Monday, October 13, 2008

Apocalypse Now Redux

Unfortunately, the above title is not only a great DVD, but also the best way to describe the sad state of affairs known as Auburn football. It’s the same story in a different year- the offense is one of the worst in football and Tommy Tuberville is on the hot seat. While rationale people could reasonably disagree about what should be done with Tubs, I herby argue it’s too early to make a final determination at this point in the season and he should be given until the end of the season before any final decisions are made.

No matter how one feels about the current situation one thing is for sure, Auburn must show signs of improvements this season for Tuberville to keep his job. While I do not agree with that premise, it appears to be the reality of the situation. The Auburn offense has been in a steady state of decline for several years. The past five seasons the offense has had the following ranking nationally in total offense- 25th, 37th, 76th, 97th, and this year 104th.

Tuberville obviously realized the decline and that is why he chose to use the spread offense this season. However, no matter what type of offense a team runs, a coach should be willing to adjust to the players and talent he has. It is obvious this is not happening at Auburn. Otherwise, Auburn would be running the ball out of the I-formation and throwing the ball down the field using play action pass. Maybe some spread could be thrown in there, but the team strength is obviously not the passing game which the spread requires plenty of to be successful.

Tommy Tuberville has earned himself the right to coach his way out of the current mess he is in. I believe he must do the following things to be successful:

(1) Move the QB back under center and maximize the talent that is currently on the team. With Auburn entering a bye week, the team should have enough time to implement a new offense.

(2) Bench Chris Todd until he is healthy enough to play his best.

(3) Bring in several new offensive coaches for the 2009 season.

If he refuses to make any adjustments and the offense continues to falter then a change should be made. One way or the other, it’s much too early to make a final decision on the fate of Tubs at this point in the season. To further complicate matters, if Tubs were fired this season he would be owed a buyout of 6 million. So, not only would Auburn have to pay 6 million to Tuberville, they would also have to pay a new coach.

Any decent coach would run around at around 2 million. I'm not sure it's equitable to get rid of any coach when your program would have to come up with at least 8 million dollars in a matter of months. Let’s see what he does against the toughest and most important part of the schedule, "Amen Corner." I wouldn't count him out just yet.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Games of the Week

There are a couple of decent games this week in the SEC.

Tenn. Vs. UGA: The Dawgs are going to be looking for revenge against a struggling Tennessee football team. The Vols have been awful on offense and to make matters worse they are going with a true freshman QB. While it would be hard to imagine them actually playing worse, it's never easy to win on the road in the SEC with a frosh. On other hand, UGA is coming off a bye week and the embarrassment of the Alabama loss. Look for UGA to revenge the loss from last season. Tenn-7 UGA-35

South Carolina Vs. Kentucky: Kentucky gave Alabama all they could handle last week. Don't expect the same effort this week. Steve Superior seems to have the Cocks moving in the right direction. Kentucky's sorry offense will cost them this one. SC-24 Kentucky-13

LSU Vs. FL: I don't understand how the Gators are favorites in this game. If I were in Vegas I'd probably place a bet on LSU. FL has no offensive identity! LSU's defense will win this one for them. LSU-21 FL-17

Arky Vs. AU: Who knows what to expect in this one. Arkansas is the worst team in the SEC and there is really not much good to say about them. On the other hand, Auburn's offense has been the laughing stock of the college football world since installing the spread offense. However, Auburn's defense ranks #2 nationally in scoring defense. Vegas says Auburn is favored by 17, but if they score that many points it would be cause for celebration. Look for the offense to start improving enough to win this one. Arky-10 AU-21

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Quick Update

I've been out of town this week and I don't have my computer with me. I forgot to post the games of the week before I left so I'll give you the scores. Come back Sunday for the full story.

Thursday: Kentucky-24 Cocks-28
Sat: UGA-31 Tenn-21
Sat: FL-31 LSU-30

Season record to date: 3-1

Wins: UGA Vs. AL, USC Vs. UGA, FL Vs. Tenn
Loss: AU Vs. FL

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Thoughts of the Week

By Ernest Faulkner

After taking two-week sabbatical from the blog, I have come back after some things that I thought would happen in college football did and others completely took me by surprise. I will try not to sound like “I told you so” in this column, because let’s face it, I didn’t. However, here we go.

1. A top 10 shuffle was coming.
I never did imagine it on this scale, but after struggling to come up with a deserving top-5 from week to week, it is easy to conclude that this was one of the weakest top 10’s in recent history. Of the former top 10 teams, Oklahoma was simply following its roll of the high scoring bully of the Big 12 until someone came along, Colorado and hit them in the mouth. Like we said from the beginning of the season, Florida’s defense would be a weak point this season because of lack of experience, not talent. Ole Miss exposed it, Auburn capitalized on it. I was surprised by West Virginia’s loss to South Florida simply because the Bulls failed to capitalize on big mistakes at Auburn, forcing a win in overtime despite five turnovers by the Tigers, and beating a down UNC team. South Florida is for real, however, and head coach Jim Leavitt has got the media-dubbed Holy Triumvirate of Rodriguez, Slaton and White figured out. Texas struggled early and often with a new offensive line and the pressure put on QB Colt McCoy, so it was easy to figure someone would catch them. Rutgers was living on its darling status from last year. If you lose to an ACC team this season, a No. 10 you are not. Looking at what is left of the top 10, get ready for more jumbling.

LSU will probably win the SEC, but it has to make it through the rest of its schedule. After a lackluster performance against Tulane, it will only take a hungry team and a lethargic Les Miles bunch to knock the Tigers out of the top spot. USC had its first “We will tease you with the possibility of losing and then win” game of the season and may have more, but is still the most talented team in the Pac-10 and will return to a BCS bowl. Ohio State is overrated and untested. Between Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State and an angry Michigan, someone will knock the Buckeyes out. If anyone has played more uninspired than Wisconsin in the last three weeks, I haven’t seen them. Michigan State is one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten right now, but the Badgers should never let a home game get that close. Somebody is going to slap them while they are sleeping on the field. South Florida and Boston College have earned the right to be in the top 10 more than anybody. They are smart bets to win their conferences, but still have a long way to go to achieve that goal. Kentucky has one against down teams. Give a good secondary and I could beat Kentucky. Music City Bowl, welcome back the Wildcats.

2. Georgia is now where Arkansas was in 2006.
The Dogs have improved a lot over last season and the win at Alabama was signature for this group of players. The reason I compare them to the Hogs of last season is obviously not because Georgia hasn’t realized the forward pass is legal like Houston Nutt – look at Matthew Stafford, they have— but because this is an underestimated team that has found ways to win. UGA still has Tennessee, Florida, Auburn and a Kentucky team will test the young secondary by throwing for 200 passes in a game, so they haven’t won the conference yet, but they might take the East if Mark Richt’s bunch doesn’t make too many mistakes.

3. Alabama, welcome back to Earth.
After hearing The Birmingham News’ Kevin Scarbinsky, all of ESPN and Alabama radio announcer proclaim Bama back, eerily similar to 2005, the Tide is back where we knew they would be, with two consecutive losses. The offense is new and creative, but there is still no experience on defense. No matter how Saban coaches them up, good offenses will exploit the group. Georgia and Florida State burned them all day long with the pass and that is what the rest of the schedule will do as well. Alabama will make one of the SEC’s second tier bowls or even Outback, Cotton or Chik-Fil-a this season, but unlike Scarbinsky’s inflated prognostication of 8-0 before the LSU game, Tennessee and the Bayou Bengal’s are ready to pounce.

4. Auburn, a much improved but long road.
After booing students, no respect from the media and much angst on the Plains, Tommy Tuberville and the Tigers proved they can still win the big game. Auburn did a complete 180 this weekend and brought out the team many expected to see this season. The infusion of freshman talent on the offensive line and the improved play of Brandon Cox keyed the win in Gainesville. However, the Tigers still have many pitfalls ahead of them. Vanderbilt, laugh if you will, is still a trap game. So is Ole Miss, laugh all you want. If the Rebels almost beat Florida, they can beat Auburn. Road trips to Arkansas, LSU and Georgia await and could all be losses, not to mention the Iron Bowl. Auburn is on the right track and could win the remaining games if they played like they did on Saturday. What remains to be seen is if they will.

Auburn vs Florida 2007

Lou Holtz for Senate!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Week 5 Top five Poll

SEC Tailgate Top Five
1. LSU(2) 4-0 3600
1. USC(2) 3-0 3600
3. Oklahoma 4-0 2400
4. Florida 4-0 1400
5. West VA 4-0 600

Other Polls:

AP Top 25
1. USC (43) 3-0 1,601
2. LSU (22) 4-0 1,580
3. Oklahoma 4-0 1,456
4. Florida 4-0 1,417
5. West Virginia 4-0 1,388

USA Today Poll
1. USC (44) 3-0 1,481
2. LSU (8) 4-0 1,438
3. Florida (4) 4-0 1,347
4. Oklahoma (4) 4-0 1,336
5. West Virginia 4-0 1,260