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Morning Musings: Hitting their stride

By on October 4th, 2017 in Football 11 Comments »
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Auburn could very well be a top-5 team… but the gap between it and the top is substantial. Clemson and Alabama are far and away the best teams in the country this season. No one really comes close at the moment. The SEC is a bit weaker overall this year—however, the top with Alabama, Georgia and Auburn may be the strongest we’ve seen in years. 

There is little doubt in my mind… that Auburn wins out until the Georgia game. Maybe it’s irrational confidence, but no one really has me too worried over the next five weeks. This is very odd for me to say because I’ve made the trip to LSU’s Death Valley five times in my life and have witnessed a total of zero wins. This year is very, very different. I have full faith that Auburn will get its first win in Baton Rouge since 1999. The toughest test of this five-week stretch will instead be in College Station. But when Kevin Sumlin is involved and it’s any month not named September, I don’t like the Aggies’ chances. 

It’s been a while… since I’ve been excited to watch an Auburn defense. I can’t stress enough just how great a job Kevin Steele and Rodney Garner have done. Auburn’s defense is the only remaining team in the FBS to not allow more than 14 points in a game this season. Even without Tré Williams the past two weeks, the defense hasn’t skipped a beat. If you take away the leading tackler from nearly any other team in the FBS, you will see production begin to dwindle. Not Auburn, though. The balance between scheme, talent, fundamentals and depth is the most well-rounded I’ve seen from an Auburn defense in my lifetime. The 2004 team’s defense comes to mind, but this year’s version looks to be just a tad better.

Bouncing around the SEC… I didn’t think that I could have watched a more dreadful performance than Tennessee against Georgia last Saturday, but LSU managed to top it with its loss to Troy. The Bayou is in a world of hurt at the moment, and the administration will need to make a big decision this offseason when deciding whether or not to pay the $12 million buyout to fire Ed Orgeron. 

11 Comments

  1. Screwtape says:

    8 points is not very substantial.

    • sparkey sparkey says:

      First, that was a few games ago. Second, it felt like far more than eight points. Third, you can’t trust Gus in those big game situations. He gets too freaked out and he struggles with the choice. You only need to look at him almost kicking the field goal at the one half yard line against Miss St.

      • neonbets says:

        Why would an 8 point discrepancy be different because it occurred ‘a few games ago’?
        As for how those 8 points ‘felt’…yeah the O-line was porous, but the fact remains: In the final few minutes of the game, Auburn was within one score of tying the game.
        And now Malzahn gets criticized for almost making the wrong decision? That’s funny. And next game vs. Ole Miss, he’ll go for it on 4th and goal without missing a beat, and I guarantee people will be annoyed because he’s not taking the time to consider all his options.

        • jlobailey says:

          @neonbets
          Well played. All we can do is try and reason with those less lucid among us.
          As for me, I’m quite excited for the year. I won’t let an 8 point loss to the best team at their house in a night game send me into a frenzy.

  2. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    LSU looks winnable now. But let us win vs Ole Miss first. The 11:00 ko is the most difficult obstacle.

  3. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    For the team AND the fans.

  4. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    Just to be safe, please don’t attend the LSU game this year… Can you imagine how much fun Miles is having watching this…while getting paid. Orgeron is only good for 4 games, not 4 seasons.

  5. Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

    its very nice to see us taking care of business against inferior teams and putting a smack down on them early to take away any hope of winning. That is what dominant teams do.
    I don’t think we are dominant on offense yet, mainly because the running back issues really concern me. It is great to see Stidham and the passing game starting to click and we should be able to keep things rolling against Ole Miss as long as the pass protection keep up.
    BUT….
    This is college football and I know that what happens one week, has no bearing on what happens the next. Everything depends on preparation and execution. We certainly can’t expect Ole Miss to come in and lay down, they will be embarrassed from the Alabama beat down and looking to prove they aren’t as bad as they look. Very important to get a lead early in this one.
    I think the most disappointing thing about the season so far is the lack of preparation coming into the season. It still baffles me why it takes 3-4 games for Gus to figure out how the offense is supposed to work and get everybody on the same page. This is why you have spring and fall practice, off season film work and two-a-days. The defense was ready, why is the offense…which arguably has MORE talent, so far behind?? Has to be very frustrating for the team to know that we could be undefeated with a win against the National Champs at their place. That was a very winnable game. And we lost because of our inability to prepare properly for their pass rush. Thats my only gripe at the moment. I hope we keep the Rebs reeling and move on to the next victim!
    WarEagle

  6. GreenvilleAUfan GreenvilleAUfan says:

    “If you take away the leading tackler from nearly any other team in the FBS, you will see production begin to dwindle. Not Auburn, though” — Impressive indeed! Makes me optimistic about Auburn’s chances the rest of the way.

    Enjoyed the read Cole.

  7. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    I still don’t get why people “feel” like the Clemson loss was more than 8 points. Auburn obviously competed with Clemson, and had it punched in those first two drives it may have well won. The fact is Auburn was playing a QB who hadn’t played real football in two years. True Freshman out of high school are not as rusty as Stidham was. The offensive line hasn’t been as bad as everyone says either. The only terrible game was against the best defensive line in CFB, at their house, and more than half of the problem was a rusty QB and hurt RB’s. Now that the QB isn’t rusty and the RB’s are getting healthier this team is playing on par (statistically) with Alabama on both offense and defense (look at the stats since Clemson if you want to check me). This is a top 5 caliber team that is getting better. I give you all permission to be happy/excited about this season! War Eagle.