When the rabbit’s foot deserts you

This is harsh.

There’s a real chance that Gus Malzahn, who enters the season on the hot seat, doesn’t make it out of September with his job. That’s because there’s a real chance that the Tigers, who open the season with four home games, start 0-4 on the year against Clemson, Arkansas State, Texas A&M, and LSU. Yes, Arkansas State, a team that is exponentially better than the Jacksonville State team that almost beat Auburn on the Plains last year. What issues appear solved heading into the season? The defense, outside of Carl Lawson, isn’t noticeably improved, and the quarterback situation is anything but settled — they’ll either roll with Sean White again or go with John Franklin III instead of Jeremy Johnson. Franklin, a junior college transfer, left Florida State because he wasn’t deemed good enough to be the fourth-string QB. They also have only one running back with collegiate experience and lost their two leading receivers from 2015. The makings of a bounce back do not appear to be in place — there’s a real chance Auburn finishes in last place in the SEC West again in 2016.

Dayum.  Even I’m not that down on Auburn’s chances this season — although I reserve the right to change my mind if Lawson goes down again.

78 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

78 responses to “When the rabbit’s foot deserts you

  1. dawgtired

    You must realize that many of us are enjoying the anticipation of Auburn sucking. I can only hope the season plays out as gloomy for them as some think it will. I hope my ill will toward them doesn’t bite me in the karma.

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  2. The other Doug

    There is a lot of talent wandering around on the Plains. I’m not sure Gus knows how to use it though. He was an offensive genius with Cam Newton and Nick Marshall, but he seems to be struggling to put a serviceable unit on the field now.

    Auburn losing to Arkansas State? I like the sound of that.

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    • Go Dawgs!

      I’d certainly love it, BUT I am not holding my breath. Arkansas State is not capable of beating Auburn this year. I suppose it’s conceivable that they could start 1-3, but I don’t know that I anticipate A&M going into Jordan-Hare and getting that win, either. Home field is big, and Auburn’s got it in these games. I think they’ll be fine.

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  3. The dumpster fire continues. Even the laughing three-legged East Alabama jackrabbit is in flames. Burn, baby, burn.

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  4. Auburn did pretty well with cornerback at QB, so FSU’s fourth string cast off will probably do okay. I think they split September and November. The difference between 6-6 and 8-4 is what they do in October at MSU, vs Arkansas, at Ole Miss. I would be giddy pleasantly surprised if Auburn did a faceplant, though.

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    • Franklin is fast, but he’s smaller than Marshall and doesn’t have nearly as strong an arm, either. Not to mention he hasn’t won the job yet.

      Between the QB situation, a difficult schedule and being on the third DC in three seasons, I’m not convinced eight wins is doable.

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      • ASEF

        Franklin split the QB job at a community college.

        He had 38 completions in 70 attempts against community college competition.

        He had 733 yards rushing in 9 games against community college competition.

        Not exactly “man among boys” stats.

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        • 83dawg

          Did you see ‘Last Chance U’?

          That kid can really really run the ball. He could also throw INT’s like Ramsey. The Coaches went with their version of Lambert as the starter for the season. QB1 is out of football and working on his degree at Miss State. QB2 might start for Auburn.

          Life is funny like that.

          (We should see Ollie in Sanford 09/10 this year if nothing has happened to him).

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          • Yes – I watched Last Chance U and he really didn’t split the job with a guy who is no longer playing college football. He was beaten out by a guy who is no longer playing college football.

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      • So being on a third coordinator, having a difficult schedule, and having an unsettled qb situation makes you convived 8 wins isn’t very doable. That does not bode well for Georgia then.

        I would love to be wrong, but auburn has too much talent to lose 6 games. Their offensive line (from all the stud Georgia recruits they swiped in 2015) is going to be a lot better and the qb will benefit.

        I think this is a classic case of Auburn defying expectations, which they do seemingly every year.

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        • I’m not trying to be one, but have you looked at Auburn’s strength of schedule? To compare it with Georgia’s is a stretch.

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          • I can’t argue against your point there – Auburn’s schedule is a nightmare. But you can make a case that a) Georgia has a plenty tough schedule (SEC + two Power 5), and b) has even the same problems listed above and lacks Auburn’s talent/depth on the lines.

            I’m not picking Auburn to win the West, but I think they play Bama and LSU close, beat Ole Miss, lose to Clemson (too early on schedule) and may beat UGA. They’re def underrated right now and have WAY too much talent to be a 6-8 loss team.

            All that said, I’d love nothing more in life than to be entirely wrong.

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        • sUGArdaddy

          They have recruited on the level of Bama, LSU, UGA and Clemson…and all those teams are on the schedule. Plus A&M, Miss St., Ole Miss (who has recruited pretty well, too), and Arkansas. That’s 8 games that are very losable. They are lucky to get Vandy this year from the East.

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          • RandallPinkFloyd

            Even Chuck Oliver is down on Auburn this year. Said their LB corps is Miss. State weak, no answer at QB, and the schedule is brutal.

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            • Cojones

              Chuck Oliver continues to be around? I want to see his picks before I dip into the pool next week because the opposite of his picks will be the teams to select.

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        • Have you been keeping up, dude? Too much talent to lose?
          Would somebodyrefresh my memory, please? Didnt they lose 6 games like, last year? Lost 6 and damn near got beat by Jacksonville State!
          And that was before they lost their best two RB’s, both of their top WR’s, and most of their O-line.
          Too much talent?
          Either keep up or wake up, because your perspective seems a bit fuzzy to me.

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            • Cojones

              Your honest assessment isn’t taken as a downer. Your points are valid and maybe we should open our eyes more instead of making them as slits when discussing Auburn. Teams and fans can set themselves up when revenge is so close and one can taste it before every game with them. I certainly fall into that category.

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  5. Athens Dog

    Be still my beating heart

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  6. BMan

    I view Gus similarly to Paul Johnson in hoping they stay in their current roles forever. I love the sideline shots of Gus when he has run out of ideas beyond cranking his hand in the “hurry up” gesture.

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  7. Bigshot

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of folks in my opinion. But remember when Auburn is suppose to be good they are bad and vice versa.

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  8. ASEF

    I’m thinking this year’s under hype is about as bad as last year’s over hype. 8-5 when everyone picked you to win the SEC is bad.
    8-5 when everyone picks you to be fired before Halloween is good.

    They have quality depth on the offensive and defensive line. Or should, based on recruiting metrics. That sets a pretty comfortable floor for this team, doesn’t it?

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    • Timphd

      But they also have Rodney coaching the D-line which may negate the talent there. Good recruiter but seems way underachieving as a coach. Look at the players he coached who were midling players who hit the NFL as stars.

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  9. paul

    How many folks are they still paying that no longer work there? Can they actually afford to fire Gus?

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  10. Timphd

    The only thing better than an Auburn dumpster fire is a Gator dumpster fire. If only the Gods aligned and they both burn in the same season my life is good.

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  11. Jeff Sanchez

    I still can’t believe they talked Derrick Brown and Kyle Davis into going there. Boggles the mind

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  12. tbia

    I kind of think Malzahn is kind of a Neuheisel-ish coach. Decent on the xs and os, but could not care less about strength and all the other trenches stuff. Thinks he can always outscheme you.

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    • They’ve recruited substantially Bette than us on the lines over the past 4 years.

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      • dawgtired

        You stirred my interest. I had to see for myself. Per Dawgs247 –

        2016 Aub – DL (1)5star, (5)4star, (1)3star – OL (1)3star
        2016 UGA – DL (4)4star, (1)3star – OL (1)4star, (2)3star

        2015 Aub – DL (1)5star, (1)4star, (2)3star – OL (4)4star, (1)3star
        2015 UGA – DL (1)5star, (5)4star, (2)3star – OL (1)4star, (3)3star

        2014 Aub – DL (4)4star, (1)3star – OL (1)4star, (1)3star
        2014 UGA – DL (1)5star, (2)4star – OL (3)4star, (1)3star

        2013 Aub – DL (2)5star, (2)4star – OL (2)3star
        2013 UGA – (2)4star, (3)3star – OL (3)3star, (1)2star

        Aub has done some better on DL but like us, they have not been world beaters on the OL recruiting.

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  13. DawgPhan

    It’s fun to mock Auburn, but there is a significant portion of our fan base would would happily trade places with them so they could get those 3-4 extra games that they played in a couple of years ago.

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  14. Biggus Rickus

    Eh, they’ll end up being a middling team. They were in most of their losses last year, and MSU, Arkansas and Ole Miss should take a step backward. They are nowhere near a Western Division title, but they’ll probably end up 8-4 or 7-5 and 5-3 or 4-4 in the conference.

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  15. saildawg

    If you have netflix, I urge you to watch Second Chance U. It profiles last season at East Mississippi JUCO. Not only is it very entertaining football documentary, it gives you a good idea of the type of player John Franklin III is. He is talented, but I came away very unimpressed with his mental approach to the game, and his general overall attitude. He never won the starting job, and seemed to struggle grasping the concepts of the offense. He is an excellent runner, if Gus can max out his running potential he could be successful. I get the feeling if he does not have early success he will mentally quit though.

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  16. Russ

    Art Briles approves of this post.

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  17. Rusty

    Sweeet.
    Auburn being pounded into the dust.=Good Times. I live and work among them.

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  18. LamNURSE

    The next coach at Auburn is…. Lane Kiffin

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  19. And Gus buzz claimed he was ready to name a starter, LOL.

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  20. JCDAWG83

    I’d like to see them go 8-4 with losses to us, Bama, LSU and Ole Miss. That would be good enough for Gus to keep his job but not good enough to help their recruiting. We don’t need Gus leaving and them getting an actual good coach.

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    • PTC DAWG

      0-12 would be my choice….🙂

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      • DawgPhan

        sers. The last year of cheese dick on the plains was a lot of fun. Love heading to an away game when the other team’s entire campus/stadium feels like they’ve been run over by a truck. twice.

        Auburn sucks.

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  21. Macallanlover

    Still feel Clemson -7 against AU on the plains is the best bet of the opening weekend. Might as well build your stash for the season on that one. Other games scare me with so little known before one game played. I feel differently about these two teams, they are who we think they are (I hope.)

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    • RandallPinkFloyd

      I like the under in the game, too. Think I heard 59.5 yesterday. Don’t think Auburn can score enough points to hit the over on that one. But yea, Clempson -7 seems like stealing.

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  22. Michael

    Dunno how you write a paragraph about how Auburn is going to disappoint this year without mentioning Kevin Steele. If Malzahn gets fired, then the biggest reason will be his QB recruiting and then the second reason will be hiring Steele. The same was true for Richt, just replace Steele with Schottenheimer.

    By the way, the author lost me with this sentence:

    “The spot could easily belong to Michigan or Ohio State, as all three teams have the same problem — massive attrition — but Michigan State is the worst recruiter of the three elite teams, so Sparty is going to take the fall on this one.”

    Michigan’s attrition consists of the QB, one offensive lineman, two fullbacks, one defensive end, two linebackers, and a safety. The reason why they’re picked so high this year is that they have a ton of talent coming back. Next year, they’ll have massive attrition because they’re starting 15 seniors this year and Peppers is likely to go pro.

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  23. D.N. Nation

    How does Auburn get these ridiculous schedules? 8 home games, including 5 in a row to start the year?

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    • OrlandoDawg

      4 non-conference games, all at home, and 4 home conference games. They don’t have 2 neutral site games like a certain team we know. Payback comes when they go on the road to Georgia and Alabama to close the season.

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  24. Cojones

    Somewhere there’s a 3-footed rabbit smiling.

    And, in case some of you have forgotten, Aaron Murray owned their ass. He always outscored them, just as he did immediately before the immaculate reception – we needed a score with a minute and a half and he produced. He had nothing to do with what happened in the last tip drill gone awry. What a sweet memory we have of the revenge game the following year.

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  25. PTC DAWG

    AU is not worthy of this blog.

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  26. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Lane Kiffin at Auburn? Fantasy Dawgporn if ever there was any. Fun to think about. Could Kiffin snag a couple of Bama kids as graduate transfers? Saban-Kiffin throw down would be fun, no doubt.

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