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No One’s Showing A Lack Of Respect For Auburn

Boy, there’s one storyline that’s already getting old when it comes to the 2011 SEC season.  As ESPN put it today: “Historic lack of respect for Auburn in polls.”

Ugh.

Chris Low does a great job and he’s certainly not alone in suggesting AU is getting cold-shouldered by pollsters — you can bet Gene Chizik and his aides are making that point to their players, too — but unfortunately that argument just isn’t true.

Sure, Auburn’s #23 ranking in the AP poll marks the first time in 20 years that a defending national champion hasn’t started the following season in the Top 10.  The horror.

But let’s look at the facts:

1.  You’d be hard-pressed to find another national titlist in that span whose success was so much attributable to one great player.  We’re not saying Cam Newton was the whole Auburn team, but how many of those close games would the Tigers have won last year without him?  For the record, seven of AU’s 14 wins were by determined by eight points or less.

2.  Newton isn’t around this year and the top two guys on the quarterback depth chart aren’t dual-threat guys like Newton (who actually led the SEC in rushing last season).  That’s really going to change the way Gus Malzahn calls plays.

3.  The Tigers also lost Nick Fairley, their most disruptive, dominant player on the defensive side of the ball.

4.  And Auburn lost 16 starters total from last year’s squad.  Those 16 slots will be filled — in most cases — by players who have little experience or by true freshmen who have none.

5.  Finally, AU’s schedule this season is much tougher than it was a year ago with road trips planned for Clemson, South Carolina, Arkansas, LSU and Georgia.  Toss in Mississippi State, Florida and Alabama for good measure at home.

Put Newton or Fairley of half of those lost starters back on Auburn’s squad and they would likely be smack dab in the Top 10.  Flip-flop this year’s schedule for last year’s and the Tigers would likely be getting more love from the voters, too.

But as it stands, there haven’t been many national champions in the last 20 years that have been so unproven going into the following season.

And let’s not forget that Texas’ precipitous fall from grace last season (from the BCS championship game to 5-7) is still fresh on pollsters’ minds as well.  They now know that the logo on the helmet doesn’t always offset the departure of a gaggle of stars.

We at MrSEC.com expect Auburn coaches, players and fans to talk about how the Plainsmen are being disrespected.  By year’s end, they may be proven right.

But in August, looking at that schedule and all the uncertainty in that Tigers’ line-up, AU’s preseason ranking isn’t a story of disrespect.  It’s the story of playing the odds.  And no one should have to apologize for simply playing the odds.

 


5 comments
FYI
FYI

This year they will be tiger bait, and all the other teams will get their revenge.......it wont be too pretty for AU fans I don't care what they say.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

Forget all the rest of the starters on last year's squad. Just take away Cam Newton alone and that team would have lost at least 5 games last year.

AU_GRAD2003
AU_GRAD2003

Why would "Mr. SEC" bother writing this about Auburn? Go bother somebody else.
Don't cover Auburn this year at all since all of your recent articles about us have been negative.
You have no idea how good, or bad we will be, along with everyone else. So why take this position unless you are simply hosting a bandwagon for all the broken hearted teams of 2010.
Get some objectivism crackpot, or simply call yourself mr. Bammer.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

AU_GRAD2003...

You might want to read the next story down before you call us "mr. Bammer." Pretty easy to do. Just go one story down.

Or you could go back over the last 9 months and read any number of the stories we've written stating that when it comes to facts, not one person has produced a lick of evidence to support the claim that AU somehow bought Cam Newton. Pretty silly of you -- considering the beating we've taken for that stance -- to say, "all of your recent articles about us have been negative."

Matter of fact, just go back to last week's Danny Sheridan nonsense and point out to us how we were being anti-Auburn.

John

kcwde
kcwde

Let's also not forget Texas' great year after Vince Young's NC year when UT lost all of that talent. They lost a ton of experience in 2005 and replaced it with studs, just like Auburn is doing this year. In MOST spots, Auburn is replacing former starters with more overall talent and that really isn't even debatable based on how Auburn has been recruiting.



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