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Morning Musings: That Deflating Feeling

USA TODAY Sports

If I’m being honest… it’s really difficult to watch football at the moment. So far, I have watched zero bowl games, and I’m sure the main reason is because of what occurred in the SEC Championship nearly three weeks ago. That game broke me. And now I’m back home in Atlanta for the holidays where Rose Bowl chatter is rampant throughout the city. For the time being, college football isn’t very fun. 

And I’m worried that the players feel the same way. On paper, Auburn should win by 20, but where’s the incentive? This game means a whole lot more for the team that is on the cusp of the first undefeated season in its program’s history. For a team that never had a shot at making the College Football Playoff, this is UCF’s championship game—a chance to prove to the nation that it can compete with top-tier programs. For Auburn, it’s only the fifth most significant game on this season’s schedule. 

Imagine this Auburn basketball team… with Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy back in the rotation. But I’m afraid that’s all we can do—imagine. I thought the news of Bruce Pearl cooperating with the university’s investigation would bring the reinstatement of Wiley and Purifoy, but it turns out this situation is currently in the NCAA’s hands. They hold all the cards. And that’s a scary reality that Auburn has to face.

I expect to see Wiley back out on the court at some point in the future. It may not be this year, but it sure would be nice to see him reinstated in time for SEC play to give the Tigers some much needed height on the court. For Purifoy, I believe he will move on and play overseas somewhere, and I really don’t blame him. What a mess this has turned into, but give credit to Coach Pearl and the team for holding it together and making Auburn basketball an absolute joy to watch thus far.

With the chaotic coaching carousel this off season… it’s no small feat that Auburn was able to keep its core coaching staff in place. With so many moving pieces across the country, Coach Malzahn’s staff remained the same, and that sets the program up for one heck of a 2018 campaign. While I have that deflated feeling now, I understand what’s in store for this team in the future and know that good times are certainly ahead.

10 Comments

  1. dyingculture dyingculture says:

    This year, Malzahn grew a lot as a coach and seems to be finally ready to be a big-time coach. I agree with that deflated feeling, and it also seems to have even carried over to the recruiting front with a couple of bad misses there. But this is a great coaching staff overall and we will see if they can get the players motivated.

    If Malzahn really is for real, then he will find a way to get the W for this very winnable matchup. Then let’s see that momentum carry over to an excellent national signing day.

  2. neonbets says:

    What team in the Power 5, outside of the playoffs is fired up right now? OSU, Michigan, FSU, PSU, USC, Notre Dame, etc., etc….None of them.

    Then, you have the schools that recently fired their coaching staffs–they are excited. But they are only excited because they stink, and now they have hope. Until they stink it up some more.

    Auburn really is in excellent shape going forward. Recruiting was strong, and can get stronger still come Feb. The staff has stability, and they have done a great job at restocking the roster where it needs it most.

    The problem right now for Auburn is that sure– it’s just kinda boring. No drama. No 5* high profile recruits (that will probably fail to meet expectations). A decidedly uninspiring bowl opponent.

    But just remember, the old Chinese quote–May you live in interesting times is actually a curse.

    This team just needs to get through the season, while preparing for 2018. But come next Fall, Auburn is a team to be reckoned with…and while it ain’t perfect, it’s pretty darn good.

  3. Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

    Cole, you did a great job covering everything succinctly…something i can’t do.

    Derek and I were discussing this yesterday. I can’t get up for this game. Like, figuratively and literally. It’s the absolute worst.

    Here are my thoughts: If Kerryon is healthy, Auburn should destroy UCF by 3 scores. If Kerryon isn’t healthy, Auburn should win by at least two, and even that will be dissapointing because of how the year ended: another situation where Malzahn refused to adapt.

    Basketball: What can you say? The Tigers are playing out of their minds and I STILL don’t think we’ve seen how good this team can be with the players on the floor. Purifoy was a hassle to get on the court the first time around and now it seems impossible to get him back on the floor. The Wiley situation is aboslutely pathetic. His parents owe the University a huge opinion.

    Last season, I was at one of the very first games Wiley played and his mom was there. The fans treated her like an absolute Goddess. And to think, that whole time, she KNEW the truth.

  4. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……I, for one, love bowl season. I love turning the TV on every night, and there’s a game on. I love it! Only downer for me this year is that I don’t like any of New Year’s weekend involving Sunday. I hate it when traditional New Years Day bowls get shunted off to Jan 2, or other work days.

    ……This year, I just need to get my carcass to bed right after the ball drop, and get ready for an early Auburn kickoff!

  5. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..As to the Wiley/Purifoy thing, we might not know the truth for years. The dirt won’t come out till the Person trial actually happens, I don’t think. Things got postponed this week, for the second time. Prosecution tried to drop 12 hours worth of audio-tape evidence on the defense, at the last minute…

  6. ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

    I’m just not on the same page with those who are not excited about this bowl game.
    We beat two different teams ranked #1 at the time AU played. UGA played GaTech while AU had to overcome Bama.
    Were that reversed then UGA would have been beaten up as well. UGA came into that stadium fully healthy and with a chip on their shoulder. I’m not convinced that any team would have beaten them that night.
    But to be deflated with a New Year’s Six bowl?
    What were the expectations at the beginning of the year?
    If you expected a CFP Championship then, at the time, this would have seemed comical, at least to me.
    If you expected a decent season with wins over AU’s two biggest rivals then you got what you expected and more.
    Sure, the losses to Clemson and LSU should not have occurred but they did and AU still beat, without any prayers or miracles, both Bama and Georgia.
    We, nor Auburn, can control the bowl team chosen to play across the line of scrimmage. But, good gosh, we aren’t going to Birmingham!
    I don’t need to apologize (and I won’t) but I’m happy to be playing on New Year’s Day in Atlanta.
    Not winning the SECCG and perhaps making the CFP top four is disappointing. I fully agree in that regard. But I’m going to be excited to support my Tigers whenever and wherever (except Legion Field) they play. There are a LOT of teams in FBS who would love to be where Auburn is right now.
    I was hoping to win the SECCG and get in at #4 so we could make another New Year’s trip to the Big Easy. Last year, sans the outcome of the game, was a blast!
    We’ve been to every Peach Bowl in which Auburn has played and, if you haven’t been, then you need to make the attempt.
    I know this year is tough given the game being on a Monday and with work a necessity on Tuesday but, for those who live in the Metro Atlanta area (and at the time of this posting), there are still tickets on StubHub for $80 each on the Auburn side. Yes, these are in the upper End Zone but, actually, still really good seats.

    As always,

    WAR EAGLE

  7. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    This is a must win for Auburn and for Malzahn to prove that he’s got more up his sleeve than lightning in a bottle. Yes, we Finally did not need miracles to beat our biggest rivals but that SEC game was embarrassing. This is a Huge chance to show we knocked off Three undefeated teams this season and to keep the narrative alive that we are for real. Losing to UCF will be a black eye and keep negative chatter alive about our strength out of conference on a large stage. Malzahn still has a lot to prove in my mind and getting us back to the playoffs with a legit shot at a national title is tops. Consistency has been the issue and winning this game will help show more of that. I’d rather not deal with a second straight loss and talk about consistency in the wrong direction…….
    WDE!!