I have never struggled to write a game preview more than this one. I’ve toiled over writing in my typical rallying the troops, call to arms style or going with a more realistic “It’s going to take a miracle” approach. I think I’m going to go somewhere in the middle.
If you look at the records, the trends, and the stats, Auburn shouldn’t have a shot. The better team usually wins, and for this season Alabama has been the better team overall. That’s not a secret because it’s just the truth. The world is picking the Tide in one of their easiest wins of the season and they probably should.
If we take a deeper look, the individual matchups aren’t in Auburn’s favor in any way. The Auburn offense has struggled all season, and they will be going against one of the top defenses in the nation. Auburn’s run defense is near the bottom of the SEC, and they will be going against one of the top rushing attacks in the nation as well.
It’s been rumored and almost accepted at this point that this may be the last game at Auburn for Coach Chizik and his staff. I’m not going to talk about whether that’s right or that’s wrong, but at this point it’s more likely than not.
If it is so, that may be the only thing Auburn has on their side, and I don’t mean that in the sense that Auburn will be better off once/if Chizik is somewhere else. I mean it in terms for this game, the coaches can read the writing on the wall, the players can as well, and they will have no reason to play carefully or play scared. They can go all out and do anything it takes to try to make the game competitive.
If I was Chizik, I would go for it on every manageable 4th down. I would try an onside kick or two. I would run trick play after trick play. The world has already accepted an Auburn loss. A very big Auburn loss. Why not?
As cliche as it sounds, you have absolutely nothing to lose. There is no reason to try to salvage anything. This is one game, probably the last game for a lot of people associated with Auburn right now. Nobody is even giving you a chance to keep it within thirty points.
That is the only shot Auburn has today. If they try any approach they’ve tried all season, it will not work. We’ve seen it not work all season. Something different has to be done. Something crazy has to be done. Go crazy, Chizik, go crazy.