahn coached teams do. They get better. Judging the first month of the season, there’s no reason to believe it won’t happen again.
But to be sure, I’m begging Gus to quit wearing that sweater vest. There are too many bad memories and close calls when he sports it. Do us a favor and retire it.
It’s just bad Karma.
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War Eagle, everybody! It’s time now for the Acid Reign report on Auburn’s 20-14 win on the road against 20th ranked Kansas State. Billed by some as the biggest home game in Kansas State history, the Wildcats came to play, taking center stage in a Thursday night contest. Against a stout K-State defense, Auburn struggled to run the ball, and had a good many passes bouncing off hands. Still, with the game on the line in the 4th quarter, Auburn rose up and ...Read Full Story
Auburn vs. Kansas State, Open Thread. Tonight, the Auburn Tigers take on the Kansas State Wildcats, in Manhattan Kansas at one of the toughest stadiums in the Big 12. As always, feel free to participate and enjoy this thread.
A preview of Thursday night matchup between No. 5 Auburn Tigers and Kansas State. It will be Auburn's first serious test of the 2014 season. The Wildcats are 2-0, and ranked 20th in the AP Top 25. The Tigers will have their hands full with a tough K-State team, and a raucous record-setting crowd expected for this one.Read Full Story
Story about how Auburn will test opposing defenses with Sammie Coates and Duke Williams, two of the best Wide Receivers in college football.Read Full Story
The Dirty Dozen looks at the games that Auburn’s opponents play throughout the season, highlighting points of interest, tendencies and potential issues for their remaining season and their future game against Auburn.
If you've been following this series, you'll know how this works, but if you're seeing this for the first time I give a rating for each game based on the table below. I'll also conduct an analysis of that team's Efficiency Rating as the season progresses and present to you my comments about the matchups:
!!! – Best game of the week
!! – Surprisingly good
! – Average to good
? – Why would I watch this?
?? – Who would watch this?
??? – What the hell is this?
ER = Efficiency Rating (see the latest Cafe Malzahn updated numbers)
Apparently the national media has been underwhelmed with Auburn’s performance so far this season. Sure they remain among the nation’s top five, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone outside of the Alabama footprint talking about them.Read Full Story
War Eagle, everybody! Today, the Auburn Tigers are at rest while college football continues with Week Three. The headliner today is Georgia at South Carolina, in a matchup that will impact the Eastern Division Championship. So in our Open Thread for today we check out the Gamecocks and the Bulldogs - two future Auburn opponents.
While there isn't many headliner games being played over the weekend, there is one game taking place in the Palmetto State Saturday that should be worth watching. Before the season began everyone thought it would be the de-facto SEC East Championship game.
For your convenience we have listed the weekend's TV broadcast schedule for all games this weekend and that game in South Carolina ...
Happy Friday, fellow Barners. On a bye week edition of some weekly musings of mine, I take a look at some required fixing on both sides of the ball for the Tigers, my take on a top SEC matchup this week, a fun look at the newest Auburn uniform concept, Penn State's recent lifted probation, and much more. Take a look!Read Full Story
Acid Reign takes a look at Auburn and college football after the first two weeks of the season. He says the Malzhan offense has kept on truckin’, and is averaging 544 yards per game. And that’s considering that both contests were out of hand in the 4th quarter, where a lot of backups played ...Read Full Story
The Auburn soccer Team is off to a great start in the 2014 season. The Tigers are undefeated with a 5-1-0 overall record after last weekends wins in Oxford, Mississippi at the Rebel Classic. The Tigers fast start has landed them in the Top 25 rankings. The NSCAA/Continental Tire Poll has Auburn ranked at No.18 in the nation.Read Full Story
Predictions for the Top 25 match-ups for the third week of the 2014 season with particular emphasis on future/past Auburn opponents and what it means in the Tiger’s quest to repeat as SEC Champions.Read Full Story
These are the weeks that drive statisticians crazy. Early September blowouts over unranked and undersized teams from lesser conferences always skew the early numbers drastically, mathematically obscuring some errors which are glaringly obvious to the viewer, but often aren't evident in the numbers until ...Read Full Story
- Sep 7, 2014 Tigers Swamp the Spartans! (grading Auburn’s win over San Jose.)
- Sep 6, 2014 Spank the Spartans!
- Sep 5, 2014 College Football TV Viewing Guide for Saturday 9-6-14
- Sep 5, 2014 SEC Power Rankings: Week 1
- Sep 4, 2014 Track Em Tigers (Second Week) Pick’em Contest
- Sep 4, 2014 A September Evening Outing (preview of Auburn – San Jose State)
- Sep 3, 2014 The Prognostication Stipulation:
- Sep 3, 2014 Auburn Will Need Play Makers on Defense to Defend SEC Championship