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Monday Musings

By on November 19th, 2018 in Football, News 12 Comments »

Photo by Sports Illustrated

For those of us who love Auburn football, this is the worst kind of Iron Bowl week. It’s kind of like the kid that’s sick on Christmas. You wait all year and the day comes and goes without joy. Barring the biggest upset in series history, Auburn will likely lose Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa.

That’s no news bulletin. It’s what makes Auburn people so frustrated with Gus Malzahn. Critics will point out that no one has stood a chance against Alabama this season. That means little to fans who expect to be competitive in the state’s most important yearly event.

It’s why the school made Malzahn the sixth highest paid coach in the country. Plain and simple, he has the unenviable job of keeping pace with perhaps the greatest coach of all time. When he struggles to keep pace with even Tennessee and Miss. State, things get pretty miserable.

The question will be asked all week: Does Auburn have a chance? These are the same players who were ranked in the preseason Top 10. These are the same guys with four and five stars next to their names coming out of high school. None of it matters now. The short answer is no.

I expect Auburn to play hard. While this team has underperformed, it has yet to quit. There are 16 proud seniors who want to win in the worst way. The reality is they may be facing the best team in Nick Saban’s Alabama tenure, which means this may be Bama’s best team ever…

Lost in the misery of the season, is appreciating the pure joy these players have wearing the Auburn uniform. Watching all 16 seniors get a chance to play against Liberty and seeing the smiles on their faces after the game makes you love Auburn even more, even in difficult times.

Saturday meant the world for a group of guys who’ve been through the highest of highs and their fair share of lows. Playing for the last time inside Jordan-Hare Stadium was emotional for the men who’ve sacrificed to walk on that field. I’ll always have a warm spot for this senior class. They brought us a lot of happiness…

I was sick to my stomach when I got word Friday that long time Paul Finebaum Show caller Tammy Bullard died, along with her granddaughter, in a horrific traffic accident on Highway 280. I admit I’ve never been a fan of the show and struggle to understand its appeal. But the times I caught some of Tammy’s on-air rants, I was always amused and, dare I say, entertained. She loved Auburn and for that, we loved her…

There is still a lot of speculation about Auburn’s bowl destination. It could be several weeks before an announcement. One destination that is repeatedly mentioned is the Gator Bowl. Auburn has a long history with the game.

The Tigers have played there six times, including the memorable 1971 game that featured Pat Sullivan against Archie Manning of Ole Miss. In one of the wilder games, Auburn came from behind to win 35–28. At one point, Auburn played three consecutive bowl games in Jacksonville during the 1950’s. The last appearance was a 27–3 win over Texas in 1974. I wouldn’t mind a return trip.

Until next time…


  1. neonbets says:

    I saw the Cleveland Browns were supposedly considering Condoleeza Rice as Head Coach (since denied).

    I know I’m on an island of one here, but I would switch out Malzahn in favor of Rice without hesitation. The role of a major college coach is much more aligned with managing coordinators, juggling boosters, and coordinating recruiting than it does getting down in trenches and ‘coaching ’em up’. Hiring someone like Rice would do away with the fiction that head coaches actually do much coaching. [This is, for example, one of the biggest gripes against Malzahn–he needs to step aside and get out of the way.]

    I do get why schools hire these guys–a woman leading the boys to battle conjures images of Goldy Hahn in Wildcats as opposed to Knute Rockne winning one for The Gipp. It doesn’t quite fulfill the romantic notions of the game that we’re all used to. [Even if the PC culture demands one not point out such a thing.] Unfortunately, this leads to the hiring of ‘football lifers’ who merely rise to their level of incompetence. [Peter Principle –nka ‘Malzahn Principle’]

    In all seriousness—I am being facetious in actually promoting Condoleeza Rice. She’s one of the faces of the Iraq War, and it would be stupid for a public institution to cull such an association. But I must admit: watching her at a press conference with Pat Dye might just make it all worthwhile.

    Regardless, it would be an interesting gamble to hire a non-football lifer as more of a General Manager. Get a man or woman who’s highly accomplished, tough-as-nails and who truly loves the game. It might not work–but at least its creative and brave. And it can’t be much worse than the recycled duds we end up being stuck with.

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Or hire Jimmy Rane. Seems like he knows how to manage an operation!

  3. WarSamEagle WarSamEagle says:

    Enjoyed the read Jay and yes these seniors gave us a lot of happy moments in JHS including last year’s whipping of UGa and Bama. War Eagle beat Bama (again)!

  4. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    Never forget: David was a 40 point underdog to Goliath!!!
    WAR EAGLE !!!
    BEAT BAMA !!!

  5. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    C’mon, man! Jay, we have bammer right where we need them; overconfident, looking to the SEC game, entitled, spoiled, untested, ungrateful, arrogant, ignorant, snobbish and with 2 lame quarterbacks. The only thing bammers have going for them is home turf.

  6. Coe , Brown and BC will take their quarterback out in the first quarter. #10 at quarterback is pedestrian at best. We can throw on their safeties.

  7. audad says:

    Somehow The Citadel ran for 275 yds against them, with a good chunk of that in the first half against the bama starters. I didn’t watch it, but my understanding is that Citadel runs a triple option offense and the bama D didn’t quite know how to deal with it. But then made adjustments at halftime, as very good teams almost always do. And somehow they also held them to 10 pts the first half. It usually takes bama 2 possessions in a game to have 10 pts or more. I just hope we compete.

  8. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    auburn beats xavier in overtime

  9. …..That was a tense game. I forgot it was on TV, and missed the first half. Apparently humidity and slick floors were a big problem.

    …..Auburn got a ton of fouls called on them, and next to nothing on Xavier. Both McLemore and Austin Wiley fouled out late, and Auburn was in trouble in the forecourt. Xavier tied that thing up, and had all the momentum.

    …..In overtime, Jarred Harper and Horace Spencer just TOOK the game over. Spencer was a beast under the basket, and Harper just would not be denied, driving to the hoop time and time again.

  10. auburnelvis says:

    Looking good against Duke. Poor shooting early and Tuscaloosa refs but still a good showing.