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For your consideration…

By on September 22nd, 2013 in Member Post 27 Comments »

There will always be some folks who will be “the glass is half full” in terms of their outlook on Auburn football.  I thank God for them because the rest of us, who are “the glass is half empty” always need your positive outlook.  Without you… the world would be a dull place indeed.   With that said… I offer this review for your consideration…

Auburn was NEVER in this game. A few of us have been saying it for weeks that this AU team was sub-standard in many respects.  Well, last night in Baton Rouge… we saw it under the microscope and in graphic living color.

This team is light years behind the competition in the SEC West and the SEC in general.  There are several theories that explain this:

1)      Under Chizik this team lost its way in the SEC.  But it lost more than that… it lost the physicality of the game.  AU will not win more SEC games until it gets this back.  Razzle dazzle simply won’t replace hard nose football.  AU did do allot last night to “fight” to be relevant… but it should be noted… LSU was never, EVER in jeopardy of losing this game.

2)      Recruiting services that grade a team’s ability to select new recruits must be severely out of whack OR Auburn’s staff is just not making sure they fix the needs of their squads, or Auburn’s coaching are simply not coaching these kids up OR all of them combined.  For nearly all of Chizik’s tenure AU had a top ten program in recruiting.  We are seeing the products on the field now…  are you impressed?  I am certainly not…

3)      AU doesn’t have skilled players at the defensive line, linebackers, corners or safety positions.  Yes, that is the entire defensive side of the ball we have below average players who simply are out matched by opponents.

4)      AU doesn’t have skilled players at Quarterback, receivers or tight ends.  We only have Sammy Coats who can apparently catch a football in traffic when its thrown on target.  Our running backs are small but apparently when they want they can get positive yardage after first contact.

Let’s face the facts:  It is going to be two or three more years before this team is in a position to challenge anyone. My concern is that considering its Auburn and how our fan base reacts to losing… I will be surprised if Gus gets that long to make the appropriate changes.

Last night Auburn imploded within minutes of the opening kick-off after it couldn’t convert a third down to keep its opening drive alive.  It reminded me of the end of the Terry Bowden era… when AU would fall apart before it ever got to the line of scrimmage. Last night was really no different. It took LSU 3 plays to get in the end zone.  On AU’s next possession AU couldn’t move the ball and was forced to punt yet again.  On a freak of nature the punter who was one of the bright spots of this AU team… fumbled the snap and was tackled giving LSU relatively short yardage to work with. LSU converted this into a TD too. Then LSU simply drove the field in the 2nd Qtr and scored its third TD just because. Before you know it the game was effectively over with a 21 point lead and hardly any sustained AU drives.

How can anyone argue that LSU dominate Auburn from start till finish?  It’s a foolhardy argument.

With the breaks LSU got… Miles showed some class.  He kept it close.  He called off the dogs.  Already leading AU by 21, LSU gets down to the AU 6.  On 4th down he lets his team do a fake field goal and fails to tack any more points to the board.  Add to it putting in backups at the last few minutes of the game…

I have said it before and I will say it again… with the deficiencies on this team… AU will struggle (and probably lose) to Ole Miss, and it will get destroyed by Texas A&M, UGA, and bama.  If we are lucky… we beat UT and Arkansas. But that depends on several factors… namely QB and our receivers. Neither of these teams are gimme’s.  AU will have to do what it didn’t do last night.  And that is dominate the line of scrimmage when it counts.

Regardless, barring everything else… if we can take the rest of our non-SEC schedule… that means AU will finish at 7-5 or 3-5 in the SEC. If that happens, we should count ourselves lucky and blessed! Like so many other coaches that have come in and faced this within their first season… I hope that Gus doesn’t get put out/put off to want to leave Auburn. He has a tough job to do… and it is only going to get tougher.

WDE

27 Comments

  1. AU_Grad2003 says:

    Totally disagree. If we had played the first half the same way we played the second, we would have won. It’s that simple. We’ve got to get things clicking earlier in the game, these guys need to be around each other and play more games. We can’t rush that. That MSU team was serious, and that was a serious win. Our defensive play in the 4th quarter was as good as any defense in the conference. Look for adjustments earlier and earlier in the game as we go through the season.
    Also it’s worth noting that Hill and Copeland have been hanging around that school for too long. What are they? Seventh year seniors or something?.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      So we are blaming the outcome on a big running back that looks like he is a 5th year NFL star?

      Ok.

      WDE

  2. Older Whiskey says:

    As one of those who sees the glass half full, allow me to offer some balance to your outlook. First, no one expected us to beat LSU. They were favored by 16-18 for good reason. They’re better than us So when they beat us, why is the team now being retroactively graded as if we should have won? We did about as expected or slightly better, considering we beat the spread.

    I was proud of the way the team played through adversity, some of it self-inflicted. I was reminded not of the end of the Bowden era, but the beginning of the Dye era, when we came up three yards short of beating Tennessee in Knoxville in Dye’s SEC opener. This game wasn’t that close, but the same effort was there. And I believe we drove 94 yards and 88 yards for touchdowns against them.

    I still only expect to win maybe 7 games, but I see good things ahead. Beat Ole Miss!

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Older Whiskey… meet AU Grad 2003. Apparently someone thought otherwise.

      WDE

      • wde1988 wde1988 says:

        And I hope you are right about Ole Miss!

        WDE

      • AU_Grad2003 says:

        I did not expect we would win that game. What I was hoping to see was the team, through the course of the game, make adjustments and end up in the ballgame. They did that, and they did exactly what they did in the MSU game, we were just too deep in a hole. I think this was a defensive coaches loss tbh. Ellis was trying some new package that was a bust. Once we went back to fundamentals, Hill only got 32 yards in the second half. I know each team will present different challenges, but I would hope that, going forward, we start the game with fundamentals and work out from there, not the other way around.

  3. DBAU81 says:

    We’re 3-1. We’ve already matched our win total from all of last season. The team is obviously playing with more passion and intensity than it has during the past two seasons. The one loss was on the road, against one of the best teams in college football, in the toughest environment there is for a visiting team – and while LSU was obviously the best team and deserved to win, the game could have been much closer were it not for some self-inflicted wounds by Auburn. Clearly, there is a lot of work to do before we’re back to where we all want to be. But I am encouraged by the early results – and also realistic enough to realize that we’ve got a long road ahead of us.

  4. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I have to agree that the game was basically over with 12 minutes left in the half, and LSU played a good many guys after that. However, they didn’t dominate from that point, and their head coach was decidedly unhappy about how they finished the game. Auburn had a lot to do with that, by keeping the intensity up.

    …..I don’t want to make judgements about whether Les Miles has “class,” or not. But I’ll submit these exhibits: he started a two-time loser at tailback, a rapist/sucker puncher. And Hill was allowed back on the team by a “team vote.” Inmates running the asylum much? Miles definitely marches to his own tune. His teams play good football, though.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Well, I won’t disagree with you. And it’s not like I want him to come to dinner. I just point out that he could have put the hammer down and beat us by 35 points… AU’s efforts not withstanding.

      WDE

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        ….Didn’t, couldn’t wouldn’t… doesn’t matter. He was within a hair of being back in a close ball game with five minutes left, and he didn’t like it much.

        • wde1988 wde1988 says:

          Well no. I guess not when he is playing for style points.

          It’s nice to be considered for NC… in the middle of the season. Or at least to be in the conversation.

          WDE

          • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

            Seriously? Us part of the MNC conversation by mid season ONE YEAR AFTER GOING 3-9????

            With crazy ass expectations like that-it’s going to be hard to ever be satisfied.

          • wde1988 wde1988 says:

            Who has them TOTM? Certainly not me…

            WDE

      • AU_Grad2003 says:

        Wrong again. Less would never let up on a conference opener, particularly against us. Look, you are the ONLY person taking this position, particularly from the auburn fan base. Not sure where you think we’re headed, but I don’t think many fans or objective parties agree.

  5. dcas2011 says:

    Disagree. I’ve noticed in the 3 games that we’ve played that our 2nd half adjustments made the difference in the game. We haven’t had that luxury in the last 2 years. With our boys effectively taking in the adjustments and acting on them, I think we are closer than you think. I appreciate your insight though

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      We will see how we do against Ole Miss. Then you can tell me I am wrong.

      WDE

  6. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    Are we where we want to be yet? Certainly not. 7-5 and a 3-5 SEC record would be a good start for the Malzahn Era. That may actually be considered overachieving since the only real SEC caliber units on this team are the offensive line and the specialists. Our running backs are good. Not great but good. All three of them would play on any other team in the SEC. Our QB is a converted defensive back and an excellent athlete. He has played one season of minor league ball at QB. This seasons baptism by fire will pay off next year. We have talent on defense but it’s mostly young talent with little depth. Auburn has had a serious lack of competent coaching since 2006 (actually since 1994 in my opinion).

    Championship football teams don’t appear overnight. Let’s give this staff and team a fighting chance. What they do now will determine our future success or failure. I see lot’s of promise but this staff has to stay focused and stay on task.
    Personally. I thought Miles was going for the throat when he faked that field goal. Calling a predicable running play or kicking a field goal would have been calling off the dogs.

  7. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    Think back to 2009. We had just come off the worst season in recent memory (at that time) a 5-7 debacle that resulted in CTT “resigning” and the hiring of a head coach with no head coaching success on his resume. But we over-achieved in 09 and almost/should’ve beat the eventual national champions. This year feels the same. Let’s get our hard fought 7-8 wins. Next year and the year after will be better.

    Let’s just enjoy this season for what it is. That’s part of what separates the Auburn family from the rest of this state and conference. Our happiness is not directly tied to the outcome of the games. Yes we want championships, everyone does, but we can still cheer for our team even after a hard fought loss (see Iron Bowl 2009). Did that attitude jinx us? Nope (see 2010).

    We are not demonstrating weakness by being optimistic and hopeful after a loss, hope is a source of strength. So my personal hope is that the coaches and players will themselves hope for the best but plan for the worst each and every week. Time to focus on the Longhorn Slayers. War Eagle!

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Ah. Well, speaking for me… I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wanted AU to be competitive in every game. And yes… I would have loved to beaten LSU. So if I say my happiness is somewhat tied to AU perhaps that might explain why I am slightly pessimistic in our ability to control our destiny. I guess with all the post MSU game speculation as to whether we are back or not… I think the answer is loud and clear “NO. NOT YET”.

      I am there with you about beating Ole Miss. But I am afraid they have the technical advantage of time and experience with a coach who is more established. There is no “secret pill” that will pull this game in to the “w” column. But I will still watch and pull for the tigers.

      WDE

  8. DaZeD DaZeD says:

    I don’t believe the moniker of “SEC CALIBRE” applies to every play because football is a game of emotion. It boils down to a player (or in certain scenarios, “the team”) with no quit, a lot of heart, and a gritty resolve making things happen on the field of play. LSU did overmatch us on paper relative to skill and statistics, but they were back on their heels in numerous plays throughout the 2nd half on Saturday night. If you think the game should play out the way its drawn up on paper, then anyone who does so can resolve themselves to reading the “predictions” by area sportswriters and spend the 3 hours on Saturdays doing something else.

    I, personally, want to be there (in the stadium or watching it on TV) so I can witness those special games when David overcomes Goliath…see December 2nd, 1972. Tubberville proved this theory numerous times during his early tenure as head coach. Auburn has always had a reputation as a giant slayer…last Saturday night, we were a couple of mistakes and calls away from such another feat.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      I don’t disagree with you. But even Acid pointed out that LSU was substituting a good deal in the second half. Any success we had is suspect on that account. Still – it was a pass from NM to SC that put us in scoring position at least two of the three times. I just wish we could have done that in the first half as opposed to the second.

      WDE

  9. auh20 auh20 says:

    Glass half empty folks call themselves realists. I feel sorry for them because a loss is a disaster and a win is mostly looked on as lucky in our current situation. I start out believing every week because I’m old enough to have witnessed ’69, ’70, ’72, ’83, ’93, ’04, etc and some I’ve probably left out. How can one enjoy Auburn sports without hopes and dreams ? Dread, bitchin’, and moanin’ are miserable downers that take away the fun. No, we don’t claim to be a dynasty and expect to win every game but that just makes each victory sweeter. Stay on the Gus Bus and ride it to ecstacy when we upset those dynastys.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      The LSU loss is a disaster? No. Simply pointing out to the kool aid drinkers that what they are drinking is not kool aid at all. Besides… as a kid I wore my number 7 jersey many times during the 1970s listening on the radio and throwing football with friends with a plan to play for the orange and blue and bring greatness back to Auburn. But I turned out to be just an average kid and chose to do something else with my life. Regardless, I have had my share of hopes and dreams. And as long as I am on the right side of grass… i will always have them.

      Dread, bitchin’ and moanin’ isn’t really what this post was about. Simply pointing out that AU has a long way to go to get from dreaming to reality. And reality. That’s where I live.

      WDE

  10. BigDaddyAU says:

    If you watched the game Saturday and you had watched ANY game from last year then you would be blind or ignorant to say this team is not way ahead of the curve. Is Auburn “Back”? Not yet, but by God we are so far departed from last year that even my 11 year old daughter can tell.

    I believe Acid said it best above “Didn’t Couldn’t Wouldn’t…” With 6 minutes to go our Tigers did have a shot and Miles had his starting 11 in there at that time. Our players made the small mistakes that will kill you in the SEC. That being said they kept fighting and put them in position to have a chance, albeit a slim one.

    If you feel the need to be negative then that is your choice but don’t dismiss the hard work and no-quit attitude that our guys put on the field.

    We aren’t back yet..but we will be before long.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      No one has dismissed any of the fight or effort. Instead I have tried to point out that ‘our’ players simply aren’t as good as ‘their’ players. And again, that is because of issues with the past head coach and the recruiting philosophy. But it would have been an interesting game to see AU come in to Baton Rouge and battle LSU straight up without having to fight the weather too.

      Tell you what… let them beat Ole Miss…. and then we will see what Auburn is made of… I just don’t think it is going to happen… for reasons already stated.

      WDE