Georgia vs. Auburn Preview: Let’s Get Graphic With It
What follows may very well be my favorite sentence. The Auburn Tigers are really bad at football this year. Feels good to say that. Two short years ago I had to say the opposite thing. Two short years the Auburn Tigers were really good (and really expensive, allegedly), but now the Auburn Tigers are really bad.
Conversely, two years ago the Georgia Bulldogs were bad (I can’t say really bad, because they weren’t really bad relative to the standard set by this year’s Auburn team). Now the Georgia Bulldogs are good (not as good as 2010 Auburn though).
You see, there are three things I like about this graph. First and foremost, I like the edgy representation of the Ichthys symbol of Christianity. It is very Richt-ian. Secondly I like the fact that the Georgia Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers started in the exact same place before going their separate ways. I always like when Georgia goes a direction opposite of Auburn. Because as the third point illustrates, it is always better in the long-run to not do what Auburn does. And, Georgia has been better than Auburn (in winning percentage, and on the field I would assert) in each of the last two seasons.
Gene Chizik is a big part of the problem. The other part of the problem is Auburn University. Two seasons ago Mark Richt was on the hot seat in Athens and Gene Chizik was winning a National Championship. Now everything has flipped – at least as far as job security is concerned. But Chizik has won as many games as Richt over the past four seasons and a National Championship. So what gives? In short: Boosters give, and they know 2010 was wrong (Facts be damned, Cam was a Scam).
For what it’s worth I jumped off the Auburn bandwagon the second Cam “Extremely Blessed Individual” Newton and Nick “Extremely Dumb Individual” Fairley skipped town. I picked Utah State to cover the spread against them in last year’s season opener. True story. This year when Vegas had Auburn winning 7.5 games this year I took the under saying, “It’s a scary proposition to expect Auburn to win 7 or fewer games this year, but that’s where the program is.” I couldn’t have been more accurate. I followed that up in another post with the assertion that Auburn’s losing of 6 or more SEC games and Florida’s rise would be demonstrative in the SEC power switch from west to east. I said all of this before the season started. It didn’t take a smart man to see the fall of Auburn.
Why? Because as I’ve said for years, 2010 was an outlier for Gene Chizik. Mathematically speaking, that’s probably not the case. But consider Gene Chizik’s winning percentage over the seasons. Doesn’t that one year (2010) stick out pretty badly. You have ups and downs as a coach, but your record shouldn’t resemble a roller coaster this closely. Especially not when you have two job changes. Below is how the Chiz Whiz has faired when inheriting jobs. He had no trouble winning with Tubberville’s boys. But without elite talent (see Iowa State) he sucked.
So What Does All This Mean Relative to Saturday
What this means is that Auburn will field a whole lot of talent – in theory on Saturday. Auburn will suit up players from the 20th ranked class of 2008, 19th ranked class of 2009, 4th ranked class of 2010, 7th ranked class of 2011 and 10th ranked class of 2012. But those players will bumble around like fools for the majority of the game because they are playing for an incompetent coaching staff.
Mike Bobo’s offense will take on a bottom-half-of-the-nation scoring defense that is allowing 428 yards per game. Todd Gurley and company will run against the nation’s 25th worst run defense – the worst in the SEC.
Defensively I’d look for Todd Grantham’s defense to continue to climb the national rankings (they’re now 25th in points allowed) thanks to the country’s 12th worst scoring offense. Of course relatively speaking Auburn scores pretty well. They must have some semblance of efficiency if they are the nation’s 9th worst team in total offense but only 12th worst scoring offense.
Georgia is favored by 16 points and I think Vegas is giving credence to the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry and the notion that anybody can win in the SEC especially at home. I’m looking for – and hoping for – a margin close to last year’s game. Might as well beat Gene Chizik one last time, beat Auburn for a sixth time in seven years and tie toe overall series record in the process.
That’s all I got/