Auburn football: Quarterback Bo Nix is exciting - for both teams
Auburn quarterback Bo Nix is the most entertaining player in the SEC. And it’s not even a little bit close.
Now, I’m not saying Nix is the best player in the SEC. Far from it. Nix might not be among the top 100 players in the SEC, but there’s no denying how exciting he is.
Nix can scramble, create and score. He can also throw an interception, get sacked and scramble for what seems like days. It’s as if yards don’t matter to Nix. He’s more about making someone’s highlight reel. Maybe it will be Auburn’s. Maybe not. That’s only for Nix to know.
Of course, Nix has drawn the ire of Auburn fans because of his erratic play. I can understand that, but I’m all about entertainment when I watch Nix. With no allegiance to Auburn or any schools they’ll play this season, I can’t get enough. “Mo’ Bo” is my new mantra. Nix is must-see SEC.
The thing that is most amazing about Nix is just how relentless he is. I’m sure Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin gets frustrated with his junior starter. That’s why Nix was benched against Georgia State in what was about to become a ground-shaking upset for the Tigers. Nix didn’t let that benching stop him. He regained the starting job and never lost his penchant to turn an otherwise regular play into something you might not ever forget.
Ultimately, Nix’s performance against Georgia on Saturday wasn’t that great. Nix completed 21-of-38 passes for 217 yards and an interception in a 34-10 loss. Still, it always seemed like something big was about to happen.
It’s hard not to wonder what was going on in Harsin’s headset when he benched Nix for T.J. Finley in that Georgia State game. Most, including me, thought that the switch needed to be made and would be permanent. Nope, Harsin was thinking short term. That meant beating the Panthers before going back to Nix, which looked like a good move when Nix started last week and Auburn beat LSU 24-19 in Baton Rouge.
As bad as Nix looked at times on Saturday, he came out in the second half and completed a handful of perfect passes to at least keep hope alive, for a moment.
The question that so many Auburn fans had to be screaming on Saturday was why didn’t Harsin again turn to Finley. The Tigers’ entire offense was overmatched against Georgia. The Dawgs might have the best defense in the nation, but Finley perhaps could have given Auburn a spark. After all, he did so against Georgia State. Apparently, Harsin didn’t see that as a strong possibility or perhaps he simply didn’t want to give the Bulldogs a bigger target to hit.
Nix does just enough to make you think he could be one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC. Then, that notion quickly dissolves. Nix lost 16 yards on 10 carries against Georgia but it seems like he ran for much, much more. The problem was Nix was doing most of his running behind the line of scrimmage.
Harsin now has to face the inevitable questions about his quarterback situation. He has created that issue by not choosing one quarterback and sticking with him. As I wrote shortly after the Georgia State game, Finley should be Auburn’s starting quarterback. I still believe that. Is there something about Finley that just doesn’t click in practice? Is there another issue? Harsin has to have a reason to sentence Finley to life on the bench.
It will be interesting to see how Finley handles more second-team duties if Harsin sticks with Nix. Remember, Finley has faced competition before. The LSU transfer didn’t win the starting job for the Tigers and bolted north to Auburn. Would Finley, just a sophomore, consider transferring again if he isn’t eventually Auburn’s starter? Don’t count it out. However, Finley could suddenly improve his standing and be named the starter. Harsin has shown his lack of conviction in either player.
However, as long as Nix is the starter, you’ll hear no complaints from me. It may not be ideal for Auburn to have Nix as a starter but I couldn’t think of anything more entertaining.