O Auburn, where art thou?

Is Auburn in decline?  Bill Connelly’s chart would seem to suggest so.

If you’re looking for the English translation,

If you completely remove 2010 from the chart above, you get a pretty clearly defined, seven-year downward trend. That Auburn not only bucked its trend and played at an elite level in 2010, but won a national title, is still just the damnedest thing.

Of course Matt Hayes would tell you that’s just the result of playing Georgia every year.



Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Stats Geek!

36 responses to “O Auburn, where art thou?

  1. Shoulda kept Hugh Nall. Tuberville BBQ boy or not, their OL has sucked since all his boys graduated after the national championship.

    Kind of like after Van Gorder left, all was good until the LBs he trained graduated.


  2. Their 2010 season is a testament to what a great QB can do (Newton was probably the best QB in the SEC in the past 15 years or so, going back to Manning), but it was also the luckiest season I can remember. They won so many close games. You win a few, and you can say you’re a gritty team. You win as many close ones as they did, and luck has have played a role.


  3. Yes you are correct. When you practice deception like Auburn did in 2010, you cannot expect to recruit fine boys to play for you. Their Mama’s won’t let them be associated with such.


  4. Dawg in Beaumont

    Certainly no Alabama fan, but I can’t help but laugh at the fact that the Tide has won 2 national titles since Auburn last won an SEC game.


  5. Who knows what would have happened in 2010 if Bobo had not gone into his shell in the 2nd quarter when we had them on the ropes? I’m not saying we would have won, but we had them absolutely reeling.


    • Macallanlover

      They were on the ropes several times that year, UGA, Clemson, and especially against Bama in Tusky….I think another time, maybe WVA? It almost seems like destiny when you combine the Houdini acts on the field and the NCAA dropping their drawers and openly abandoning their principles in front of the entire CFB world. Sad year for the college game, the SEC, and particularly Auburn. I think everyone is enjoying the monumental collapse on The Plains since, they deserved the Death Penalty more than SMU, or State Penn. Auburn not only had been dirty for years, they openly laughed at everyone as they danced their way to the SEC title.


      • Cojones

        If they have another year like last, they will have simulated the death penalty. They still need a little agony to go along with their demise. Maybe Bobo can just kick their house in this year.


        • The Lone Stranger

          It’s funny you say that, Cojo, because performance-wise you would be hard pressed to come to another conclusion. The Barn has appeared like a bumbling Freshmen squad while yet having its full complement of scholarships, etc. Add to that, UGa revitalized its D-front at their expense. Win-win.


      • I have taken joy in how far they have fallen for exactly that reason. They flaunted the NCAA rulebook and said they were “all in.” The fact that the NCAA didn’t really try to pin anything on them is ridiculous. They show up in Athens with a guilty-until-proven-innocent investigator that summer to get AJ after a report by TMZ and then play the three blind mice with $Cam.


        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          The sorry episode re: $cam and the opposite sorry episode re: AJ will hopefully come back to haunt the NCAA. Ignore a major violation caught red-handed and hammer an innocent sale of personal property that shouldn’t even be against the rules in the first place.


      • Bryant Denny

        Add in a last minute drive to beat Kentucky and I think a decently close game against Mississippi State.

        Oh, and don’t forget the meltdown in Tuscaloosa caused one feller to take it out on some trees.


  6. So they started downhill in 2007. When did Saban come to Bama?


  7. Dawg in Beaumont

    Their main SEC recruiting competitors are UGA and Bama. Something interesting to consider is that all 3 are almost never good in the same season.

    Considering only SEC regular season records:
    Bama 7-1
    UGA 7-1
    Auburn 0-8

    Bama 7-1
    UGA 7-1
    Auburn 4-4

    Bama 5-3
    UGA 3-5
    Auburn 8-0

    Bama 8-0
    UGA 4-4
    Auburn 3-5

    Bama 8-0
    UGA 6-2
    Auburn 2-6

    Bama 4-4
    UGA 6-2
    Auburn 5-3

    Basically, there seems to be 6-10 conference losses that will occur between these 3 teams. While it varies how they get divided up, Auburn has had the historical plurality of those conference losses (going back to the beginning of the SEC, not just this 07-12 period)


    • Normaltown Mike

      “Their main SEC recruiting competitors are UGA and Bama”

      No, no, no. The main recruiting problem for Auburn is the Federal Reserve & the downturn in real estate market in the South.

      Auburn’s player “investments” have not kept pace with inflation. The Federal Reserve’s low rates on T-Bills and T-Bonds coupled with several rounds of Quantitative Easing has increased the money supply exponentially. Simultaneously, Auburn’s investors in player personnel were highly tied to banking, and were thus hit with a severe constriction on available resources for “player development”.

      What Auburn needs to do is get on the gold standard so that they can better attract talent to compete in the SEC.


  8. Derek

    Of all the things to despise Saban for, and there are many, blowing that 24-0 lead to auburn in Tuscaloosa will always be no. 1 on my list.


    • D.N. Nation

      Auburn would have been TKO’d had either of these happened:

      1) Trent Richardson not dropped a wide open TD pass. I mean WIDE open.
      2) Mark Ingram, who basically never fumbled, not fumbled after a long gain. OR, fumble but not fumble it on a line straight to the endzone for a touchback.


      • Bryant Denny

        Thanks to you and Derek for bringing up all the good memories.

        The worst sporting day of my life.


  9. JAX

    I love to see the Auburn family take it up the a$$. A joke of an education and an even bigger joke of a football team. But at least they’ll always have those oak trees at Toomer’s Cor…….errr…….never mind.


  10. Bryant Denny

    It’s a little early for this, but most AU folks think they win 8-9 games this year.

    After all, they did sell out their spring game and they do have another JC quarterback on the way.

    I think they have a fight getting to six.


  11. mdcgtp

    I think Bill’s chart is overly simplistic at the alter of “content”, and this is from someone who LOVES analytics. the time period could easily be extrapolated back to 2002 or 2004, when they had legitimately good to great teams in most all phases of the game. 05-07 were a gentle decline from that standard, in large part (as someone pointed out up top) to less physical line play. arguably, during the early part of their decline from 05-07, they were less physical on both sides of the ball relative to their 2002-2004 teams. that said, we are talking about two different coaching regimes. further, it does not take a rocket scientist to have figured out the discrepancy between Chizik’s record with and without Cam Newton.

    The more interesting question to me is what they become under Malzahn. Malzahn is basically Hugh Freeze who is basically Art Briles who are all poor man’s versions of Chip Kelly and Rich Rodriquez. That said, I am not convinced that any of the three will ever be anything more than more polished and less unattractive versions of Paul Johnson. By that I mean the priority they place on the success on their offense seems to come at the expense of everything else in the program. Further, when they face a team with good defense, the “fake” running yards that those versions of the spread gets from the QB are usually not there. Call me crazy, but that is NOT Auburn’s identity NOR is it what has driven their success. Please don’t mistake my anti-spread stance as “old fartism”. I am simply pointing out that when Auburn has been great, it is usually because they were devastatingly physical on both sides of the ball. Again, it is possible that that is what Malzahn hopes to accomplish within his program, but I am skeptical.


  12. JAX

    Let me add that we’re on a run against Auburn that I haven’t seen in my lifetime, and I was born in ’71. Auburn dominated us in the 80’s and embarrassed us many times in the 90’s, particularly 1999. So to beat the shit out of them multiple years is sweet, sweet juice to me.

    That said, enjoy the run while it lasts b/c it never does. Auburn has too many resources and steals too much talent from other states (Georgia) not be down for long. Plus, they cheat better than any other program in college football. And this is fact, not opinion.