Normally, I have a tremendous amount of respect for one Kirk Herbstreit. He is one of the few commentators who actually knows what he is talking about when it comes to college football, but today I’m going to have to take Herbie to task.
On ESPN, Herbstreit said that the Auburn Tigers will win the SEC West this year. Now, I can understand if he said the LSU Tigers or even the Arkansas Razorbacks; that makes more sense to me, but the Auburn Tigers?!? Really, Kirk?
I know Auburn improved quite a bit last year, but how do you go from 8-5 to winning the West and facing Florida for the SEC Title? Well, here are list of reasons why Auburn won’t win the West this year.
Yes I know the buzz around Cam Newton is HUGE.
He is supposed to be the greatest thing coming out of Auburn since toilet paper. But there's one problem: The kid is inexperienced. This kid has never played a full season in the SEC and now he is suppose to come out of no where and be a world beater?
Come on now, rarely does that happen and when it does you have to have the talent around the player to do it; ask Greg McElroy.
When McElroy fell for a few weeks last season, Bama still won because of its running game and defense; Auburn didn't have that luxury last year and probably won't have it this year; ask Chris Todd.
Speaking of defense, is it just me or did we all miss the memo that said the Tigers defense will be better this year?
The main reason Auburn finished 8-5 last year wasn’t because of the offense, it was because of the defense. Auburn had 14 point leads against Alabama and Georgia and lost both games.
If Auburn had ANY kind of defense, they would have won those games. I find it hard to believe, in just a year’s time, that a defense which surrendered nearly 30 points a game will be improved that much.
From the sounds of things in practice so far, it doesn’t sound like they won't be that much better.
If there is one team that constantly has given the Tigers fits, it’s the Razorbacks.
Arkansas has ALWAYS given Auburn fits and last year was no exception. The Hogs jumped on the Tigers early and often, and unless the Auburn secondary is much improved this year, I don’t see anything changing; Mallett will eat the Tigers alive.
Now that Herbstreit has said the Tigers will win the SEC West, the pressure is on the Tigers to prove they are worthy of such lofty expectations.
The fans are already talking about how good they expect Newton to be before he takes a snap and how the defense will be better.
But it’s going to be interesting to see if this team can live up to the hype and pressure of being in the spotlight.
The obvious reason.
Last time I checked, the Crimson Tide are still the defending national champions and this year the Tigers have to come to Tuscaloosa to face them. In the past, that may not have meant much since Alabama has a losing record against Auburn in Tuscaloosa, but this is Nick Saban, not Mike Shula.
No matter what their record is, I doubt the Tide players are going to let the Tigers come in and beat them, especially on senior day.
If the Tigers are to win the SEC West, they still have to go through Tuscaloosa and I doubt they will be able to do that.
So, Herbie, whether you like it or not, the road to Atlanta will still be paved in Crimson and White.
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