A Strange Year in the Books

By Posted on: December 31st, 2012 in Football 10 Comments »

gusmalzahn1On behalf of the team here at Track’em Tigers, let me be the first to wish you a Happy New Year’s. This past year will be among the most memorable for Auburn football for all the wrong reasons.

More than a month after the season ended, it’s still surreal to look back and see what transpired this fall. A year ago today, Auburn was preparing to face Virginia in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. The future looked incredibly bright.

The Tigers would go on to defeat the Cavaliers in convincing fashion and put together yet another top 10 recruiting class.

In one preseason article, a major publication rated Gene Chizik’s job among the safest in the country and second only to Alabama’s Nick Saban in the SEC. We may never see another year like it. Let’s hope not.  Moving on…

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn still has three coaching vacancies on the offensive side of the ball to fill. With the NFL regular season ending yesterday and the bowl season winding down, look for a flurry of announcements in the next few days.

Recruiting starts hot and heavy again on January 4th. Malzahn is still seeking a running backs coach, receivers coach and special teams assistant. One hot name that continues to surface is San Diego Chargers special teams coach Rich Bisaccia…

Malzahn’s move to the JUCO ranks looks to be a shrewd move. The signing of number one JUCO guard Devonte Danzey and top JUCO running back Cameron Artis-Payne should be a shot in the arm for the Auburn offense. The best part is they can enroll in January and participate in off-season workouts…

With the hiring of Malzahn, quarterback Kiehl Frazier appears to be very much back in the picture. Malzahn has declared all positions open and many believe he will favor Frazier over Jonathan Wallace.

I don’t see it. Wallace was clearly the better athlete and much more poised under center. I know coaching can change things, but right now I can’t imagine seeing Frazier flourish in an Auburn uniform.

The spread offense is not foreign to Wallace, who ran it throughout his high school career. My money remains on him heading to 2013…

Tonight’s Chick-Fil-A Bowl pitting Clemson and LSU against each other is the most compelling game of the bowl season so far; and that’s saying a lot. They may have a fix in place for the BCS, but now they must fix the rest of the system. The matchups so far have been just horrible and the crowds worse.

My Netflix account goes dormant in early August and resumes after New Year’s. This year has been different. I’ve chosen old movies over horrible football in December. I don’t know if I can stomach another SEC-Big 10 matchup on New Year’s Day.

Let’s go back to the days where there were no bowl tie-ins and the committees actually tried to put together attractive games…

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  1. tigrrr tigrrr says:

    In watching Clemson/LSU tonight we will be seeing opponents against which we played our best football last year.

    It will be encouraging to see what we almost overcame, and that in the future we should be much better.

  2. auh20 auh20 says:

    Jay, you’re dead-on about Frazier vs. Wallace. If ANYONE beats out Jonathan, we’ll have the best QB in the SEC. I’ve never seen a pure freshman look so poised under fire. Add his desire to excel and God-given talent; I’m sold on J.W.

  3. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    I would label last year as a wasted year in addition to a strange one. I can’t remember when I was so disenchanted with the state of AU football. In more ways than one I am glad 2012 is going away.

    Wallace should enter Spring practice as the guy to beat. He could be REALLY special in a couple of years. I actually see Frazier getting moved to another position ala Kodi Burns.

  4. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……I’ll second what Jay said about watching post-season football this year. I’ll bet I didn’t watch 30 minutes till Saturday’s pinstripe bowl, which I watched maybe half. Auburn’s year has kind of soured me on bowl season. Hopefully I’ll be more inspired this time next year!

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Ditto,

      This year (for the first time in my life) I have little to no interest in the bowl season.

      Last year on this date, I was in Atlanta preparing to attend the Chik-fil-a Bowl. Today, we are in Pigeon Forge, Tn. preparing to attend a New Year’s eve party.

  5. Malakai Malakai says:

    I thought it was just me that couldn’t stomach any bowl games this year. Wether it’s the match-ups or the fact Auburn couldn’t even muster 6 wins to get to a bowl game I dunno, but I’ve tried to stay focused on Comedy Central to keep away the Christmas/New Year’s blues.

    As to Frazier, I really don’t see him having a place in this offense. I rank him as third in line behind Wallace, and the FR from Carver High. Mosely rounds out the bottom of the list as the worst.

    It’s strange because it feels that as an AU fan I feel we didn’t even have a season. The NC game hasn’t been played and I’m already on pins and needles to watch next season’s Auburn games.

    Happy New Year and here’s hoping for a swift and prosperous September!

    War Eagle!

  6. autgr4life says:

    I look at the 2012 season a little differently. To put a movie quote to it “and why do we fall Bruce? So we can pick ourselves back up.” While 2012 was brutally painful to watch, I believe it was necessary in order for us to position ourselves to be better in the long term. While I will always be grateful to Chizik for bringing a BCS NC to Auburn, I think this year proved he was not the long term leader and developer we need on the plains. By looking at our previous two coaches (Chizik and Tubberville) I believe that both of them have taught us priceless lessons about what can be done at Auburn. Tubbs taught us that we can take the 3 and lower 4 star recruits, coach them up and win big, and build a long term clean program. Chizik showed us that Tubbs was wrong and the 4 and 5 star recruits will come to Auburn and Auburn can not only compete on the recruiting trail but it can win on the recruiting trail against any competition.

    So while the 2012 season was one of the worst seasons I can remember it did allow us to move on to something I feel will be much better in the future. I have the complete and utmost confidence that Gus will be the perfect blend of Tubbs and Chizik, he and his coaching staff will not only recruit the best players but they will also be able to develop those kids into great players as well.

    Happy New Year! and War Damn Eagle!!!!!!

  7. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    I will add my name to the list of “who cares” about this years bowl game so far. I will, however, pull for Northern Illinois to beat FSU. I have always had a distant dislike for the Noles and especially that insanity that is the whoooing and chopping that they do the whole game. Reminds me of a soccer game with those insufferable horns blowing the whole time. I am glad the Atlanta Braves fans have outgrown that for the most part.

  8. WDErichie WDErichie says:

    As far as the bowls go all I can say is War Damn Irish!!!! lol

  9. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Today is the first day that I’ve watched a bowl game. And there were two good ones so far. Really glad that the SEC is representing well. But why is FSU/Northern Illinois the prime time game? That’s ridiculous. Go NI!