On this Saturday afternoon, just one week from the kick-off of the 2008 college football season (thank you, Lord), thanks to CSS, I am enjoying the sights and sounds of college football already. As I work on a few projects around the house, Auburn-LSU from two years ago is on the tube. And as I watch it, two realities are becoming clear:
1. Auburn will miss having a real offense
2. Auburn will sorely miss Brandon Cox
The physical, intimidating style of offense that the Tigers had brought to the table for so many years has been replaced by a “dink and dunk” gimmick offense made famous by the likes of Kentucky and Troy. It’s been well documented on this website the kind of athletes this sort of offense attracts, and the kind it deflects. Unfortunately for Auburn, the deflections are the ones everybody else wants. Kentucky hasn’t won the SEC East, let alone the conference in my lifetime. And Troy? Well, they beat Missouri a few years ago. That’s about it.
The Auburn defense will still be good, but no one in their right mind believes it will have the same intensity Will Muschamp’s defenses had, with unpredictable and relentless pressure and blitzes that came from everywhere. But the secondary has more holes than a whiffle ball. It’s the kind of unit a 5th year senior salivates to face at home. Ask Tennessee.
Auburn will also miss Brandon Cox. He wasn’t sexy. He wasn’t flashy. But he was consistent, and more importantly, Brandon Cox was proven. He had the kind of ice-water-in-the-veins poise that make a team you hate to see win do just that…a lot. I watched him with this God-given ability way back in high school at Hewitt-Trussville. He had an uncanny presence and ability to move in the pocket to avoid pressure, never taking his eyes off his receivers. In short, Auburn doesn’t have this anymore. The new QBs are good, I’m sure. But they aren’t Brandon Cox.
You can’t do anything about losing a starting QB to graduation. But Auburn’s politician…er…head coach has once again rushed to campaign for his program, selling its heart and soul for the latest offensive craze…one that will soon join the wishbone and wing-T out to pasture.