Originally Posted by WDE
You honestly don't know what you are talking about do you? Yes, we are not that great this year, but to have no hope because you lose Dyer and Malzahn is ridiculous. There is more to teams than just one player.
To understand the current state of the Auburn football program, one has to appreciate some recent history.
Tubberville was a great coach and the Auburn program ruled Alabama under him. However, his last two to three years really saw his program develop some cracks. His recruiting took a noticeable nose dive with his last two classes being well below acceptable. This inertia was also reflected in his on the field results. 11-2 to 9-4 and then 5-7 in his final year (2008). Chizik was hired following the season and essentially cobbled together a recruiting class on the fly meaning roughly three classes in succession weren't on par with Auburn's SEC rivals.
That said, Chizik hired Malzahn and a very good 4-3 guy (Roof) as coordinators and tailored their offense and defense to the talent Chizik inherited and Auburn began recruiting in earnest.
2010 marked the end of Tubby's classes and culminated in a national championship but everyone knew the experience gap was about to manifest (and this was exacerbated by several talented juniors leaving after the championship as well).
2011 was largely characterized by a lack of upperclassman and experience. Several key injuries further contributed to a lack of depth. These season the Tigers are again very young (Last Week was their quaterback's first collegiate start, their OL is made up of mostly either true or redshirt freshman). Their DL is likewise very young. But there is a great deal of talent and athleticism now that Tubby's classes were starting to lose. This year there is true competition at all positions.
Given the youth, the end of 2011 also marked a perfect time for Chizik to make some changes in his program so that the offense and defense were more consistent with his philosophy. In other words, this off season was the perfect time to part ways with Malzahn. In many ways Roof was a victim of Malzahn's offense plus he and Chizik had some philosophical differences.
This year's recruiting class will be Chizik's third top ten class since he's been here and it's going to be loaded with some studs that plug some of the weaknesses still evident in this year's team. Next year the depth will be back to where the roster of a top SEC team would expected to be and there won't be any gaps in the age of players etc. Most associated with Auburn point to next year as the year they can be legit SEC contenders.
The first two games I think exposed the inexperience as a real weakness. But Auburn frankly could have beaten Clemson. Clearly the talent is there. Today's game? It was a major flop. But MSU has a scary good secondary and Mullen basically made Frazier have to meat MSU. As tests go, Clemson and MSU were probably the worst possible match ups as the first two opponents this year. Neither team is unbeatable (especially MSU) but they were bad matchups especially for road games.
Unless something unexpected happens (injuries or Chizik implodes and loses the players), the Tigers are going to get much better each week.