I'd like to start this post by congratulating the Auburn Tigers for a amazing 2013 football season. The turn around from last year has been a lot of fun to watch for even the most casual CFB fan. Gus and his staff have done a great job this year and the Tigers have improved from week to week. There are fans who seem to think that Auburn "lucked" into the NCG and I disagree. Were there a couple of jaw dropping highlights against UGA and Bama that helped Auburn this past season? Yes, but that's football. If anything, Saban and his staff as well as Richt's staff were out coached on the two specific plays that have launched Auburn over the past six weeks. Auburn deserves to be in Pasadena.
What inspired this post is the lack of respect FSU seems to be getting from both print and television media, opposing fans and generally people who don't seem to know much about college football. I've heard it all this past month. The SEC!!!, "how will FSU stop Auburns rushing attack?", SEC!!! " FSU plays in the ACC", SEC!!! "FSU has not been tested." etc... Did I mention AU plays in the SEC? I doubt I'll address all of the questions about FSU and why or why not they should be in Pasadena, but there are a few things I'd like to point out.
The absolute destruction of the teams FSU has faced this year can not be argued with. 12 out of the 13 opponents for FSU this year suffered their worse loss of the season to the Noles. I'm guessing we could of pitched 4 to 6 shutouts this year if the coaching staff had wanted to. The FSU schedule is what it is, but the FSU players, coaching staff, administration and fans are not responsible for ranking four of our opponents. That responsibility fell on the national media or coaches, but those four ranked opponents were outscored by 193 points. That boggles the mind. The one SEC team that FSU faced this year was a UF team plagued w/ a lot of issues and we all know this. It did not stop FSU from going into Gainesville against a inspired UF team and handing them their worse loss of the year. The defense at UF has several players who will be playing on Sundays in the near future and I'll go out on a limb and state that I feel the defense we faced at UF is better than the one we will see in Pasadena. The mighty SEC had eight cracks at UF and none handled them the way we did.
What excites me the most about Monday night? Its not Winston and company (which after Monday night will become the most prolific scoring offense in CFB history) that's been going at it at 53 points per game this year.....though I do feel good about us hanging 50 on AU. Nope, what excites me is how the Jeremy Pruitt led defense is going to perform Monday night. For some reason (and I cant get my head around it), everyone seems to think we will be ran through and around all night on Monday and I've seen nothing this year to lead me to think that'll happen. Nothing. If I'm sick of hearing about the daunting rushing attack that AU has, I'm certain that TJ8, Joyner, Telvin and the rest of our defense is tired of it as well. No doubt, the performance's by Auburn over the past six weeks on offense have been very impressive, but anyone who thinks we have a bunch of wall flowers on the defensive side of the ball hasn't been paying attention.
I'm very excited for past, present and future Noles as our progression to the top of the college football world takes a giant step forward on Monday night.
I wont be in Pasadena Monday night, but I will be standing in front of the big screen all night long as my wife and Chief (Osceola - black lab) gaze at me in utter confusion and dismay as I rant and cheer like a lunatic for three plus hours. I cant sugarcoat this.....52-20 as the secondary jumps into a mean game of hangman late in the 4th qtr.