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Monday Musings From The Plains

By on January 8th, 2018 in Football, News 16 Comments »

Julie Bennett / al.com

What is normally a day of high interest in college football is a complete downer for many Auburn fans. It’s discouraging to have to watch the school’s two biggest rivals play for a national championship. It’s a feeling only exacerbated by the fact Auburn dismantled both of those teams in dominating wins during the regular season.

Never can I remember a season more heavy laden with woulda, coulda, shoulda, thoughts. What would have happened if key players like Tré Williams, Kam Pettway, and Kerryon Johnson (as well as others) had been healthy every game? And the coaches should have done a better job—especially in preparing for the Peach Bowl. Then there was the Auburn loss at LSU where the Tigers gave up a 20-point lead. It was that game more than the SEC championship game that kept Auburn out of the playoffs. But the reality is it happened. It’s history. So what’s next for the program?

With the loss of both Johnson and Pettway and key defensive players Auburn will be in a rebuilding mode in 2018. The good news is starting quarterback; Jarrett Stidham decided this weekend to return. And Auburn has some talented younger guys ready to step up. But it’s going to take a massive effort and a bit of fortune to get back to where the Tigers were when they dominated the Tide 26–14 in the Iron Bowl. Having to play both Alabama and Georgia on the road next year makes that an even bigger challenge.

Softball

It will also be a rebuilding season of sorts for Auburn softball. First year coach Mickey Dean has the charge of restoring order to a proud program that was devastated in the offseason by the news surrounding Clint Myers’ retirement as head coach. Gone from the program are College World Series veterans Kasey Cooper, Haley Fagan and Carlee Wallace. Auburn has started preseason practice, and Zach Taylor has done an excellent job previewing the 2018 Tigers.

Basketball

Who would have thought before this season that the Auburn basketball team would be one of only two teams that are undefeated in the SEC? That’s where the Tigers sit after Tennessee (a 10-point loser to Auburn last week) defeated Kentucky Saturday.

The Tigers (14–1) are off to their best start in more than a decade. They have been great at the foul line, are playing great defense, and are fun to watch. Bruce Pearl has definitely brought excitement to a program that was ho-hum before his arrival. “Look, I came here to bring good things to Auburn, and we’ve brought some,” Pearl said. “I’m accountable for the things that we’ve brought that haven’t been great. [But] we are really excited about what this team is doing. We’re thrilled that people are enjoying it. This is what we came here to do.”

Up next for the Tigers is another home game Tuesday at 8:00 against the Ole Miss Rebels.

Recruiting

It’s only four weeks till National Signing Day and Auburn is closing in on another top-10 recruiting class. With Thursday’s commitment by four-star receiver Anthony Schwartz, Auburn currently sits at No.9. Coach Kodi Burns has done it again, bringing in another elite prospect. Schwartz, from Plantation, Fla., has elite speed and could become a deep threat for the Tigers’ passing game. He is the fourth four-star receiver to commit to the Tigers.

Be on the look out for scouting reports here at Track’ Em Tigers once the guys sign their letter of intent. Zach has one coming out tomorrow on early signee, Asa Martin.

Speaking of National Signing Day be sure to join us here on February 7th when Atl_AU_Fan will be bringing you the latest in his NSD day open thread. Until next time …

War Eagle!

16 Comments

  1. AUwaterboy AUwaterboy says:

    Your so right. Tonoght’s game is a real downer for me. The game between these two should not even be taking place. At least the team that didn’t even win their division should not be there!!!

  2. ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

    By no means am I a fan of Ohio State – but they are the conference champions of a Power 5 conference. There is no logical reason that an Alabama team that wasn’t even able to play for a conference championship should be in the Top Four.
    UCF is a much better team for whom most gave no recognition – and UCF did everything they could possibly do and got totally snubbed.
    UCF beat the team that beat both of the participants in the CFP National Championship.
    But, I live in Georgia, and if they win those fans, with whom I have to interact everyday, will be insufferable. You cannot believe the local news coverage of this game. It would be nice if UGA acted like they have been at this spot before, but alas, they haven’t.
    And, sorry for this, but I hope UGA goes home crying. I simply cannot wish for Georgia to win this game.

    • neonbets says:

      OSU got man-handled by OKLA. And the 55-24 loss to Iowa should (and thankfully did) eliminate the Buckeyes. There is no way ALA loses a game like that. Finally, being a Power 5 champ is irrelevant—the CFB Playoffs are about the consensus 4 best teams. There is no way ALA is not one of the 4 best teams in CFB.

      • ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

        My actual beef was that UCF did not make the Top Four. I honestly agree that Alabama is one of the top four teams. But, with that said, conference championships should matter. But a team that beat the team that beat BOTH of the teams playing in the CFP National Championship should be on the Big Stage.

        • neonbets says:

          Shoot ATL_AU–the tone of my first response was far too terse. I didn’t mean it to come across that way–I received a call while writing it and had to rush.

          It’s kinda funny, though…even a passing defense of ‘bama tends to turn a person into a belligerent jerk. Here I am in a fine mood. I a little blurb about ‘bama and BAM!—I turn into a ‘bama loser. This is a troubling development.

          If I should happen to blurt out a ‘Roll Tide!’ someone is going to need to put me out of my misery straight away!

        • wpleagle wpleagle says:

          Much as I hate to say this, I can’t agree that the team that beat tonight’s participants belongs in this year’s national championship. Maybe it was coaching, but the way AU played against UCF exposed something!! Here’s hoping that we can find 49 million ways to be a truly great team in ’18.

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I usually enjoy the national championship game, even if Bama is playing. You see two great football teams going at it, and it’s the last college football for a LONG time. I predicted a 24-6 Bama win in this one, and thus far, it’s scoreless near the end of the first quarter. Bama got a field goal taken off the board by a false start.

  4. ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

    I take zero offense to any comments but, thus far, Georgia is kicking some Bama butt…

  5. ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

    Acid, we should have opened a thread!

  6. broken_towel broken_towel says:

    Yeah, I’m done. No more college football for me, the sport is a joke. F Bama f uga f the ncaa. I’m gonna stick to the superior products in the NFL and NBA. Bye, Auburn is a joke now.

  7. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    UCF ended up showing some gusto, but really not against an opponent of note until a bowl game. As long as UAT is at least close to the top they can obviously just be (will be) voted in over any other team that doesn’t have Saban coaching them regardless of they system in place for the power-5.

    Health… yes, when Auburn had health issues we just weren’t a great team. That seems to be a trend. But it’s something every team playing brutal schedules has to deal with. That lies on our strength and conditioning department.

  8. sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

    I must say, I got my wish, albeit in an unlooked-for fashion.

    At the end of regulation, neither team had won.

    As for the crowd across the state – the Natty is a consolation prize for a team that couldn’t win a Conference, Division or even a State championship.