Conquer the Knights! (Auburn vs. Central Florida, Open Thread.)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Conquer the Knights! (Auburn vs. Central Florida, Open Thread.)


It’s a Peach Bowl extravaganza!
(Can we pretend that this statue outside the stadium is an Eagle?)

     War Eagle, everybody, and Happy New Year! This New Year’s morning, the Auburn Tigers will take on American Conference Champion, undefeated Central Florida. It’s a chance for the Tigers to become only the 7th team in school history to win 11 games. Furthermore, it’s a chance to finish the year in the Top 5 in the nation. Lose, and Auburn will likely fall out of the Top 10. For the Knights, it’s a bittersweet day. It’s their last game with departing head coach Scott Frost, who heads back to coach at Nebraska, his alma mater.

     Nationally, I expect a lot of interest in this game. Currently, FBS football is divided into 2 echelons. There are the “Power 5” conferences, who compete for playoff spots. Then there is the “Group of 5,” which is the conferences that thus far have not. Central Florida was the only team in the FBS that finished undefeated, but didn’t get any serious consideration for a playoff spot. Meanwhile, Auburn was decidedly in the mix, till losing the SEC Title Game. If Central Florida can win against Auburn, Group of 5 pundits can argue that they should no longer be left out of consideration.

     I expect Central Florida to play this game with a lot to prove. Some of their players have been rather chippy in the media, leading up to this one. I think they really want to prove that they belong in this game. On the other hand, it might have been a really bad move to stir up and motivate an Auburn Tiger team that was down after losing the SEC Title Game. My opinion is that Auburn has big advantages on the lines of scrimmage, especially when Auburn is on defense. Central Florida will try to counter Auburn’s strength by getting the ball out quickly, I’m thinking. I feel like Auburn will try to run over UCF, on offense, run the clock and try to minimize the time UCF has with the ball.

     Luckily for the players, this game will be played in perfect 72 degree temperatures indoors in Atlanta in Mercedes Benz Stadium, while the Southeast goes into a serious deep freeze this week. I really would not want to be tailgating in Atlanta, this morning. Temps will not get out of the 20s, prior to kickoff. Any precipitation should be well south of Atlanta this morning, but the area will have dangerously low wind chills. Be safe out there, and stay warm, fans!

     As always, feel free to join in and enjoy this thread. I will at the keyboard for my usual play by play, armed with a big mug of coffee and a bowl of holiday Chex Mix. War Eagle, and let’s see if Auburn continue a memorable season against a tough bowl opponent. War Eagle!

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