AP writer Paul Newberry penned a story today on how the Auburn and Georgia game pits two teams that didn’t live up to expectations. The story mentions Alabama several timesâ€”it is a common theme this year where Alabama’s surge has left other SEC schools off balance. (Read the AP story in its entirety below)
Georgia hasn’t been the same with all the injuries followed by the thrashing from Alabama between the hedges. Alabama hasn’t played Auburn yet, but one prominent part of the story is this:
Then again, the Bulldogs look like a major success next to Clemson and Auburn, which share a nickname (Tigers) and suffered through the same sort of season.
Both started in the Top 10. Both have gone through major coaching changes. Both are struggling just to finish above .500 and maybe eke out a minor bowl invitation.
Auburn (5-5) brought in a new offensive coordinator, Tony Franklin, to install the spread before last year’s bowl game â€” a striking change for a team that had relied on a power running game.
Auburn and Clemson are both teams reeling thanks to Alabama. Clemson was exposed on national television, and wasn’t able to recover. Auburn entered its experiment with Tony Franklin due to Nick Saban’s arrival at Alabama. Does anyone think Tommy Tuberville would’ve hired Franklin and tried the spread if not due to recruiting fears? Tuberville’s laziness on the recruiting trail led him to a knee-jerk response. And it failed. Badly.
Without a doubt, Nick Saban has shifted the balance of power in the SEC West. This AP story illustrates just how much.