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Morning Musings: Battle of the Unknowns

By on November 22nd, 2017 in Football 8 Comments »


Thanksgiving is the calm before the storm. A chance to unwind, relax, eat good food and watch low-stress, unrelated NFL football. This Thursday, be thankful for your loved ones, hold them tightly and let them know that you’ll be completely unreachable this Saturday afternoon.

Business as usual… needs to be Coach Malzahn’s message this week. It’s very difficult to play from behind against any Alabama team, so the Tigers need to avoid any first-half miscues. Limit the turnovers on offense, keep everything in front of you on defense and be sure to kick the ball out of the end zone to avoid any returns on kickoffs.

The better team usually wins this game… but the only problem is, we don’t know which team is better at the moment. Auburn has shown improvement over the course of the season. Alabama has had a bit of an injury bug at the linebacker position. Auburn has been tested consistently. Alabama has not.

We are approaching the final game of the regular season, and I’m still not sure how good this Alabama team really is. It’s difficult to gauge just how strong this team is when their toughest game was on the road at Mississippi State—a team that Auburn beat by nearly 40 points. There are many unknowns at play here.

Unknowns terrify me.

I was in the building that day. The day David took down Goliath. The greatest play in college football history occurred four years ago. Nothing will ever top it. Between the ramifications surrounding the play and the actual play itself, it is king. When it occurred, it didn’t really sink it. It didn’t sink in when I planted my feet on Pat Dye Field. It didn’t even sink in when I was surrounded by a winter wonderland of toilet paper at Toomer’s. 

It only completely sunk in when I called my grandfather to tell him the news. I don’t remember exactly what I said to him. All I know is that it involved plenty of excitement and watery eyes. And also the fact that he didn’t believe me at first.

I’ll be making the trip to the Plains this weekend—my first visit back since last year’s Clemson game. I’m coming by myself this time—a first for me—because I just couldn’t stand to miss this occasion. 

I just hope I’ll be able to make that call to my grandfather again.


  1. uglyjoe says:

    You’re a talented r Cole.

  2. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    Yeah, we were there in 2013. It is time for Auburn to win the SEC West again.
    Turnovers, penaltys and rushing yards usually wins this game.
    Win that statistic and we win the iron bowl!

    • dyingculture dyingculture says:

      Penalties? This is Bama and Saban we are talking about. Bama gets called for offensive holding about twice in a season (no exaggeration!). Refs love Bama.

  3. Tigers5711 says:

    1963 was my 1st Auburn-Alabama game which we won 10-8. I was in the Auburn band (which is the best band in college) and it was not called the Iron Bowl then as I recall. Bama finished 9-2 and we did too. I’ve been to most of the AU-UA games since then. All of them were special especially 72, 82, 10 and 13 not to mention the arctic bowl game in T-Town in 2000. Statistics of past games will not win the game this week but it’s a fact that good Auburn teams have had a good chance to beat Bama. Past trends can’t be ignored as they may give us a clue as to the winner in 2017. For example Saban has never beaten a 9 win Auburn team at Bama or at LSU . The years that happened were 13,10, 07 at Bama and 04, 02 and 2000 at LSU.

  4. AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

    Good stuff Cole!
    We all hope you can make that call to your grandfather too.

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