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Game Preview and Open Thread - Auburn @ Ole Miss

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This may be the last time...

LSU v Auburn Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In 1965, The Rolling Stones wrote “The Last Time.”

Well I told you once and I told you twice, But ya never listen to my advice, You don’t try very hard to please me With what you know it should be easy

Man, doesn’t that sound like Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers this year? I’m not saying that the fans know any better than the head coach in this situation, but with the things we’ve seen Gus pull on offense over the years, and with the current talent on the team (sans offensive line), it shouldn’t be this frustrating. He’s one of the more revolutionary offensive coaches of the new millennium. His handling of Cam Newton and Nick Marshall in the run-heavy, zone read scheme got Auburn one national championship and mere seconds away from another. Mighty records have fallen under Gus. Historic rushing yardage and monumental wins have been a huge piece of his time on the Plains.

And yet, if Auburn loses to Ole Miss today, then we might not see any more of Gus Malzahn on the sidelines?

I’m not happy with it. You’re not happy with it. Nobody’s happy with it, but this is the situation we find ourselves in now.

Well, I’m sorry girl but I can’t stay, Feelin’ like I do today, It’s too much pain and too much sorrow, Guess I’ll feel the same tomorrow

Thanks, Mick. That’s pretty much the feeling.

It’s pretty crazy that the sentiment has changed so much since the end of November last year. Or is it perfectly sensible?

People don’t remember that Gus was literal seconds away from a job search in 2016, when Les Miles mismanaged the clock and bungled a win at Auburn. Instead, the good Tigers won and it was the Mad Hatter updating his resume. Do you remember Baton Rouge last year? A twenty point lead gone. Questions about Gus. There were plenty of people ready for his job after that.

Then he won out. Dominated — destroyed — Georgia, and beat Alabama by two scores. Now Mama’s callin’. Arkansas wants in after Bret Bielema’s departure the previous week. We’ve got to do something to keep him. Big contract. Done deal.

Most people (and I was one of them) were able to shrug off the SEC Championship and Peach Bowl losses. We didn’t have a healthy Kerryon Johnson. Tre’ Williams and Carlton Davis got hurt. We were shorthanded. Oh well.

But now it’s gotten to a point that’s tough to explain away. Roster mismanagement, poor offense, and messes with penalties, turnovers, and at times, even on our beloved defense.

A loss today in Oxford might have us doing Wikipedia searches about up and coming young coaches. There might even be a contingent of Auburn fans that want us to lose to expedite that process. I don’t know what kind of a fan that makes you if you’re actively pulling for a loss. Is it for the greater good, Dumbledore-style? Maybe.

Either way, Auburn faces off against Ole Miss today in a strength-on-strength and weakness-on-weakness matchup. The Tiger defense and Rebel offense should have some mighty battles on the field today, while the other side of the ball should be a circus. Can Auburn move down the field against one of the worst defenses in the country? Can said terrible defense stop said not-great offense? Both sides will win their battles, and this game will likely be close. There’s the feeling that this team is waiting on tenterhooks for the final blow to come. Something that gives closure. An absolution.

A loss in Oxford today likely brings that decision before the weekend is up, while a win may provide a bit of a brighter future and a hopeful upturn to the rest of the season. All I know is that when the Tigers are on the field in any capacity, and in any situation, I’m all in. War Eagle.

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