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For me, it's the totally unpredictable nature of Auburn under Malzahn. It's the inconsistency from one season to the next, hell, even from one game to the next. Yes, he has maintained Auburn as a competitive team since 2013, but he's also squandered so many opportunities, and the revolving door at the quarterback position since Nick Marshall left has been troubling to watch. The inability, it seems to develop quarterbacks as well as the inability to find an offensive identity makes you wonder what he actually does. It's no secret that the last several seasons, it has been the defense that really won games for Auburn, not the offense. And Malzahn built his reputation on being an offensive guru .... It's probably not going to be fair to judge Chad Morris or Malzahn on this upcoming season regardless of what happens, but I'm skeptical that Auburn takes a step forward offensively while Malzahn remains involved. He's too stubborn to see that the gimmick offense doesn't work long-term. But here's the real truth: Auburn is Malzahn's ceiling. He's not NFL material. No other program "better" than Auburn wants him. Should Auburn and Malzahn part ways, he might go to another P5 school, but it will be a lower-tier program, like a NC State or Washington State.
I don't get the whole "include all teams even if they aren't playing" idea. There's no point to that. All it does is make it that much harder for unranked teams that ARE playing to climb up in the polls if they have a good year.
In the past decade, Auburn and LSU have each won the same number of championships, have the same number of SEC championships, and the same number of Heisman winners. Who is "elite" is always going to be subjective, but if elite is "best teams" then Auburn has certainly gotten there, Auburn has played in two national championships and won one of them since 2010 (and I'm using 2010 because ten years is "recent" history). Auburn's done better in that category than every other team except for Alabama and LSU. Let that sink in. Not Georgia, not Florida, not Tennessee ... no one else. So, if you want to look at teams that have risen to the task of proving to be the best team in the country ... then yes, Auburn can be counted among SEC elite. Of course things change in college football (just look at a so-called blue-blood SEC team like Tennessee).
It would just be best to cancel the season at this point. If MLB can't even make it work, what chance is there for college football to succeed? Besides, too many players have been infected by the disease of cultural marxism.
IF there is a season, I think Auburn's defense will be just fine. Steele has proven he can consistently deliver a quality squad regardless of who he has. He's done really well recruiting year after year. He also kept rotating guys in and out of the formations, so while we do lose a lot of starters ... the guys stepping in aren't exactly inexperienced. As with any team, it takes both offense and defense to win. If the offense can stay on the field and score points, that makes it much easier for the defense. If, however, Auburn sees a lot of 3-and-outs and the defense has to slog it out all game long, then yeah, they will get worn down.
The stats are deceiving--last year's offensive line was porous. Nix had to throw the ball away a lot, or he had to dump the pass off to a back or a receiver out in the flat for like 2 yards. If Auburn had had spring practice, I'd say the new offensive line will be an improvement, but without that amount of time to practice together, I think it's a wash. Nix should ... should improve, but see above about the O-line. Also, I'm not sold on Chad Morris yet. And Malzahn isn't exactly an offensive guru anymore, is he? If there is football--I'm betting there isn't--I think Auburn has marginal improvement on the offense but still finishes 9-3 or probably 8-4. The schedule isn't easy by any means. Auburn should start 4-0, but then it gets tricky with Kentucky, UGA, and Texas A&M. I think Auburn drops 1 or possibly 2 of those games ... probably UGA and Texas A&M, but don't be shocked to see them upset at home against the Wildcats as they are looking ahead. Then they have 3 winnable games against Miss State, Arkansas, and UMass. Then they have LSU and Bama ... and I chalk those up as losses. So I think Auburn probably finishes 8-4 at best.
Our offensive line can only get better after that group departed. They weren't coordinated, didn't get their blocks, and honestly, they did let a lot of pressure get to Nix despite the stats listed above.
Steele is the right choice for number 1. He's consistently recruited quality players for defense. People seem to forget how horrible Auburn's defense was prior to Will Muschamp's single season. Steele has solidified that side of the ball. And he's done it with an atrocious offense and a tough slate of opponents.
In DC, they just tore down and burned the statue to Albert Pike because of racism or something... Pike was an advocate for Native Americans in a time when Native Americans didn't have many friends. He argued their cases in court ... and he sided with the Confederacy because he thought the CSA would treat them better than the Union had. But he's a racist apparently.... Meanwhile, in Portland, they tore down and burned a statue to Washington ... but they left the statue to Lenin alone. That right there tells you all you need to know about what's actually going on in our country right now.
You mention something that is often over-looked. That 2010 Auburn team wasn't very talented as evidenced by the lack of NFL drafts in the coming years. Without Cam Newton, the 2010 team probably would have gone 8-5 with a close bowl win over a marginal Big-10 team or something (maybe we could have beaten Northwestern 3 years in a row). To me, that tells you how special Newton really was. But, nobody ... absolutely nobody expected anything from 2013 Auburn. You don't go 0-8 in conference play and 3-9 in total play, have your entire coaching staff fired, break in a quarterback, along with several new position players ... and then go on to be 13 seconds away from a National Title. So, I'd go for 3013 Auburn as the biggest surprise team.
We had Ted Roof and the infamous "bend but don't break defense" back then. If we'd had even half the talent on defense then that we do now, we would have throttled FSU.
I watched that game with a friend of mine who is a Mizzou fan (I'm an Auburn fan) and it was a very entertaining game. I wouldn't ever say we blew out Mizzou. Either team could have surged in the 4th quarter and won it.
Johnson did well as a backup to Nick Marshall in 2014. He seemed to be a guy who could come in and run the offense. But ... he just froze up. I think the pre-season hype got to him. He lost his edge and when the throws weren't there, he'd sort of hang out in the pocket. Or if he had to run, he looked really shaky. Feel bad for him.
Who's to say your 4 contenders will be contending for anything by the end of the decade ... or even next year for that matter?
Auburn's offense is a mess and the addition of Chad Morris won't fix that. I'm picking Kentucky as an upset favorite (and the start a 3-game skid). Auburn finishes 7-5. We have too many question marks on offense and our defense, while still good, won't have the endurance to keep Auburn in the games when the offense can't even figure out what it is supposed to be doing.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Auburn drop the game against Kentucky as the team is looking ahead to Georgia ... and then lose at Georgia as well. That won't be the tipping point. We lost to Tennessee last year after all.
You make a good point about multi-season quarterbacks deserving more consideration because they had to live up to the hype, deal with defenses with more time to prepare, etc. The flip side of the multi-season player is that the quarterback also has extra time to develop, to study film of defenses, to learn the system, etc. I still believe that a look at the team as a whole matters more. Florida was a powerhouse with or without Tebow. They won a title with Chris Leak and Tebow as the backup. In my mind, the two best quarterbacks in the SEC's history are Newton and Burrow. Honestly, flip a coin on that one. Yes, Burrow set records, but 2010 Auburn was a bunch of nobodies. Auburn in 2010 without Newton was at best an 8-4 team ... because that's what they were the year before and year after Newton. Auburn was also 2 years removed from going 5-7 and were 2 years away from going 3-9. LSU is a most solid program now than Auburn was then. Don't buy it? Take a look at the 2011 draft and see how many (few) Auburn players went. It was Newton, DE Nick Fairly both in the 1st round and then ... .... ...... DT Zach Clayton and OT Lee Ziemba all the way down in the 7th round. Compare that to LSU's latest draft where they beat Auburn entire 2010 draft class at 4 players just in the first round (with 5 players) and had 14 total drafted. You can't tell me Burrow didn't benefit from the knowledge that the defense was going to get things done, or that his receivers were top-notch, or that the ground game was going to pick up those yards. I mean, consider this: in 2010, Auburn was down 24-0 to Alabama. Cam Newton won that game. Without Cam Newton, I seriously doubt Auburn even comes close to making the game competitive. Burrow never had that sort of moment. LSU owned every game they were in start to finish. Oh, some of the games were competitive, but Burrow never pulled victory out of the jaws of defeat like Newton did. And I think if you were to plug Newton into LSU's situation last year, we would have gotten the same result ... undefeated LSU with a record-setting QB. That's no offense to Burrow. Again, both he and Newton had remarkable seasons.
Yeah, I think Bama probably would have won a title that year. Auburn should have won. Malzahn lost the game more than Fisher won it. You don't go conservative when you are crushing your opponent. And that's what Malzahn did ... he started going for safe field goals instead of touchdowns all the while Auburns "bend but don't break" defense was giving up touchdowns.
Loosing the offensive line isn't that big of a hit ... did you see our offensive line play last year? That squad was terrible. Zero cohesion. I'm not saying offensive line play will be better this year ... only there won't be a drop off because it was already bad. On the defense, I don't think the dropoff will be as huge as these writers think it is. Yes, we lost some good players, but it's not like they were the ONLY players worth anything on the defense. Steele has consistently recruited quality players for years now. In fact, our most recent recruiting class is loaded with a bunch of 4 star defensive players ... and that's how it has been really since Muschamp. So yes, losing Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson (among a few others) will be felt, it won't be felt that much. The guys moving into the starter roles for Brown and others have a lot of experience already. All that to say, I think our defense will, once again, be our strength. Our offense will be atrocious as usual. I'm not buying the hype of UNC yet. I think Auburn wins that one. The games Auburn probably will lose are: Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and pick one of the following: Miss State, Kentucky, Texas A&M. I think 8-4 is our ceiling. We possibly do worse, but we won't do better.
If you read up on Aaron Rodgers' early time at Green Bay you'll see he was far from ready. He was a backup to Favre and when he did see action, it was negligible. His stats were sub par and he looked like a bust. Green Bay ended up firing Mike Sherman and went with Mike McCarthy. Rodgers then went into Mike McCarthy's "quarterback school" where learned a new system for 6 hours a day several times a week. Rodgers didn't become the starter at Green Bay until 2008. That's 3 years to develop, to learn a new system, and to wait out Favre's retirement drama. So yeah, Rodgers sort of is a system guy. And I very much doubt Miami would have developed him the same way. Saban and the Miami front office probably would have wanted to throw Rodgers in there right away because ... hey, it's Miami and they didn't have a veteran QB who could carry the team. They'd pin their hopes on fresh blood and if that didn't work out, well, you can always trade him for favorable draft picks. Running backs, on the other hand, don't necessarily need to learn a new system. Sure, they need to know the plays, the blocking schemes, etc. But once they are handed the ball, they pretty much rely on their own skills to read the defense and find a hole. That means backs can start day one and contribute. The point here is that Rodgers likely wouldn't have had the career at Miami he would have had at Green Bay. He would have struggled in Miami and been labeled just another draft bust. They would have probably traded him and he would have ended up a journeyman bouncing around teams. Ronnie had a good NFL career. Sure, he didn't set any records, but few players actually do.
Yep, my wife and I got out of debt and are financially secure because of Dave Ramsey. It all seems like common sense in hindsight, but getting there would have been nearly impossible without Dave helping us along.
Rodgers could have easily been a bust if he was placed with the wrong team. And he probably would have been a bust at Miami, or at least ended up traded elsewhere. Green Bay, on the other hand had a pretty established offense. Keep in mind, a lot of other teams passed on Rodgers as well.
Maybe it's just my perception, but the spring games don't really show us anything. The guys who shine in the spring game just as often don't show up when it counts in the fall. The spring game is just to have something to talk about, especially since most teams have a 1st team offense vs 2nd team defense approach ... we're not really learning much.
I'm not worried about the losses on defense for Auburn. Yes, Davidson, Coe, and Brown (among others) were fantastic, Steele has done a remarkable job recruiting and building the defense. There might be some dropoff in defensive stats, but not enough to swing that many games. It's the offense that continues to confound everyone. Yes, we lost most of our offensive line ... but ... did you see those guys play? It was horrendous! It's not like we lost a bunch of award finalists in that group. They were about as disjointed and incapable as it gets. Sure, things can always get worse, but I see things remaining the same, so there's no change there. What really matters is if Nix can find the accuracy he was lacking last year. Is Chad Morris really the QB whisperer that some are saying he is? Eh, we'll see. Will our offense have a more mature look (getting away from Malzahn's inept system)? We'll see. In short ... nobody really knows. Our schedule is slightly easier this year than last. UNC isn't on par with Oregon, Kentucky is tougher than people think but not as good as Florida, we also have to play both UGA and Bama away and we haven't won at either place in quite some time. And LSU has our number. I think 8-4 sounds about right.
Alcohol helps. That and after a while, you just sort of roll with it. Oh, we just knocked off two top-5 teams in a row? Cool. Oh, we just blew a 20 point lead to a 6-6 team? Sounds about right. That's life for an Auburn fan.
I'm going with Cam. Most people seem to forget that before and after Cam's lone season at Auburn, that team was 8-4. And two years after Cam left, Auburn went 3-9. 2 years before Cam got there, Auburn was ... 5-7. It wasn't like Auburn was swimming in talent back then. Without Cam Newton in 2010, Auburn likely was just another 8-4 team or maybe even worse. The question now is how good was LSU without Joe Burrow? The two previous seasons to this one, LSU went 9-4 and 10-3. I think LSU still would be successful in 2019-2020 regardless of who they had at QB. That's not a knock on Burrow at all, it just speaks to the talent LSU had all over the field. For the 2010 Auburn team, the best players were Cam Newton and Nick Fairley. After that, it was a steep dropoff in talent. What Cam did was purely amazing. He took a mediocre team and won every game to include the national championship. I think it's Cam Newton as the player who had the best season. He did more with less. Again, not a knock on Joe Burrow, but it's easy to look good with LSU's receivers, or their offensive line, or a stout defense that will force a 3-and-out.
Based on the few examples of a closed environment in which the virus can be studied (like the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship), the death rate is at most 1% of those infected. But data out of Italy, Germany, South Korea, and Iceland show that the death rate is much lower than 1%. Additionally, the data shows that as much as 50% of the population show no symptoms at all. Millions dead in this country? No. Sure, people will say "oh, but it could have been so much worse." Well, the data doesn't support that.
The sooner we develop herd immunity, the soon life returns to normal. The longer we stay in this massive quarantine, the longer this thing drags out. It's that simple.
"You Don't Know Bo" was a great 30-for-30, but it was kind of light on who Bo is as the person. Bo is a down-to-earth person and not the type of guy to talk about himself. As for the "who's better, Bo or Walker" eh, I'll put it like this ... we'd all love to have either of them (in their prime) on our teams right now. The thing about Bo the athlete was how easy he made everything look. Go watch him hit some homeruns. He's barely swing the bat! When he took the handoff in football and had to run through a defense ... it's like the defense is made of soft butter, he just ran through guys. Simply amazing. His story is one of the great what-ifs in all of sports. I have zero doubt that had Bo not suffered that injury, he'd be a two-sport HoF member. And I think that is what makes him so well-known today ... that and he's a good guy. He's a true American success story.
Everyone here getting all upset at the article. Just calm down. It's already the off-season and now with COVID there's no spring football to discuss. They gotta talk about something. Anyway, I still think a better idea would be a promotion/demotion system for the P5. AT the end of each season, every P5 conference gets to demote its poorest performing program and then promote a high-perfoming G5 program. Yes, I know there are other reasons that would make this very tough to do, but hear me out. Let's say at the end of last season, the SEC demoted Arkansas and promoted (take your pick: Memphis, UCF, etc). The Big-12 demotes Kansas and promotes Houston. The PAC-12 demotes Oregon State and promotes Boise State. And so on. This has the two-fold effect of giving high-performing G5 teams a legitimate shot at the playoffs while also upping everyone's schedule in the P5 conferences. This gives a team like Boise State or UCF what they claim to want--a chance to play for a national title. They'll either compete or be exposed and can be next year's demotion team. At the same time, it would allow the struggling traditional P5 team (Arkansas, Kansas) a little breathing room. It's an uphill battle trying to rebuild your program when you're going out and getting clobbered by LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, UGA, etc. It's easier to do when your competition isn't so tough. So, those traditional programs might spend 2 or 3 years at the lower level before being promoted again. To me, this makes the most sense and solves many problems. Of course, it won't happen, but we can dream.