Published January 28, 2011 - 5:40am
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Texas Longhorns 2009 – 2010
You don’t have to look far to find the worst downturn in college football this past season, and I guarantee you won’t get past Austin and the Texas Longhorns. Texas, who was entering the season as the reigning Big 12 Champion and representing the other team against the SEC in the National Championship in 2009, had a miserable year this past season, with only five wins. Mack Brown struggled all year to get anything at all from his team, and from his coaches for that matter.
Let’s take a look at Texas to see what they lost coming into the 2010 season. Texas lost starting quarterback and Heisman finalist Colt McCoy. They lost their premier wide receiver and McCoy’s favorite target in Jordan Shipley. Texas also lost a massive defensive end and linebacker in Sergio Kindle. As we all know, all three of these guys were difference makers and all are playing on Sundays.
Also, this season, Texas started a freshman quarterback in Garrett Gilbert. Gilbert struggled all year, and the offensive play calling gave him no confidence.
Interesting enough, Will Mushcamp was named “Coach in Waiting” at Texas. Muschamp then left Texas for Florida, as he was arguably the hottest young assistant and head coaching prospect, other than Gus Malzahn. No one knew he would leave for Florida, but he did.
Auburn Tigers 2010 – 2011
As we all know right now Auburn is the king of the roost by running the table in the SEC during the regular season, trouncing South Carolina in the SEC Championship game and beating Oregon in the BCS National Championship game. They retained all of their coaching staff despite many teams looking at offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.
Let’s take a look at Auburn to see what they lose going into the 2011 season. First, Auburn loses Cam Newton to the draft. The one-and-done Heisman Trophy winner and superstar has decided to take his talents to the NFL, and I don’t blame him because of the microscope he continues to be under from the media. Next, Auburn loses defensive superstar Nick Fairley. I’m not sure anyone saw Fairley exploding onto the scene, but nonetheless, Fairley dominated SEC play this year. He will only get better. Third, Auburn loses Darvin Adams. While I know Adams is replaceable, he was the Tigers’ stud receiver this past season.
So, Auburn loses their quarterback, their best defensive prospect and their best wide receiver. Strikingly similar to Texas isn’t it?
Who will be the starting quarterback for Auburn in 2011? Most likely Chizik and Malzahn will go to the heralded freshman Kiehl Frazier if Barrett Trotter cannot bust a grape. Frazier is just as heralded as Gilbert was for Texas.
Another eerily similar situation is Gus Malzahn. Malzahn signed a three-year deal with Auburn, but that won’t stop him from taking a big-time program’s coaching vacancy.
So, What Gives
Let me just say this – Auburn has more running back talent than Texas dreamt of this past season right now with Michael Dyer, Onterio McCalebb and newcomers Tre Mason and Quan Bray. The Tigers also have a tremendous play caller in Gus Malzahn. I know Malzahn will lean on his talented running backs, as Texas couldn’t lean on anyone this past year.
Even though both Auburn and Texas are in different conferences with different dynamics, the similarities between the two programs are striking. I am in no way saying Auburn will win only five games next year, but you can’t help but notice the similarities.
Let’s hope for Auburn’s sake and the SEC’s sake, 2011 Auburn does not turn out like 2010 Texas.