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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 WardWill Holland, Conor Davis and Ryan Bliss

 delivering a pair of hits apiece.

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…

War Eagle!

18 Comments

  1. AUglenn says:

    Scheduling problem absolutely stinks. Can't understand why it can't be fixed?

  2. uglyjoe says:

    Big softball games Friday and Saturday….

  3. neonbets says:

    The best way to correct the scheduling inequities (in Auburn’s favor) is for Tennessee to get really good again, and to do so by getting the top flight players who would have otherwise gone to UGA,

    Then, Auburn goes back to playing a mediocre ‘dawgs team, and ‘bama has to deal with a formidable foe in its yearly vols-tide match-up.

    In the meantime–AubTigerman is spot-on with this November mashup — just a brutal way to close a season!

  4. Jason Wright says:

    Moving Auburn – UGa. series was over due but I was surprised that the league agreed. but I think it will be along time before anything is ever done about the two home & two away game format and I can’t understand why.

    Seems to me that all they would have to do is have Auburn play two games in Athens to repay Georgia for having played 2 in Auburn when this mess started back when they added TAMU and Mizzou to the league.

    • AUwaterboy AUwaterboy says:

      Auburn (Jay Jacobs, Dr Gogue, the Board) should have never agreed to allowing this scheduling mess to begin with. They should have kicked and screamed till Missouri was either not allowed in the SEC or put in the West.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Gus is on record saying that he wants to see a return to a home & home series. But it doesn't look like the league has much interest in doing that.

  5. sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

    Not sure if the AU-UGA game move is as big a break as was intended. It all depends on the schedule bye year to year. It could result in changing a challenge in November to one in October depending on when we play LSU, TAMU and Mississippi State.

    I can foresee a three week juggernaut with only one home game and two road trips against two division foes and our cross conference rival being just as big a hurdle as a cupcake between two road trips to Athens and Tuscaloosa.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      And you could be right too Sully. Either way Auburn still has one of the toughest schedules in the nation.

  6. AUwaterboy AUwaterboy says:

    On another note, here’s hoping the basketball team can finish strong and get that NCAA berth.

  7. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Y’all, the UGA fix is a big mirage. Yes, it’s bad to have to play UGA and Bama away in November every other year. However, we have won two Western Division titles in the past few years, by having both at home in the same year. Georgia is the big winner in this swap, not Auburn. We’ll dump Georgia out of November, but get a team like Texas A&M or LSU as a replacement. Georgia is NOT doing this move out of the goodness of their hearts. They will prosper with a November schedule with nothing but cupcakes on the slate.

  8. Move Auburn to the East!

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      That's where Auburn belongs but Bama and Georgia would never agree to it. And Tennessee would vote with Bama.

    • WarSamEagle WarSamEagle says:

      Georgia wants to keep their division the Easy East. They will never agree to Auburn moving to the east. And bama will always vote against anything that benefits Auburn.

    • almightytmc says:

      I have to agree with easyedwin, Auburn to the east is a good move. Right now in the east there is Georgia and then everyone else. Auburn inevitably would have an easier path to the championship. Of course the iron bowl would endure. But it would be a scenario where uga would face a team that could equally challenge for the east and honestly, I like AU’s chances.

  9. almightytmc says:

    I have to agree with easyedwin, Auburn to the east is a good move. Right now in the east there is Georgia and then everyone else. Auburn inevitably would have an easier path to the championship. Of course the iron bowl would endure. But it would be a scenario where uga would face a team that could equally challenge for the east and honestly, I like AU’s chances.