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What Are Auburn's Chances Against Florida?

By Jay Coulter

It’s good to back among the living. On Sunday morning I felt like I had been stepped on by a hobnail boot and had my nose broke – oh wait a minute that was Alabama feeling that way.

Actually, I’ve been bedridden since Sunday with strep throat and a double ear infection.

It's the sickest I’ve been in 15 years and I’m still only at about 80 percent. But hey, it’s Florida week and we all have to play hurt. Anyway, it’s great to be back. I apologize for my absence.

The Tigers have a huge task ahead of them on Saturday. That’s an understatement. When Auburn kickoffs with the Gators Saturday night, they’ll enter the game as 18 point underdogs. That’s a good trivia question. When was the last time Auburn was an 18 point dog?

Does Auburn have a realistic chance at winning Saturday night? Sure they do. Is it likely? Of course it’s not. But the odds were long in 2002, when unranked Auburn went to Tuscaloosa and won 17-7, with a fourth string freshman tailback.

They were long in 2001, when the unranked Tigers beat the top-ranked Gators 23-20. The odds were long a few weeks ago when Appalachian State beat fifth ranked Michigan.

In other words, don’t write Auburn off yet. The best possible scenario for the Tigers happened in Saturday’s win over New Mexico State. Brandon Cox got his groove back and Tommy Tuberville found some guys that wanted to play.

On the flip side, the best thing that could happen to Florida did, they struggled against Ole Miss and found out they were human. With all of that aside, Auburn has some huge, make that enormous hurdles to overcome in Gainesville.

For starters, it looks like linebacker Tray Blackmon is questionable at best for Saturday and Merrill Johnson is likely not to play.

Combine that with three true freshmen seeing significant playing time on the offensive line and you have to wonder what Al Borges is thinking in terms of game planning.

We’ll break it down more as we go this week. I’ll get on the phone today and find out what’s going on at the Athletic Department. We’ll cover Tuberville’s press conference from this morning and gets some quotes from the players. Until then, have a great evening.