Friday, October 26, 2012
Texas A&M Preview
Prepare yourself to witness what could be the greatest disparity in the Southeastern Conference this season. Texas A&M will roll into Jordan-Hare boasting an offense that tops the league in nearly every statistical category. Auburn...rock bottom. A&M has a freshman quarterback making plays with both his arm and legs, is statistically annihilating what Cam Newton did to opponents, and plays the game with unbridled passion...a natural leader. Auburn will counter with an experienced QB, yet confidence shattered, playmaking ability minuscule, production nonexistent. A&M brings in a first year head coach having no problem adjusting to a new league, teaching a new system to new players, being more than competitive. Auburn brings in a fourth year coach, two years removed from being named National Coach of the Year, scratching his head...dumbfounded, unsure what buttons to push to even field a team that will compete. A&M will bring a passionate fan base, determined to see their program garner the respect of each new member institution. Auburn will parry with a fan base divided, in shock, sickened by the precipitous fall from a team seemingly getting worse each week. The contrast is real, it's sad, it's frightening, it's maddening, it's unacceptable.
I've said for many weeks now A&M QB Johnny Manziel is everything I had hoped Kiehl Frazier would be. Dual threat, team leader, keeps plays alive, exciting with the ball, opportunistic, fearless, playmaker. What is most disappointing is the difference between their mental development. Manziel has all the confidence in the world and because of that he plays care-free. Kiehl is just not mentally tough and because of that he can't overcome the previous play, he thinks too much, he doesn't trust his football insticts, he's overcome by the situation.
The offensive coordinator position is another area of stark difference. Kliff Kingsbury is in his first season as OC for A&M and is absolutely killing it. In fact a scan of his resume shows this is but his second season to be a true college coach (quality control assistant is equivalent to being a GA). His offense is shredding this conference. Scott Loeffler brings 14 years of coaching experience to the position. His quarterback tuteledge reads as impressive as I've ever seen. His offense however is the worst in college football...by a mile. It's hard to watch and even harder to swallow when I hear him say repeatedly how "close" they are. Let's at least crack the top 100 in a few positive offensive statistics before we use the term "close" again.
In my mind, there's too many differences to overcome this week unless A&M gifts us field position and turnovers. That being said, Vandy did just that last week and we still couldn't capitalize.
Even so, come support the young men that wear the logo. Come and enjoy fellowship with the Auburn faithful. Come and enjoy your family and friends and the sights and splendor that make Auburn home. Even during down times, I still choose Auburn over the alternatives. We may divide over coaches, ADs, the direction of the program...but we'll never be divided over our passion and desire to see all things Auburn succeed. Prove it again Saturday night.