At least I’ll be able to see something from the crappy seat Auburn’ll sell me this year.
Category Archives: Auburn’s Cast of Thousands
Athlon is all in on the Auburn bandwagon, y’all.
Auburn could go from a .500 team in SEC play to a playoff contender. The Tigers are explosive on offense and feature rising star Jeremy Johnson at quarterback to replace Nick Marshall. The defense has to improve after giving up 6.4 yards per play in SEC games last season. With six starters back, Will Muschamp calling the signals and end Carl Lawson back from injury, this group should show marked improvement. And it certainly doesn’t hurt Auburn’s national title hopes that Georgia and Alabama must visit Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2015.
You know, it’s amazing how Ellis Johnson has been reduced to being a complete putz of a defensive coordinator in such a short time. (I do think if Lawson’s healthy, he will make Muschamp look a lot smarter this season.) But I digress.
Can somebody explain why it seems to be taken as an obvious that Auburn’s got some huge advantage playing Georgia at home? Say what you will about Mark Richt’s shortcomings, playing at Auburn ain’t one of ’em. Georgia is 3-2 over the last five games at Jordan-Hare. The two losses came with the weakest team he fielded there (and even that was a struggle that took Cam Newton most of the game before Auburn had control) and a miracle fluke play after Auburn had blown a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter.
While I expect a Malzahn offense to excel, I don’t see it being appreciably better than it was with Marshall. Is Agent Muschamp going to make that big of a difference?
You know – I mean, you just know – when the guy at Auburn responsible for calculating the school’s cost of attendance says something like this…
“This is a financial aid budget,” he said. “This isn’t an athletic scholarship budget.”
You can start with the chutzpah of him questioning how other schools can justify their numbers if you like, but for me, the money shot (see what I did there?) has to be his defense of the $2,858 allotment for transportation costs.
As for transportation, Reynolds attempts to encompass those who live on and near campus in Auburn as well as commuters from Montgomery and Columbus (roughly 100-mile round trips) and Birmingham (over 200 miles round trip), and has to account for some trips home for a school with roughly 40 percent of students coming from out of state, predominantly Georgia.
While a student at Auburn would have to drive over 2,100 miles per month at a rate of 20 miles per gallon with gas being $3 per gallon to account for the $317.56 budgeted for transportation each month by Reynolds, that doesn’t factor in any flying, which would quickly eat into that figure and factor into the average annual cost. [Emphasis added.]
For its size, this must be the busiest goddamned airport in the Southeast. What a lucky coincidence for Auburn’s coaches.
With Auburn’s cost of attendance figure ranking so comparatively high it will naturally be a factor in recruiting, though not as much as of yet.
“We’re not talking about it enough, to be honest with you,” Auburn wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig said in early May. “But it will focused on from me (during the May evaluation period) and that can be used as an advantage. It is what it is.”
Multiple members of Malzahn’s staff said cost of attendance hasn’t come up much on the recruiting trail so far, even during in-home visits last January, but now that it’s set to start they’ll be emphasizing it moving forward.
“It has not been a big issue – yet – but it’s something that over the course of time we will it a big issue because it’s a good issue for Auburn,” running backs coach Tim Horton said. “It’s good for us. That plays well into our hands.”
Greg Sankey, these people aren’t trolling you. They’re daring you.
I know the immediate reaction to this post at Team Speed Kills about underachieving and overachieving teams in the SEC West will be “ooh, Arkansas”, but I can’t help but chuckle over Auburn’s eight wins zeroing out as a Pythagorean differential. After all, isn’t that pretty much what we all said about the Tigers if Gus lost that ginormous rabbit’s foot of his?
And the Tigers’ defensive linemen have plenty to learn as well, with Rodney Garner describing it in precise football terms.
“Just getting them to understand that, hey, yesterday we were back to the one-gap. We’re four down (linemen),” he said. “Now going forward … we want to be able to comingle, so they’ve got to understand, are we two-gapping it or are we single-gapping it? But I think as they get more comfortable with the system and understanding how to apply the technique and the fundamentals to what the calls are, I think they’re going to get better.”
But what is the biggest advantage the 3-4 holds over the 4-3 from a lineman’s perspective?
“You can disguise your pressure. That’s the one thing when I was at Georgia working with (then-defensive coordinator Todd) Grantham, we could disguise so many different ways to bring pressure and to do different things,” Garner said. “And it changes an offense’s blocking schemes, especially if you can comingle; you’re giving them a three-down look, a four-down look and they’ve got to block that thing differently, whether it be in their run game or their pass (protection). How are they going to set their pass (protection)? So it definitely gives you a lot of flexibility.”
Comingle is the new black, I guess.