Where Smart Picks Go to Die
Before I begin this Auburn-New Mexico State review, I need to clear my conscience. Before yesterday’s game I was very uneasy about some of the thoughts that were running through my head. Part of me (most of me?) wanted Auburn to play the best it could possibly play and beat NMSU the way a real SEC team should. However, there was a part of me that thought, “It might not be so bad if the team looks terrible so the Jay Jacobs/Gene Chizik firing process will be expedited.”
I feel guilty about those thoughts now, and I am wholeheartedly glad about what happened yesterday, mostly for Auburn’s players. Those players have worked just as hard and put in just as many hours as others all across America on winning football teams, and they deserved to win at least one game with authority.
That’s exactly what happened against a clearly physically over-matched NMSU team – at least in the second half. The first half was business as new-usual for the Tigers, as the offense struggled to move the ball just as much as the defense struggled to stop it. However, in the second half the clear physical advantages of Auburn’s players shone through. Most notably, the offense seemed to gain some confidence, as Tre Mason had a career day and Johnathon Wallace proved he was a much better option than either Kiehl Frazier or Clint Moseley (Kiehl Frazier further proved this point when he looked very mediocre against the NMSU scrubs in mop-up duty).
Unfortunately, this game means nothing in the big scheme of Auburn football. Georgia comes in as a 16 point favorite next week, needing only that win to secure a place in the SEC Championship game. You can be sure they will be firing on all cylinders. Auburn fans are likely to see more of what they’ve seen all season next week, and the results are unlikely to be pretty. There are rampant rumors of background discussions involving potential coaching candidates, as well as athletic director candidates. That will all sort itself out soon enough.
But Saturday’s game was a nice diversion from the reality of Auburn’s current state, bringing at least a small portion of normalcy to the Auburn fanbase – the annual destruction of a homecoming opponent.
SIDE NOTE: If you find yourself in Auburn for a homecoming game, you simply must attend the annual Ag Roundup – held each year on homecoming day. This event costs $5, but once inside you will find the most wonderful assortment of home grown Alabama food products you can ever imagine. Saturday was my first time at this event, and I can safely say I’ll be back each year. Free samples of sausage, catfish, shrimp, barbecue, and much, much more abounded, and my stomach was incredibly satisfied when we left. This “uniquely Auburn” tradition is probably one of the university’s best kept secrets! For more info, click below: