Sunday, September 9, 2007

Hate to say I told you so ...

It's time to refigure this Auburn football team and season.
Not that a 26-23, overtime loss to South Florida on Saturday was unexpected. It was a trendy pick, in fact, after Auburn played a BCS-conference opponent in the first week and had to play another in the second.
Auburn was beat up after the first game and is more beat up after the second.
It's not that Auburn lost to South Florida on Saturday. It's how Auburn lost.
Auburn's offense is woeful. It showed against Kansas State, but there was the promise of improvement from the first week to the second.
Just when it looked like freshman running back Mario Fannin would give Auburn the spark it needed, he reminded everyone why coaches let freshmen watch and learn. He fumbled twice in the third quarter, both resulting in turnovers, and never carried the ball the rest of the game.
Auburn's offense reverted to its pre-Fannin form, which certainly was no improvement over the form it showed against Kansas State.
Auburn must get its offense going to have a chance against its remaining schedule, which includes road games against Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and LSU. It's hard to see from where Auburn gets that offense.
Fannin will learn from his fumbles, but he can't do it himself. Auburn needs to find big-play receivers. Quarterback Brandon Cox needs to get the ball downfield. Auburn's line needs to block.
Until that time, opposing defenses will stack near the line of scrimmage, showing blatant lack of respect for Auburn's "play makers." Auburn shows no sign of having the play makers to beat that tacti, after all.
Suddenly, those four road games look more like losses than ever.
Might it be time to rethink how to view the Iron Bowl this year? Could Auburn's five-game winning streak against Alabama be nearing its end?
Alabama is 2-0 and seems able to score. At least in that, the Crimson Tide has one up on Auburn.

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