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What A Weird, Strange Trip It Has Been

By Jay Coulter

Is there another sport that has a faster season than college football? It’s hard to believe that Auburn only has five regular season games left. The leaves haven’t started changing yet and we are already getting close to Amen Corner.

This is the strangest college football season in my lifetime. How rich would you be today if you had put money down in the summer on South Florida being the second ranked team in the country and Boston College third?

What would you have thought if I told you in August that Auburn would lose to Mississippi State and LSU would go down to Kentucky? At this rate, two losses might get you a shot at a national championship.

It’s been a year like no other. Here are some random thoughts on the first half of the season...

The voters in both national polls have lost their mind. First, USC loses to Stanford and drops six spots in the Coaches Poll and now LSU falls only four spots after losing to Kentucky. Meanwhile, Auburn wins three straight (including two on the road in the SEC) and barely breaks the top 20. Is there really an Auburn bias? I used to say no, now I’m not so sure.

Whatever happened to Saban Nation? All of those houndstooth wearing trailer dwellers have retreated back to their holes for a long winter’s nap. Has there been a more over hyped, underperforming coach than Nick Saban?

Saban is paying his assistants more than anyone in the country and he brings in Major Applewhite (a.k.a. Doogie Howser) to run his offense. Thankfully, it shows.

The Iron Bowl is six weeks away, but if you’re an Auburn fan you’ve got to feel good about holding up that sixth finger. The Tide has a real shot at losing five of its last six games.

I don’t understand why Arkansas fans want Houston Nutt gone. He took a program that has been dormant since the Frank Broyles era and made them respectable. He led them to an SEC West title a year ago and has two of the most exciting runners in the country.

Saturday night not withstanding, their problem has been on defense where they haven’t stopped anyone. They took a big step Saturday in rectifying that problem. Arkansas could do a lot worse – see Ole Miss.

Do you feel like Auburn has a real chance Saturday night in Baton Rouge? I do. The purple Tigers were banged up big time by Kentucky. They looked worn out at the end of the third overtime. You can’t help but think that will help Auburn.

I know ESPN’s Reese Davis graduated from Alabama, but dang it, I like that guy. He’s one of the few genuine people left at the network. I got to know him while he was still a mere mortal at WRBL in Columbus, Georgia back in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. He is absolutely the best studio host at ESPN for any sport.

Have the grumblings started in Athens, Georgia yet? After being blown out by Tennessee and escaping at Vandy over the weekend, you have to wonder where the Dawg program is heading.

None of their remaining five games are gimmies. After an off week coming up, they head to Jacksonville to take on Florida and from there its Troy, Auburn, Kentucky and at Georgia Tech.

Mark Richt is one of the class coaches in the nation, but he’s getting close to underachieving for the second consecutive year. Now if we can just get him to underachieve against Auburn.

Take nothing away from South Florida, but are they really the second best team in the country? If they are, then Auburn is the third. Bulls coach Jim Leavitt must feel like he’s living a dream. That dream could end Thursday night when they travel to New Jersey to play Rutgers.