Well, Tiger fans, apparently that’s how this thriller of a season ends: not with a bang or a whimper, but with a sudden stop. I’m not talking about colliding with some kind of immovable object or slamming on the brakes and coming to a screeching halt. It almost felt like sitting in a big, open room with thousands of bright lights and the power just goes out. That’s it. Done. Fin. Finito. Fertig. We waited an entire month to see Auburn take the field against the prolific-super-bestest-ever-been-ever-will Florida State Seminoles. We read, saw, heard and listened to every single rhyme and reason why FSU was going to absolutely obliterate our Tigers. Instead, Malzahn and Co. were on the verge of running the Seminoles right out of the Rose Bowl. It was right there and all of Auburn’s for the taking, and then the third quarter started.
I don’t know what it is with Gus and that particular quarter or with minutes 30 through 45, but he really doesn’t seem to care for them all that much. Is he over-adjusting or trying too hard to stay ahead of the competition? Is he trying to make defenses focus on something else so his offense can jump back to what was working at the beginning? Is this his version of the dreaded "Tubershell?" I know it’s a hell of a thing to complain about all things considered, but I figure this has something to do with being a second-year head coach, and I'm certain he’ll fix this in time.
Hey, Auburn defense, I don’t know where you guys have been over the past few years, but it sure was great to see you again. I know at times we all need a break and just head out, find your center, then come back fully recharged and ready to go. I get it. No, seriously, I really do. I’ve just really missed you is all and hope you guys are going to be sticking around for a good long while. It was a fantastic game, and every time the phrase, "couldn’t ask for anything more," pops in my head I say, "Well, other than a win." I’m a little disappointed that those athletes in orange and blue couldn’t bring home the crystal football, but I am proud and happy they played for Auburn. I’m proud they chose Auburn and happy that their choice was rewarded by playing on the biggest stage in their game. Sure, a win would have been monumental for them. However, as I have said numerous times before, no one wins forever.
Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot
Before we move further on, I just want to take a moment to remember all of those that made this amazing season possible. First up, Auburn’s opponents: Washington State, Arkansas State, Mississippi State, LSU, Ole Miss, Western Carolina, TAMU, FAU, Arkansas, Tennessee, UGA , 'Bama, Mizzou and FSU. Each of you made this season possible, from the close calls, to the beat downs, to the unfortunate losses and some of the most exciting finishes in all of Auburn’s history, and I want to say "thanks." I know it may seem odd to be thanking Auburn's opponents, but you gotta play against somebody, otherwise there's no point.
To the wonderful staff and community members of College and Magnolia, thank you all for reading week to week. I know it was a bit of a rough go with this column and trying to do something fun and somewhat original in the middle of the week was a challenge, but I picked a hell of year to get my feet wet. To those of you whom I had the opportunity to meet and hang out with, it was a pleasure and I feel like I’ve made friends for life. I hope to see you all again next season. So until then, War Damn.
Finally, to all the athletes and coaches who don Auburn’s orange and blue, thank you all the most. No one but your own fans gave you a chance this season, and you sure as hell didn’t disappoint a single one of us. You gave it your all, every single down of every single game, and we are never, ever going to forget that about you. To the seniors, you were the leaders and you have set a wonderful example for the underclassmen to aspire and to the guys who are leaving early to pursue a career at the next level, all of Auburn is behind you and wants nothing but the best for each of every one of you. War Eagle!
We’ve Wandered Many a Weary Foot
It’s odd to think that this season is all over. Every year, it seems like we have to wait forever for college football to come back, and before it feels like we are just starting to be able to take it all in, the season is actually coming to a close. At this point in time, it feels redundant to say what everyone else is saying or going to say about this season, and for a change, I’m not going to sit here and try and nitpick it. There’s just no point in doing so.
Instead, I’m going to resign myself with content in the knowledge that Auburn will be better off at the end of a season than they have been in quite some time. There is a coaching staff on the Plains that is going to continue to develop the current talent, as well as the recruits who are coming on board, and they will be striving to be the very best they can be. I actually feel like I can trust these coaches again, and that I’m not going to go to a college football website where the headline will read, "AUBURN PLAYERS DID BAD STUFF!" Now I feel like the players and coaches alike are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. So now that this is the end, I’m going to do what I do every offseason, which is just sit back, relax, reflect on those great moments and patiently wait for what will surely be an even greater season to come.
For Auburn lang syne, my Tiger
For Auburn lang syne
We’ll take a glass of bourbon yet,
For Auburn lang syne