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Monday Musings From The Plains

By on January 27th, 2020 in Basketball, Football, News 7 Comments »

ESPN's College GameDay coming to Auburn for Kentucky game

After dropping two games due to poor shooting, Auburn basketball bounced back Saturday with a hot first half to win its SEC-Big 12 Classic game against Iowa State. The Tigers downed the Cyclones 80–76 with four Tigers scoring in double digits. Although the Cyclones made a game of it at the end, it was not enough to overcome Auburn’s fast start. 

The win sets up what could possibly be the Tigers’ biggest ever home game this Saturday when Bruce Pearl’s Tigers play Kentucky in front of a national audience. ESPN’s College Basketball Game Day will be on campus for the first time ever when the Wildcats come to town.

The Media giant is already billing it as a rematch of last year’s Elite Eight game between the two SEC Schools when an Auburn victory put the Tigers in the Final Four. You can be sure the Wildcats will be looking for some revenge. However, the Auburn Arena is a tough place for visiting teams. One thing’s for sure, the place will be rocking.

But before the ESPN crew arrives to set up for Game Day, the Tigers have to take care of business on the road against Ole Miss on Tuesday in Oxford, Mississippi. The game is set to be broadcast at 8:00 p.m. CT by either ESPN or ESPNU.

*** 
There was a lot of pressure on Gus Malzahn to win in 2019, but it will rise exponentially in 2020. Can Auburn football be a national contender in 2020? I think they can.

Although the Tigers lost a ton of experience along the defensive line, Auburn has enough talent and resources to make a run at a national championship. And, the Tigers have momentum heading into the new year after Gus Malzahn outcoached Nick Saban in the Iron Bowl. 

That momentum got a boost this week when Auburn announced it signed defensive coordinator Kevin Steele to a three-year contract. His $2.5 million dollar deal will make him the highest salaried DC in the nation. This writer believes Steele is probably worth every penny of the new contract.

If new offensive coordinator Chad Morris can help improve the passing game, keeping Steele around may be just what is needed to get the Tigers in the playoffs. We’ll see …

***
San Francisco defensive end Dee Ford was a freshman when Auburn won the 2010 BCS National Championship and a senior when the Tigers played for a national championship in 2013. This Sunday, he will be taking the field at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. 

His appearance on football’s biggest stage marks the fifth straight year for an Auburn player to be in the Super Bowl. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be pulling for Dee to win that coveted ring.

Until next time …

War Eagle!

7 Comments

  1. AUglenn says:

    Big game this Saturday for basketball. Hope the Tigers can run the Cats outta town.

  2. WarSamEagle WarSamEagle says:

    "Can Auburn football be a national contender in 2020?” – – – Or, Can Gus stay out of Chad Morris' way when things might get a little shakey? Can't have but one guy running the offense.

  3. sparkey sparkey says:

    I am not trying to be snarky here, what is the reason you think Auburn can compete for a national championship besides simple sunshine pumping? We go on the road to Athens and Tuscaloosa. We have yet to win at either place with Gus as our head coach when it comes to road games. Our DL and our DB’s will be taking a major step back from last season. We lost Coe, Davidson and Brown from the DL. That is devastating. Tyrone Truesdale is maybe the best we got, but he isn’t going to be dominate by any means. We have no pass rush and our best corners are all gone now too. I am hopeful that are safeties take a step forward. We will have great linebacker play. I do agree there.
    Our OL will have nearly no experience together and expecting them to have a unit that can compete with the SEC DL’s is a bit much. I hope we start teaching our guys to hold. After the LSU game, I am convinced holding on the OL just isn’t going to be called in an SEC game. It is time we took advantage of it too.
    The best thing that would make our team improve is for Gus to let Bo not be a one read quarterback. That is what is killing our quarterback play. I have said this more than once. Bo consistently hits receivers besides Seth Williams for a TD in practice and Gus chews him out over it telling him the ball should be going to Seth! Watch the pass plays! Gus runs a far too simple one-read passing route tree with a second read if we are lucky! After watching the sophisticated route trees that LSU implemented for its offense, it makes me sick every time I watch Gus’s pitiful route tree. I sure hope he lets Morris fix that.
    I firmly believe he will give up the offense for most of the season, but when we he hit games 9 and 10, you will see the offense look way too familiar and it will start to stall as Gus has put himself back into the play calling dynamic of the offense again!

    • audad says:

      Sparkey, great comments. And one thing in particular I could not agree with you more on. That’s the offensive holding that went on in the LSU game. I used to be convinced that Saban and his crew does the absolute best job of teaching their OL to hold and get away with it since they would go weeks or months at a time without ever getting flagged for holding. But Auburn’s 2019 game with LSU set the new standard. I watched it with my son, and it got to point of being comical since it was so blatant on some occasions that we simply laughed. There had to be 20 times in that game where they could have been flagged, and there was not a single call made. Quite frankly, as good as Burrow is, the fact that his line was able to give him all the time in the world for the vast majority of his passing plays all season long made him that much more dangerous.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Good to have you back on the board Sparkey.

      Hope you’re doing good.

  4. zotus zotus says:

    Good to hear from you Sparky.

    It’s sad isn’t it that Jay Jacobs — of the University of Florida Jacobs — left town with so many ticking time bombs in his wake for others to deal with.

    That’s life. Life’s not fair, but life goes on. Life goes on in Gainesville, Florida. And life goes on in Auburn, Alabama.

    Good thing that there’s a different sheriff in town at Auburn, Alabama. His name is Allen Greene. Mr. Greene seems like a decent and competent man. Hard to know if he’s up to playing the cards he has been dealt as Auburn’s AD, because so far he’s maintained a pretty low profile about the state of Auburn’s football program.

    Question is, what does Mr. Greene plan to do about those ticking time bombs left by Mr. Jacobs (and of course by Mr. Steven Leath, and of course by the “rubber-stamp” members of the Auburn BOT) for somebody to deal with?

    Question is, does Allen Greene plan to acknowledge that he knows that Auburn’s Football Ox is in a ditch?

    Question is, does Allen Greene plan to give any indication that he knows that it is his responsibility to make some meaningful attempt to pull Auburn’s Football Ox out of the ditch?

    We are all waiting to hear from Allen Greene.

    P.S. Don’t be a stranger, Sparky, we missed you around here. WDE!

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