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Auburn is going to have a repeat of the Florida game at LSU ... only, LSU is going to score more than Florida did on Auburn. Everyone is down on UGA right now, but I think Smart rights the ship. Maybe Auburn wins against UGA ... we'll see. There are at least two more losses for Auburn, but let's not put anything past Arkansas or Ole Miss either. Nix was seriously rattled against Florida, we're without Whitlow, and our offensive line is regressing. In short, our offense is a mess (and our head coach built a mythic resume on being an offensive guru). Our defense can only do so much and will get worn down as the season goes along. I think Auburn finishes at 8-4 with only the Oregon win as the highlight of the season....
For a different perspective, let me ask you this: where does Malzahn go after Auburn? Who hires him? The NFL isn't interested. Can you honestly see Malzahn at a top CFB program? No, Auburn is his ceiling. With that in mind, you don't think Auburn can find someone to replace Malzahn? We almost had Kirby Smart in 2012, so don't tell me Auburn is incapable of drawing talented coaches. Besides, we don't need Urban Meyer or some other big shot. We just need a head coach who can field a competent offense.
Solid? Solidly mediocre with occasional flashes of "greatness."
"For those wondering about backup QB Joey Gatewood: If he hasn’t played yet, he’s not ready to play (considering Bo Nix’s inconsistencies)." Are we sure about that? I'm not saying bench Nix, but Gatewood has been at Auburn for a little while now. If he hasn't caught on to the offense, he never will. I think this is more of a case of Malzahn's stubborness and inability to adjust. Nix was totally lost against Florida's defense. It's possible Gatewood wouldn't have fared any better, but you gotta at least give him a shot. Maybe throw Gatewood in for a couple of series and get the run game going with a little RPO and who knows. Anyway, if Gatewood isn't ready, that just again proves that Malzahn is incapable of developing quarterbacks....
Auburn hasn't won at LSU in 20 years. We saw what happened to Auburn's offense on the road, in a hostile environment, against a top defense. And now Auburn is without Whitlow, our top rusher. Auburn might score, but it won't score very much. Ya'll are going to wear down our defense and come away with a comfortable win. LSU-Bama will be a battle between 1 and 2.
"we’re an offense that thrives on the big play" And that's the problem. Malzahn's offenses aren't designed for tough drives. He relies on trickery and movement to steal a big play from an unprepared defense. Problem is, other defenses can review tape and ever team in the SEC has miles and miles of tape to review Malzahn's offense. They know how to prepare for it. If Malzahn's offensive philosophy were something like instilling toughness, then maybe the offensive line would be doing a better job blocking for the QB or opening up lanes for the runners. It's going to be a long day when we have to play at LSU, and it's going to be a long day when we play UGA and Bama. Without Whitlow, with a regressing offensive line, and with a potentially rattled QB in Nix, I wouldn't be surprised to have Arkansas or Ole Miss snag a win as well. This season has hints of 2014...
Nix's inaccuracy is a concern. If Nix truly was the better of the two, then I wonder just how inaccurate Gatewood was. Or ... is this just a case of "highly-touted" freshman who set records in high school gets the job because of hype? I'm not dumping on Nix. He clearly has talent, but the smart move this season would have been to either redshirt Nix or have him as the backup and let Gatewood take the job. Give Nix a year to adjust. Of course, we all know Malzahn's record with developing quarterbacks so.... Look, Malzahn's offense, which is wholly reliant on tricks and movement (which any good defense can defend against) also requires one or two standout players (Nick Marshall, Tre Mason, Kerryon Johnson ... Bo Nix?) to work. And if those one or two players aren't performing miracles, then the offense sputters. The problem isn't talent, it's coaching. Always has been. Auburn is stuck with an ineffective offense so long as Malzahn is calling the plays or even remotely involved in the offensive philosophy.
The fact that Gatewood wasn't in the game at all against Florida is baffling. Yeah, you don't necessarily pull your quarterback after a couple of three-and-outs, but Nix clearly was struggling. A change of pace might have reignited the offense. I'm not here to say Gatewood = Cam Newton, but I do think Gatewood can run the offense sort of like Nick Marshall did.
Kam Martin isn't an every down back and he certainly isn't big enough to get those inside runs that Whitlow could get. Maybe Joiner or Williams can? What about Malik Miller though? Or maybe it's time to start Gatewood??
No Paul, Gus Malzahn has been exposed long before the Florida game. His offense is one predicated on gimmicks and "trickery" which good defenses are more than capable at defending against. Additionally, his offense is entirely dependent on one or two great players and if those players aren't able to do it, then the whole offense implodes, which is what we saw Saturday. Florida's defense played well, but they aren't going to look so good against LSU. Still, Florida will probably finish 10-2. Auburn, meanwhile, will go 8-4. If we are lucky, we'll go 9-3 by snagging a victory out of the jaws of defeat at Jordan-Hare against UGA or Bama. We are going to lose badly at LSU, that's for sure.
Auburn's defense is quite exceptional. Too bad our offense is a disaster or else we'd win the SEC this year.
Florida won't be a contender. Yeah, they beat Auburn, but if Auburn had any semblance of an offense, then Auburn would have won on Saturday. Derrick Brown almost single-handedly won the game. So when Florida plays teams with competent offenses (LSU, UGA) they are going to lose. Auburn, for that matter, is going to finish the season unranked at 8-4. Gus has already pulled out the tired old explanation of "didn't get it done, didn't execute." New Gus is gone ... old Gus is back.
That's true. If only we could play Bama's schedule ....
Narrowly beating Notre Dame at home isn't that impressive. I'm not saying beating Oregon at a neutral site is the best ... I think LSU winning at Texas is the best so far.
You're not really saying anything original. What you're saying is something that many of us Auburn fans have said before. But what is true is that Bo Nix may not need "developing." The kid is really good. He is making smart decisions, he is improving in the passing game, he is reading the defenses pretty well ... Cam Newton also didn't need developing. You're fooling yourself if you think a Juco coach "developed" him. The guy just had so much natural talent. Nick Marshall wasn't really "developed" elsewhere either. He spent one year in Juco before coming to Auburn. Jarrett. Eh, one year under Art Briles? Is that development? There's no doubt that Gus has a questionable track record with quarterbacks, but I guess we'll have to wait and see with Bo Nix. The real question is why are you here saying this? Malzahn has his system just like Saban has a system. It's safe to say that none of Saban's quarterbacks have gone on to the next level in any meaningful way.
We've played two ranked teams away from home.
I think we can beat Florida and I wouldn't be surprised if we beat UGA and/or Bama at home. I think LSU is going to destroy us though.
Two of these teams are not like the other. If you have an L at this point, you don't belong in the top ten. And quite honestly, teams like Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio State have played absolutely zero quality opponents to this point. The rankings should be earned. Imagine if those teams had to fight there way into the playoff instead of just coasting?
Winning against Texas A&M was nice, but I wouldn't have given them an A-. Our offense still needs work ... a lot of work. The passing game isn't there, and our running game still leaves something to be desired. I feel bad dumping on Kellen Mond, but if A&M had a good quarterback like Fromm, Tua, or Burrow, they would have beaten Auburn.
Well, Auburn has to win first. I think Auburn can win, but it will be a close game. I also don't see the polls putting Auburn in the top 5. No, those spots, this early in the season, are reserved for the media darlings (Ohio State, Alabama, Oklahoma, etc).
You guys keep hyping Michigan. I'm not seeing it. They were one field goal away from losing to Army at home. And the way Ohio State is rocking, I don't see Michigan winning the Game this year. Also, we're not going to be seeing both Bama and UGA in the playoff. I know that happened a couple of years ago, but it required a lot of variables to play out, including a red hot Auburn team beating both only to lose to UGA in round 2. Bama doesn't have the schedule to suffer a loss (sorry, but they don't), miss out on the SECCG AND still get in. I'm also not sure UGA gets through unscathed either. So I think it will be: Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and the SEC Champion.
Honestly, the best option is to have regular conference realignment. Look at how many horrible P5 teams there are every year. Teams that "get a shot" at the playoff simply because they are in one of five conferences that are included. To think that Kansas or Rutgers have a better chance, at the beginning of the season, of getting into the playoff over UCF, Memphis, or Boise State is stupid. I know there's a lot of legal and business aspects that probably wouldn't allow this to happen, but here's how it should work: After last season, Arkansas and Tennessee would get demoted and Memphis and Appalachian State would get promoted to the SEC. Louisville and UNC get demoted while UCF and Troy get promoted to the ACC. ETC. Yeah, maybe teams like Troy and App State would end up getting destroyed in their "call-up" years, but it would at least give these other teams a shot, and it would make sure that the Power 5 conferences can live up to their names. Because honestly, there are a lot of power 5 teams that should qualify as cupcakes.
Just because they're seniors doesn't make them good. Our offensive line is pretty bad, actually. Our defense is really good but I don't see 3 guys going in the first round. They'll definitely be drafted, but not all in the first round. Our offense is a mess. We likely will get into a defensive slogfest with Texas A&M and if we win, it'll be the last "big" win of the season given the way we are playing because Malzahn doesn't have it.
I think this offensive line has reached their ceiling. They're all seniors, they all have many many games under their belts. They just can't do any better than what they're doing now. Malzahn needs to stop expecting that to change. Draw up plays that don't rely on the line to be something they are not. Whitlow's fumbles, while frustrating, aren't fixable either. He is, though, a power back. He is the type who can run through defenses and get a few extra yards dragging defensive players. Martin is an outside back. Of course, if you keep those backs solely in those roles, then the defense will know what's coming and adjust. accordingly. I'd say get back to more zone-read. Let Nix make the call when he sees the defense.
I don't think we lose 5 games. We'll beat Florida or Texas A&M ... or maybe catch Georgia off guard.
Our offensive line is atrocious, Whitlow fumbled 3 times, the passing game was mediocre. I agree with the assessment. Unless there is drastic improvement in the offense, we're not going to have much of a season. Losses to Texas A&M, Florida, LSU, UGA, and Bama. And possibly to Miss State.
The same reason LSU won't go (probably) to the playoffs is the same reason Michigan won't go either. LSU hasn't beaten Bama in 8 years. Michigan hasn't beaten Ohio State in ... like a decade. No matter how good they are (LSU is, Michigan isn't), they have to win their division first. And, I know, Ohio State and Bama got in without winning their divisions, but I don't think that happens again unless none of the other conferences put up a good team. Since the PAC-12 is pretty much out of it now, we have Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Clemson.
Hmm, Auburn might face UVA in a bowl game? Can the football team avenge the basketball team??
Georgia and Bama aren't both getting in especially not with the way Oklahoma and Ohio State played. It'll be Clemson, SEC Champ, Ohio State, and Oklahoma.
...well, you also had Malik Willis winning the starting job too, right?