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The Mother of All Amen Corners?

By on October 28th, 2013 in Football 13 Comments »

sammieMaybe I’m a week early proclaiming the start of Amen Corner, the traditional finish to the Auburn football season coined by former coach Pat Dye. When Auburn used to finish the year with Florida, Georgia and Alabama, Dye said a season was made or broken in those three games.

The same can be said this year: at Arkansas; at Tennessee; Georgia and Alabama. I throw Arkansas in the mix because I’m always concerned when Auburn heads to Fayetteville. Regardless of the season either team is having, going there is never easy. With the Razorbacks having a week off, it just makes the worry grow.

I know they’ve been outscored 104-7 in their last two games versus South Carolina and Alabama. Yes, Auburn should win handily. But don’t go to sleep on Arkansas. Their excellent coaching staff has had two weeks to prepare. They’ll throw everything they’ve got and then some at this Auburn team.

The obvious opponent here is not Arkansas; it’s looking ahead.

What if?

What if Auburn does what it’s supposed to do and runs the table? Are you kidding me? That thought enters my mind at least a half dozen times a day. I quickly try to push it away. I don’t want to go there. I might start having heart palpitations like I did that time in the Atlanta airport when I saw Brooke Shields. I know, I’m old as hell and still get turned on by a 50 year-old woman. Work with me here.

And to think, I have no impact on the outcome outside of making sure I continue to wear the same shirt, underwear and hat that I had on during the Texas A&M game. Imagine if you are a 20 year-old student athlete. How can you not look ahead and wonder… What if?

As strong a coaching job as this staff has done so far, their toughest job is now. The takeaway from Saturday’s win over Florida Atlantic was not the running game or the defense. What you have to like is that this team came ready to play after an emotional win in College Station.

Despite the sudden surge up the BCS ladder and getting some lovin from ESPN, Gus Malzahn had this team focused. And think, a year ago, these same players had the attention span of Mayhem in that Allstate commercial.

On the flip side, if you are Arkansas, you’ve got to feel like a possum starring at the headlights of a Mack Truck, especially when you look at the gaudier by the week Auburn stats. Malzahn’s offense has now posted three consecutive games of 600+ yards of offense. That’s something that’s never been done on the Plains.

The Auburn offense is averaging 315 yards a game on the ground; that’s top in the SEC and fifth nationally. The much questioned offensive line is second in the SEC in fewest sacks allowed per game with less than one per contest.

Can this team really be 10-1 going into the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Can they really be in the running for a BCS game or more? It’s too much to imagine, but oh so possible; perhaps even probable.

There I go again. Time to go wash my shirt and underwear.

 See you Saturday.

13 Comments

  1. mvhcpa says:

    Jay,

    That’s what I was saying all during our 2010 championship run. And one thing that our coaching staff did well that year was keep the team focused on each game as it came. I am hopeful that they can repeat that effort over the next three games; they sure didn’t let up on FAU.

    Michael Val
    (who will let the Arky game determine his mindset for TN and GA; Iron Bowl at AU ALWAYS gives us a chance!)

  2. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    Jay,

    Great article. I doubt if you’re older than I am and I still get goose bumps thinking of the possibilities for this great bunch of Auburn Tigers. We had some close ones in ’57, ’63, ’83, ’93, ’04 and 2010 and we played them one game at a time and look what happened! These coaches know what they’re doing. These wonderful Auburn Tigers believe in themselves and in each other. They are AUBURN TIGERS, AND…

    IT’S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!!

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

  3. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Playing for respect. We are doing it for the umpteenth time again this year. Two teams above us in the BCS lost Sat and we did not move up a bit.
    This team has played with a chip on its shoulder all year and IMO they will continue to do so.

  4. wpleagle says:

    Couldn’t give a rat’s rear end about the BCS, which at this point is meaningless IMO. I’m sure you noticed that we moved up to #8 in AP and, I think, #11 in the Coaches Poll. MHV and Dom are right on with their comments – liked 95% of what I saw Saturday and commented to my #1 that AU came out and did its business over an inferior opponent, unlike some of the Tuberville teams that were highly ranked and took a half to get untracked!

  5. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Win this Saturday, and then I can dream. Seriously. I hate the Razorbacks. I hate how games that ‘should’ have been ours; ‘could’ have been ours have been lost. Whether it’s in Fayetteville or in Auburn (October 7, 2006–looking at you!), Arkansas has had our number. Maybe it was a Petrino thing-but then that hapless loop John L. Smith lead his Razorbacks to victory last year. On Pat Dye Field. In Jordan Hare Stadium. Can you feel my blood boiling? I’m lucky that I’ve got extraordinary low and healthy blood pressure (my husband doesn’t believe it).

    I don’t care if the conversation devolves into taunting Jen Bielema this week. I don’t care where we are in the BCS poll or any poll for that matter. All I care about is at 5pm on Saturday, I want our Auburn Tigers to run onto the field at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium with one purpose in mind: Annihilate the Razorbacks!

    War Eagle! Let’s DO THIS!!!

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Recommend!

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..Yes, last year’s Arky game was sickening. I was there for that one, and forgot my camera and radio. And we sat there and watched Loeffler call the dumbest offensive game in Auburn history. Tre Mason had a total of 6 carries in that game. SIX! Auburn finally scored late in the 3rd to pull to within 10-7, and then we watched Arkansas just obliterate an out-of-shape defense for two 4th quarter touchdowns. That’s where it became evident that there were deep problems on that team.

        …..Auburn has won five times in Fayetteville, but only one of those was by more than 10 points. Kenny Irons ran wild in 2005, and Auburn erased a 10-6 halftime deficit and put down Nutt’s guys, 34-17. I was in Orlando for that game (family Disney/Universal trip) and there was neither radio nor TV on that one.

  6. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    I find myself living in the past and wishing we could replay the LSU game over… Right now the World Series is helping me relax during the week. Not sure what I’m going to do after that…This week should be fun to watch some teams drop out of the top 10. I wonder if teams will fall below us though… A lot of great games this Saturday; the remote control will get a workout.

  7. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    The LSU game killed us. It still stings and it stings more and more with each passing week and win. We probably wouldn’t be as worried about that one loss if we had been ranked pre-season or if our school resides in Tuscaloosa. Auburn just hasn’t had love as an SEC powerhouse since 2004’s snub. Granted the past few years have been all LSU and Alabama talk in the West. Well deserved too with the wins and talent production. We have to win all of our games to seal our own fate. If we have a loss and need the ‘coaches’ to vote on us or need the country to vote us into the big game, it just won’t happen. 2010 was beautiful as we won them all and the critics couldn’t rain on our parade.

    This year is still a Huge Hill to climb. Unranked pre-season coming off a 3 win season. That coupled with one loss this year will not garner the respect to ‘win out’ and make it into the National Championship. This week’s BCS was a sign that our biggest dreams are a long way off. If we cannot leap a 1 loss Mizzou that’s signature win was over a battered and beaten Florida team (not counting UGA because their current situation speaks for itself) then we aren’t on anyone’s radar to get to the NC game with one loss. AND Mizzou just lost to South Carolina, Hello! LSU and South Carolina aren’t in the same stratosphere as programs but yet Mizzou’s loss is okay to the talking heads that be.

    Sorry for the rant. Same ‘ol, Same ‘ol story. I’m surprised they haven’t stuck LSU above us yet – an LSU team that they still think is Bama’s biggest showdown this year. Meh.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      The loss to LSU doesn’t bother me that much. Why? Because these Tigers (who are mostly the same physical people from last year’s team) showed that they had fight.

      Plus losses incurred at the beginning of the season have different weight from those that occur towards the end of the season……..

      These guys have already exceeded preseason estimations. Every year can’t be a BCSMNC year. The fact that a BCS game is even on the table…holy crap??!!! That’s a win.

    • sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

      The key to how an Auburn victory in the Iron Bowl will affect the BCS hinges on how LSU plays Alabama and how we play Alabama.

      If LSU wins, an Iron Bowl victory lose its impact on the BCS computers and human polls. Ohio State, Oregon, FSU and the rest will leap ahead even providing we nab the SEC Championship against a good East team, we’ll get the Sugar Bowl as a reward – an impossible outcome judging from a standpoint of last year, but a cruel frustration if that actually occurs.

      If LSU loses, we will garner the BCS boost of defeating a #1 pick in the Iron Bowl and the subsequent SEC championship over a top ten team (USC or Mizzou) will likely cement Auburn in the title game, one loss or no. If Auburn runs through two more ranked teams, that would constitute three of four on the BCS rankings, more than any other team has faced or won against, other than Alabama.

      If Auburn and Alabama show up with only the one loss, the Iron Bowl is for all the marbles,… as it is anyway.

  8. DaZeD DaZeD says:

    I don’t believe Gus will walk into this game with his blinder’s on. Remember that Bilemma kind of called out Malzahn’s HUNH offense in preseason SEC Media Days Meetings. Gus felt compelled to go on record and defend it by countering all the stats that were being offered up by Saban and Bilemma. Nothing like getting a first hand opportunity to “demonstrate” to a skeptic by going in to his house and laying it out for them.

    As for BCS, we could run the table and not get anything but honorable mention by the inmates running the asylum this year. 2014 though…I am beginning to believe will be Auburn’s year.

  9. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Gus kind of stung Bielema during Media Days. “I am not a comedian!” And of course, there’s nothing funny about taking back-to-back 52-7 and 52-0 beatings.