Rabbit’s feet don’t fail me now.

Never one to want to fall behind a trend, ESPN jump starts the Gus Bus 2016 Hot Seat meme.

41 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, ESPN Is The Devil

41 responses to “Rabbit’s feet don’t fail me now.

  1. WarD Eagle

    If Muschamp leaves, the defense will likely regress a good bit. Not to mention the impact on recruiting.

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    • Sh3rl0ck

      Regress a good bit? To the mean or do you think they can get worse?

      I keed, I keed.

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      • Go Dawgs!

        It’s dependent on recruiting, and I think defensive recruiting would suffer quite a bit.

        Muschamp can coach some defense when he’s got the players.

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  2. Derek

    It may be true that your offense thrives or dies on the QB position whether you run spread or a pro-style system. It may also be true that there are more candidates to run the spread because of where HS are trending. It may also be true that the spread is simpler to teach and to execute in a 20 hour work week.

    However, I also believe that the swings are greater in the spread. Does anybody think Auburn was worse off at the QB position than we were? I don’t. But Auburn is 6-6 and we are 9-3.

    I also think that so many teams are going to the spread that finding a spread qb that can succeed at the college level is harder. Finding the best athlete on the team and making sure he touches it every play is an easy formula at the HS level. How many spread qbs are going to be the best player on the field in the SEC? Not many.

    Gus’ system is great if you have a Cam Newton and when you have some facsimile of Cam and you are in a shoot out. But he can’t hold a lead for shit and that’s not just on the defense. The offense can’t control a game the way an offense needs to. I know I may be a voice in the wilderness but put me down as somebody that thinks that Nick Saban is not wrong when he wants to a run a pro-style, balanced offense. Something tells me we should pay a little attention to what is NOT happening at Auburn and what IS happening in Tuscaloosa.

    In short, I don’t want Helton as OC because STATS. Winning football isn’t about stats. Winning football is about dominating the LOS.

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    • That’s why, as much as I hate to say it, Kiffen is more in line with the style of play you’re describing. Given all his flaws, he’s a really good pro style coordinator.

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      • Derek

        I can’t say I’m a big Kiffin fan. The decision to go up top vs. OSU after the short punt with about 10 to play in the 4th, was probably the worst call I’ve seen in a big game since Red Right 88 when Cleveland threw at Lester Hayes when a FG would have beaten Oakland in a playoff game. In 1981. 34 years is a long time to go back to find something equally dumb. (If you want to suggest that Carroll in the SB is in the same class just remember that came LATER.) But I do think that the style of offense at Alabama is more consistent with being a championship team in this conference than Gus’s irrespective of that glaring Kiffin brain fart.

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      • WarD Eagle

        Auburn doesn’t run a spread.

        Re: QBs, UGA was better in every sense…

        http://espn.go.com/college-football/team/stats//id/61/georgia-bulldogs
        http://espn.go.com/college-football/team/stats/
        /id/2/auburn-tigers

        Auburn’s QBs created many, many turnovers whether picks, fumbles, or just not getting it done through the air. Johnson was especially bad and the backup got hurt, leaving nowhere to turn.

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        • Will (The Other One)

          Also true. It’s got tempo, and pre-snap motion, but it’s largely an option offense, and the players are bunched in tight, similar to a Wing-T.

          I still don’t understand why some folks here think spread passing wouldn’t work. Look at our 2009 pro style offense vs OKSt and then look what spread passing Houston did to them the next game. Ask Ole Miss how well they stopped TCU last year in the bowl game.

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          • WarD Eagle

            A spread offense should be almost impossible to stop. All those slant routes kill a defensive backfield and once they try to tighten coverage you run through the gaps left by the LB.

            I guess the fact that not all passes are easy it what keeps it from taking over.

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        • Derek

          I don’t want to get into semantics but, broadly speaking, there are two types of offenses out there right now by whatever name you want to call them. One tries to use the width of the field, the qb as a running threat, and misdirection, i.e., finesse. The other uses the length of the field and physicality, i.e., power football. It isn’t terribly interested in fooling you as much as it wants to run over, through, or past you.

          Again, broadly speaking, the first is “spread” and the second is “pro-style.” I understand that you can be a hybrid of that and OSU does a good job of being both spread and power. UF last year ran a lot of power out of spread looks. Its also true that Paul Brown’s innovations that became the “west coast offense” brings finesse aspects to “pro-style” football.

          While you can’t paint with a broad brush because things are not neatly characterized, the tendency it seems to me is that spread teams are finesse teams and pro-style teams are power teams. I want, first and foremost, to be a power football team. IMHO Gus, is first and foremost, a finesse guy and its not going to work in this league without the perfect qb.

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      • Will (The Other One)

        Bama ran 100 plays vs Ole Miss, and their QB is in shotgun a ton. I can’t remember them lining up in the I-formation outside of short yardage almost all year. Spread concepts and “pro-style” are not mutually exclusive people.

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    • Will (The Other One)

      This is wildly wrong and massively reductive of what a spread offense is.

      Gus’s system only works if you have a running threat at QB and Gus could not adapt his offense to work without one. He was able to do so in 2009, but this season? Not at all.

      Richt and Schotty were wed to a somewhat antiquated idea of “pro-style” that was largely I-formation and fullback, which only works if you have a very good QB. They likewise didn’t adapt the offense to what they have.

      Helton runs a passing-spread (meaning zone read and QB keepers are not key parts of it, it’s more air raid-influenced) that yes, has more tempo and more passes than we do, but has been a lot more successful. Can he adapt based on personnel? I’m not sure. I do know they won a game where the RB got 33 carries for 340 yds and only passed a little last season, but also had a 500 yd passing day, so it’s possible. He’s also Clay Helton’s brother, and that guy seems to mix things up quite well.

      And as for the NFL? Well, the Falcons are running antiquated pro-style with very little no huddle this year. The Panthers and Patriots are running spread-based attacks. Whose offense would you rather have?

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      • Derek

        See above. I still don’t see why people act like the Chris Todd year was good. They went 8-5 (3-5 in SEC play) and that included barely surviving NW in the bowl. I understand these are complicated subjects. I also think that you have to have an identity. Flexibility is all well and good, but you need to have an identity. I don’t really care what you want to call our offense as long as you call it “physical.” We recruit at too high a level to rely on trickery and misdirection. I don’t want to out-think you, I want to dominate you. We should be punishing people. If Helton can make LSU’s d-line fucking lie down and quit, then he’s fine with me. What we did to Clemson in 2014 and what we did to USC in 2013 is what I like to see. Line up. Tell them we’re coming and try and stop it. I did not see much of that when Helton actually played LSU but I also realize there was a substantial difference in personnel.

        As far as Alabama, regardless of their personnel groupings and formations, they are out to bully you with that big back and that o-line. Derrick Henry is NOT a finesse back. He’s a north/south freight train.

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        • roterhals

          Our O-lines have been inconsistent at best, overwhelmed and out-physicaled (??) at worst the last few years. But I agree, that’s where it begins for me as well.

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          • Derek

            No doubt, but that isn’t the intent or the design. It does help to have a qb who can get the Safeties and LB’s from running down hill to stop the run. 5 guys can only block so many.

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    • Derek, you may be the best Xs and Os guy of all the commenters on this site. Enjoy most of your comments like this.

      A couple of things:

      Go back to Auburn 2010 and watch the Kentucky game (for example). Cam could indeed kill the clock.
      Kiffen’s bran snap at the end of the Ole Miss game (calling for a pass after the long Coker run, which resulted in an interception) was the worst call of his Bama career.
      However, the all-time worst play call was OC Bruce Arians calling a pass against Auburn in the ’97 Iron Bowl…which Ed Scissum promptly fumbled. AU kicked a game winning FG moments later.
      Saban’s offense includes all offensive elements including the spread and HUNH. (Well, I guess I shouldn’t say “all,” because I haven’t seen any wishbone or Notre Dame box.)

      BD

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      • Derek

        Killing the clock vs. UK with a 6’5″ 250 LB QB doesn’t necessarily impress. Dominating UK upfront should be easy. Hell this year’s UGA team dominated UK up front.
        I’m sure that there are shit ton of bad decisions that we can find, but where they stick out the most is in the big game. I still can’t fathom why they threw to 88 on the short field with Blake Sims. Why? The momentum had turned. Alabama was winning the LOS and pissed it away.
        Most everybody is incorporating elements of the spread which makes perfect sense. I just think that people get caught up in statistics and forget about the bottom line: winning the game. More times than not, the more physical team is going to get the W.

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        • Point wasn’t specifically about UK…it was that Cam Newton could kills a clock. 🙂 He was virtually guaranteed four yards every time each ran the ball.

          Kiffin also did the same thing with 88 at the end of the Ole Miss game in ’14. I think he said after the game that it worked on Xbox.

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  3. Puffdawg

    “The worst part? Nobody saw it coming.”

    Nobody except every single person in the universe who is not (a) sports media or (b) Auburn fan.

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    • +100 – I know I saw it happening stated it from the beginning. Of course, I was looking at our chances through Red & Black colored glasses.

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    • Will (The Other One)

      Yeah. Who outside of the Auburn fambly didn’t think Gus’s first team was lucky as hell? Beyond the plays vs us and Bama, they also had Johnny Football sit out a series in that game (and he was tearing them apart until the final drive when the pass rush could go after him because he wasn’t a run threat with no timeouts). They were really close to a 3 or 4 loss team and had terrible defense.

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  4. Bright Idea

    Lose to Florida in Knoxville in 16 and Booch climbs aboard the Gus Bus too. Just the way of the world.

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  5. The best line in all of that:

    They have to prove that they can beat the likes of Alabama, LSU and Georgia. Since Malzahn took over, Auburn is just 3-6 against those teams.

    If not for that ole Rabbit’s foot, he’d be sporting zero wins over Georgia and Bama.

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    • 6claude

      Don’t know much about Helton but was under the impression he ran some I/ pro-set stuff mixed with spread concepts? Sort of what Bobo was doing the last couple years? Learned under Petrino?

      I definitely prefer the pro-set but think the offense needs to be able to scheme some spread stuff.

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      • Will (The Other One)

        That’s my understand too. The advanced stats seem to like their offense even more than normal (in contrast to Houston, who appears more smoke/mirrors and poor competition.)

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    • WarD Eagle

      The rabbit’s foot thing is cute, but there’s no arguing Gus can coach. He typicall puts his team in a position to win the game and the only blowout (I remember, and I’m trying to forget this one) was LSU.

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      • Go Dawgs!

        Are we not counting the Georgia game in 2014 as a blowout?

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      • Normaltown Mike

        I think Gus is a good coach but you have to be concerned that he hasn’t grown a QB from short-pants to grown ass man yet.

        Also, the UGA 2013 miracle should not have occurred if Gus had bled the clock in the 2nd half. He panicked early 2nd half and started throwing which gave UGA just enough time to score that last drive.

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        • WarD Eagle

          Agree on the latter and partially on the former.

          On the miracle pass, the receiver nick was supposed to be keying on was wide open beyond the first down.

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      • Nobody’s taking those wins away from him, but you’re also being intellectually dishonest with yourself if you think winning games against rivals like that is sustainable long-term. That’s my point.

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    • Go Dawgs!

      Yeah, his best arguments for keeping his job at this point are the 2013 season which featured a loss to LSU and two miracle wins (which obviously still counted, miracle or no) and being the offensive coordinator on some really powerful teams under Chizik.

      You can’t take away the tip or the kick six, but I think it’s obvious to the Auburn family in retrospect that they were truly lucky to get out of the Georgia game with a win (as we were back in position to score at the end of the game even after the prayer at Jordan-Hare was answered) and might have been lucky to beat Alabama, given that anything can happen in OT and Auburn still may have won if the kick hadn’t gone for six. Yoiu can’t take away 2013 from the man, someone was coaching that team and those games. But the other years were less inspiring and Auburn’s got an itchy trigger finger on coaches. And yes, I realize we don’t have a lot of room to talk there, though we did give Coach Richt 15 years.

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  6. Rick

    I don’t see why we need to beat around the bush. Just fire every coach guilty of not being Nick Saban every year. What’s so difficult about this?

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  7. 69Dawg

    Win or die. Coaching in the SEC has become a blood sport. Maybe we can start each game like the Roman’s did by saluting the Commissioner with the Salute “We who are about to get fired salute you”. What is going to see a lot of head explode will be the SEC getting killed in the bowl games. You saw it last year from the West. After a campaign through the West, they didn’t have enough left in the tank to beat the B1G. We have entered the dreaded NFL AFC East mode. There’s Alabama and then the rest of the West and then the East. ESPN will have mixed emotions given the SEC Network but that won’t keep them from piling on.

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  8. Bulldog Joe

    Guess it was too early to put Coach Richt on the hot seat in Miami.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      in fairness to ESPN, some of our own fans are demanding immediate success by KS and he hasn’t even been announced as HC.

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      • Bulldog Joe

        Wonder what took them so long?

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        • Go Dawgs!

          Good ol’ Jim Donnan is already helping Kirby out. He pointed out on Finebaum that the cupboard isn’t overflowing on Georgia’s roster, at least not at certain positions. Especially if Coach Smart’s staff doesn’t manage to get Eason to campus or recruit a suitable replacement, Georgia’s gonna be struggling offensively in 2016. We’re going to have to do something we don’t do very well: be patient.

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