Hey everyone. Not much going on in the Auburn world right now, so I'll just run through a few things I've been pondering lately.
- Auburn's football recruiting class certainly looks like the best group of the Tommy Tuberville era. There is a lot of depth. The top group of players is pretty large. When knowledgeable people argue over which kid is the top signee, that's a good sign for the class' strength. Faithful readers of this column know I'm in the Chris Slaughter camp.
- I've said this before, but I bears repeating. I think defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is a really good coach. I know he's a Georgia guy -- turns some people off, though Pat Dye was a Georgia guy as well -- but Muschamp has the recruiting and coaching skill to be the nation's most valuable assistant. Tuberville won't be at Auburn forever. If Muschamp is still here when Tuberville retires, I don't think there will be a coaching search. Some people still are upset about the Tigers' troubles against Arkansas and UGA in 2006. It happens sometimes. Let's see what happens as Muschamp builds his defense with his kids. I predict significant improvement.
- The Auburn women lost by 35 points at Vanderbilt the other day. That's almost impossible. Coach Nell Fortner has her team at 4-6 in league games. They're in 8th place. That's not acceptable. The Tigers should be ahead of Kentucky and Mississippi State at this point. The problem with this team is that only two players (ReRe Hobbs and Whitney Boddie) play with any kind of aggression. I really like watching F DeWanna Bonner play and I think she's a really neat person, but she's soft. I mean, she's 6-5 and I guarantee she doesn't weigh a pound over 120. She's too thin to be tough in the aggressive sense. When Tennessee F Candace Parker started mouthing off last week, the Tigers didn't recoil. Aside from one small outburst from C KeKe Carrier, Auburn just watched. Somebody needs to push Parker around, annoy her, get her angry. That's not how this team operates. That's why it's 4-6 despite a lineup that has plenty of talent.
- The men's team is a mess. It's a group that lacks raw talent, so it has to rely on shrewd passing and positioning. I saw a lot of that in January. Since the blow-out loss to Florida, though, I haven't seen much in the way of positive developments. It's unreasonable to think this team can thrive when Fs Korvotney Barber and Quan Prowell disappear like they do. Those two will play brilliantly for three minutes ... then you won't hear their name again for 10.
- I thought Auburn did a good job salvaging a decent football schedule. A season-opening game against Kansas State has some national allure. That's a coup for the Tigers, who waited far too long to get their schedule finalized. This should be done in November or December. Waiting until February throws up all kinds of red flags.