Morning Musings: That Deflating Feeling
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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.