USA TODAY Sports
Since 2013, Auburn is 0–6 against Georgia and Alabama. In those six games, Auburn lost by a combined score of 181–96 and averaged just 300 yards of total offense per game. If Auburn drops both games this season, that brings Malzahn’s record against the Tigers’ two biggest rivals to 0–8 since 2013.
That’s just simply not enough for Jay Jacobs or whomever is in his position at that time to keep Gus around. If Coach Malzahn wants to keep his job, he must, at the very least, split those rivalry games and get one win out of it. The head coach at Auburn University just simply cannot go four straight seasons without a win against the program’s two biggest rivals.
While the loss of Kamryn Pettway hurts, Auburn has three more than competent running backs in Kerryon Johnson, Kam Martin and Malik Miller to make up for the loss at that position. Coach Malzahn has no reason to use Pettway’s injury as a scapegoat this year. Any offensive struggles will and should be chalked up to a lack of balance between the run and mid-yardage passing game.
The key difference between Auburn and Georgia right now is that OC Jim Chaney is able to balance all of his offensive weapons and play them to their fullest potentials. Auburn has some of the most talented personnel in the nation—it’s about time Malzahn uses them effectively.
Here’s the reality. Auburn has very little chance of going to the College Football Playoff. At the moment, they don’t even control their own destiny. LSU still needs a loss. Will that occur? Yes—more than likely this weekend against Alabama.
However, even with an LSU loss, Auburn needs to get through the gauntlet that is Georgia and Alabama—no way around that. Not to mention, a road game to College Station, which is a trip that is never to be taken lightly.
And let’s say the Tigers do get through Texas A&M and the following two gigantic obstacles—then what lies ahead? Almost certainly Georgia, again, for a second time in the SEC Championship. But this was the path all along for this team—even without the two losses to Clemson and LSU. Is it fair that Auburn must play the two best teams in the country even to have a chance at the national championship? No, but it’s the nature of the game.
Win out, and this team goes down in history. Lose two of three and Malzahn is out of a job. The future of Auburn football awaits in the month of November.