Morning Musings: Hitting their stride
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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.