Look back over the past 25 years of Auburn football history and the best seasons have been during the most unlikely of years. Whether it was 1993, 2004 or 2010, its years like these that you remember most.
It’s much too early to put the 2013 team in that category, but there’s no arguing this is the most unlikely 6-1 team Auburn has ever put on the field. A year after scoring 81 points in eight SEC games, Auburn scored more than half that total in four quarters against the 7th ranked team in the country – on the road.
Steve Jobs turned Apple around quickly. Lee Iacocca brought Chrysler back from the dead. None of these cats have anything on Gus Malzahn. The idea that Auburn will be favored in all its remaining games leading up to the Iron Bowl is as remarkable a turnaround as anything you’ll see, regardless of what business you work in.
Only now are we seeing Malzahn’s true offense come to fruition. Despite impressive numbers his first go-around on the Plains, privately he complained that while he had his foot on the accelerator, Gene Chizik had his hand on the emergency brake.
With those barriers removed, we are seeing the true genius of Gus Malzahn. Who could have imagined a lightning fast offense that favors the run? I’m not sure we’ve ever seen anything like this at the college level. It’s downright freaky.
Is it too presumptive to call this offense the best in the SEC? Show me a team that has its quarterback, running backs and offensive line playing better as a unit than Auburn. If Dameyune Craig can get the receiving corp more consistent, this Auburn team will be hard to handle in November.
There are no guarantees in this business. Ask Georgia, LSU or Florida. While the forecast may look sunny today, we know the weather can change in a hurry. Auburn opens as a 28-point favorite over visiting Florida Atlantic. After Saturday, things get dangerous.
Despite two blowout losses in consecutive weeks, a trip to Fayetteville is never easy. Tennessee is enjoying a renaissance not unlike Auburn, although that plane will likely crash hard in Tuscaloosa this week.
It would be dangerous for Auburn players and fans to look beyond those two road games. Something tells me it will take all Auburn has to win both of them.
Auburn players believe. Auburn fans believe. The most unlikely of seasons is coming together. Saturday was confirmation of what we’ve suspected but unable to confirm; this football team is better than good.
Are they good enough to play on New Year’s Day? There’s no doubt. The only question that remains is how late in the day can they play on January 1st?
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