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The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors

Kaos

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The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« on: February 03, 2021, 01:27:16 PM »
Ladies, Gentlemen and whatever the rest of you are?  

We are about to enter uncharted waters. Whatever you think about my long-standing displeasure with the direction Gus took us, and however you view my outright rejection of the pandering social justice stances taken by Auburn and other sports organizations, I hope you recognize that I generally see things as they are, not what I wish they would be.  

I'm now telling you that we may now be entering a tunnel as dark as any we've endured in our lifetimes.  Here are the problems, most already well documented. 

1. Gus was a terrible coach who got by based on an ability to recruit as well or better than any coach we've ever had.  His classes were consistently ranked in the Top 10.  That allowed him to simply out-athlete most teams on the schedule.  That talent masked a multitude of deficiencies. The biggest problem is that so much of that talent was squandered, run off, allowed to rot.  He did not develop players. That reputation caught up with him. If we saw it, you know the others did. 

2. Over the last few years, the recruiting misfired in areas which are damaging to the long term health of the program.  Gus failed to effectively recruit offensive linemen (and there are a number of reasons for this).  The program is in dismal shape -- worse than even the Bowden years -- when it comes to the OL, which is a cornerstone. 

3. Perhaps recognizing his own end was near or perhaps because the recruits sensed it too, Gus died on the recruiting trail this season.  Absolutely died.  For years I've heard our fans spout the mantra "Ol' Tommy just quit recruiting, there at the end."  Tuberville's final class was ranked just outside the Top 20. His 2007 class was 9th. The 2008 class was 21st.  The 2021 recruting class will be the lowest ranked Auburn class since national rankings were first posted in 1999.  And it won't be close.  If this class hangs on to finish above 40th, it will be a miracle.  Mississippi State, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Ole Miss are all ranked ahead of Auburn. That has never happened -- not EVER.  No school in the Top 50 has fewer signed recruits.  Auburn barely has half a class. Only South Carolina and Vanderbilt rank behind Auburn in the SEC.  Our biggest rival has more four-star recruits than Auburn has TOTAL signees.  Compounding the problem, this class only includes two offensive linemen, both three-stars.  

That idiot Gus (as was his custom) boosted the ego of the dimbulb faction of our fanbase (larger than we'd like to admit) by claiming 'next year is the year!'  Many of them still buy that.  They are wrong.  

Our new coaching staff might be able to overcome this dismal recruiting season and stunning lack of depth/quality on the OL by crafting a monster recruiting season next year.  That effort is going to be severely hampered by the gross talent grab in Tuscaloosa, the dirty bird tactics out of Athens, the 'sleep with my wife' offers from Gainesville, the gumbo fun in Baton Rouge and the 'get ya some crablegs and a bag of cash' idiocy in College Station.  It's going to be harder to recruit than it ever has been. 

If Harsin doesn't hit a three-run homer at least on the recruiting trail next year (and I'm talking about top seven finish, top four in the SEC) we could be in for a few seasons of despair.  

As much as I hate to say it, maybe that's what we need.  Get the attitude right among some of this nouveau, entitled, arrogant, hanger-on, fanbase we seem to have developed over the last decade or so. 

I think Harsin is a better hire than anything Tennessee has done since the Bloated Backstabber left the sidelines, but that's not a given.  He's got his work cut out for him.  

Contrary to what our idiot fans seem to believe, this isn't a re-load.  Thanks to Gus Malzahn and his Magic Ego, we are actually in full rebuild mode now.  It might not be pretty.  Put on your grown up underwear. You're going to need it.   
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Snaggletiger

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Re: The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2021, 03:01:58 PM »
Jane, you ignorant slut.  Wait, you're actually spot on there Jane.

This is a subject that several of us on the board were having a texting debate about the other day.  I've approached it from a similar gloom and doom perspective myself.  I said going into this past season that I didn't have high hopes because of the current state of our O-line unit.  The recruiting in that area has been nothing short of abysmal for several years now.  The Greg Robinsons, Reese Dismukes, Shon Colemans, Avery Youngs and Braden Smiths of the world are just faint memories.  What we went into 2020 with was a line that consisted of one 4* rated player, Nick Brahms, a transfer from Akron, Brandon Council, and two players, Tashawn Manning and Alec Jackson, who were both signed as 270 pound 3* defensive linemen.  They're on this side of the ball now because there's nobody better for those slots.

Now, one glimmer of hope, for me anyway, is that this season's O-line should return in tact.  That doesn't sound very comforting given the fact that I just trashed them above.  In my armchair QB opinion, there were some things they did do well, mainly run block.  They've played a year together, most of them, against an all-SEC schedule, including Bama, FUGA and Texas A&Mzz.  Now, they have new coaching staff, a new scheme and a completely new skrongness and conditioning staff. If all those turn out to be factors that improve this unit, we may be able to slug our way through a respectable year while Harvinz works to get the cupboard filled back up.     
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Buzz Killington

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Re: The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2021, 03:45:20 PM »
Not sure why I bothered, but I went back and looked at the classes going all the way back to 2015.  While yes, they were all top 20 classes; I could count on one hand each year the number of recruits that stayed and actually contributed.  

I know snaggs wants mowr starz, but give me a steady dose of 15-25 ranked classes full of contributors and the occasional superstar over the top 10 classes with 2 stars and 10 kids that transfer 1 or 2 years later.  $ince we can't $weeten the pot to convince all tho$e 5 $star$ to gray$shirt and $tick around to wait behind the other 5 $tar$, we need more development of good talent.  

Not sure that Halitosis is the guy to do that, but his track record says it's a definite possibility.

Just hoping now that he can use that portal transponder thingy really well this year and recruit the trenches really well going forward.
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Snaggletiger

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Re: The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2021, 05:05:46 PM »
Not sure why I bothered, but I went back and looked at the classes going all the way back to 2015.  While yes, they were all top 20 classes; I could count on one hand each year the number of recruits that stayed and actually contributed. 

I know snaggs wants mowr starz, but give me a steady dose of 15-25 ranked classes full of contributors and the occasional superstar over the top 10 classes with 2 stars and 10 kids that transfer 1 or 2 years later.  $ince we can't $weeten the pot to convince all tho$e 5 $star$ to gray$shirt and $tick around to wait behind the other 5 $tar$, we need more development of good talent. 

Not sure that Halitosis is the guy to do that, but his track record says it's a definite possibility.

Just hoping now that he can use that portal transponder thingy really well this year and recruit the trenches really well going forward.
The Guzzler always recruited near or inside the top 10 and always got more than his fair share of Mowr Starz guys.  The problem is that for whatever reason, they got a big fat D- in O-line recruiting the past few years.  I have no idea why.   
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WiregrassTiger

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Re: The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2021, 06:58:06 PM »
The Guzzler always recruited near or inside the top 10 and always got more than his fair share of Mowr Starz guys.  The problem is that for whatever reason, they got a big fat D- in O-line recruiting the past few years.  I have no idea why. 
Piss poor facilities.
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Kaos

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Re: The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2021, 08:19:45 PM »
The Guzzler always recruited near or inside the top 10 and always got more than his fair share of Mowr Starz guys.  The problem is that for whatever reason, they got a big fat D- in O-line recruiting the past few years.  I have no idea why. 
The schemes they were learning didn't translate to the NFL. 

What does Auburn's offensive line draft look like?

Ben Grubbs was drafted in the first round in 2007.  The next offensive guard from Auburn to hit the draft?  Braden Smith in 2019.

Since King Dunlap was drafted in 2008, Auburn had six total tackles drafted.  Lee Ziemba, Brandon Moseley, Greg Robinson, Shon Coleman, Prince Whooptedebongo and Jack Driscoll.

Only Driscoll, Prince and Shon are still allegedly in the game.

Haven't had a true center drafted since 1992.

None were first rounders.

I hate to compare to Bama, but let's. 

Since 2008:
4 Centers drafted
4 Guards (one first round)
7 Tackles (4 in the first round)

Georgia's had 12 offensive linemen drafted since 2008.
LSU's had 10.

It's not as bad as I expected, but my search was rushed.  Still, our three primary rivals have had 37 offensive linemen drafted since Gus first set foot on campus.  Auburn's had 8. 

Read this from the Indy Star, in an article discussing the surprising play of Braden Smith:

Indianapolis GM Chris Ballard took considerable criticism from the outside after Smith’s name was called on draft day. Not because of his physical tools; Smith was one of the strongest, most explosive blockers available.

Because of his school.

Auburn has a long, proud history of producing Pro Bowl offensive linemen, but the pipeline dried up a decade ago.

The Tigers hired their current head coach, Gus Malzahn, as the offensive coordinator under Gene Chizik in 2009. Under Malzahn’s offensive guidance, Auburn has produced a Heisman Trophy winner, a national title, a BCS runner-up and nine consecutive seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher. A program like that should be a factory for NFL offensive linemen, but only five Auburn offensive linemen have been picked in the draft since 2009, and the Tigers’ top picks at the position have struggled.

The problem is Auburn’s offense.

Malzahn’s hurry-up, no-huddle scheme is nothing like an NFL offense. Auburn rarely huddles. Offensive linemen operate mostly out of a two-point stance. Play calls are a picture on a board, rather than a long list of words, and Auburn rarely makes checks or audibles at the line of scrimmage, a staple of NFL offensive line play.


Who is Braden Smith, you ask?  I didn't really remember.  I had to look it up. I still don't know. 


Thanks, Gus.
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Snaggletiger

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Re: The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2021, 09:11:08 PM »
Trivial as this sounds, one of my favorite parts of a game at JHS was when Braden Smith and Austin Golson would go to midfield as captains.  These two were both 6’5” and 6’6” monsters with tree trunks for arms.  The other team always sent out some 200 pound running back and a QB.  The look was always like....OH SHIT.
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CCTAU

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Re: The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2021, 11:29:52 PM »
If you don’t remember Braden Smith...
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Kaos

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Re: The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2021, 12:02:33 AM »
If you don’t remember Braden Smith...
Well. I haven’t watched that much in three years or more.  Only now realizing how much of the joy Gus sucked out of it.  

But the reality is that I don’t really remember him.  

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The Six

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Re: The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2021, 09:37:52 AM »
Official song of this thread
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jmar

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Re: The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2021, 11:16:40 AM »
Well. I haven’t watched that much in three years or more.  Only now realizing how much of the joy Gus sucked out of it. 

But the reality is that I don’t really remember him. 
I remember that Wench identified his neck beard straight away. 
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Snaggletiger

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Re: The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2021, 12:10:40 PM »
So a quick look at the class so far does actually have it's bright spots.  But first, another emphasis on the utter fail in the area of Offensive Linemen.  We signed two:

Garner Langlo  6'7"  270  3*

Colby Smith  6'7"  315  3*

Maybe they both turn out to be great players, but on the surface, this is Sun Belt level cruitin'.  However, GH pointed out this morning that with so many slots left to fill, about 9, we may not know what this class is all about for a few months, given the number of bodies in the Continuum Transfunctioner thingy.

As for those bright spots, I love the haul on the D-line, which was as much of a need as the O-line.  We got 5, two of which are highly rated and one is an experienced defensive end transfer from Northwestern. On a side note, on the 247 commit list, they show that transfer as Andrew Leota, a 6'3" 220 DE.  Every article I read said it was Eku Leota, who is 6'4" 250.  I hope that's a misprint on 247's part.  So along with Leota, we signed:

Lee Hunter  6'5"  292  4*

Marquis Robinson  6'3"  300  4*

Ian Matthews  6'5"  290  3*

Tobechi Okoli  6'5"  250  3*

According to most write ups I've seen, Hunter is the big dog of the bunch.  I love pulling up the film on these guys, and taking nekkid shower pics.  To me, the sleeper may be Okoli.  I know they're called "highlights" for a reason, but that guy looks scary good on film.  

Quarterback, Dematrius Davis from Texas, is another one that might do some special things on The Planez.  He's a 6' 200 pounder and is rated as the #4 Dual Threat QB in the nation.  I didn't see if they won the 6A State Championship this year but going into the playoffs, he had already thrown for 30TD's and rushed for 14 more.  They were going for their 3rd straight, I believe.  Anyway, he could initially be a nice change up for Nix in certain situations if Harvinz is so inclined to run a Mildcat formation.

Outside of a JUCO linebacker, 6'3" 215 Joko Willis, and a 6'3" wide receiver, whose name escapes me, this class is also heavy on defensive backs as we signed 5.

Right now, we stand at #30 in the nation and 11th in the SEC.  I believe that will certainly change over the coming weeks as we continue to fill out the remainder of this class.    
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jmar

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Re: The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2021, 12:48:55 PM »
Wasn't thrilled with the way Tub's recruited before his departure. Entirely too many misses with a hobby kit mentality of jacklegging guards into defensive linemen and tight ends into tackles. But again, the in-state streak was helped by the coaching failures in the conference, particularly in Tuscaloosa. Yet there was continuity on the staff and development all the same even if there was the inexplicable occasion of getting humiliated by Georgia Tech or Arkansas for Christsakes. 

Humboldt and staff are a fresh start in unchartered waters. Our chief rivals are recruiting out of their minds so I don't know any way to progress outside of working smarter to engineer a product that can compete and retain its value over time. There's just no quick fix.

The cupboard isn't entirely bare but the chances of pulling a Tot with a fairly deep roster simply isn't in the cards. 

We knew that this change had to take place at the apex of Saban's reign, not after his departure. 
We were neck and neck with Georgia when Smart took over and better than Clemson for three seasons under Swinney. Now Florida is on the rise as is TAMU.

We might not be the fourth best in the SEC West because of LSU but this had to happen. Still I'm not of the mindset that Auburn can't overcome this shortfall over a few recruiting cycles and stay relevant.

Sometimes you draw just the right card that sends you on a streak and changes your fortunes.
Need to prepare for it and not squander it when it comes.



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