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Things Aren’t As Bad As They Seem

By on March 6th, 2013 in Basketball, Football 17 Comments »

coach_dyeHistory tells us that despite Alabama’s recent run and Auburn’s woes, neither program is ever too far behind the other. Some may feel that’s being tested now. Nick Saban is the best college coach in the country. He may be the best coach to walk the sidelines in a generation.

As bad as things seem, they are not nearly as woeful as the situation back in the early 1980’s. Alabama was every bit as good as they are now, but Auburn’s situation was much worse.

There were still programs in the SEC who wouldn’t travel to Jordan-Hare Stadium. Tennessee finally came in 1980. It would be nine more years before Alabama was ambushed in Jordan-Hare.

Some Auburn people believed the hurdles were too high to get back to the days of Sullivan and Beasley. Jordan was gone and Barfield never seem to get the backing of all Auburn people.

When favorite son, Vince Dooley backed out at the last minute, things seemed to grow darker.

It all changed in an instant with the support of money heavy alumni including Bobby Lowder and the hiring of Pat Dye. Everything changed when the expectation became more than just competing with Alabama.

Money is not an issue today. Teams beg to get on Auburn’s schedule. They are three seasons removed from a national championship. Coaches have proven they can out-recruit anyone in the country. In some spots, the raw talent has never been better.

Much like 32 years ago, Auburn needs to believe again. It must believe that it can compete not only with Alabama, but everyone else. There’s no question the coaches believe. In my heart, I believe most fans believe.

The work begins shortly on changing the mindset of the players. That’s why even some of the good former coaches had to go. There must be no doubt that Auburn is heading back to the top.

Sure Gus Malzahn is still on his honeymoon. But you have to like the direction he’s taken already. He’s a straight shooter. Things may get worse before they get better. But I feel a lot better than I did at the end of November.

Let’s hope the players do…

Looking for a reason to get out of the house tonight? Auburn Basketball is literally paying (and begging) you to come out and watch the home finale with Tennessee that tips off at 8 p.m. CT. There are numerous promotions going on, including buy one, get one free tickets and all you can eat meal deals. It’s a shame beers aren’t included.

The buy one, get one free deal will run you $15. For $25 you can gorge yourself for 40 minutes while watching really crappy basketball. The ticket price includes all-you-can-eat hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and drinks. It doesn’t get much cheaper than this for SEC basketball. Hold the jokes… 


  1. KoolBell KoolBell says:

    Enjoyed the read Jay.

  2. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    I ALWAYS believe!! But I have been known as a sunshine pumper. 😉 And I am excited to see what the Man has in store. I do believe he has a connection with AU now that one of his children has graduated. He seems throughly happy to be here and not just a job. He also seems to be a smart man.

    I graduated in ’77 and Tennessee always seem to be the first game after the “quarter” started because it was usually my birthday weekend. So I remember playing them in JH. But I don’t remember them being that good. Do you know WHY folks didn’t want to come here?

    • wpleagle wpleagle says:

      AU was perceived as too small. It took an expansion while I was in school (’62 – ’66) to get the capacity to 45,000.

  3. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    Buy one get one free? Meal deals? What… No dunking tank with Jay Jacobs in it? Sad state of affairs on the plains if you ask me. Our brand new arena isn’t starting out the way we had hoped. If this keeps up the Beave will be remembered as the tougher place for a road team. Maybe after we suffer through next basketball season someone down there will have the good sense to hire Bruce Pearl.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Pearl on The Plains? Might not be a bad idea.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      Isn’t Pearl sort of an Infractions Committee magnet?

      • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

        He dis several things at Tenn that were not kosher, the most serious of which (possibly) was not being truthful about a cookout at his home with high school recruits. NCAA will not tolerate lying or cover ups. A good piece on his downfall can be found at Question is how long will he be kept out of coaching. He’ll be back at some time for someone. Right now, I’m hoping Barbee can get the Tigers on track next year but it doesn’t look good at this point. We’ll see, maybe he can.

        • Todd92 Todd92 says:

          He has one more year of “show cause”… After that he’s on the market again. Kinda good timing isn’t it? At least it is if Jacobs is gone and someone with half a brain has replaced him that can recognize a great hire.

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      Personally I am not ready to suffer through another season. Pearl MEXT year has my vote.

  4. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    I’d love to come munch down on a few hot dogs tonight, but, it’s a little far to come for the night. I’ll be there in spirit. I have a feeling the team will put it all on the line tonight and come up with a win. In any case:


    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

  5. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    When Pat Dye arrived on The Plains the rest of the league found out that every time they faced Auburn they were going to leave the field with a bloody nose and most of the time a big fat L. I hope Gus and Johnson put an intimidating, fearless defense on the field.

  6. mikeautiger says:

    I did like Chezik’s saying, “it’s never as bad or good as it seems.” But imthinkmthe way Gus is starting out, setting the tone, he is a winner and Inthink we have a much better team down there than people think. With an infusion of discipline and change of attitude I believe we are going tomseemgoodmthingsmthis year and in the years to come…..maybe even another NC shortly.

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..You could tell Chizik really believed that, too. He’d tell you that guys with broken bones were “day to day.” We heard “good practices” till we were blue in the face. While the wheels were coming off in October and November, it was “we’re going to keep on doing what we do.” I don’t think he could get his mind around the idea that Auburn was having the worst season since the World War II era, and that he wasn’t going to get out of it by keeping on doing what got him there.

      …..You know, I think if he’d had ANY kind of public thoughts of reacting to the slide, and altering his approach, he’d have gotten another year. But during a year like last year, “do what we do” sounded to most Auburn fans like “we’re going to keep getting blown out.”

  7. Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

    I’m way more concerned about the Basketball program than I am football. They seem aimless and lack passion, which is really sad to say about a college aged kid. I am a firm believer that you can’t allow someone to stay in charge when they foster that kind of atmosphere. Just like Chizik, Barbee has lost this team. Losing isn’t the problem, its the effort, the desire. How can he possibly have any cache left with the kids on this team or newcomers when this team looks and plays so inept and undisciplined. These are problems that get worse with time, not better. I don’t think this team is untalented, they lack focus and desire…..and that starts and ends with the head coach. Time to start over.

    While I’ll never be a fan of gimmick offenses like the HUNH Spread, I am a fan of Gus’ work ethic and his PLAN. The good thing about him being the head coach is that everybody will be on the same page and that will pay dividends, just like it has for Saban. Saban has his PROCESS and it has made him the best coach EVER. There I said it. He’s the best, like it or not. He has 4 MNCs in the last 10 years, and with a playoff coming along this year, will have the depth and brutal nature to keep winning them every year until he decides to retire. He has established a juggernaught without equal in an age where recruiting rules really should prevent such a thing. I can’t imagine any other “great” coach pulling off what he has done under the same circumstances. Bryant certainly could not have. He had to have 200 kids on scholarship to make sure he never faced a team as talented or deep as his.
    It is apparent from how Saban has developed the Alabama program, you must have a single minded focus towards a predetermined ideal of how you want your program to be built and run. I think Gus intent is very similar, but building his program to meet the needs of his HUNH. Hopefully Auburn will turn into Oregon south and the styles clash between Auburn and Alabama will resemble the battles between Oregon and USC….where Oregon, normally wins. Its going to be interesting and very entertaining. Hopefully Gus will show he is the offensive equivalent of Saban and find a way to depose the king.

    • ABQA says:

      Tenn played in JH in 1974. AU won 21-0 via three Kenny Burks touchdowns. C. Holloway was the Tenn QB. Ken Bernich led the AU defense.

  8. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Dudes, worst basketball season evah. At least it feels that way.

    Auburn is in the toilet. My WV Moutaineers are struggling in their new league. My CofC Cougars are going to have to fight tooth and nail to get a berth in the Big Dance….but it’s damn near impossible.

    At least with the ‘Eers, I have faith that ole HuggieBear will adjust and coach up the kids to be more competitive in the upcoming years. Heck, they showed some fight and signs of life last night against the Sooners, when it was looking early to be another blowout loss. With Barbee, I don’t have any faith. None.

    I’m not even looking forward to March Madness. And it’s not necessarily because I may not even have time to fill out brackets. Who am I supposed to cheer for? Georgetown??? No. and No.