Monday Musings From The Plains (Auburn-Georgia Schedule Edition)
Will the Auburn - Georgia game ever return to a home and home series? (photo: USA TODAY Sports)
It’s crunch time for the Auburn men’s basketball team. The Tigers, fresh off of a blowout win over Arkansas, went into Rupp Arena Saturday and laid an egg. What’s worse, the loss could affect their chances for an NCAA Tourney berth. It wasn’t so much that Auburn lost the game as much as the way they lost. A 27-point beatdown does not leave a good impression on the selection committee.
This is a team that has been oh so close all year, but time is running out. The Tigers probably need to win at least 3 of their remaining 4 games to get an invite to the big show. With Georgia and Bama on the road and home games against Mississippi State and Tennessee, that may be difficult to accomplish. I’m not giving up on them, but it’s going to be a tough task to accomplish.
The Auburn women’s basketball team (20–7, 8–6 SEC) appeasr to be marching toward an NCAA berth. The Tigers beat No. 25 Missouri Sunday, 58–54, on Senior Day to give Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy the second 20-win season of her career. The victory marks the Tigers’ first 20-win regular season at Auburn in 10 years.
By all accounts former Auburn secondary coach Greg Brown who left for Purdue was a good coach that was well liked by his players. This is one writer that hated to get the news he was leaving. After all, he has mentored three Thorpe Award winners in his career.
However, the return of Wesley McGriff alleviated those concerns. Gus Malzahn hit a home run by bringing the “Crime Dawg” back to the Plains. He’s a proven secondary coach who is respected by both players and coaching colleagues. And, oh yeah, he can really recruit.
The Auburn softball team continued its winning ways Sunday by going undefeated after playing six games in three days in the Tiger Invitational. The Tigers (13–3) blew out Villanova 11–1 and sent Troy packing with a 3–1 victory on Sunday. Auburn has a few days off before traveling to California to play in the very challenging Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton.
Congratulations to Thom Gossom for being named Auburn University’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner. It would be hard to find anyone more deserving of this recognition. Actor, author, businessman and the chair of the “Because This Is Auburn” campaign, he helped to raise more than a billion dollars for the school. And of course the Auburn alum was also a pretty good receiver for Shug Jordan and the first black athlete to graduate from the school.
The No. 15 Auburn baseball team clinched a series win against UCF Sunday 13–9. It was the Tigers’ 12th consecutive series win in nonconference play since the start of the 2016 season. Auburn is now 25–6 against nonconference competition since the start of the 2017 season. The Tigers totaled 15 hits in the game and received a pair of three-hit efforts from Steven Williams and Matt Scheffler with Judd Ward, Will Holland, Conor Davis and Ryan Bliss
Auburn will be back at Plainsman Park this Friday for a three-game series against Cincinnati. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. CT.
Finally, something has been done about the huge inequities in Auburn’s football schedule. No one else in the league has to play both Georgia and Alabama year in and year out. And having to play them both a week apart in November just added insult to injury.
Former Georgia coach and Auburn alum Vince Dooley said this week that moving the game to October beginning in 2020 benefits Auburn more than Georgia. I don’t buy it. It’s a good thing for both teams.
Now if the league would just agree to fix the other big injustice and not have the Tigers play both rivals away in the same year. Could it be done? Yes. Will it be done? Probably not for several years to come. Until next time…