Monday, July 13, 2009
Fear and Loathing In Auburn, Alabama: Predicting the 2009 Season
for the first time since Tommy Tuberville's first season Auburn fans are entering a college football season with more fear and loathing than Hunter S. Thompson on 5 hits of acid and wielding salt shaker full of cocaine.
and for good reason. on offense we've got No defined starter at QB, a thin offensive line, a bunch of useless wide receivers, and a stable of good but not elite runningbacks. on defense we replace both starting defensive tackles and 2 linebackers. we also lost our best cornerback to the draft and have a serious issue with experience among all the backups. it's no wonder that Auburn has been almost unanimously picked to finish in 5th place in the SEC West with anywhere between 5 and 7 wins for the year.
okay so worst case scenario from the experts is SEASON OF DEATH Part 2: Electric Boogaloo....and best case = a good season for Kentucky football? yeah...that's where we are right now, which is kind of insane when you think about a team that went undefeated just 5 years ago and was a top 10 team the 2 years following that and last season was predicted to win the SEC West. so did the wheels really just fall off or was last year just one of those perfect storms of FAIL that happen to almost every program every now and again?
sadly i don't have any answers.....so i went and asked a Wizard and the Wizard gave me his predictions for the 2009 Auburn Tigers Football Season:
Kodi Burns will be named the starter for the season opener following fall practices that still result in no clear cut winner at the QB position. Burns experience and athletic ability are what win him the job. Caudle however will get a chance should Burns struggle.
Week 1 vs. La Tech: Auburn plays a sloppy offensive game where Burns fails to generate any kind of a passing offense. Ben Tate however is able to generate a strong rushing attack and Auburn wracks up over 150 yards on the ground and a few touchdowns as well as some key field goals in the 4th while the defense is able to hold La Tech to just 1 touchdown and a field goal. Auburn wins 20-10. the Chizik era gets it's first win but the fans are not happy with Burns or the new offense. many cries of "the Spread is Dead" and "bench Burns" are launched from the sections of the fanbase with the attention span of a gnat.
Week 2 vs. Miss St: after a sloppy game vs. La Tech the Tigers are looking to get the Spread Eagle 2 up and running vs the seriously talent deficient Bulldogs of Mississippi State. Auburn is able to exploit State's lack of experience and their own QB problems and roll to a big victory...31-6. suddenly Auburn fans are starting to believe in Coach Chizik and the new regime.
Week 3 vs. West Fucking Virginia: following their embarrassment in Morgantown last season Auburn is looking to get some payback in 09 vs the Mountaineers. Noel Devine runs wild on the Tigers defense for almost 200 yards...but QB Jarrett Brown is a little too giving with the football and the Tiger's D is able to get some momentum killing turnovers. Burns and Tate both have big games running the football and H-Back Mario Fannin catches a touchdown pass late in the 4th as Auburn squeaks out a win 17-14. Auburn is 3-0 and has beaten a quality team...some insane people even think they'll be able to compete for the division....
Week 4 vs. Ball State: Auburn finishes up their home stand with a all out beatdown of Ball State 38-3 and Onterio McCalebb announces his presence with authority with two 50 yard + touchdown runs. Neil Caudle even gets some playing time in the 2nd half and connects with freshman DeAngelo Benton for a touchdown. Auburn is 4-0 and even i am starting to think maybe they aren't so fucking bad. the world is back to normal.....
Week 5 @ Tennessee: all those good feelings and positive vibes go down in flames as the Auburn Tigers get their asses kicked by a dominating defensive performance by the Vols. Kodi Burns throws 3 interceptions...1 of them returned for a score by Eric Berry and Tennessee's talented freshmen duo decimates the Auburn front 7. a punt return touchdown by Mario Fannin and a field goal in the 4th are Auburn's only points as the Tigers fall hard 28-10.
Week 6 @ Arkansas: reality begins to set in for Auburn fans when the Tigers get their butt's kicked again by a lethal Arkansas offense. Ryan Mallet picks the secondary apart for almost 300 yards and 3 touchdowns in the air and Michael Smith adds another score in the 4th to ice the game. Burns struggles again with 2 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. Fannin and McCalleb both cough up fumbles giving Auburn 4 turnovers on the day and only a Ben Tate touchdown and a fumble return for a score by the defense result in any points. Auburn loses 28-14. they are now 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the SEC. the fans are calling for Burns' head.
Week 7 vs. Kentucky: with Auburn back vs. a weak Kentucky team the coaches decide to make the switch and Neil Caudle is named the starter against the Wildcats. the Auburn passing game has a spark and Caudle is able to exploit the lousy Kentucky defense for 2 touchdowns. Ben Tate and Mario Fannin both add touchdowns on the ground and the defense gives a solid performance after the two bad showings on the road. Auburn wins 31-13.
Week 8 @ LSU: noone in America gives Auburn any kind of chance against LSU...but like every game in this series this one is another classic. neither defense can seem to stop either team's rushing attack and Auburn takes a 21-17 lead into the 4th quarter and drives the football down the field setting themselves up for a game clinching touchdown...unfortunately Neil Caudle throws a costly interception and LSU drives down the field for a go ahead score 24-21. Auburn has the ball back with a few minutes left and is able to get in field goal range to tie the game and send it into overtime but Wes Byrum misses a 33 yarder wide right and i throw my television out the window and swear off watching LSU games ever again.
Week 9 vs. Ole Miss: following the heart breaker to LSU the Tigers must get themselves together for a big Halloween showdown against Ole' Miss. the Rebels haven't exactly lived up to their preseason top 10 expectations but are still favored over the Tigers by 3. this is the ESPN Saturday night game and Jordan-Hare fans are rocking. Auburn gives it's best team performance of the year and shocks Ole Miss with a 20-13 upset making the Tigers bowl eligible and giving fans some hope again.
Week 10 vs. Furman: it's blowout city vs. Furman as the Tiger score 49 points and gain almost 500 yards of total offense. 7 wins and the two biggest games of the year are left.
Week 11 @ UGA: Auburn finally gets some good luck against the Dawgs who jump out to an early lead but then suddenly become turnover prone in the 2nd half allowing Auburn to get back into the the game and claim their 8th win of the year in a 31-28 nailbiter.
Week 12 vs. Alabama: the Tide are looking to start their own winning streak vs. Auburn and the Tigers are looking to avenge the embarrassment of last year's Iron Bowl. unfortunately the Tide still has an advantage in defensive talent and the Auburn offense can't seem to generate any kind of a running game. Caudle gives a solid performance but the Tigers come up short losing to the Tide 24-13.
Auburn finishes the regular season at 8-4. (4-4 in the SEC/ tied for 4th in the West with Ole Miss) and earns a trip to Atlanta to play North Carolina in the Chik-Fil-A bowl. Auburn fans are mostly happy with the way this season went and optimism is high for 2010.
So yeah, that's what my optimistic Wizard friend told me...what are your predictions?