Common Sense Says Auburn Loses Badly to Alabama
By: Larry Burton
Yes, we all know that common sense doesn’t matter when it comes to college football, sometimes an underdog just has his day. But this is no slight underdog and this time there won’t be a “miracle finish” like the last time Auburn won over the Tide. This will be brutal and if you’re an Auburn fan, it will be ugly.
If Les Miles is in trouble for having a .750 winning percentage at LSU, consider this, that same LSU team simply simply stomped this same Auburn team into the turf, 45-21 in a game that really wasn’t as competitive as the score indicated. And in case you forgot, this same LSU team was similarly stomped into the turf by Alabama 30-16 in a game that was also uglier than the score indicated.
That’s a 35 point difference folks.
But one game against a common opponent does not always indicate how a game will go, so let’s consider some other facts. Auburn has the 84th best defense in the country. So much for Wil Muschamp bringing the boom. Alabama has the number 3 defense and that is from playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation, much harder than number one and two on that list and far harder than Auburns.
In fact this is going to be one of weakest defenses Alabama has faced this season. That’s just not this writer’s opinion but concrete fact.
Now let’s talk about offense. This was supposed to be the Gus Malzahn strongpoint. However this year Auburn’s offense is rated as the nation’s 87th best offense. They average 377 yards a game while Alabama with it’s 54th rated offense gains an average of 417 yards a game.
Now that may not sound like a lot, but remember we’re talking common sense here and Auburn hasn’t played a defense near as good as Alabama’s and Alabama hasn’t played a defense as bad as Auburn’s, so when you consider that alone, it’s going to be ugly.
Auburn’s offense and defense combined just plain out stink. And that’s the same team barely squeaked out six wins with a shaky overtime win against a non division one team Jacksonville State, a seven point win over a six win Louisville team, a terrible San Diego State team, a five win Kentucky team and the Idaho Vandals, winners of three games this season. Auburn has just one win against a team with a winning record in this division. Again, this team just stinks.
And while Auburn has just been stinking it up all season long, Alabama has been getting better as the season has gone along. Again, this is not subjective opinion, but hard fact.
Now if you’re an Auburn fan holding onto hope, here’s the last sad fact that shows just how bad it’s going to be.
So far this season Auburn has gained 2210 yards rushing the ball and 1937 passing. That’s pretty close to being balanced, but Auburn has no Leonard Fornette, no Nick Chubs and no real star back close to those two and Alabama shut down every team with a superstar back and beat them. That leaves the passing game and that is something that Auburn does not do well.
Auburn rates 109 out of 128 teams in division one. In other words, with no running game that will work, they will have to turn to their passing game and it absolutely stinks. Auburn throws one interception for every touchdown they throw and against a defense like Alabama’s you can’t afford those kinds of turnovers.
So while Auburn’s offense is looking like a high school team, their defense will be equally inept.
Alabama’s offense is one built on the running game. They average just about 200 yards a game rushing and much of that has been against defenses twice to three times as good as Auburn’s. Auburn averages giving up about 181 yards rushing to just average to poor rushing teams. Against a decent rushing team like LSU for example, they gave up 411 yards rushing to them, 228 to Fornette alone. And don’t forget that Alabama held Fornette to 31 yards.
Against Auburn, Kiffin could call running plays over a loud speaker and Auburn couldn’t stop them. Ok, now that’s opinion and not hard fact, but the premise is certainly valid.
Alabama will control the game, the tempo and the clock with this offense. In summary they lose and lose badly.
Yes anything can happen, but short of divine intervention, there is less chance of Auburn winning that almost any opponent Alabama has faced this season. Gus won’t have to worry about “hanging 60 them” this season, he only has to worry about having 60 hung on Auburn. Alabama by 30 or more seems about right in this one.
Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter