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  1. This. Gatewood has already been redshirted. Under NCAA rules, he will lose a year of eligibility if he transfers. There is no time to challenge for immediate eligibility like in the post season. Therefore, there is no advantage for him to leave immediately. As for Nix, he could transfer immediately and sit out a redshirt year, but I can't see that as an Auburn legacy.
  2. We play 6 of the top 13 teams, all of the ranked SEC teams including the only two ranked SEC East teams, and have only two ranked SEC East teams as our only two SEC East opponents. Meaning if we are able to win the SEC West, we will likely face a rematch against one of those two SEC East teams, with a likelihood of them being ranked in the Top 10 again. I cannot believe there is any other team that has a tougher schedule than ours at this point.
  3. This. OMac was the perfect complement for Cam. What was more impressive was how we tended to use OMac in the first half, and then after the defense was worn out running east and west, we ran Mike Dyer between the tackles in the second half, only to throw OMac back in for a change up once or twice. We were able to do the change ups some with Corey Grant in 2013 and 2014, but Nick Marshall was a edge threat better teamed with inside runners like Tre Mason and CAP.
  4. All true, but also true in 2017 the offense worked pretty well after we reshuffled the offensive line, producing 51, 49, 44, 23, 52, 42, 40, and 26 points in SEC play. The only loss being the 23 point effort at LSU. I think we might have done better in 2018 had we not lost so much on the offensive line, but the OL losses and the loss of KJ killed Stidham's confidence, which led to Gus getting too conservative. I watched some of those 2018 games, and even mediocre competition like Southern Miss was eating up our OL. This year is all on Gus. The defense should keep us in every game. The OL should be much more mature than last year. The RBs are more experienced, and the WRs are solid.
  5. Perhaps DC had good advice that CGM ignored. But DC also is the one who lobbied CGM to keep Duke Williams on the team and make Williams the starter. That proved to be a very bad call by DC. Watching the aftermath of the Texas A&M - LSU game last year suggests DC still has a long way to go.
  6. They hired Dabo. He was on no one's radar as a prospective head coaching candidate. They kept Dabo after a 6-7 losing season in 2010. I agree if Dabo left tomorrow, they would not promote a position coach to replace him.
  7. The premise of the commentary is spot-on. Donors are reluctant to contribute because they see the program as stagnant or declining, and becoming a perennial 4th place in the SEC West program, especially having to play UGA every year and now with the potential of Texas A&M rising, and LSU's historic strength against Auburn, even in years where LSU is mediocre. Historically, 3 SEC losses puts you at 3rd or 4th place in the West, and 4 SEC losses puts you at 4th or 5th place in the West. Here is where we have ranked in the SEC West during Gus's tenure as a head coach: 2013 - 1st Place - 1 SEC Loss 2014 - 4th Place - 4 SEC Losses 2015 - 7th Place - 6 SEC Losses 2016 - 2nd Place - 3 SEC Losses 2017 - 1st Place - 1 SEC Loss 2018 - 5th Place - 5 SEC Losses We have to play Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, and UGA every year. Split those, and we have two losses in the West, and are looking at a 2nd place finish. Bat .750 and we have one loss, and are competing to go to Atlanta, and even if not, might be in contention for the CFP. Bat .250 and we have three losses and a likely 3rd place finish, and are not in the Playoff picture. It is a murder's row compared to those "other Tigers" to the east, on the lake. And it is a tougher path than anyone in the SEC East. But it is our reality. Beat UGA and Bama, like we did in 2017, and we are a contender even with two losses. Few teams have that opportunity. Auburn is high risk, high reward. What the donors are missing is if Gus does poorly and is fired, do you want his replacement to start with nothing? If we started the football only facility it means better recruiting, and a better prospective candidates to replace Gus. It just does. These donors are cutting off their nose to spite their face. They are not setting only Gus up for failure. They are setting Gus' prospective replacement up for failure. We invested in the program in bad times in the past. Investing in the program is about the future, not the present.
  8. I still don't know how we played so well against Washington only to play so poorly the rest of the season. I would also argue our 2018 offense was worse than a typical post-2014 Malzahn offense. We went very conservative in both the running and passing game. In 2018 we had a bad offensive line, and we ran far too many standard inside zone running plays, which our OL simply could not execute. We had some RPO plays which were an inside zone run combined with quick hitch or bubble screen, which put the pass play defender in conflict, but did not put a run play defender in conflict, which meant the line was blocking the same as a standard inside zone, and they simply did a poor job at it. Had we dusted off some of those traditional Malzahn power running plays, we might have had some more success. 2018 was a strange season. It reminded me of 2015.
  9. The thing about the "Miracle in Jordan Hare" 2013 UGA game was earlier Ricardo Louis ran into somebody in the backfield, causing us to have to punt. There was plenty of bad luck in the game on Auburn's side to go with the good luck, and plenty of good luck on the UGA side to go with their bad luck.
  10. I think everyone watching the game except for the Auburn coaching staff was expecting a fake punt. Perhaps because it was FSU, and many of us recall the days of Bobby Bowden who often pulled trick plays. My complaint is we did not defensively anticipate FSU's halftime adjustments. They went to short drop, quick passing game mainly over the middle.
  11. I want to add this link to explain my comment above that CCL called a poor game against LSU. This article about NFL passing defenses starts with numbers analysis, but then goes in depth on LSU's Dave Aranda's "Creeper" defense. Reading this explained what I saw in the LSU game. Auburn, terrified of an LSU blitz, went maximum protection keeping in some cases, a tight-end, the H-Back, and the RB in pass protection (8 total players in pass protection), and only sending two receivers on routes. In other cases we went with 7 in pass protection and sent three receivers on routes. In many of those cases, LSU dropped out of a blitz, and dropped most of its defenders into coverage. It did occasionally rush 5, but mostly rushed 4. Our max-protect was just that. There was no read for the pass protectors to see if there was no defender coming, and if not go out on a route. And in many cases, the result was Stidham just had to throw the ball away, or perhaps LSU got to him with 5-man rush against our 7 or 8 pass protectors. CCL read Kirby Smart's UGA defense like a cheap novel and ate him alive (Gary Danielson's chalkboarding UGA's blitz from the defenses right side, saying "here it comes", then AU dials up the screen pass to KJ to the offenses left side--how embarrassing that must have been to Smart). But to put it simply, Aranda is perhaps the most innovative defensive coach since Saban. We need a plan to deal with this. The next big thing in defense could end the NFL's 'pass rush v. coverage' debate
  12. The idea of an offensive minded coach calling offensive plays, or a defensive minded coach calling defenses is not unusual. Sure, it can be called "micromanaging". But it also can be called smart, when it works. Spurrier comes to mind on offense, Pruitt yelling to the DB what to look for at last year's AU game was held up as an example of good coaching. I don't know what has gone wrong over the years at AU. Chip Lindsey introduced some plays which did not work well, and introduced some very innovative plays as well (see below). He called some exceptional games (first 2017 UGA meeting) and some poor games (2018 LSU). My hope is CGM and CKD will build a playbook which gives us the greatest chance of success, analyze opposing defenses well (as well as CCL did with UGA's defense in the first 2017 meeting), and CGM makes his play calls with reason and without ego. I was rewatching the 2017 UGA game, and saw this RPO. It builds off of the Inside Zone Read Option, with a back side read, with the QB outside run replaced with the swing pass to the jet sweep back. Or you could describe it as an Outsize Zone Read Option with a front side read, but instead of the inside running option being the QB, and the outside running option being a mesh handoff, the inside option is the RB, and the outside running option is a swing pass to the jet sweep back. Either way it pressures both the inside and the edge, and puts an edge defender in conflict. This play is dangerous, because if mistimed or misread, it can lead to a Pick 6 by the edge defender, or if the ball is pulled and the the pass is defended, it leaves the QB to eat the ball. But if well executed, and if the WRs block well, it can easily pick up a good chunk of yardage. Also, if it is run a few times with modest success, it pulls the edge defender away from the inside run by forcing hesitation. All without putting the QB at risk as a ball carrier. All in all, this is a very clever play. The pass is behind the line of scrimmage, and happens immediately, so there is no risk of a downfield lineman, even under NFL rules. The one downside is since the QB is not a running threat, it is an 11 defenders on 10 offensive players situation.
  13. This is eerily similar to the Washington game to start the 2018 season. Washington had many strengths, and indeed put many into the NFL draft last year, but was at best an equal match to us, and we simply had a better game plan. Our DL will be one of the top DLs in the country, if not the best. We have both Derick Brown and Marlin Davidson coming back. Yes, there are questions on depth on the interior line, and questions about the edge (Buck). However, Brown and Davidson should be better than last year. As should every other returning player. I actually think the difference could be in our pass-rushing packages where we are likely to put Coe on the inside along with Brown and Davidson, along with either Moultry, Bryant, or Jibunor on the edge to put our four best pass rushers on the field at the same time. As Kevin Steele put it before the Washington game: "Offensive linemen wake up from a nightmare looking and seeing 5, 3! Can’t sleep on the plane!" 5 and 3 are still here, and PAC-12 OLs are still going to have nightmares.
  14. My favorite Jeff Burger play was from the 1986 Tennessee game. The year prior, Tennessee beat Auburn pretty badly in Knoxville. We were out for revenge, and were beating UTK handily. We drove down to the Tennessee 1-yard line with only a few seconds remaining. Burger's roommate, Stacy Searles, said something like "If you take a knee, I will beat your butt" to Burger in the huddle. Burger took the snap, and did not take a knee. Instead he kind of shuffled around just behind the line. UTK's defense just stopped, perhaps thinking Burger had taken a knee. Searles could be seen pointing to the endzone and yelling at Burger. There was a giant hole in the line, and Burger sprinted in the endzone for another touchdown. Pat Dye was not pleased.
  15. I think naming the press box in Plainsman Park after Rod would be a good idea. He had more time in that press box than any other, and he continued to call baseball even after taking over football and basketball.