Auburn Football 2015, The Hype is at Full Steam
USA TODAY Sports
As pre-season rankings begin to trickle in, I’m impressed with the love Auburn has been getting.
Sporting News and Sports Illustrated have Auburn ranked No. 3. ESPN has the Tigers No. 5 while Bleacher Report places Auburn No. 8 … we get the picture. In the same breath I have to admit that I personally feel that pre-season rankings have always been a bit too ‘pre-‘ for me.
Until a few weeks of football have been played the country works on assumptions, fodder from talking heads, and hype. In this particular case [who’s with me here] it’s a sure-fire way to get me pumped up for what looks and sounds like a championship run.
Add to that bag of Top 5 hype is a Heisman Trophy candidate in Jeremy Johnson. The hype with our quarterback is reminiscent of the Cam Newton lead-up to that magical season. Gus Malzahn always has his offenses lined up for battle, which consistently produces a 1,000 yard rusher no matter who is plugged in. For a cherry on top of it all, enter Will Muschamp, Coach ‘Boom’, the (proposed) savior of a long-time, lackluster defense in need of a rebuild.
Sounds too good to be true. Maybe so, but I’ll leave the dissections of those matters to the masses.
I think it’s most important to size up our schedule (which is always done well here at TET and the details I’ll leave to the guys in charge). In brief, I think that Auburn has a shot at it all, as we have had the past few years. If the ball had bounced this way or that. If the D had allowed X-amount of fewer ____, etc. If the team had done this or that we could have been the team in the state of Alabama to be holding up the most trophies in the span of ‘X’ years.
This year’s schedule, though, may just be one more highlight for the hype train. Yes, it’ll be a tough start with Dak coming to the Plains, quickly followed by the grinder of ‘LSU – Auburn.’ Those two games will really pave quite a long path until we hit the SEC stretch.
I feel like Arky, Ole Miss and TAMU are question marks heading into the season, but the past has shown that by the time we get to that trifecta, those teams will have either proven to be formidable or not. Either way, those hurdles will end in The South’s Oldest Rivalry.
Georgia, once again, is a hotly touted and debated team heading into this season. Other than a quarterback question, the Dogs really are set for a great run. They will be biting at the bit (on the shoulder’s of Nick Chubb) to regain control of the East back from Mizzou. And you can bet they will be foaming at the mouth to get it done again when they visit Auburn.
The season ender with Alabama at home is what it is – it’s always a toss-up on how that game goes down. In the end we get some tough games at home this year, which is better than having to play them on the road.
It’s a lot of hype folks. However, the chips sound like they are all in place.
Can the coaching and personnel match up? Can the hype and schedule be manageable? I believe in the top 5 pre-season ranking. In turn I believe we can match the hype and break through – I am an Auburn grad after all, what answer would you have expected?