It seems most Auburn fans are satisfied. I guess I see it as a missed opportunity. When league members agreed on the 8-game conference format preserving its long-time rivalries, fans across the state cheered.
Alabama gets to keep its annual rivalry with Tennessee and Auburn continues playing Georgia. That’s the good news. On the flip side, the idea of finishing on the road in Athens and Tuscaloosa during even years, gives me concern.
Believed to be a temporary hiccup, the schedule has now become permanent. Both Gus Malzahn and Jay Jacobs have downplayed the change, but it undoubtedly hurts from a competitive standpoint and financially with ticket sales on even number years.
Jacobs made a good point, “everybody had to give up something.”
The real missed opportunity was not lobbying harder to move to the Eastern Division of the SEC. Maybe Auburn tried. If so, it was done under the cover of darkness. It’s never made sense to remain in the West.
For fans of a certain age, it still feels unnatural not to play Tennessee and Florida annually. Swapping them for Ole Miss and LSU has never felt right. The move to the East would have meant sacrificing the Alabama-Tennessee series because of the Iron Bowl rivalry.
But then again, how long has it been since that series has been competitive? Alabama has won seven straight by an average margin of 25 points. That sucker is on life support.
With last week’s vote, Auburn keeps something special with the Georgia rivalry, but it now seems destined to never play a pair of old rivals on a regular basis again.
I guess everybody had to give up something…
Some of the early preseason polls are being released and not surprisingly, Auburn is in the top five of all of them. What is surprising is how highly Alabama sits considering its quarterback still lives in Tallahassee.
The Sporting News, ESPN.com, USA Today and CBS Sports all have Gus Malzahn’s second team sitting fifth in their preseason polls. Meanwhile, Alabama ranks higher than Auburn in all of the above. I wonder where Auburn would sit had it won the national title?
What does it all mean? Nothing. We all remember where Auburn started last season. We all remember where Alabama started. And we can’t forget where each finished. Thankfully, for the first time ever, polls will not determine who plays for the national title…
Things have gone from bad to worse for Sunny Golloway’s team. His Auburn baseball squad gave perhaps its worst outing of the season yesterday in a 12-1 loss to Miss St. The Bulldog win completed the weekend sweep for State.
With the loss, Auburn falls to 25-22 overall and 9-15 in SEC play. As of now, Auburn is on the outside looking in for a berth in the SEC Tournament. For a team that Golloway predicted would make it to Omaha this season, the weekend meltdown was particularly brutal.
“It’s a huge blow to any opportunity that we had,” Golloway said. “We were hanging on by a thread. We let so many games get away from us early in the year when I thought we were playing well.
“We found a rallying point at Fayetteville and played really good on the road in a tough environment. To come in here this weekend and not get a game, I don’t even know what word is for it, it’s a huge blow for us no doubt about it.”
Auburn has two series left to squeeze back in the tournament. They travel to Kentucky for a three game series this weekend followed by a home series with LSU in two weeks.
It won’t be easy.