Hello there SEC football fans. Do you have a few minutes? It’s the off-season so I know you do. Let’s talk about Auburn and how overrated the Tigers are going into this season.
Everything that Tom Fornelli wrote about Auburn being overrated is correct. Like Fornellli stated, since winning the national championship in 2013, Auburn has an overall record of 23-16. Auburn’s record in SEC play in that same time period is 11-13. Not good. Not good at all. So after Malzahn’s first year at Auburn, the Tigers have failed to win double digit games.
Now before all of the Auburn fans reading this go completely bonkers on me, I do believe that Auburn is going to be good this year. My primary reason for believing this is due to the addition of Jarrett Stidham at quarterback.
But, and you knew there would be a “but,” I don’t trust Malzahn. Malzahn isn’t a coach that I can trust at the present time based on his track record that has previously been discussed. It’s also difficult to put my faith in any coach who coaches in the SEC West who isn’t named Saban. And third, and this is the biggest reason for my lack of faith in Auburn this season, is the psyche of the team.
No, I’m not a trained counselor and I can’t remember the last time that I stayed at a Holiday Inn. But I don’t have faith in the psyche of the team because they have to know that they are playing for Malzahn’s job this year.
An Auburn coach doesn’t average 7.6 wins over the past three seasons and possess job security. Malzahn is on the hot seat in 2017. I know it. You know it. And his team knows it. And with some big name coaches currently sitting the 2017 season out – I’m looking at you Chip Kelly and Bob Stoops – the incentive to make a bold move as soon as possible will be on the minds of administrators at a few schools. Just look at the SEC alone. Auburn, Tennessee, and Texas A&M are all believed to have coaches who are on thin ice. You wouldn’t want to be the odd program out if coaches of that caliber wouldn’t even listen to your pitch.
The schedule for Auburn isn’t great, but it’s not bad. I’m going to ignore that September 9 game at Clemson. Win or lose, it’s a non-conference game. The Tigers can lose that game and still win the SEC. That game has no bearing on Auburn’s playoff hopes. That September 23 game at Missouri will be a big one for Malzahn and his team. For starters, they have to win that game. Second, they have to win that game by a lot. If they squeak out a win in Columbia, MO., the confidence that Auburn fans have in their Tigers will be shaky. Lose that game and Malzahn should contact his real estate agent about placing his house on the market.
Circle three dates on your schedule if you’re an Auburn fan; October 14, October 21, and November 4. The Tigers play road games at LSU, Arkansas, and Texas A&M. Lose any of those games and any hope of winning the SEC West is arguably out the door. If that winds up being the case, that season ending Iron Bowl will be for nothing more than bragging rights.
There’s a lot on the line for Auburn in 2017. The Tigers are talented and have a reasonable schedule. But I don’t trust them to win the SEC West.
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E-mail Seth at seth [dot] merenbloom [at] campuspressbox [dot] com or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.
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