|Is Auburn truly ready to RUMBLE?|
No doubt you have been either baking in the sun, or figuring out how to stay dry this summer. The weather has been surprisingly different this year thus far. But I didn't start this post to talk weather with you. The college football season draws near, and we all are getting our motors revved up for the start of our "New Day" in 2013.
Thursday, all the players will officially report to the football complex, and start the practices getting ready for the fall schedule. The first couple of weeks will be grueling, the summer 2-a-days will separate the wheat from the chaff.
With an entirely new coaching staff, Auburn fans are anxious to find out if their Tigers are going to be much more physical than the past two teams that ran onto Pat Dye Field. The physical aspect of preparation was lacking the past two seasons, and was evidenced by the total shellacking they took by our SEC West brethren. I can't speak for all AU fans, although I feel confident that most are tired of getting pushed around.
Let's take a look at the schedule, and I'll try to predict some of the outcomes in each game. Thanks goes to AuburnUndercover.com
Getting a handle on Washington State is not an easy task. Mike Leach is in his second year there, and that is usually when a team is going to show their biggest improvement under the head coach's guidance. There just happened to be so much wrong at WSU, that it may take more than two years for Leach to turn it around. Plus the team ran into more off field issues this post season ending, that I feel Auburn may have the upper hand by simply being at home. Let's call this a win - AU 31 WSU 21
Arkansas State being the schedule is just a news worthy blip. Something for the mediots to jabber about because Auburn's new head football coach Gus Malzahn was coaching there last season. Nothing to see here but lots of singing the AU fight song - AU 45 ASU 21
It's no secret that I do not like Dan Mullen. I have no qualms with Mississippi State per se, although as long as Mullens roams the sideline there, I will not be pulling for many victories for the Bulldogs.
That said, if there are no major injuries on either team, this game should be a very good one to watch. It will also be a yardstick as to how far Auburn has come in turning things around in it's own program. I like Cody Parkey in the clutch in this one. Victory, and 3-0! - AU 27 MSU 24
Les Miles is jokingly known as the Mad Hatter because of the many last second decisions that he has made and mostly got away with at LSU. Make no mistake, he will have his team physically prepared for all games this season. No one should take LSU lightly just because there were so many defections of lower classmen to the NFL after last season.
LSU is both deep in reserves, and well coached. Their record over Miles' tenure proves that to be the case. Auburn's question is this: Are we physically strong enough to play 4 quarters with the upper crust of the SEC West?
The Bengal Tigers have a huge advantage in this one by virtue of being at home. Between traveling to Baton Rouge, and not knowing just how well our conditioning really was this summer, I have to pick LSU as the winner in this one, but they will know that Auburn is back! LSU 31 Auburn 30
I'll pick this up in another post, and we'll look at the next few games before we head into Amen Corner, including back to back conference road games.