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Who Does Long Layoff Benefit?

By on December 11th, 2013 in Football 19 Comments »

                                                                                                                                                              Photo by Julie Bennett/
Much has been made early on about the long layoff affecting Auburn more than Florida St. I can’t totally disagree. Auburn is firing on all cylinders right now. It’s a shame they don’t line up and play this weekend.

Former Alabama All-American lineman Barrett Jones said on Tuesday that he believes Auburn would win by two touchdowns if the game was played this week. Gus Malzahn’s offense never got fully going against Oregon back in 2010. That’s understandable when so much is based on timing.

FSU finds itself in a similar situation. Jameis Winston is bound to be a little rusty after a month off and more than one awards banquet. In the end, I guess it all balances out, but I sure wish kickoff was Saturday night…

Here’s a question for you. Has Auburn ever had a Heisman finalist go to New York and not win the award? I’ve looked everywhere trying to find the answer. From what I can tell, the answer is no.

Tre Mason will not win on Saturday night. That said, I’m every bit as proud of him as I was when Cam Newton stepped to the podium three years ago. I’m still dumbfounded why it took the national media so long to realize how special he is playing in Malzahn’s offense. I’m not sure where he’ll finish, but he’s every bit as good as Winston…

Still looking for tickets to the big game? As of Tuesday, StubHub had them available starting at $935 for upper end-zone seats. Want something a little better? You can have the best seat in the house for only $3,599.

Need a place to park? StubHub has that covered too – for a price. You can park on S. Pasadena Ave. and take the shuttle to the Rose Bowl for only $235. Now that’s a bargain…

Who would have dreamed that Nick Saban would stump for Auburn and Tommy Tuberville would side with Ohio State? Leading up to last Saturday’s games, Saban appearing on ESPN GameDay said he would favor a one-loss Auburn team over Ohio State in the BCS Championship Game. Tuberville said he leaned toward the Buckeyes. Of course, it became a moot point following Michigan State’s win in the Big 10 Championship.

How soon they forget…

Name me another athletic director that’s had the ups and downs of Jay Jacobs? Just when you think this guy can’t possibly hold-on, he goes and hits another home run. Despite seemingly being on the hot seat for much of his tenure, he now sits 60 minutes from having two national titles on his resume. Much like this year’s team, you won’t find me betting against him. It would be un-American…

Nick Saban has been awfully quiet in the days following the Iron Bowl. It wouldn’t shock me at all to see him retire, head to Texas or give the NFL one more shot. It’s amazing to hear some Alabama fans talk about this guy. How do you win up there? He gives you three national titles and it’s not enough.

There’s no arguing he’s still the top coach in the game, but things are going to get considerably harder with Malzahn making his presence known across the country.


  1. KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

    I think the loose sod for our NCG was partially responsible for a decrease in both teams’ offensive output. I remember a lot of running backs falling or slipping due to big clods of grass giving way when trying to cut upfield.

    This time I am glad the kids have a chance to catch their breath, take in all they have accomplished, and then refocus their efforts for the coming challenge. They need a break and I think this will help us. I also think running teams may suffer a bit less then passing teams, but that might just be wishful thinking on my part.

    It does seem evident, though, that Tre Mason and Nick Marshall developed a solid rhythm the last few games.
    I hope they don’t lose that.

    I trust Gus to know how much rest and how much work is needed to maintain the edge. Also, it’s not how much you train, but how well you train. And we have all seen the effects this coaching staff has had on the team this year. Coaching matters.

    Maybe we can all get some sleep now.

  2. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    But think about it this way…..they are still doing conditioning this week during finals….then they have around 3 weeks to work on just THIS game….Gus will be planning, they will be perfecting their hand-offs, attention to detail, with nothing standing in their way but concentrating on THIS game with NO distractions. Gus has done this before which is a big advantage. Have no fear that the genius will have something up his sleeve and DC knows this FSU offense…..

    We Comin’

    #GusDelorean #MarshallPlan #MasonforHeisman

  3. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    I imagine it will be easier for Auburn to maintain timing on the 4-5 plays running plays they run rather than FSU’s passing timing routes. Also consider that Gus has probably only used the first two pages of the playbook all year. They could bring some unexpected looks. I also think Ellis Johnson will bennefit from the extra time to work with the defense. All in all layoff advantage Auburn.

    Also ESPN reporting that Bama has had an extension for Saban on his desk since last Friday… that remains unsigned… I bet Terri Saban will be singing some “Deep in the Heart of Texas!” by Saturday night.

  4. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    Has anyone noticed how slow Winston looks? Dee Ford will have a field day!

    • KoolBell KoolBell says:

      I noticed how much pressure Duke put on Winston until they gave up. Until it was 28-0 Duke harassed and ran JW all over that backfield. I think we may have a little better DL than Duke (wink, wink).

      The ‘noles will no doubt keep an extra eye on Dee Ford, that’s gonna free up someone else to clobber JW. Shake his confidence like it hasn’t been shaken all season, and he will fold like a cheap pocket knife, guaranteed.

      • War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

        This could set up just like the 2010 NCG. Nick Fairly and the D-Line were the best unit that day and won the game.

  5. mikeautiger says:

    I have been wondering about that turf. I think it is the rule that they replace the turf before the NC game just like they do for the Super Bowl. I hope they do not do that it could cause a problem for both teams.

    Auburn fairs better with layoff. I wonder what secrets to winning a bowl game Chizick passed on to Gus as Chizick had never been part of losing a bowl game…I hope it helps.

    I can’t see Gus allowing the kids to lose their intensity during the break.

  6. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    Hate the long layover. I think we saw how the rhythm was off for OR/AU in 2010. I think it will benefit FSU more than Auburn. It gives them more time to plan and condition in preparation for the ROHUNH. It needs to be 2 weeks max; long enough for teams to get healthy from the season. That being said, I think the wait has more to do with those $235 parking passes; I mean we have to give Gatorade, Schick and Nike a chance to make more money off these kids, right? You can’t just come up with a BCS marketing plan in a week…

    I think the keys to beating FSU are simple: score early and often (even if it takes kicking an opening onside kick) and early pressure on JW. Once this KID (who has never played from behind) gets down by 14 with Gabe, Carl and Dee in his grill, he will crack.

  7. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    I’ve been contemplating the whole layoff situation since they brought it up on ESPN yesterday. I see Mike Belotti’s point about how FSU will have a month to study film, practice without a football, and set up assignments on defense to better slow down our running game. I really do. And it may be that having a month instead of a week to prepare might just give them the advantage. But then I think about Gus and our Seniors. They’ve been here before. They know how much to prepare, what wrinkles to add. They better understand the clock management (the BCSCG has more and longer commercial breaks). No team has had this much time to prepare for FSU’s offense, either. Ellis Johnson will have time to add wrinkles (blitz packages, stunts, etc) to throw Winston off his timing. With all his big time stats and big time plays, not to mention his impending Heisman trophy, Winston is still a redshirt Freshman. He will make mistakes, and Auburn MUST capitalize. I fully expect Nick Marshall to have his best game as an Auburn Tiger with the extra practice time. Maybe develop the timing and touch for those deep balls he has consistently missed this year.

    Yeah, FSU scares me, too. But Vegas had bammer as solid favorites against them. I’ve watched the “experts” over on ESPN, Fox Sports, and CBS Sports pick against us all year long. I wouldn’t be so bold to predict a 2 touchdown win, or even a one point win, but I believe this is going to be one hell of a game!


  8. mikeautiger says:

    Just looked it up parking is $499 for parking, where are we going to parl. I rode by the Rose bowl a few years back and I do not remember a lot of parking other than stadium parking, this could be interesting. Maybe the 4th most profitable Athletic department will subsidize the parking, we pay enough for tickets every year and just received my renewal for next heat and TUF is going up for next year.

    Any news where we are going to have pep rally, hang out in Pasadena? What are the good places to eat, we had some former AU players from Arizona Cardinals give some suggestions and one of the Mexican paces was great, anybody been to Pasadena?

    Looking forward to the trip!

  9. BeachTiger BeachTiger says:

    Just heard Gus was named “Coach of the Year”.

  10. Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

    Who does the layoff affect more? The team who loses focus. The team that believes the hype. Its the team that thinks its infallible. Auburn’s offense has its fans but Fla. State will get most of the media love over the next month, with its Heisman winner and how all those Saban disciples on their defensive staff will finish the job that their dark lord couldn’t.
    And its true that a month is enough time to find weakness’ in any team, so its the team that is able to focus and execute its gameplan, that will show the least “rust”.
    I think where Auburn has an advantage, is that Florida State hasn’t been shown where their weakness’ are during its games. If I know Gus, he’ll find them and look to exploit them at just the right time, just like the option pass to Coates with :32 left in the Iron Bowl.
    But at the end of the day….or month in this case, I really do think our Tigers are more humble, who know how fortunate they are to be in this position, to have this opportunity and I think they will want it more and will have the fire, hunger, and heart that it takes to win a championship. I just don’t think Florida State KNOWS how they will react when they are in a dogfight. Auburn does.

  11. GRT2BAUTIGER says:

    Much like 2010 this team won some big games coming from behind. The toughness they demonstrated week to week will not be erased by the layoff. The Auburn Tigers are better equipped to respond to adversity than an FSU team that has played with a significant lead all year. I give FSU the advantage for the first 30 minutes of the game, then its ALL AUBURN. We scored 14 points in the last 30 seconds on that other team…can’t remember…starts with a “A”.

    Bottom line, I think our defense will have to step up big and pressure JW. All the talk about FSU having time to prepare for our running game is interesting. Remember Arkansas prepared since spring practice to stop our offense? I don’t think preparation is the key to stopping Gus’s system. Admittedly, he has been running variants of this scheme since his high school coaching days. If you give him a look then he has a counter look or an option depending on what the defense gives you. Malzahn has had years to perfect his offensive philosophy and FSU will need more than 4 weeks to come up with something he hasn’t already seen.

    If you use Alabama’s early success at slowing the offense as a guide, then I’ll concede that as long as you play perfect and execute perfectly then you can slow this offence down. However, you better stay sharp for 60 minutes or Malzahn, Mason and Marshall will make you pay for it late.

  12. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    I’m still not a Jay Jacobs fan and did Jay Jacobs hit a homerun with Gus? Because I was under the distinct impression that we had to have a committee formed to find a coach because JJ couldn’t be trusted with the hire.

  13. wpleagle wpleagle says:

    There have been layoffs since time immemorial! If your season ended the first week of December and you had a January 1 bowl game. that’s a three week layoff. What’s the big deal about another week? Maybe my Alzheimer’s is acting up, but I don’t get it. Much ado about very little.

  14. AUJTJarhead AUJTJarhead says:

    The play action pass will be there for the taking in the 1st half. 2nd half will be a “run fest.”

  15. AUglenn says:

    Gus has been there before. He will have the Tigers ready.

  16. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    The very same Tigers (or most of the same Tigers) that went 3-9 last year are in the position of winning a BCS NC! They will NOT squander this opportunity. We all thought that a 9 or 10 win season was good enough for Redemption…..these players had other ideas in mind. Now they have a few weeks to get healthier, to study FSU and work on key elements to execution.

    Layoff advantage: Auburn.