In case you’re not keeping count, that’s two complete days down in 2018. Let’s take stock of each.
JANUARY 1, 2018
Auburn loses to UCF in the Peach Bowl before our two biggest rivals win Playoff Semifinal games to advance to the full-out apocalypse scenario on Monday night. One of them will win a national championship. I will stake my chair firmly in the natural disaster corner, hoping for both teams and fanbases to fall into the fiery hellpits where they get to deal with the caves and the ragged clothing and the heat. My God, David, the heat!
If that doesn’t happen. I’ll pull for Georgia. Either way, New Year’s Day was WEAK.
JANUARY 2, 2018
We’re fully turning our attention to basketball and hoping that SEC play begins nicely for Bruce Pearl and a team currently enjoying a ten-game winning streak. IT DID.
Check out all of the highlights from tonight's road win over No. 23 Tennessee!— Auburn Basketball (@AuburnMBB) January 3, 2018
Don't miss the Tigers in action on Saturday as No. 22 Arkansas comes to Auburn Arena.
» https://t.co/ReF6eu19pR#WarEagle pic.twitter.com/EdvTMIHdTI
Auburn beat Tennessee 94-84, running away with it in the end after trailing by as many as 14 points multiple times in the first half. Jared Harper came back heroically from a cramp late in the game and helped seal the deal, and Horace Spencer brought Thompson-Boling Arena to its knees in the first half during the comeback.
Prepare for takeoff ✈️ pic.twitter.com/mMYAgXcYPw— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 3, 2018
Here’s Bruce Pearl after his first win at his old stomping grounds.
.@MGMAdvertiser INSTANT VIDEO: Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl (@coachbrucepearl) after 94-84 win at No. 23 Tennessee on Jan. 2, 2018 - pic.twitter.com/RM9ovtTx4a— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) January 3, 2018
Auburn’s resume earned a solid rise after the win, but a bigger test looms this weekend. Auburn Arena should be rocking when Arkansas comes to town on Saturday.
Auburn (13-1, 1-0 in SEC) rose 16 spots in the RPI to No. 21 after 94-84 win at Tennessee Tuesday night. Tigers get RPI No. 9 (Arkansas) at home Saturday -https://t.co/4WiySgoc1F— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) January 3, 2018
Very nice night for Auburn basketball fans, who have rightfully earned a little success after a Moses-esque desert wandering period.
However, with the good must come the bad. The universe is cruel that way, and things even out. We received a blow that we knew was probably coming, but there was still hope that it might not come to pass.
New Year...New Blessings pic.twitter.com/aXHdxDXF0n— Kerryon Johnson (@AyeyoKEJO) January 2, 2018
Kerryon Johnson decided to enter the NFL Draft and skip his senior season. No one can blame him, with the workload he took on this year and the injuries he suffered as well. The shelf life of a running back in the NFL is shrinking constantly, and so we want one of our greatest recent heroes to go and get his while he still can. KJ gave it all for Auburn, and wasn’t supposed to be the guy when he came to Auburn three years ago since he came in with Jovon Robinson. Then last year he was in the backfield with Kam Pettway and kind of fell by the wayside as Pettway’s season took off.
This year, he got the opportunity when Pettway was suspended for the opener, running for 136 yards in about 20 minutes of work before suffering a hamstring injury. Then after two games off he scores five touchdowns at Missouri and becomes the best tailback in the SEC. He wins SEC Offensive Player of the Year honors and is a huge reason why we beat #1 Georgia and #1 Alabama down the stretch.
Best of luck, KJ! You’ve earned this opportunity. #WorkHardWork.