Thursday, October 31, 2013

Threatdown week 9

Only 1 month left in this amazing season. Let's hope it stays amazing...

Arkansas Last week-BYE. Arkansas has had a week to prepare for Auburn. They needed it. Auburn is better than the Hogs, and that is enough to make me not believe in Fayetteville curses (this year at least). Threatdown Level...Stable, and low.

Tennesseelast week-Blown out by Bama 45-10. The Vols lost their starting QB to a thumb injury and will have a true Freshman starting the game this weekend against Missouri. They are tough at home, and that is still enough to spook me a little. That being said, they looked pretty bad against Bama. Threatdown Level...down a tick.

Georgia Last week-Bye. Georgia gets a few players back after the bye week. They enter the cocktail party with Florida a shell of what they were when the season started. They should win Saturday if Gurley can run the ball at all. Threatdown level...stable.

Bama Last week-Blew out Tennessee 45-10. Is Bama peaking at the right time or are they just benefiting from playing a soft October schedule? The way LSU is playing lately, Bama may not be tested until the Iron Bowl. Threatdown level...Up, and topped out.

We'll preview Arkansas tomorrow and give some commentary on damn yankees.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Florida Atlantic Review-Better Than Expected

Surgeon General's Warning: Taking on defensive backs can be hazardous to your health, Nick.

Cupcake blowout-check.

Auburn took care of business last Saturday night in JHS. Auburn could have sleep-walked through this game, but they decided to come out and score three touchdowns in the first 6 minutes, turning this game into a laugher from the get-go. The Auburn running game is becoming unstoppable, racking up over 400 yards on the ground alone.

My only worry going forward is Nick Marshall being able to withstand the beating he is taking, though much of it Saturday night was self inflicted. Nick chose to take on a defensive back when he could have elected to go out of bounds, banging himself up needlessly in a game that was already out of hand. I know asking him to step out and avoid the hit is tough for him to do, but we need him 100% going forward.

I must admit I was a little surprised that Auburn didn't take advantage a good opportunity to let Nick sit in the pocket and work on his passing game. Perhaps Auburn's coaching staff feels like they run the ball so well that the passing game is well and good enough. Still, there are teams down the schedule, especially one at the end, that will most certainly try and make Nick try to win the game with his arm.

All in all, a very solid performance from the Tigers, and 7-1 complete with a top 10 ranking is sweet indeed. Later this week, we'll talk more about the rest of the schedule as well as the fast becoming most hated coach in the SEC.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Florida Atlantic Preview-This Team Could Pull an Upset (not really)

Let's kill some owls.

Florida Atlantic comes in with a 2-5 record with wins over UAB and South Florida. FAU could easily be 5-2 if they had not turned the ball over in three close losses. So they pose a significant threat to an Auburn team still trying to re-establish themselves as a national...

I can't do it. I cannot sit here and tell you that I am the least bit concerned about Florida Atlantic. They are coached by a Pellini for goodness sake. The only wins for the Owls this year are against UAB (terrible) and South Florida (worse).

In other years, maybe. But not this Auburn team. Not a team that shocked everyone in the college football world last Saturday. Gus Malzahn has done the best coaching job I can remember at Auburn, and he has a team on the precipice of a very special season. He won't allow a letdown.

This staff has taken a group with a wounded psyche and turned them into a contender seemingly overnight. Auburn fans were cautiously optimistic about Auburn coming into the season. We figured we maybe could win 8 games if things fell our way. The rest of the college football world scoffed. Sports Illustrated picked Auburn last in the west.

Somewhere in between the debacle that was 2012 and the start of 2013, college football forgot that Auburn is among the best programs in college football over the last 30 years. They forgot about the two undefeated teams in the last 10 years and 3 in the last 20. They forgot this team was talent-laden with untapped potential.

Most importantly they forgot that it was Gus Malzahn who made 2010 happen, not Gene Chizik. I would argue today that Gus made 2010 happen in spite of Chizik. And if Gus made that happen in 2010 as a coordinator, why couldn't he turn things around as a head coach in 2013?

Auburn won't lose Saturday. Auburn may not lose again this year. They are a team who grows more confident with every weekend. They do it with big boy power running and sheer toughness. They have something that they didn't have last year- guts, and they are not done putting the rest of college football on notice.

Auburn 49
Hootie Who? 14

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Week 8 Threatdown

It's week 8 already? Man football season flies by when your team is good.

Florida Atlantic Last Week-Bye. FAU comes in at 2-5. Hopefully we see Mr Shakespeare again in this one. I loved all the Bard puns on twitter. Threatdown

Arkansas Last week-Blown out by Bama 52-0. I don't know what to say about this Arkansas team. They have been outscored 134-17 in their last 3 SEC game. The fewest points they have allowed this year to an SEC team is Florida's horrible offense. They get a week off before AU heads to Fayetteville. Better spend it tackling. Threatdown level...A hint of danger, I guess, since the game is in Fayetteville, but if I am being realistic, pretty low.

Tennessee Last week Beat Carolina on a last second field goal 23-21. Is Tennessee getting better? Hard to say. They lost to a Georgia MASH unit at home in OT and they beat SC on a day when Spurrier apparently got started early on his post game Heineken Draught Keg, because the decisions he made during that one made Gamecock fans want to break out a breathalizer. I think they could give Auburn trouble at home. But they are still a bit of a mystery. Threatdown Level...Up moderately.

Georgia Dawgs Last week-Blew a big lead and lost to Vandy 31-27. Tommy Tuberville was quoted in the locker room at halftime of the 2008 AU-Vandy game "Guys, It's F&^%$*n Vanderbilt!" Georgia looked like a contender early, but unless they get some players back in a hurry, it looks like another hot seat next year for Richt. Threatdown Level...sinking like a stone.

Bama Last week-Blew out Arkansas 52-0. Saban is pretty unhappy about the fans leaving early in these blowout wins. But Nick needs to face facts, if you were an 18-21 year old and had the choice between A. Watching the college football equivalent of Ambien or B. Going back to the frat house and doing keg stands, then possibly having a hot co-ed make out with you, which would you do? I would choose B., even if said co-ed had been throwing up for the last twenty minutes. Threatdown Level...Maxed out.

So barring some major catastrophe, Auburn will be 7-1 at the end of October. Wrap your head around that for a second before you consider that right now they will be favored in 3 out of the 4 games remaining after Saturday. I think the potential land mine is in Knoxville. But I will reserve judgement on that until after this weekend.

FAU preview tomorrow, where I will try to convince myself that the Owls are dangerous...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A&M Review-Don't Call It a Comeback, We've Been Here for Years

If you had forgotten what absolute bliss college football can be, you got a piping hot spoonful of it Saturday afternoon. No one, other than those of us in orange and blue, gave Auburn a snowball's chance against Johnny Football and Texas A&M. Pundits laughed about it and dismissed it. People in the national media cannot seem to forgot the train wreck of 2012.

Fortunately, the group of young men wearing that orange and blue have forgotten. After Auburn 45 Texas A&M 41, we all can.

I don't know if I have seen a team with more guts than this one. The 2010 team had guts, but they also had a guy that wore #2 that helped instill courage. This team has a 6 footer who used to play defensive back.

Nick Marshall doesn't make every throw that he should. He puts the ball on the ground too much. But he is cool and collected in crunch time and I cannot think of anyone better to lead this team throughout the rest of the season.

People who thought that the Malzahn offense is of the finesse variety found out pretty quickly in that last drive that this is a power eye from a spread. Sure, there are lots of moving parts and motions and fakes, but this offense runs right at you. Tre Mason was a beast Saturday and is one of the best backs in the country you've never heard of.

Defensively, you cannot say enough about how much better this unit is from the last few years. They make mistakes, sure. But they fly to the ball and make plays. We all knew Manziel and Evans would get their points. What we didn't know was that a fresh set of linemen had plenty enough in the tank to register two sacks in the final moments to seal the deal.

Excited about the win against a top ten team? Now think about this-It will only get better. And if the schedule plays out the way I think it will, we may be looking for an Iron Bowl for the ages on November 30th. But let's not get too far ahead. Tough road games still remain.

The ceiling is so high for this group under Malzahn that I can barely contain my excitement for the future. It is hard to believe that these are the same players we watched perform so futilely last season.

But as Dee Ford said after the game Saturday, and I am paraphrasing here "We are the same players as last year, but we are a different team."

Amen, Dee. Amen

Other random thoughts about the weekend:

-Say what you want about Johnny Football, but he is a gamer and one tough dude. I was dreaming of a 4th quarter runaway after he went out. But then he went in the locker room and grew another arm. They must have shot him up with the same stuff Coach Kilmer used in Varsity Blues.

-That may be the worst defense we have played this year against a DI team. If the Aggs had a funtional D they are likely a Championship contender.

-The old football saying "The team that can run the ball and stop the run will will usually win", and Auburn did just that Saturday.

-The SEC is a crazy league this year, especially after Saturday. Raise your hand if you had Missouri to win the east.And who in the world thought that LSU would go down to an Ole Miss team missing their feature back and a patchwork defense?

-Florida State may be the best team in the country right now. I see them playing Oregon for the National Championship...after we beat Bama.

So with 5 games left, Auburn should be favored in four of those for sure. I still worry about road games in Fayetteville and Knoxville, especially the way Tennessee is playing right now. Let's worry about those games when they get here. Right now, I will enjoy being 6-1.

War Eagle

Friday, October 18, 2013

Texas Aggie Preview-The Long Road Back

I still like him better than A.J. McCarron.

I have heard this week how big a game this is for Auburn's renaissance in becoming relevant again in college football. That may very well be true, but let's keep in mind how far we have already come back from the cellar of SEC football.

Auburn won 3 stinkin' games last year that very easily could have been two stinkin' games. Auburn was shut out of the win column in the SEC, getting absolutely hammered in their last three SEC games.

Now Auburn sits at 5-1, with a chance to have a pretty good season, all things considered. A win tomorrow against A&M and all of a sudden a pretty decent year can morph into a potentially very special one.

For those fans, and there area handful, who are ready for Auburn to head to a BCS bowl this year I say: I think that's great, but let's take a moment to sit back a smell the roses. Gus Malzahn has taken this program light years from where they were just one year ago. He has rebuilt a wounded psyche and made players and fans believe again. Win or lose in College Station tomorrow, Auburn is well on their way back to the top of college football.

As far as the game goes, we have all heard by now the keys to victory. Run the ball. chew up clock. Keep the ball away from the insufferable jerk wearing #2 in maroon.

Easier said than done I say. Alabama's ridiculously good defense full of pro prospects, that have already signed with agents in the weight room, had that plan. The Tide got down 14 early and had to abandon that strategy and elect for a shootout.

The good news there is Auburn is much better equipped for a shootout than the Tide. Better news is that A&m's defense may be the worst of any FBS team on Auburn's schedule this year.

But that damn Johnny Football is good.

Make no mistake, A&M will score points. They have the ability to get them in bunches. Auburn will have to deal with that, and not get demoralized when the Aggies run off a couple scores. It will likely happen.

But Auburn got down 21-0 to LSU in the worst possible way with turnovers and gashing runs, and by the end it was LSU that looked demoralized even in victory, because in the second half Auburn punched the Tigers in the mouth and kept swinging until the final bell.

Manziel also has a tendency to throw the ball up for grabs. So, if Auburn can manage to force a turnover or two, then Auburn's defense can win the day, even if giving up 30+.

The key here is not to get behind. If Auburn wins the toss, take the ball down and score. If Auburn somehow manages to get up on the Aggies, then I think Auburn's run game and ball control gets the Tigers to 6-1.

It can happen people. Believe...


Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Threatdown-Week 7

Fair Amount of movement in this week's threatdown. Let's take a look:

Texas Aggies Last week- Edged out Ole Miss 41-38. If not for some horrible play calling on the Rebs last drive (3 straight incompletions on the worst run defense in the conference), Auburn might be playing 4-2 A&M this weekend. Threatdown Level...Down a couple notches

Florida Atlantic Last week-Snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against Marshall 24-23. Remember when we thought this could be our last win of 2013? It's still possible, but not likely. Threatdown level...bottom basement.

Arkansas Last week-Embarrassed at homecoming by South Carolina 52-7. Wheels are coming off for the Hogs. Here's an eye popping stat that would make Keihl Frazier blush-4 receptions for 30 yards. I've seen wishbone jr high teams throw for more yards. Threatdown Level...Approaching the bottom, but still a bit of danger.

Tennessee-Last week-Bye. The Vols got a week off to lick their wounds, and they had a lot of licking to do. These are not happy times in Knox-vegas. They took it out on the band director this week, which goes to show you there is such a thing as too much Rocky Top. Threatdown level...Stable

Georgia Last week-Lost to Missouri 41-26. The walking wounded at UGA are fast becoming the walking dead. WIth no receivers to throw to, Aaron Murray looked mediocre at best. The Dawgs defense hasn't "hunkered down" yet this season. Threatdown level...Down.

Bama-Last week-Beat Kentucky 48-7. I watched the first quarter of this game. Bama football should be marketed as a sleep aid. Threatdown Level...Unchanged, and likely to remain so until LSU weekend.

Needless to say we'll know a great deal about Auburn after Saturday. More on A&M tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Western Carolina Review

The future is now.

Not much to review about Auburn destroying a really bad football team, except to say that Auburn did exactly what they are supposed to do in this one. Auburn took care of business in this one, and pretty much everything you like to see in a cupcake eating contest happened. No one got hurt. Lots of people got to play, giving way to lots of Shakespeare references.

Most intriguing was Jeremy Johnson's play. Johnson was off the hook good against Western. He threw basically one bad pass all day. His throws were crisp and on target. We can definitely see that he is the future for Auburn football.

How soon that future gets here is the intriguing part. With Nick Marshall's injury, Gus could have elected to go with Jonathan Wallace and beat Western Carolina. He chose Johnson, electing to burn his redshirt. Why? My only answer is Auburn feels like Johnson can help Auburn win sooner other than later, and/or Marshall's injury is more serious than is being advertised. Gus is tight lipped and even a bit misleading when it comes to Auburn injuries. Jeff Whitaker went from day to day to medical redshirt rather quickly

Would Gus have burned the redshirt if Auburn was 3-3? Hard to say. Every coach gets a honeymoon period and most of us would have been happy with 7-5 and a bowl game. But in 2013 Auburn has exceeded and continues to exceed expectations. My bet is that Gus and company feel like they can win every game left on the schedule. If Marshall is truly injured and not just banged up, and Johnson gives Auburn the best chance to win those games, then why not go with him?

I also believe that Auburn has a chance at winning every game on the schedule, including the game at College Station come Saturday. More on why I feel that way later this week. Until then, let's all enjoy being 5-1, having the best rushing offense in the SEC. Things feel right again, don't they?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Western Carolina Preview-Who will Play QB?

What Does Auburn do if Marshall cannot go?

Nick Marshall's knee was hyper-extended in the win vs Ole Miss last Saturday night, or at least we can surmise that based on the replay. How bad the injury is we are just not sure, and Gus Malzahn has been tight lipped in regard to injuries all year.

So let's first talk worst case scenario here, and say Marshall will miss several games and maybe the entire year. Does Auburn burn the shirt on Jeremy Johnson or Do they go will a guy who has SEC game experience in Jonathan Wallace?

My answer is-go with the best one. If it is Wallace, if Gus thinks we can win games with him, let him start. I have heard the argument that we cannot win with Wallace based on how he looked last year.

If that theory was a laptop, Cam would throw it out the window.

Auburn's offensive line is good, maybe one of the best in the conference this year. Wallace will benefit from that. He also had the benefit of spring practice and knows the offense, maybe better that Marshall even at this point. He is a tireless student of the game. We have heard more often than not that he is the first one to the complex and the last one to leave. He has the team's respect. Will he light the world on fire in the passing game? Maybe not. But Nick has not exactly been Peyton Manning this season throwing the forward pass. I doubt there is much separation between the two here.

If Jeremy Johnson is better, if Gus thinks he can win with the true freshman, let it ride. I have heard this week that a true freshman can't win games in the SEC.

Mule muffins.

We have seen plenty of cases over the years where a true freshman won games in the SEC. Manning did. So did Jay Barker in the early 90's. If Johnson is good enough, he can win games for Auburn. Let's keep in mind Auburn may have the best rushing attack in the SEC and we have not asked the QB to do very much so far this season.

The bottom line is, Auburn has two very good options at QB if Nick Marshall can't go.

This is probably a moot point. If Marshall has a knee sprain and needs an extra week to get better, this is a perfect time, because any QB on the roster can beat Western Carolina. If the injury is minor, he should be fine going forward

As far as the game goes, Auburn can name their score against this hapless bunch. I would love to see the starters done by halftime. Happy homecoming Auburn, and War Eagle...

Auburn 55
Worst team in the SoCon-7

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Threatdown

Things are beginning to shape up as far as the schedule goes. Most of us have a better idea of how Auburn will finish the season. That being said none of have the first frickin' clue how Auburn will finish the season.

Western Carolina Last week...Blown out by Chatanooga 42-22. This is a bad football team. Auburn could start Gabe Wright at QB and still win by 35 points. Threatdown Level...Unchanged and nonexistent.

Texas Aggies Last week...BYE. The Aggies got bad news losing one of their best defensive linemen to a knee injury. This is a defense that gives up a whopping 6 yards+ per rush. Still, Manziel is a special football player, and I'm not talking about his obvious case of Teret's. Threatdown level...Down, but still very high.

Florida Atlantic Last week...Beat hapless UAB 37-23. The Owls are getting better, but no way they compete with Auburn. Threatdown level...unchanged

Arkansas Last Week...Lost to Florida 30-10. This game was not as lopsided as the score indicated. Still, Arkansas has lost 3 straight games now, with a lion's share of their tough SEC schedule left starting with South Carolina this weekend. They may be in mental tatters by the time Auburn comes to town November 2. Threatdown level...down.

Tennessee Last week...Lost to Georgia in OT. Tennessee had this game won and blew it. They were an eyelash from wrecking Georgia's SEC and possible BCS title hopes. They get a week off this week before the Gamecocks, followed by Bama. Threatdown level...unchanged

Georgia Last week...edged UT in OT. If Georgia's injury situation doesn't get better, they can kiss their title hopes goodbye. They still haven't managed to stop anybody all season either. They face undefeated pretender Missouri Saturday. Threatdown level...down slightly, but still up there.

Alabama Blew out Ga State 45-3. Bama got up early on this hapless bunch from the ATL and called off the dogs. They continue their joke of an October in the Commonwealth Saturday, so no one will likely notice their deficiencies in the offensive line. Threatdown Level...unchanged and very high

Right now, if I had to ballpark a record for Auburn at season's end it would be 8-4/9-3. I still think the two road games at the beginning of November will be tough. But if Auburn can somehow manage a win at College Station, then I reserve the right to increase that win number.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ole Miss Review: Learnin' to Fly

How many times last week did I hear that Auburn was not ready to take the next step? How many times did I hear that Auburn "upset" Ole Miss in the national media?

Make no mistake. This was not an upset. And Auburn is ready to take the next step.

With the win coming this Saturday over Western Carolina, Auburn will be 5-1 heading to College Station. Barring catastrophe, Auburn will head to November at worst 6-2. Road games at Arkansas and Tennessee loom large, but let's be honest. At this point those are games that Auburn should win. What a difference a year makes.

What Gus Malzahn and his staff have done with this team through game 5 is nothing short of astonishing. That was culminated with a 30-22 win that really wasn't that close last Saturday night. I felt pretty confident at halftime of this game, although the last few minutes gave me some heartburn. Two Auburn turnovers in Ole Miss territory kept this one from being a route.

I have to say, that after seeing Ole Miss in person, I have no idea how they were perceived as a top 25 team coming into the game. They were soft up front on both sides of the ball. Auburn's offensive and defensive lines flat out controlled the game. The Rebs did hit two big plays in the second half to keep it interesting, but for the most part, they were stymied.

Is Auburn's offense a work in progress? Absolutely. Nick Marshall still lacks confidence in his throws and it shows. He "babied" passes throughout the game rather than throwing crisp passes. This was especially evident on his wheel route miss to Brandon Fulse. Even his deep ball to Coates looked more aimed than thrown. These are all things that come with time. I don't expecta guy who was an SEC defensive back two years ago to turn into Peyton Manning overnight. I really think Nick will become a big time name in the next year, if not sooner.

Does the defense give up too many yards? For sure. But consider that the Tigers are 3rd in the league in scoring defense and second in tackles for loss. Now consider that Adams, Daniel, and Lawson have been college students for about 2 months, and you see that the Auburn defense has a pretty high ceiling in the near future.

Make no mistake. This Auburn bunch is gaining confidence by the second, and by the end of the year, may be right back in the upper tier of the SEC.

Other random thoughts from the weekend...

-I picked on Gabe Wright in the preview to Ole Miss. I like my crow with a nice Chianti. He dominated the line of scrimmage Saturday night, culminated by a jailbreak through the line and a shove down of Bo Wallace.

-Anthony Swain played free safety in high school.(!) I saw him play a couple times. I am absolutely amazed at how well he performed at linebacker filling in for the injured Cass McKenzie Saturday night on the big stage, leading his team in tackles no less. Linebacker play has improved over the last few weeks.

-Carl Lawson outplayed Nkimdieche. Did I spell that right? Regardless, Lawson is going to be a a draft pick after his junior year if he wants to be. Can you imagine a high school tackle trying to block this guy last year??

-Fumbles have to stop. Have. To. Although both turnovers are hard to put on the backs. Payne had the ball wrapped up tight and still got stripped. Mason's fumble was a bust in run blocking by the offensive line. Still, if we hang on to the ball one of those times the game gets out of hand for Ole Miss.

-You cannot beat Auburn for a home game. Jordan-Hare is one of the toughest places to play in the country. I took my kids to this one, and could barely hear them yelling in my ear for more cotton candy.

Auburn is now 4-1. Four. And. One. Think about how bleak last year was and tell me your are not happy with that Auburn fans. This young team continues to improve. That feeling you have again inside of you is hope, Auburn fans. Savor the flavor.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ole Miss Preview-Breaking Bears

I hope Saturday ends better than it did for Mr White.

If you think there's not a problem in T-Town right now, you are probably on Blue Meth. But if you are a typical Bama fan, there is a pretty high likelihood of both, I guess.

Bama handled the Ole Miss offense very well last Saturday night. Did they provide Auburn with a blueprint on how to stop the Rebel attack? I would have to say that most likely, no. Auburn doesn't have the Bama personnel on defense, especially considering the injuries that AU has right now. But taking away the outside is crucial to winning the game. We want to keep Ole Miss off of the perimeter.

I may regret saying this later, but Ole Miss has not beaten anybody,(Did anyone catch Texas last night?) and their wins look fairly pedestrian to me. The Ole Miss defense is probably not in the top 6 of teams we will face this year, so look for some points to go up on the board come Saturday night.

I do worry about Bo Wallace and the zone read. He is not what I would call fast, but he handles the ball well and can pick up yardage with his feet. Auburn saw this already this year with Dak Prescott at Mississippi State, who is a load going through the middle. I feel like Auburn will do a better job of containing Wallace than they did with Prescott, who was an unknown commodity when we played State.

My biggest concern for this game is the perceived shakeup on defense. Nosa Eguae has moved to defensive tackle this week, and he is smallish for an SEC tackle. Will he get better production than Blackson? Honestly, he couldn't do much worse. I also noticed that Gabe Wright is listed second on Auburn's depth chart this week. I thought Wright has played well in spots this season, but all things being equal, he is still somewhat of a disappointment, considering his high pedigree coming out of high school. And will Chris Davis be able to provide any help? We need him back, because he defends the pass as well as any defensive back on the roster, and is a run stopper as well.

Offensivley, Auburn needs to keep pounding the running game. I will be sorely surprised if Ole Miss handles Auburn's rushing attack better than Mississippi St and LSU. Auburn should be able to throw the ball on a questionable Rebel secondary, especially if the running game is decent.

I look at this game as a watershed moment for Auburn football 2013. Win and all of a sudden Auburn is 5-1 going to College Station, after a cupcake next week. Lose and all of a sudden the bowl picture looks cloudy.

The home field, where Auburn just doesn't lose to Ole Miss unless Auburn's coach is named Tuberville, pulls Auburn through Saturday, and the Gus Bus keeps on rolling...

Auburn- 31
Mascot Confusion 27

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Threatdown-Week 5

Rebel Black Bears to be precise.

We took a week off from the threatdown for bye week. We're back this week to see how the rest of our schedule looks now after 1/3 of the season...

Ole Miss Last week...Pummelled by Bama 25-0. The Rebs looked pedestrian against Bama though their defense held their own in the first half. Bo Wallace's mouth wrote checks his O couldn't cash. Threat Down Level...Down slightly

Western Carolina Last week...Blown out by Samford 62-23. Not much to say about this poor excuse for a SoCon team. Threatdown Level...Down from Nada.

Texas A&M Last Week...Struggled before putting away Arkansas 45-33. A&M's defense can't stop anybody right now, but they continue to win games. They are pretty ordinary aside from Manziel, and he is much less effective with Evans injured. Hope that he gets well after October 18th. Threatdown Level...Down slightly

Florida Atlantic Last Week...Lost to Rice 18-14. Played a little better defensivley. They'll get ready for Auburn with a visit to UAB. Threatdown Level...Grand Canyon.

Arkansas Last Week...Fought to the bitter end in the loss to A&M. I keep wanting to think Arkansas is not very good, but they scare me, and they showed up and were in the game with the Aggs all the way. Threat down Level...up some.

Tennessee Last Week...Escaped with their lives vs South Alabama 31-24. Right now, nothing sucks like the big orange. And with their October schedule, it's not likely to get better. Threat down level...Down a ton form last time.

Georgia Last Week...Beat LSU in the best game of the week 44-41. The Dawgs don't play a lot of defense, but looked good against LSU's run game for most of the contest. That doesn't play well to Auburn's strength. Threat down Level...up

Bama Last week...Bama turned in an impressive defensive performance against Ole Miss, but still the offense looked ordinary. They are beatable, just not by any team they play in October. Threat down Level...unchanged.

There you have it. I still think every team on the schedule is beatable. Am I saying we win all those? Not likely, but with a win Saturday (more on that later this week) Auburn has a chance to have a very good season in year 1 of Gustav.