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Monday Mailbag

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

What OOC matchup do you want to see Auburn football/basketball have in the near future? - PlainsmenDoItBetter

On the football side of things, I would have to go with Georgia Tech. Even though the rivalry stopped being an annual game after the 1987 season, Tech is Auburn’s second most common opponent, having played 92 times (24 more than Bama, behind only UGA). This is a personal thing for me, though, as my brother is a Tech grad, and we haven’t beaten them in our lifetime. As for basketball, playing any of the blue bloods would be fun. I secretly am dying to watch Will McLaughlin implode while having to watch Auburn play Duke, so let’s go with that. - Ryan Sterritt

I grew up in Texas, so I would love to see Auburn go down and put a whoopin on the Horns at the 40 acres in Austin. Plus I would love to go to Austin and see an Auburn game to boot. I would also love to see Auburn play at Notre Dame or Ohio State, just for the cool factor of those historic stadiums and teams. As for basketball, I would love to see a Duke or a UNC come to Auburn and play. -SonOfCrow

I’ll start with football as well and I’m gonna go with Virginia Tech. Going to Lane Stadium (preferably at night) is on my bucket list to hear Enter Sandman play as the Hokies take the field. If you haven’t seen that before, it’s simply bone chilling. Plus it would be another quality opponent on Auburn’s schedule. As for basketball, Ryan Sterritt hit it on the head, it’s Duke. And for the record, I would have likely imploded if they would have met in the NCAA Tournament. I’m a college basketball guy first and I lived in Durham for 5 years as a kid and as a result, became a huge Duke basketball fan, so that would be a dream matchup. And it might happen at the Maui Invitational in November. It would be cool to see a team like UNC, Kansas, Michigan State, or Villanova come to Auburn. And as much as I would love Duke to come to Auburn, it won’t happen as long as Coach K is there so hopefully we get that game in Maui in November. - Will McLaughlin

For a home and home, I’d want Auburn to venture out West. Since some of the other obvious answers have been taken (Notre Dame/Ohio State/FSU), let’s get UCLA on board. For one, the color scheme on the field would be fantastic. Second, we’d get a chance to get back into the Rose Bowl for a semi shot at redemption. Also, I know we’re playing Washington to open up the season, but a home and home at their renovated Husky Stadium would be outstanding:

The Seattle Times

Just look at that backdrop! Not to mention Seattle and LA would both be cool away game destinations for Auburn fans. Let’s do it. - Jack Condon

Guess I will follow the trend and do football first. It has to be Florida State. I really don’t get a chance to spout off that Auburn holds a 13-5-1 record over Free Shoe’s U enough and plus this holds the spot as my #1 OOC opponent for Auburn because of the palpable hate between the two teams. I know alot of the youngs in the Auburn Family got to feel a little bit of this a few years back but nothing will touch the game before that in the series in 1990. Just enjoy the build up to kickoff in this one (give it about 20 seconds, its as close as I could get to the start of the pregame)

GOOD LORD GET ME A HELMET I’M READY TO GO! The back story that A YOUNG AND VIBRANT GARY DANIELSON is talking about is that following the 89 Auburn FSU game, one of their five in the series again..., as the Tigers were walking off the field the Marching Chiefs played Rocky Top (Tennessee had beaten Auburn earlier in the season), War Eagle off key, and then the War Chant. Yup, that’s enough for me to earn you a permanent #2 most hated for a lifetime. Notre Dame, Texas, UCLA or Colorado would be awesome home and home’s as well. As for basektball, Kansas. I want to go to Fogg so bad and for Auburn to be the reason I go out there would be magical. -Drew McCracken

Would love to see a home & home with Ohio State just because AU seems to always put together a magical performance when facing Urban Meyer. An out of the box matchup would be with Oklahoma State. Wife’s side are Cowpokes (she also attended OK ST for her freshman year) so would be kinda cool to go check out a game in Stillwater. As for basketball, I think the obvious answer is the blue bloods like Duke, Kansas and UNC. But thinking outside of the box, would be interesting to see us against someone like Gonzaga. A school AU doesn’t really ever have any sort of interaction with in any avenue of athletics or really academics. Might make for a fun road trip too. - AUNerd

How many yards does Stidham throw for and who is the leading receiver? - Patrick Vincent Newton

I think with the fact that the running game will likely be unsettled to start the season, we’re going to see more of Stidham’s arm carrying the offense early on. The Auburn record for passing yards in a season is 3,277 by Dameyune Craig in 1997, and Stidham came close to breaking that this past year. If not for the horrible Clemson game, he probably does crack it (he came up about 120 yards short).

Ryan Davis was the leading receiver this past year with 815 yards on 84 catches, with Darius Slayton behind at 643 yards on 29 catches. I think Davis is more of a reliable target, so he’s going to get another 80 grabs this year, and I think he’ll probably crack the 900 yard barrier. Overall, Stidham breaks the single-season Auburn mark and hits about 3,600 yards. - Jack Condon

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

What is each of the staff’s favorite Auburn football game ever? - TitansPacersAU

As you may or may not know, I’ve been a student since 2013, so I’ve gotten to see some pretty amazing games in JHS the last five seasons. Obviously, nothing will ever top the Kick-Six, but the sheer jubilation I felt watching Auburn beat the snot out of UGA this season was unreal. And when Soulja Boy came on in the 4th quarter... man. That was cathartic. -Ryan Sterritt

2004 Auburn @ Tennessee. Maybe the greatest first half in Auburn football history. My first big away game as a student, and the only time I’ve ever been to Knoxville in my life. To sit in that massive stadium and hear Rocky Top played so few times due to the sheer beat down the Auburn Tigers were putting on the Vols was amazing. I can’t imagine an Auburn team answering the doubts better than that game too, since both teams were highly ranked and Auburn had disappointed so many the year before. -SonOfCrow

I’ve been here at Auburn as a student for the last 3 seasons and I’m going to stay away from the obvious answers of beating Alabama and Georgia here last year and go with the Six Kicks game against LSU from 2016. Why? Because that’s the 1st SEC game (in 7 tries) I saw Auburn win in person. It’s the hottest game I’ve ever been to and I remember having absolutely nothing left to give. I hooped, I hollered, I had a splitting headache and when it was all over, I think I even blacked out for a split second. It was absolute pandemonium in the student section. It saved Gus’s job and the team used that game as a turning point for the season and ended up in the Sugar Bowl. - Will McLaughlin

Gosh, I will limit it to just games I’ve been to in person...which doesn’t help much. 2010 BCS game was amazing, 2004 LSU was the closest I’ve been to dying during a game because of a missed extra point, the 93 Iron Bowl was magical. However, the game I could watch and know the plays as they are being called is the First Time Ever. I have both my dad and my tickets framed and hanging in my bedroom. It was the day that we as Auburn people became equal. No longer did we have to play our home game in Alabama’s other home stadium. No longer did we have to hear about a 50/50 split in a stadium that was anything but split. No longer was our land, our school looked down on as “that other school”. December 2nd is a high holy day for Auburn people young and old and still should be celebrated all these years later. Auburn cost Alabama a shot at the National Title that day and that was fantastic as it always is, but the victory was already won before the ball was ever kicked that day. Auburn had made its last and fiercest conference rival come to the Loveliest Village on the Plains as they will from hence forth and forever more, because we are Auburn, fearless and true. - Drew McCracken

Man this is a tough one. 2010 LSU was a special one for me as it was my 21st birthday and getting to Cam’s Heisman run in person was amazing. I was in the endzone that Louis scored in on 2013 UGA so that would seem like an obvious pick. 2009 Iron Bowl would be the winner if we could have finished it and I have fond memories as a kid watching the 2003 AU/TEN game with my dad from the upper deck. I have been fortunate enough to witness both 2010 & 2013 SEC Championship Game wins but honestly, I think 2010 UGA is my favorite. I don’t think I have ever felt Jordan-Hare feel as angry or as “us against everybody” as it did that day. The cheer when they announced that Cam Newton was starting still gives me chills today and singing “Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye” still makes me laugh. The anger that game still generates from UGA fans today just makes me so durn happy. That 2010 season was so special. - AUNerd

The first time I ever really remember watching Auburn football and understanding what was going on was the 1995 Iron Bowl when I was six years old. Auburn won 31-27 with Ron Franklin (still my favorite TV announcer ever) calling the action, and I was hooked. That was the gateway drug to Auburn football that I’ve never been able to shake. Going back and watching the game later with Jim Fyffe’s call synced up is even better, especially with Alabama’s final fourth down pass falling incomplete. “Yes, yes yes! Yes, Auburn, YES!” Oh, and Curtis Brown was definitely bobbling that ball, Bama fans. It was correctly called on the field. - Jack Condon

If you could choose 3 defeats in Auburn history to change to victories, which would they be, and why? And yes, I know everyone is probably going to have the 2014 BCS Championship game at the top of the list. - SweatpantsBoner

The one at the top of my list would have to be the 2014 Texas A&M game. Watching those fumbles happen in front of me in Jordan-Hare still haunts me, and I really think the course of the program the last few years would have been drastically different had Auburn been able to win that game. The team was playing as good as anyone in the country offensively at that point, but that loss took the wind out of their sails the rest of that year, and we didn’t recover until the end of this season. After that game, I would say the 2003 USC game. I think if we had gotten a win there, that might have helped Auburn’s national perception enough in 2004 to get us into the national championship game in 2004. Lastly, I’d have to say this year’s LSU game. No further comment. - Ryan Sterritt

2006 Arkansas. If Auburn wins that game, it has a chance of getting in the BCS and is SEC West Champs. That dumb game was the dumbest game that ever was dumb. Every second of it made me more angry. I hated Malzahn after it and would continue to hate him until he became Auburn’s OC. When Reggie Fish ran for a touchdown on a trick play everyone in the stadium saw coming....forget it. Tied for my next two: 2014 Mississippi State and 2014 Alabama. Hate losing games in which Auburn scores points the way it did against Bama that year, and hate losing games to Mississippi State when they actually put up a fight. That was a good game, and we came out on the losing end because Auburn couldn’t defend its way out of a vacant lot that season. -SonOfCrow

  • 1988 LSU
  • 2001 Alabama
  • 2002 Georgia

All of these have hurt me so very badly and should not have happened in a just world. 1988 should have been a National Championship for Auburn and would have been if Auburn plays offense like it did in every other game that season. Black Saturday was the most baffling thing I’ve ever seen. And 2002 was the worst birthday every (that was made up for with the best birthday present ever in 2013). That’s all I can say about these without getting angry and needing a bourbon...-Drew McCracken

I’ll stick with my experiences here the last 3 years and go with 1 game from each year. First: 2015 Arkansas, I was at this game and Auburn lost that game in 4 Overtimes. It was a longgggg drive back to Auburn from Fayetteville that Sunday. Sean White was fantastic in that game, his receivers, not so much. I can count on two hands how many times receivers dropped passes in that one. That and we just couldn’t get a stop in Overtime when we needed it. Excruciating. 2016 Georgia, once again, I was there (you’ll notice a trend). It was freezing cold and Auburn’s offense was even colder (so was Georgia’s). A pick-six was the only TD Auburn gave up that day and the defense played their tails off and got a cruel fate. Also, when Kam Martin dropped a wheel route with 5 minutes left and had plenty of green in front him, I knew we were doomed. That win would have set up a winner take all Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa. 2017: LSU (You guessed it, I was there), and I still don’t like talking about this one either. There’s no way you could have convinced me driving back from Baton Rouge what would transpire the next 7 weeks. - Will McLaughlin

Ok so excluding the obvious FSU game, I think my top 3 would be

  • 1983 vs Texas
  • 2003 vs USC
  • 2014 vs Texas A&M

Chose 3 different type of games. Beating Texas in 83 means AU probably doesn’t get jumped at last minute by Miami but instead wins the national title outright. A win vs USC in 03 probably would have helped the 2004 AU team get a shot at the Trojans in the title game and I honestly think that would have been one of the all time great BCS title games. Finally, A&M 2014 just seemed to send Malzahn’s program into a hole that took quite awhile to climb out of. Who knows if actually winning that game would have changed things vs UGA, BAMA or Wisconsin (that secondary was REALLY bad) but I would have liked to have found out. Could have also included Arkansas and/or Georgia in 2006. That team should have been an SEC Champion. - AUNerd

Texas A&M v Auburn Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

I’m going to try and hit games that others haven’t said yet, and excluding the obvious FSU BCS Championship game, I’ll go with the following three:

  1. 1972 LSU - Auburn was ranked 9th when we got drilled in Baton Rouge 35-7, but that was the only loss that season. If Auburn wins that game and wins out (including Punt Bama Punt), then the Tigers are likely in line for a Cotton Bowl berth (and the SEC Championship) against Texas. I’ll go with a shot at a national championship there.
  2. 2017 Georgia (SEC Championship) - We were #2 in the country and fully in the Playoff if we win that game. If we went to the Playoff, then Bama likely gets left out and we play Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. Who knows if we win, but we’d at least have another SEC Championship. If we got through that game, then it might be a rematch against Clemson, only we’d have it all figured out at that point in the season.
  3. 1971 Alabama - Pat Sullivan’s Heisman sure got a bit of a damper put it on it with that game in Birmingham, a 31-7 loss to the Tide. If we win that game, Sullivan goes out a winner (bowl excluded), we get another SEC Championship, and probably go to play Nebraska for the national championship.

Or if you want to get really petty, then I choose the 2011, 2012, and 2015 Iron Bowls. Take away three national championships for Alabama. - Jack Condon

If there is one Auburn football player in our history who left for the NFL early you could have had back for the next season, who would it be and why? - OhIndeedMaybe?

This one’s easy, right? Cam? You could say Bo, but considering the dropoff at the more premier position from 2010 to 2011, I think it has to be Cam. Other than those two guys, I would’ve loved to have seen another year of Carl Lawson. - Ryan Sterritt

Cam. And then Sen’Derrick Marks. Sen had an amazing year his junior season, was one of the bright spots of the miserable 2008 campaign, and should have gone pro, which he did. But had he stayed, he would have had a chance to be a star in Chizik’s first season. Auburn might have won the 09 Iron Bowl with a DT like Marks stuffing the run. -SonOfCrow

Cam’s the obvious choice for me here; but he may not have become a Carolina Panther if he would have stayed so I will actually go with Sammie Coates. It would have been nice to have had Sammie around here in 2015 to help Jeremy Johnson and Sean White along. - Will McLaughlin

I will go a touch different and say James Bostic in 1993. Stay with me for a second, in 1993 Bostic rushed for an eyelash over 1,200 yards and 12 TDs while freshman sensation Stephen Davis added on 480 yards 3 TDs. The next season, Davis pounded out 1,263 yards and 13 TDs while Bostic was in the NFL with the Rams. The second leading rusher for Auburn in 94? Freshman Fred Beasley who added 223 yards with a TD. Can you imagine Auburn with a senior Bostic and Stephen Davis finding his way as a Thunder and Lightning style backfield with that defense that would pick off a pass at a moment’s notice? I have a feeling Auburn wouln’t have known a loss until 1995. - Drew McCracken

So Bo & Cam are the easiest ones but I will stick to guys that have only left early under Malzahn. In that case, I would want Greg Robinson back for this year. His NFL career has not gone well but that dude is still one of the best blockers I have ever seen wear an Auburn uniform. Put him at LT, flip Tega to RT & all of a sudden I am feeling a lot better about this OL. Sammie Coates is a sneaky #2 pick because imagine him paired with Stidham’s arm in AU’s offense. - AUNerd

This may be a prognostication, but if we got Kerryon back for 2018, it would likely really help. Since we don’t have a solid guy at running back yet, having our workhorse in the fold with another season of Stidham would be outstanding. - Jack Condon