Good day Auburn family. I am writing you about a couple of issues that are bothering me and should be bothering you about Auburn football. The first is about a PR game that is being played at our expense that will prove fruitless. You can mark my word. And the second is about an event that every Auburn man and woman should be made aware. It’s trying to be done in the back rooms of the NCAA and it could directly affect Auburn football, and ultimately giving bama the edge.
First, did you watch recruiting this year? I did. And it was just as amazing to watch as the regular season this year. This staff did a magnificent job. We filled every critical hole. Auburn did quite well. We are fortunate to have a coaching staff so talented. And coming from me that is saying something.
But did any of that get any play with the media? No. It was Kevin Scarbinsky that summed up Auburn’s recruiting for everyone. And I should say apparently, because, it keeps on getting replayed by sources like ESPN. It seems that Auburn lost another recruit to bama. Oh, the horror. Scarbinsky made a big to do about this because Coach Malzahn had somehow beaten Saban at his own game on the field. Just keep this in mind that his demonstration of power was ONLY on the field. Bama still owns recruiting. And any fan who knows his beans about football knows that the game of college football is that the two disciplines (playing together as a unit on the field and getting the players that make the team) make for the ultimate title of national champion.
Are Auburn fans harassing this teenager and his family? I have no idea. But is it possible? Sure.We have our nuts just like any other school in the country. Did his daddy do this because he is trying to get back at Pat Dye as some have suggested? I don’t believe that either. But on closer evaluation something could be said about how Mr. Evans acted on his media page. In it he sort of asked for the retribution both he and his son are receiving by behaving the way that he did. If you would like a more succinct description of this foul mess you can read it here on Never to Yield. The only thing I do know for sure is that I can state categorically that I don’t know a soul who has uttered a cross word or even squinted in a derogatory manner towards Rashaan Evans or his family and that is saying something. I also think that in today’s football culture every kid is looking to get instant stardom and fame. Congratulations young Evans. You probably just got your 5 minutes of pre-fabricated fame. But what these young players can’t argue is that in one instant you want the recognition and in the other you want your privacy. It doesn’t work that way.Welcome to the big show. I hope you can live up to your hype.
At the end of the day I honestly don’t see what all the fuss is about. No trees have died. No one has been hurt. Yet, according to the Evans family… we keep calling and threatening him and his family. Of course they can’t prove anything. Regardless, let the record show that this young man was NEVER a signed commitment during the 2014 recruiting period for Auburn University. But to be fair I think it is safe to say that Auburn expected to sign him due to his high school affiliation and the fact that his dad was also a high level recruit coveted by Auburn during the early 1980s.
Are you like some worried Auburn fans because the way it makes Auburn look to the rest of the nation? They are worried because we lost the talent to our enemy… right in our own back yard. I say pish posh. We got a linebacker that is just as good or better in Tre Williams. Sure we could have used another but it just wasn’t meant to be. Auburn will be fine. And I expect that this team will gel come spring training and summer camp.
My final word on the matter is that I personally believe this is a shortsighted PR campaign that is being waged by bama faithful in an attempt to even the playing field with some of their more recent PR disasters. And may I remind you family that they have had many… for example, the threat on their own field goal kicker after the iron bowl loss for starters. You can add the lady who goes ballistic during the sugar bowl who out-trashes the trashy Sooners. Then we have the tree poisoning event after the 2010 campaign. All of these make me believe that this is an effort to regain some lost ground to Auburn University. And nothing more.
You missed. Try again bama.
But in wrapping up this thought I think it is Auburn fans that should be outraged. Why? Take a look at this… maybe it’s time for the NCAA to eject Mark Emmert and get someone who is objective in their views to enforce the rules. Why? Look at this:
Iron Bowl Winner Score Winner’s recruit ranking Loser’s recruit ranking
2010* Auburn 28-27 Auburn ranked #7 bama ranked #1
2011** bama 42-14 bama ranked #1 Auburn ranked #10
2012*** bama 49-0 bama ranked #1 Auburn ranked #8
2013**** Auburn 34-28 bama ranked #1 Auburn ranked #9
This is the history of the iron bowl since 2010. AU won the 2010 iron bowl but bama has stayed ranked at the #1 recruiting position.
In 2010 Cyrus Kouandjio was the first recruit to be committed to Auburn that switched at the last minute to bama.
In 2011 Brent Calloway and TJ Yeldon was the second and third recruit to be committed to Auburn that switched at the last minute to bama. There was some speculation that this was dirty play on the part of bama but nothing was ever investigated by the NCAA. Calloway got in trouble and was arrested in 2012 and ended up leaving bama and going into JUCO.
In 2012 Reuben Foster was the forth recruit that was initially verbally committed to bama, but later changed to Auburn. When Auburn fired Gene Chizik Foster de-committed and later signed a letter of intent to get a scholarship from bama.
In 2013 Rashaan Evans was the fifth recruit that went to bama. He was team mates with Foster. Some say he never intended to go to Auburn but wanted to see how far Tiger coaches would go to get him.
I don’t know how many data points the NCAA need – but damn – there sure looks like plenty of smoke here. And where there is smoke there most certainly is fire.
The second thing I want to bring to your attention family is a thing that is near and dear to our hearts. After the 2013 season there was no mistaking which team had the offensive fire power and was still rising in terms of potency. Auburn just missed winning the 2013 national championship by 13 seconds due to a porous defense that played well enough to win most all season except in the LSU and NC game. Well, bring in Coach Nick Saban and his bid to bind Auburn’s no-huddle offense and limit its capabilities.
In a recent ESPN article it was stated that “would loosen the reins on defensive substitution. The committee’s proposal would allow defensive players to substitute within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock, except for the final two minutes of each half. Offenses that snap the ball before 29 seconds remain on the play clock would receive a 5-yard delay-of-game penalty.”
Right now “current rules state that defensive players aren’t guaranteed the opportunity to substitute unless the offense first substitutes. Under the proposal, this policy would remain when the play clock starts at 25 seconds.”
Meaning… it would cripple the ability of any no-huddle offense, not just Auburn.
Why is he doing this? It’s easy. Saban is at .500 against teams that run the no-huddle offense. Maybe even less than that if you count the beating they took at the Sugar bowl. It begs the question why bama doesn’t’ just change its offensive scheme to fit the flavor of the day. Ultimately, I think Nick Saban feels that in order for him to go to a similar offense it would take him at least 2-3 years and that is just too hard to do at a program like bama. He can’t afford to have that kind of lag or even he could find himself out of a job. And I think that’s why he brought in Lane Kiffen to help prop up his offense. For an interesting read, once again I would refer you to the Never to Yield Foundation. They don’t necessarily say the same things I have asserted here but they do seem to have Nicky boy pegged.
The leadership angle here is a study in the body politic. According to Nick Saban he thinks it’s a concern for player’s safety. I almost laughed myself out of my seat when I said that. And as such it’s too dangerous for Saban to do this using his reputation alone. Like any good dictator he brings any simpleton along that he can that can help him achieve his goals. In this case Arkansas’ Bret Bielema has apparently joined forces in an attempt to somehow get the hogs back to relevancy. Wait a minute… didn’t something like this happen before the start of WWII? Regardless, the arguments that they make are complete hokum.
The thing that Auburn fans should take heart in is that it’s not just Gus Malzahn making the counter argument. Many coaches across the country are chiming in on this issue. Ole Miss’s Hugh Freeze and Arizona’s coach Rich Rodriguez (there some irony for you) are plainly calling out Saban to produce the information that demonstrates that no-huddle is dangerous for players. As anyone that watches football knows… no data exists. The most interesting person supporting the no huddle is… Tommy Tuberville.
Besides, even public opinion thinks this is a bad idea. In a poll I saw on sports nation the result of those when asked what they thought (87% of those polled (nearly 20,000)) it was a bad idea and bad for college football. Auburn fans can take heart in this… and some pride. Why? Because Auburn transfixed the nation by pounding the day lights out of the SEC this past season. People liked what they saw. They like a good game.
So what can we do? Do we sit and take it like we have always done in the past? I say that Auburn must be Auburn. Our way isn’t necessarily the easy way.
For example, with Rashaan Evans… I say good luck. Enjoy Tuscaloosa. I hope you actually get to play a down. Odds are about 50-50. Even so – you probably won’t stay at bama long. Further, you are not going to achieve the fame that you obviously think you are capable of mainly because you are just another 5 star athlete
What about Evan’s senior? Hope you enjoy saying that foul expression of “RTR”. I will keep to my “WDE”. See you at the iron bowl. Put that in face book!
And what about the rules changes… I think every Auburn man and woman should call the NCAA committee and tell them you think this is bogus and ask them who do they work for? The betterment of the sport and keeping it entertaining or for Nick Saban and his ego driven quest to remain relevant? I wonder what would have happened if nearly 50 years ago when Darryl Royal created the Wishbone offense at Texas… if the NCAA would have created a rule to stop that? Defenses had a hard time stopping that scheme too. Funny thing was that Bear Bryant was smart enough to bring it to bama. And eventually defenses will catch up… but for bama… that might come after a couple of Auburn National Championships. And considering their ego, that’s a couple of national championships too late. It would appear the Nick is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Ultimately, I’d give a plug nickel to know why Saban won’t cuddle up to that notion of bringing the spread to bama. Wouldn’t you?
Keep the faith Tiger fans! Great things are to come!