Step back for a moment, to June or May of this year and think of what you expected out of this AU team this year. Kodi Burns was going to be the quarterback and caudle would back him up and we were going to win 5-7 games and not look very impressive for the most part.
No one knew to talk about players like Onterio McCalebb or Darvin Adams. Chris Todd might as well have transferred to UAB and try to get on as a graduate assistant. Our offense wasn't supposed to be averaing 40 points a game or moving the ball for over 500 yards in games against ANYONE.
Long story short, Auburn was going to struggle all year.
Now jump to October as we prep for the Kentucky game. We've had more ups than we were supposed to and some downs that really aren't that bad by comparison. We came from behind to win our first 3 games of the season, a feat not seen often in the Tubberviille era. Our offense has shown some serious flashes of brilliance at times. Sure, our defense has left a lot to be desired but can we really ask for more from those guys (besides tackling)?
Gene Chizik was a goat earlier this year. Then he began doing some things no one expected. One of those things was assembling a fantastic coaching staff. Then he began pulling in some serious recruits (considering the time he had to work with). Most importantly, he's worked his ass off since arriving here on the Plains. He's given this team an identity that goes beyond the football field. This team is now working together towards a main goal, which is a complete 180 from last year.
Now, the Arkansas game was a tough loss. We didn't play nearly our best, and to be honest we were probably due. This is a very young team. Mistakes are going to happen, and sometimes those mistakes will come in bunches. This is a team that will react more to momentum than more experienced teams will. This past Saturday we couldn't keep momentum and we could not stop shooting ourselves in the foot. I don't think for one second that we can't compete with any team we have left in our schedule. This is a football team, right now, that can give anyone in the SEC trouble I truly believe that. Does that mean we'll win out? No. Does that mean we'll win 9 games? Probably not, but its possible.
2009 is not over and there's more business to be taken care of. Everyone knew before the season started that we weren't going undefeated and that we would struggle at times, so there's no reason to be negative. We all forgot about a lot the problems this team had when we came out of the gate as strong as we did. As Jay and some others have said, this team is special. Maybe not National Championship special, but its gong to be a special year none the less. Chizik and his staff are laying a very strong foundation right now, and as Auburn fans we should all be proud that we've got it this good while going through this process. Earlier this year I wrote about wanting Chizik and this team to give me something to believe. Well, they both have delivered ten fold and I'm just counting myself lucky to be supporting such a great program and school.
War Eagle everyone, and by the way, I believe in Auburn.