Hey, just wait for the next highly touted quarterback to start playing. His name is Jeremy Johnson ... I mean John Franklin ... I mean Tyler Queen ... I mean Woody Barret ... I mean Jarrett Stidham ... I mean Joey Gatewood ... I mean Malik Willis ... I mean Cord Sandberg ... I mean Bo Nix. Just around the corner, I tell ya!
Yep, the Belk Bowl sounds about right for us. Given our record against power-5 opponents though, Auburn's gonna lose to NC State.
As an Auburn fan, I only see us winning one more game this year (Liberty). So how do we end up in the Outback Bowl?? We'll be playing a Sun Belt team in the Birmingham Bowl or the Belk Bowl or something...
You're not wrong, but that is the problem ... he has to have the exact personnel on the field for his "system" to even have a chance. His system is a bunch of trick plays and "tempo" and an over-reliance on one or two outstanding players (Cam Newton, Michael Dyer, Nick Marshall, Tre Mason, Kerryon Johnson). A good coach should be able to adapt his system to the players he has. And for what he's getting paid, losing at least 4 games a season (other than 2013) is insane. Now, Auburn hasn't had a coach leave the program of his own free will since before Pat Dye (that's a lot of fired coaches). The problem is the University President pushed for the extension last year because Malzahn's agent (Jimmy Sexton) convinced him that Arkansas was going to steal Malzahn away. The right thing to do there was call the bluff, but they didn't.
There's a difference between being part of the magic and simply being along for the ride. Cam Newton was like winning the lottery. Without him that year, Auburn was at best an 8-4 team. We had an opportunity in 2012 to get a better coach, one with more experience at developing talent (not one who hopped around schools like Malzahn did). But the decision makers wrongly assumed Malzahn was the reason Auburn went undefeated in 2010...it was Cam.
Nick Marshall was in the Heisman mix, but then again, he was a real game-changer. It was him and Tre Mason that really powered Auburn in 2013. 2014 was a ho-hum year and he wasn't in the Heisman talk. Jeremy Johnson was given a lot of hype, given how good the kid was in high school, and how well he played in the backup roll to Marshall. Nobody claimed Sean White was a Heisman candidate. Ever. Stidham's hype was legitimate given his numbers (albeit limited) and his recruit status. Given the way he played so well in many games last season, conventional wisdom says he would only improve this season, especially with a talented corps of receivers. The problem here is a lack of development. Gus Malzahn made his name as an offensive guru. He broke into college ball at Arkansas (bringing most of his talented high school seniors with him ... thanks Houston Nutt). But he spent one year at Arkansas, one year at Tulsa, three years as OC for Auburn, which were average when you take away the 2010 season. Why do we not talk about the 2010 season here? Because without Cam Newton, Auburn was a 7-5 or at best an 8-4 team that year. He then had 1 year at Arkansas State before being hired at Auburn. Sure, Malzahn was offensive coordinator and/or head coach for some good teams ... but only for a year or two. He didn't really ever have to develop talent. He'd draw up a playbook of trick plays that would work the first time around. As we see now though, once you get enough film on his offenses, it's quite easy to stifle them. Nobody is fooled by the countless jet sweets, bubble screens, reverses, wildcats, etc. There is no toughness to the offense. They can't grind out a touchdown drive. Malzahn's only plan is to hope for an explosive play. Anyway, Malzahn cannot develop skilled players. He can recruit them, but he cannot develop them. I have no doubt that Stidham would be having a breakout year if he were playing for Dan Mullen at Florida or Urban Meyer at OSU ... or really, anywhere else. The bad news is Auburn is stuck with this swindler to the tune of 35 million dollars. We just finished paying Tommy Tuberville ... and it now looks like we're going to end up paying for Gus Malzahn for quite some time. Whoever signed off on Malzahn's contract extension last year needs to be fired first.
My God, people, you'd think the writer personally insulted your mother. Did you read the sub-titles for this article. What I liked and what I didn't like. Some of you people get so triggered when anyone says anything positive about Auburn.
Neither Fromm or Tua have faced a solid defense yet (and don't tell me South Carolina had a solid defense).
Exactly. Sure, ball security is important and it will likely be worked on. There is bias in these articles.
Kirby Smart's recruiting, sure, but let's not crown them the next Alabama. One good season does not make a dynasty. Sure, they play in the atrocious SEC East, so they'll be favored to win the division every year until some of the other programs get their act together. Let's just hold off on the fawning over UGA for a little while, mmkay?
Yeah, the whole list really should be UGA players. The finalists in New York are going to be nothing but Dawgs ....
Arguably, Stidham's two best games last year were against the two top defenses (UGA and Bama). He ran a lot in those games, picking up good yardage before being tackled. He wasn't afraid of getting hit. Sure, early on, especially against Clemson, Stidham struggled ... but then again, our O-line sucked.
The game against Washington will tell us a lot, I think. Malzahn has to win that game to silence his critics (and I'm one of them). Show us you can win big games away from Jordan Hare. I have high confidence in our defense to do their part, it's the offense which is the question. It's my hope that Chip Lindsey has pried control of the offense from Malzahn to avoid the meddling that got us in trouble in the past. I think Stidham will make things happen, and I like our receiving corps. The big question marks, of course, are RB and O-Line. Given how many guys we have on the depth chart at RB, I'm not that concerned. As for the O-line ... well, Herb Hand is gone, so I hope that unit is more cohesive than it was last year. Auburn has the personnel, the question is, will they be properly prepared? We'll find out in Atlanta. If Auburn wins that game, I think Auburn--and Malzahn--will have shaken the ghost. They might not beat both UGA and Bama at home, but I'd be willing to call for a split in those two games, ruining one team's chances for the playoff. If Auburn loses to Washington, I think, yeah, Auburn could go 8-4.
We have Malik Willis and Joey Gatewood on the QB depth chart (oh and that Sandburg guy who left MLB to return to college football). Willis and Gatewood have a lot of potential and it's not out of the realm of possibility that--should Stidham get hurt--one of them would step up and really work some magic, similar to what UGA had last year.
An open letter to Auburn football fans: 2018 is going to tell us everything we need to know about Gus Malzahn
By the time Auburn plays Bama, our O-line with either have come together, or the season is already lost as it is. That is a valid concern, but with Herb Hand gone, I like our chances better of having a competent O-line. I'm less concerned about our running game. I have confidence in Auburn's ability to put some good backs on the field. The reason we had to rely on one back the last two seasons was due to transfers, dismissals, and injuries.
Whoa! Bold prediction! haha
Unfortunately, he's probably right about playoff expansion. In 2004, Auburn got left out of the BCS game and we got to watch USC destroy Oklahoma. Auburn at the very least would have played a close game--Auburn's defense was one of the best that year. Anyway, the SEC proposed creating a playoff. Which conferences vetoed that? The Big-ten and Pac-10. Then, starting in 2006, the SEC won the BCS every year culminating in the LSU-Bama game, at which point the Big-ten started whining that this wasn't fair and we needed a playoff. Now we have a playoff and Big-ten fans said this was better because now the SEC wouldn't be "gifted" a spot in the big game. Of course now that the Big-ten doesn't even make it to the playoff, they are calling for more teams. If we have to expand, I'd be okay with 6 teams. 8 would ruin the sport.
You're missing the point. Just because Bama dominated those teams in years past that doesn't mean the same would be true today. Bama struggled against Mississippi State and was blown out by Auburn--in years past, Bama easily won those games. Yeah yeah, we all know that Bama had injuries ... every time has injuries. Clearly, Auburn's injuries came back to haunt us in the SECCG. The point here is that teams change for better or worse. Bama is trending down, though Bama fans may not wish to admit that.
Interesting...Bama is gonna be playing in 3 different bowls. You might want to QC your articles SDS.
It's been said that they could essentially call offensive holding on nearly every play. That was definitely the case when Georgia's O-Line was struggling to keep Auburn's defense away from Fromm. If Auburn's DBs were really that bad, I'm pretty sure the refs would have thrown a flag or two. This is nothing new. When a team loses, it's because the refs were crooked or because a play should have been called back, or whatever. Hell, in the Iron Bowl, on that one play with the second muffed snap, Alabama's backfield was in motion, which should have been an offsetting penalty for the illegal substitution. The better team won in both games, refs or not.
We literally had Hurts and Stidham go head-to-head and one was bottled up, contained, a non-factor while the other has clearly elevated the Auburn offense to new heights....but yeah, Hurts is the best SEC quarterback, and I can't even type that with a straight face.
If I were him, I'd stay put. Nothing against South Alabama, but I cannot imagine trying to recruit instate against both Auburn and Alabama when both programs are going full steam. Hopefully he stays because I think he's responsible for developing Stidham to where he is now.
Give Stidham a team loaded with 5-star players at every position and I'm pretty sure he'd have more impressive numbers. Put Hurts on a less-talented offense and we'd see him throw a lot more picks, get sacked more, and not be as touted. Alabama is a machine and Hurts is just a cog who is easily replaced by the next QB in the pipeline. Clearly Stidham has had the greater impact in only one season while Hurts is doing what any decent QB would do at Alabama.
This all seems like idle speculation. Maybe Malzahn is thinking about leaving. Yeah, we Auburn fans have been grumbling about his mediocre record and inability to develop quarterbacks internal to the program ... and his bad game management. But we don't hate the guy--we simply wanted him to learn from his mistakes. Like most fans, I expected Auburn to blow it against Texas A&M and against Georgia. Sure, we had good leads, but we had good leads against UGA in 2013 (and narrowly won), and FSU in the BCS game ... and against LSU this year. The fact that Auburn kept the foot on the gas was heartening. So either Malzahn has learned what it takes to win, or he's actually handed control of the program over to Lindsey and Steele. But if he goes to Arkansas, I don't see him doing much better than Bielima. Just because he knows a lot of high school coaches in Arkansas doesn't mean he's going to put together winning teams. As the article points out, the state of Arkansas is not a recruiting hotbed. The state of Alabama is. So are Georgia and Florida. And while Texas is a big state, Arkansas isn't going to out-recruit: Baylor, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and LSU. That's just not happening. So, if Malzahn wants to be a 7 or 8 win coach at Arkansas (which I'm being generous with that), then I guess he can leave for that and be closer to home when he gets fired after an unremarkable tenure. At least at Auburn, he's in contention for big things. Anyway, if he does leave, I'd like to hope Auburn makes a smart hire for HC. I don't know if that's promoting Lindsey or going after a rising star. I guess we'll see.
Haha, of course a Bama fan has his own definition of what a national brand is. As for titles, sure, not everyone can win a national championship while losing their final game (Bama has a few of those), but considering that Auburn has 3 Heisman winners, numerous other player who have won trophies, played in two national championships in the last ten years, won a national championship in 2010, won the SEC 3 times since 2003 (yeah yeah, Bama wins it a lot more), and brings in top-ten recruiting class year after year. It's safe to say that Auburn is a national brand. It's okay though. Eventually Saban will retire and then we'll get to see how Bama fans enjoy the setting sun.
Everyone's caught up on the 2 loss thing as if that's God's immutable law or something. The playoff only has 3 years of history to go on here and the committee has no specific list of must-haves to go by. If Auburn wins out (and believe me, as an Auburn fan, I am well aware of how big an if that is), then why shouldn't they be in consideration? What other teams out there will have beaten three top-ten teams in one month?
While we delight in college football and shun the NFL, let’s kill the call to expand the College Football Playoff
Completely agree. Expanding the playoff would ultimately be bad for college football. It would cheapen the season and we'd eventually get to a state like the NFL is in. Consider it this way. Georgia was already a lock for the SEC East before the Auburn game. They could have benched their starters and just "lost" the game because they were saving up their energy for Bama in the SECCC. Where's the fun in that? This past Saturday was arguably one of the best weekends of college ball all year, and I believe it's because there's a frantic energy among teams to make the most of their seasons. If anything needs "fixing" it's to curb the number of cupcake games. I'm an Auburn fan and I don't think there's any reason to be playing ULM or Mercer or Citadel this late in the season. If all the conferences went to a 9-game conference schedule and a requirement to play one power-5 team out of conference, then that would go a long way to "fixing" a lot of the problems people have with the current system.
What? Are you using Miami to put down Auburn? Is that because comparing UGA and Auburn makes you look foolish, especially when it comes to titles?
In theory, if Auburn were to beat Georgia, beat Bama, beat Georgia again, they absolutely should get in ahead of an "undefeated" Wisconsin. The only meaningful game Wisconsin would have played would be the Big-ten championship game against a ranked team that has at least two losses. The committee, if they are smart, would not reward Wisconsin for getting to coast all season. True, they can't control how horrible the rest of the Big-Ten West is, but they can control their nonconference schedule. All that to say, if Auburn weren't coached by Gus Malzahn, they absolutely would have a shot of pulling off this task of beating three top-ten teams (UGA, Bama, UGA again). Considering Malzahn is 2-6 against UGA and Bama (with both wins coming in 2013), and the fact that he's horrible against ranked teams ... and the fact that Bama and UGA are actually good teams, I give Malzahn about .02% of actually doing it. He might pull an upset over one or the other, but certainly not both.
Hurts isn't deserving of the Heisman--he hasn't done anything himself. It's supposed to be the best individual effort, the biggest impact player. Remove Hurts from Alabama and Alabama is right where they are currently. That's the "downside" of Saban's team--it's a system where the individual really doesn't matter. Nobody is going to remember Jalen Hurts in 5 years anymore than anyone remembers any QB from Alabama over the last decade. Sure, they were good, but they weren't special--not in the way that say Cam Newton was or Tim Tebow. Those guys actually affected the way the team won games. Jalen Hurts? Not at all.