Football season may be over for the Auburn Tigers, but the football news never stops. Especially the day after a bowl game.
It was a tough game, but the Tigers fell to Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl, yesterday. I'm sure you're aware of that. Our normally reliable kicker missed two field goals - including the one to send the game to a second over time. However, unlike many other rival fanbases, #AuburnTwitter was filled with support. Coaches and players also rallied behind kicker Daniel Carlson, who has been handling all of the kicking duties this season.
Auburn's seniors gave it their all, and so did one junior leaving early for the NFL. Sammie Coates played at about 85%, when he could have hung it up and protected his health for the draft. He decided to play and made a few good catches. However, his explosiveness just wasn't there.
Freshman Braden Smith got his first start and first significant action since the beginning of the season. Pat Miller played most of the game, though, which makes me wonder what the purpose behind that was.
Auburn's defense got torched on the ground. They gave up more rushing yards to Melvin Gordon than to any other single player in Auburn history. However, Gus is confident that the defense is in good hands going forward. While he wasn't directly coaching, Will Muschamp was listening in on the headsets for the calls, and you can be sure he has been evaluating the coaches and players. We already know one change that will be coming: Melvin Smith will not be retained on the staff. I am 99.9999999% confident his position will be held by former Tiger DB Travaris Robinson after the Gator's bowl game.
As for players... Kris Frost has not made up his mind on the NFL, yet. Come on back, Kris. You know you need it. I have some thoughts on some reasons why some players like Frost may consider leaving, though. We'll get to those in the next few days.
We'll have all manner of end-of-the-season articles up for you in the coming days and weeks. Signing day is a month away. Spring practice comes shortly after that. I'll have my "View From..." article up this afternoon. There are still bowl games to watch and the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship to come next Monday.
When it comes to actual Auburn sports, though, it's time to turn our attention elsewhere...
The ladies take on #1 South Carolina in Columbia today to open SEC play. Tip off is 6pm CDT.
The men are in town to take on North Alabama on Saturday afternoon at noon. That will be the last non-conference game of the season before the Tigers enter SEC play next week.