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“Worst Case Scenario” Ends The 2017 Football Season

By on January 9th, 2018 in Football 18 Comments »

IT'S FINALLY OVER.

The 2018 football season has ended about as painlessly as ripping off that band-aid you’ve avoided doing for so long. The other team in the state of Alabama won its 17th national championship (by its measurement). 

Georgia made a run for the ages and went through all of the proper playoff protocol—winning the SEC East, winning the SEC Championship and winning an epic game in round 1 of the playoffs. Kudos to Georgia for that special run which will be built on with recruiting efforts while still breaking in the new Kirby Smart era. 

For UAT it was a different story. Auburn basically helped UAT prime for this run.  Auburn’s beating Bama kept Bama out of the SEC championship game, allowing the Tide an extended rest period while the championship games played out.

While not winning anything of note in the regular season, votes from a selection committee placed Bama in a familiar position in a game the voters built up like it was the best thing since sliced bread (vs. Clemson, part ‘whatever’). The only shining moment of all this was that it was an all-SEC National Title Game. Say what you will about the UAT fan base, Saban truly may be the best coachf ever in the game of football (IMO).

There was a comment a few weeks back from a TET member prior to the playoffs that read something like, “..for any smack talk from Bama fans you can remind them that they are playing catch up and that we already beat two playoff teams.  And if the ‘worst case scenario’ plays out well..” Something to that nature. Guess what? The worst case scenario played out in brutal fashion. 

Outside of the JJ era, for me this was the worst season to have been an Auburn fan. I’m not going to take anything away from our players doing some special things, but in the end, none of that mattered. Auburn won the SEC West while the SEC West runner up won the National Championship. The Tigers beat both UAT and Georgia when they were ranked No. 1 and undefeated. In the end, none of that mattered. Auburn didn’t get the job done. What we did get done turned bittersweet and did not make a dent in the big picture.

I saw a picture of Gus in the stadium watching this game play out. I would love to know what his thoughts were. Optimistic coach-speak aside, I want to know Gus felt the burn like the fans, and that he actually has a sense of urgency this coming season with the talent to do something about it. 

Obviously, just beating Bama is not going to cut it even as special as that is these days.  I’ve preached consistency all season (or lack there of). Consistency is what we need to get back to the playoffs. That’s consistent coaching and consistent performance by the players. This is not an easy game, and Auburn plays the best teams in America week in and week out. But if there’s something to be said about UAT getting it done, it is that it must be done, consistently. We can forge our own path ahead, but the results have to line up with Gus’ pay, player talent and “consistency.”

Another season is in the books, and another optimistic off-season is ahead. Cheers to my fellow Auburn alumni, fans and faithful. Cheers to Acid for his ongoing efforts to keep us on top of things. 

War Eagle!  Happy 2018!!

18 Comments

  1. Jason Wright says:

    Good post Jonathon.

    and your title about sums it up for me.

  2. meathead530 says:

    At least I can remind the Bama fans they lost the Iron Bowl. They act like it’s nothing, but deep down inside they hate they lost it.

  3. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    In the ESPN “way too early” Top 25 for 2018 they have Auburn at #12. More importantly though they have Washington at #8. A team we open with in Benzo Stadium for our third straight game in that venue. This is Gus’ big chance! Can we win on the road against a quality opponent? It sure would set a different tone and answer one of the big questions left over from the 2017 season.

    Per Gus Malzahn at season’s end: “I think we played the toughest schedule in college football and then you look at the fact we played Georgia and then two weeks later we played Alabama, and then we had to turn around and play Georgia again,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said Monday (Jan. 8) on ESPN. “We played the top two teams three weeks out of four. That’s really tough but you have to give them credit.”

    .. someone send a flyer to Gus that, that’s how it goes. You play Amen Corner then if you’re good enough you play the SEC Championship vs another great SEC team then you might be rewarded to play ‘TWO MORE’ playoff games against the best teams in America. That’s 5 tough games to navigate for Auburn. Right now that’s they way it’s going to be for some time as long as Saban and Kirby reside in their current positions.

  4. Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

    I’m just going to say this:
    Go tell a bama fan “but you lost the iron bowl” and report their response.

    They don’t care. At all. Because we are just another team to them and they have sites on championships, if which they won another last night.

    • ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

      I do not always agree with you, Zach, but this is absolutely spot on. They don’t care that they lost the Iron Bowl – they just won a National Championship. But, then again…

  5. AUglenn says:

    “Any team that doesn’t win there conference should not be playing in the national championship game.” – Nick Saban

    • AUglenn says:

      But of course that was then and now he’s all in when Auburn kicks his butt!

    • Jonathon Jonathon says:

      This is legit. This is a legitimate way to shore up some of the wishy-washy playoff committee voting. I whole heartedly agree with this. The thing that doubles down on this statement and occurrence this year is that Bama was not only Not a conference champion, but they weren’t even a division champion. They were 3rd in the SEC. The playoff committee shot themselves in the foot this year by voting them in because they just set a precedent that will bury their decision making each and every year ahead. That Clemson rematch seemed more of a marketing money grab than anything else.

  6. ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

    We were there. Wifey gives up SO much to allow us to attend virtually all Auburn games so I thought this was the time for her to attend a game from her Alma Mater. We rarely attend UGA games unless Auburn is playing.
    I surprised her with tickets and even purchased a VIP Hospitality package with access to the AMG Lounge well prior to the game – I was just trying to “wine and dine” her but turned out to be “money well spent” as our wait time was around 15 minutes. When I did this, there had been no mention of the President being in attendance. I’ve seen reports of fans waiting for more than an hour to gain stadium access. And, apparently, Gate 1 was then shut down forcing all fans to Gates 2 3, and 4.
    Cannot imagine what a nightmare that must have been.
    But, in the end, Auburn had their chance and just couldn’t power through.
    War Eagle!!

  7. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Frankly, all I wanted for Christmas for a lot of my years was an Iron Bowl win. Got one this year! And by more points than since 1969.

    …..The subsequent meltdown was disappointing, sure. But we beat Bama. I won’t back down on that, in any argument with a Bama fan this year.

    …..Of course, their mouths won’t care. They were talking trash all they way through the six-in-a-row Tuberville years, and will be talking trash regardless. Sure feels better to have my rebuttal in my holster, this year!

    • Jonathon Jonathon says:

      Yes, it was a sweet win at the time. Bama had to eat crow big time. From there it was the good ‘ol, as we know, “anything can happen in college football” mantra that raised it’s ugly head and took the spotlight to cap things off. Bama’s high horse will stumble, it’s just a matter of time.

  8. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I sat down with a comfort-food plate after a 14 hour shift, and a 42-hour work weekend, to watch UGA and Bama duke it out. Food gone, I didn’t even make it to halftime before falling asleep. I have my additional line ready for the Bammers at work. “Not only did we beat y’all, but your team was so boring in the first half of the Natty that I fell asleep.”

    • neonbets says:

      Yeah, the first 3 qtrs was a slog. But, man the 4th qtr and OT were really outstanding! Regardless of being unable to pick my poison–as far as rooting goes–this game had such a fantastic finish. Saban made two gutsy calls, and they both paid off big-time. [Bringing in the backup, and the 4th down play at the end of the game.]

      The missed field goal, the sacks in OT. The epic bomb down the sidelines. Just a great finish, and an example as to why CFB is the best sport offering out there.

  9. audad says:

    That game Monday was like many elections in our country in recent years, you feel like you’re voting or rooting for the lesser of two evils. Can’t say I was happy bama won, but they probably deserved it the way they came back, and those dawgs sure did melt down in the 2nd half. You could tell their D was flat out spent in the 4th qtr. The Falcons choke in the Super Bowl last year, and now this–fans in that part of GA are getting their fair share of heartache.

    Still, I was glad to see a lot of reporting yesterday about the bad officiating in the game. Several questionable calls or non-calls in the 2nd half certainly aided in the Tides’s comeback. And Acid Reign, you’ll enjoy this since we have talked about it over the years. Even some of my unbiased buddies that don’t watch much SEC football and watched Monday night were amazed at how much and how blatantly Alabama’s offensive linemen hold without ever getting flagged. I told them it’s been a running joke among Auburn fans for several years now.

    And finally, I was a bit surprised the final AP poll had AU in the top 10 at #10. Even with our two wins over the finalists, it was still a stretch to have a 4 loss team in the top 10. I did see the Coaches poll had them 12th later in the day, which is kind of where I expected them.

  10. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I didn’t really look at which crew was officiating that game. SEC referees don’t call holding much, period. Auburn had some issues in the Peach Bowl with Big 12 refs that did call holding.

  11. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    If you happen to live in the great state of Georgia, as I do, the whining of UGA fans is drowning out the gloating sounds that bama fans make – maybe that’s just flatulence though. Obviously there were some bad calls (specifically the off sides punt block and pushing Fromm’s head after the tackle) AND apparently the lead ref from the B12 conference is an attorney that represented bama… It was obviously that Saban lost control of his team during the game but it’s also comical to watch UGA fans just now show up to the bama hate party… UGA fans, please don’t cut in the line; it’s been here for a while; the line begins around the corner and down the street – somewhere. You’ll find the start of the line soon enough.

    • ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

      And, living in Georgia, I don’t have to hear them gloating and, basically, being more insufferable. But there are bad and no calls in virtually every game. Yeah, these no calls worked in favor for Bama but we have had some calls work for AU in games.

  12. Rebel Yell says:

    It strikes me that AU was at a significant psychological and physical disadvantage when playing GA the 2nd time. Not only did they have the revenge factor going for them, and the fact that we were playing in their backyard, but Kerryon was obviously still hurting from our having to play AL, while Ga had the week off (they played GT).

    It seems clear to me, that if we wish to avoid the same song but the 2nd verse in coming years, we have got to do something about our schedule. No team, including AL, can play 3 top teams in 4 weeks, without suffering severely from mental and physical fatigue. IMO AU desperately needs to move the Ga game to the 1st part of the season, and thus avoid playing Ga & Al back-to-back!