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Make No Mistake; Saturday Was No Miracle at Jordan-Hare

By on December 2nd, 2013 in Football 41 Comments »
Photo by Vasha Hunt/al.com

Photo by Vasha Hunt/al.com

“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”

                                                  –  Bear Bryant

It may be soothing for the Alabama faithful to point to luck as the reason Auburn won the Iron Bowl with a second left on the clock. Bear Bryant’s above quote certainly could have been attributed to the Georgia game two weeks ago.

On Saturday night, there was no luck involved. There was no miracle this time. The greatest finish in college football history was nothing more than one team wanting it more than the other.

And that’s why Alabama sits in shock today.

Arrogance has been replaced by reality. Today the Crimson Tide sits as the second best team in Alabama. The run is over. A.J. McCarron is yesterday’s news. Katherine Webb’s 15 minutes are up. By the way honey, leave that Auburn diploma at the door. We’re finished with you too.

Despite all the Sports Illustrated covers, ESPN profiles and number one recruiting classes, the harsh reality is that the better football team won the game; maybe not on paper, but certainly on the football field.

In the end, Nick Saban and Alabama were beaten by a hungrier and more opportunistic team. Go down the roster player-by-player and Alabama clearly had the size and speed. Singularly, they possess the best talent in America.

As a team, they simply didn’t have in their hearts what the Auburn players had inside.

On Saturday, you felt it from the moment you walked into the stadium. Not since Alabama came calling 24 years ago today, had there been that feeling inside Jordan-Hare Stadium among coaches, players and fans – that feeling that no matter what, Auburn was not going to be denied.

Not on this day. Not this time.

Where does this regular season rank among Auburn’s greatest? That’s a tough debate and one that needs to be saved for another time. Personally, this is the most enjoyable football season of my life.

Who knows whether an SEC title or national championship awaits; for this middle-aged guy, I can’t imagine it getting any more satisfying. How often do you get to rip the heart out of your two biggest rivals in consecutive games? Rod Bramblett will be haunting these suckers for years. What more can you ask for?

As an added bonus, Auburn has probably gotten more national publicity in the last two games than they did during the national title run in 2010. Think about that for a minute. From New York to Los Angeles, Auburn has been the biggest thing in sports over the last 48 hours. They were the lead story in two Big Apple newspapers yesterday, and those people can’t spell college football.

How would you like to be Gus Malzahn today? How do you “flip the switch” as he likes to say after a finish like Saturday? Hell, I can’t even find my switch this morning. How do get your players focused now?

That’s the storyline of this week. Can Auburn shake off the Iron Bowl and be ready to face a team that’s every bit as physical and fast as Alabama. On top of all the Missouri preparation, final exams start next Monday. Talk about stress at work.

So the ride continues another week. I’m not worried about the BCS and bowl projections. I’m having too much fun living in the now. I hope you’ll join me in savoring every minute from now until Saturday night.

Can it get any better?

41 Comments

  1. DBAU81 says:

    Isn’t it funny how our greatest seasons happen when everybody least expects them? The closest parallel I can draw to this year is 1993. But this year tops even that one because of the way the last two games ended and because, unlike 1993 when we were on probation, this year we still have much more to play for.

    But regardless of what happens from here on out, this regular season has been the wildest and most exhilarating that I’ve ever experienced – especially when compared to where we were just one year ago today.

    As for whether the game Saturday was luck: ask those guys on Alabama’s field goal unit who ended up on their butts whether the last play felt like luck.

  2. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Yes, it can be better. By beating Mizzou and being the undisputed SEC champs. Or was that a rhetorical question?

    WDE

  3. AuburnMisfit AuburnMisfit says:

    It was definitely not luck. CGM clearly stated after the game that when he called timeout on that play (in part to ice the kicker), he said he noticed nothing but fat guys on the Bama kicking team, no athletes. So he promptly put his big blockers out there and put in Davis, the punt returner (this is not the first time I’ve seen a guy under the goal post during a field goal, so now you know why he stands there!).

    Those big Bama boys had no chance to catch Davis. Saban was out coached on that play and it cost him the game. It’s that simple.

    • KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

      Yeah. Gus had originally put #24 Ryan Smith under the goal post. But after the icing timeout, #11 Chris the giant killer Davis was in position.

      Fear the Second.

      • WarEagleAtlanta WarEagleAtlanta says:

        You are also allowed to goal tend the field goal, provided it’s that low and you can jump that high. I wonder if that was Smith’s original intention?

  4. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    Jay,

    Thanks for a great summation of Saturday and THE SEASON. Sorry to repeat myself but this season and especially Saturday’s Iron Bowl can be summed up as follows:

    THE GAME DOESN’T ALWAYS GO TO THE STRONGER OR FASTER TEAM,
    BUT, SOONER OR LATER, THE TEAM THAT WINS IS THE ONE THAT THINKS IT CAN!

    Auburn believes, therefore we win. Just keep on keeping on, AND, NEVER FORGET, WIN OR LOSE,

    IT’S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!!

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

    BEAT MIZZOU !!!

  5. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    “Who knows whether an SEC title or national championship awaits; for this middle-aged guy, I can’t imagine it getting any more satisfying. How often do you get to rip the heart out of your two biggest rivals in consecutive games? Rod Bramblett will be haunting these suckers for years. What more can you ask for?”

    THIS. I still have no words. This has been more exciting than 2010 for some reason. I think I expected Cam to win us every game. Not expecting this. No controversy. What we had to endure last year. Having fun and playing as a team. Have you noticed that there has been a different “hero” in EVERY game? Gus has let the whole team experience the win. Not one person has been more important than another player. He didn’t even single out Chris ~ just told him great play now let’s move on to Missouri.

    Pinkel said he has a play for this situation called Chicago. Once they started practicing it then he looks for it in every game. That’s coaching. Saban was NOT ready and neither were his fat players.

    Still say #WeComin’

  6. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Bama was gassed all over the defense. They would have been a pushover in overtime even if Davis had been tackled. Gus’ plan worked again. The professor knows all and sees all.

  7. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    “Kick, Bama, kick!”

    Every time they show the Davis return on TV, an angel gets their…er, I mean a bama spit cup gets turned over onto the love seat…and no one notices.

    These cardiac-kids are costing me dearly: my uga grad brother in law isn’t speaking to me anymore (like I had anything to do with their inability to knock a pass down) and I have to replace the glass top to my in laws coffee table after the bama game…but I don’t mind.

    I’m glad to dispel the myth that bama is unbeatable…of course, they beat themselves this year and we had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with their sorry play…

    Because the nation is SEC weary and tired of our BCS runs, I think schools will follow the OSU methodology and come after our best coaches. This is why I’m looking for Saban to leave so that he can dethrone the conference that he built by himself or something like that.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I’m so thankful that Auburn doesn’t carry the population of the fan base for the state of Alabama. I believe our fans are primarily made up of alumni and critical thinkers who can differentiate the difference between a game played by kids and life/death situations. Let’s continue to keep it classy.

    I’m hoping Acid can provide some Auburn/Mizzou common opponent data but I think we are in for another tough one. Let’s just win the SEC and continue to be happy and proud to be Auburn Tigers, no matter what bowl they place us in…

    Go Tigers! Beat Mizzou! Come on Sparty!

  8. Derrick Roberts Derrick Roberts says:

    I can’t prove it, but I just know I ran what had to be a sub 4.4 40 yard dash through the RV lot in front of the coliseum after Chris Davis ran the missed FG back to win the game. I was headed to Toomer’s and I had the afterburners on. It was like the scene from Sandlot when Benny ‘the Jet’ Rodriguez played pickle with the Beast, except that on Saturday night the Beast would have had no chance. I wish an AU coach could have clocked me. I might have made scout team!

    Great write up as usual, Jay.

    War Eagle! Beat Missouri!

  9. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    In other news Suburban Meyer has said there will be no suspensions after the brawl against MSU. That, even after the OSU player left the field sending a double bird salute to the MSU fans. To borrow a phrase from ESPN, Cmon Man. Talk about a lack class. He is saying to his guys, go ahead, do what you want to, I don’t mind.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      Well. That’s exactly what happened at Florida and now look at them. Meyer is unable to see the big picture of the cost of allowing your players to act like thugs. He’s also worried about depth on that vaunted #2 team…..Let’s go Sparty!!!!

      • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

        You beat me to it. Meyer left UF in a real bind. That, more than anything else should be the reason that Muschamp gets more time.

  10. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Luck?

    296 yards rushing, allowing only 4 of 13 3rd down conversions, and stopping a crucial 4th and 1 conversion….yup looks like luck to me. Totally not about execution. I scoff at any Bammer that utters the word ‘Luck’. I’ll just ask them if they’ve got a *second* so that we can talk numbers…….

    I bet these Tigers aren’t as hard to focus as we are…..I haven’t scouted many Mizzou games this season, but by briefly looking the other night–their D looks tough. Mr. ToTM thinks that our O-line will manhandle their front 7….but we have to keep in mind that they also have 2 talented QBs, both with considerable playing time this season……

    What’s another tough battle for these Tigers?! I’m ready! Let’s Do Itte!!!
    War Eagle!!!

    • sparkey sparkey says:

      I think they are a hair better than Bama myself. I know we keep saying the same thing over and over but we must play a better game to win the next one. I hope we come in ready and get up on them early. I would think we will have a homefield advantage in Atlanta. It shouldbe an
      other crazy Auburn battle this season!

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      I heard interviews with McCarron, Mosley, and Norwood. McCarron and Mosely alluded to Auburn being lucky. Norwood flat out said Auburn was lucky to win. No props for a job well done, just lucky.

      We will run the ball on Mizzou. We will score points. Defending their very big receivers will be a challenge. Maty Mauck reminds me a little of a young Aaron Murray, minus a little accuracy. Jefferson can run and throw. Gus and staff will be prepared. Of that I have no doubt.

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        Exactly. It’s the entitled attitude of the Bama players–that and lack of execution or adherence to the Process in combination with stellar Tiger play that lead to the Loss. But, Luck?? Child Please. PLEASE!!!

        • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

          I could be wrong about this but I think not. It looked like McCarron just straight up left the field after Davis slammed the door in their face. I didn’t see him shaking hands with Auburn players and staff after the game. I truly hope I’m wrong about this.

          Jack Crowe called bama’s lack of execution “pucker plays”!

  11. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Late breaking news…go to al.com immediately and read Scarbinskys article. There are Bammers sticking pins in Scarbinsky dolls all over the state. My take hehehehehehehehe

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      “The defeat dropped Saban’s record to 4-3 in the Iron Bowl – never say never again – and continued two shockingly negative streaks for him and the Crimson Tide. At Alabama and LSU, Saban is 0-6 against Auburn teams that would finish with nine or more wins. Alabama, with and before Saban, has lost its last nine Iron Bowls against Auburn teams that would win nine or more games.

      It suggests Alabama tends to beat Auburn only when the Tigers are down. Even with Saban on the sideline.”

      That’s gonna leave a mark!

  12. rn4au rn4au says:

    My husband and sons were in the locker room after the game trying to get autographs… they saw many players and coaches leaving and got some autographs…. the one person they couldn’t find and wasn’t coming out? Gus Malzhan… where was he? Back in the film room looking at Mizzou…I think he will have us ready and I think we will hold our own. We will “flip the switch!”

  13. AUglenn says:

    Enjoyed this article! Really – really great post BUT – –

    What happened to the Acid Reign Report???

    Of all the games Acid ha reported on this one is the one I was looking forward to the most.

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      He had a ridiculous work schedule yesterday, it will be up today.

    • AUglenn says:

      Just saw on TotM’s article that Acid is working on it now – was delayed by work and the chiropracter. Glad to see he’ll be posting later. Hope your back is better soon Acid.

      Still, I loved reading Jay’s story. All off TET authors are the best. This is the best Auburn site out there. Sometimes, I can’t believe it’s a “free” site. Keep up the good work guys. War Eagle!

    • WarEagleEngr says:

      I was about to post the same question.

      I think we’re safe in assuming Acid will award the return unit an A+.

  14. aubb says:

    there are plenty of areas of improvement that made this turnaround possible but i am amazed at the change in physical toughness…the strength and conditioning program must be outstanding…that coach deserves alot of credit

  15. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    Just the thing to brighten your Monday morning: the RBR 2nd half thread from Saturday: (warning: this blog is rated VSLTBR Violence, Strong Language, Typical Bammer Ranting)

    Meltdown

  16. GRT2BAUTIGER says:

    Bama didn’t stop the run. The couldn’t make a field goal. Their special teams unit allowed a FG for a returned TD. How is that LUCK?

    A 57 Yarder is not a gimme in the NFL. Why is it such a brain buster to think it might come up short?

    When AJ McCarron chucks the ball to Amari Cooper for a 99 yard touchdown it is by design. When Auburn runs back a FG attempt to win the Game….its LUCK?

    Both plays resulted from busted coverage, bad pursuit angles, mismatches, coaching, or the Jordan Hare lights were in their eyes….whatever.

    Alabama was lucky Coates and Louis dropped passes that could have busted the game wide open. They were lucky Trey Mason put the ball on the ground.

    I expect Bammers to cling to their fading glory and make excuses while they fling themselves off the balcony of their ivory towers. However, the Media needn’t characterize the events in the iron bowl or Georgia game as luck. If we take care of business against Mizzou, then the nation should know that this team has proven itself in a tough conference with a much tougher schedule than any other contender vying for the title.

    I am 20 handi cap in golf. If I shoot a hole in one, then that’s luck.

    Auburn has consistently performed when the game is on the line and that is not luck. Unfortunately, we live in an age that equates blow outs against powder puffs as a indication of a championship contender.

    Regardless, we BEAT BAMA so they can cheer us on or suck an egg.

    WDE, Beat Mizzou!!

  17. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    Looking forward to the SECCG, I’m not too worried about the tall Mizzou recievers, AU has pretty much allowed big passing games all year and it hasn’t hurt. I’m more worried about their run game. But AU appears to have a HUGE special teams advantage that might be the difference in the game.

    Just had another happy thought, think about the Bammer melt down if their 2012 championship gets stripepd due to Fluker-Gate.

    War Eagle!

  18. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    New T shirt Spotted

    Hey Nick
    Got a Second

    I looooove it!!

  19. AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

    Great post Jay,

    Man you nailed it right on the head. This is just the kind of post that made me a Coulter fan back in the Days of “Football Saturday in the South.”

    As regards luck in this game;

    * When your offense has 2 runners getting over 100 yards on a defense that has only had one runner do that to them all year, then … luck was not the factor.
    * When your offense gashes a defense for 300 yards rushing that came into the game averaging holding opponents to 91.3 yards per game, then … luck is not a factor.
    * When your defense allows the No.1 team only 4 of 13 third down conversion attempts, then … luck is not a factor. (And this despite repeated non called holding violations).
    * When your team stuffs their vaunted offense on 4th and one on the 13 yrd line, then … luck is not a factor.
    * When your offense scores enough points to win (despite giving up a turnover that sets up a TD for the other team) then … luck is not a factor.
    * When Bama fails on scoring opportunities and loses the game,then … luck is not a factor.
    * When the supposedly genius coach decides to lobby refs for one more second only to foolishly try a 57 yrd FG with no athletes on the field to prevent a run back,then … luck is not a factor.
    * When Malzahn calls for a time out to put his best punt returner in the game for a possible missed FG return , then … luck is not a factor.

    Cry me a river Bama fans.

    • War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

      Completely agree. In fact the more I think about it the more I’m convinced AU would beat this UAT more often than not if they played multiple games. If AU had not fumbled then this game could have had a 14 point swing in AU’s direction.

      AU spotted Bama 7 and still won. That aint luck.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      Well said ATM. Well said.

  20. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    I’ll play Alex Trebec and point out that the quote “Luck is what happens when preperation meets opportunity” was actually first said by the Roman philosipher Seneca. Proof positive that the Barr (unlike his devoted followers) was a reader.

  21. [...] game, Ricardo Louis’ “Prayer in Jordan-Hare”catch against Georgia, and Chris Davis “Kick Six” field goal return to beat No.1 Alabama. Those plays along with Rod Bramblett’s calls of those [...]