It's very strange to see that Auburn is 1-3. It's even stranger to think that a 12-10 loss to LSU should be deemed as a building block for the Tigers to turn their season around.
But in 2012, that's where we find ourselves when we talk about this football team.
I know a lot of people don't believe in the concept of "a good loss," or "moral victory," but sometimes it only takes a team competing with one of the best sides in the country to turn things around.
I know it was a home game, but the fact that Auburn was able to stick with LSU despite being nearly a three-touchdown underdog is a great sign, especially for the defense.
Auburn won't agree, of course. A loss is a loss is a loss, especially for a program that won a national championship in 2010. Starting 1-3 and needing overtime to beat Louisiana-Monroe is simply unacceptable.
Harping on a loss won't make it go away.
If Auburn can take confidence out of the LSU game, the schedule really opens up for them. After a week off, they face Arkansas, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M and New Mexico State. Those are five winnable games (along with Alabama A&M) before the team has to face Georgia and Alabama.
In other words, this team should be able to turn things around and become bowl eligible this season.
There are plenty of issues, of course. More than a few fans have lamented the play calling. The secondary has been suspect. Kiehl Frazier has really struggled at quarterback.
But as we saw against LSU, the potential is there for this team to turn things around. The defense looked dramatically improved. While LSU stymied the run game—they tend to do that—we saw against Louisiana-Monroe that the running game has started to click.
All is not lost. A bowl is not out of the question. A bit of optimism and confidence from this football team and who knows what might happen down the stretch?
But this team must build on the LSU game. They must take a moral victory out of a close loss. It's not ideal, but in 2012, it's better than nothing.
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