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Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma verses Auburn


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I didn't even get to watch the second half, it was storming and right before halftime ESPN, and only ESPN, no other channels, **** out and never came back on. I called and got an automated message that there was an outage in the area and they were working on it.

Looks like I didn't miss anything.

Oh, and I fully expect Gus and Rhett to ruin Stidham. 

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10 minutes ago, notthatcool said:


I think the reason Gus' seat isn't hotter is that fortunately his teams haven't had the glaring player discipline issues that plagued Chizik.  I wanted Chizik fired more for how he let Trooper and Luper undermine his authority and let the players get away with murder more than his losses. 

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An ugly Sugar Bowl shows Auburn no longer belongs on the national stage

By Kevin Scarbinsky | kscarbinsky@al.com
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on January 03, 2017 at 3:44 PM, updated January 03, 2017 at 3:46 PM

Let it be recorded that on the last play of the 2016 football season, on the second day of 2017, Auburn threw a touchdown pass. But not just any touchdown pass.

It was a jump pass thrown by a tailback to a tight end, made possible only by spending two timeouts in the final seconds, a little trickeration as a mask on an ugly performance.

Oklahoma 35, Auburn 19 could've been worse. Fortunately for the gassed Tiger defense, Bob Stoops spent garbage time getting Samaje Perrine OU's career rushing record. If Baker Mayfield had been in pursuit of a passing record, there's no telling how high the score may have climbed.

They don't give a trophy for losing to the most Power 5 conference champions in one season, but if they did, Auburn would've earned it. The Tigers started the season by losing to eventual ACC champ Clemson, finished the regular season by losing to eventual SEC champ Alabama and closed the postseason by losing to Big 12 champ Oklahoma.

Combined score of those games: Conference champs 84, Auburn 44. The Tigers mustered a total of three touchdowns in those games, one against Clemson and two against Oklahoma.

If that weren't feeble enough, those touchdowns were scored by Kerryon Johnson, Chandler Cox and Jalen Harris on a pass from Kerryon Johnson.


But hey, if you want to buy the sunshine Gus Malzahn is pumping that the future is bright, be my guest. A more honest forecast wouldn't require sunglasses.

Auburn played in the Sugar Bowl because the SEC had to send someone, but it's become painfully obvious that Malzahn's program no longer belongs on a national stage. Going back to the last time the Tigers truly did belong there, when they failed to take advantage of the opportunity in losing the last BCS Championship Game to Florida State, they're 1-7 against Top 10 teams.

Now consider this season's mirage of a six-game win streak. Was it really a product of Sean White and Kamryn Pettway being healthy or the weakness of the opposition?

That streak came against two teams that got embarrassed in their bowl games (Arkansas and Vanderbilt), two teams that didn't reach a bowl game (ULM and Ole Miss), one team that needed a blocked extra point and field goal to win its bowl game against a 6-6 MAC team (Mississippi State) and LSU, which fired Les Miles afterward.

Beating the lesser teams on the schedule and losing to the better opponents is what Auburn has become the last three years. Malzahn's 1-3 bowl record reflects that truth. His only bowl win came against Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl. In three January postseason games against Power 5 teams, he's 0-3.

The Sugar Bowl was Auburn's entire season in miniature. Good things happened with White at quarterback on the opening touchdown drive, but he couldn't stay healthy, suffering a broken forearm on his throwing arm on that series. He tried to tough it out and keep playing and was allowed to do so, to the team's detriment.

When he left the game for good, any prayer Auburn had of competing, let alone winning, went with him.

The offense went nowhere with John Franklin III and Jeremy Johnson, another indictment of the failure of Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee to develop a competent backup. The defense ran out of gas against the high-powered Oklahoma offense conducted brilliantly by coordinator Lincoln Riley.

Remember when we used the adjective "high-powered" about a Malzahn attack and he was considered an offensive genius? Seems like ages ago.

We're about to enter an off-season in which we'll be told to expect good things with Jarrett Stidham at quarterback, but after seasons of 8-5, 7-6 and 8-5, what reasons are there to believe better days are coming?

Starting with that BCS Championship Game appearance through the Sugar Bowl, Auburn is 0-6 against its biggest rivals, Alabama and Georgia, 6-12 against ranked teams and 1-7 against top 10 teams.

That's a significant sample size, but it's not the resume of a program that's ready for prime time. The Sugar Bowl simply confirmed what we already knew.

If the powers that be at Auburn care about competing for championships, they have a long way to go. Malzahn, after three straight forgettable seasons, should be given a short time to get there.


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At a certain point you have to stop worrying about damage control. Destroy what isn't working and rebuild something better. The potential of blowing up a recruiting class is a big concern, but at some point they must realize Malzahn just isn't the guy anymore.

His track record of developing QBs, even for his offense, has become dismal. 

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15 minutes ago, Carter said:

At a certain point you have to stop worrying about damage control. Destroy what isn't working and rebuild something better. The potential of blowing up a recruiting class is a big concern, but at some point they must realize Malzahn just isn't the guy anymore.

His track record of developing QBs, even for his offense, has become dismal. 

At this point his legacy is success with JUCO QB's, and he failed this year with JF3.  If he fails to develop Stidham, he's done. 

People keep saying that expectations are too unrealistic, but I don't expect to compete for a NC every year.  I do want to be competitive in the west, but I just want consistency.  Gus' total failure to develop starting and backup QB's is inexcusable. 

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i lost track the number of times I got into a discussion with my auburn friends when they would use the term that gus was an offensive genius.  he has looked pretty ordinary for years..  when you see the numbers in the above article I am a bit surprised he kept his job.  as mdrake said his legacy is basiclally bringing in juco qbs.  it will be interesting to see how many jrs bolt to the nfl.  

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