This and That in Early May in Auburn.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

This and That in Early May in Auburn.

Alabama State’s marching band can put on quite the show!

     War Eagle, everybody! This week, I should be previewing Auburn’s second football opponent of the season, this fall. Auburn will host the Alabama State Hornets on September 8th. While I could try to make comparisons down through the various positions for this game, there really isn’t any comparison. Auburn should be able to name the score in this one, and I think everyone knows that.

     As an Alabama taxpayer, I applaud the Auburn brass for scheduling in-state schools for the annual FCS game. Why should Auburn hand money to FCS schools from Louisiana, or Tennessee, or Florida, when we have schools in this state that need the cash, and would love the opportunity to come play a game at Jordan Hare Stadium? I feel like it is just the right thing to do. We don’t have to send the money to Utah. Besides, the last time Auburn had Utah State visit, it took a late 2 touchdown miracle to avoid the upset!

     As to the game itself, it’s worth noting that Alabama State finished 5-6 last season, and averaged only 14 points per game on offense. Their lone FBS game last season was at Troy, where they were beaten 34-7. The season also saw losses to rivals Tuskegee, Prairie View, Alcorn State, and Grambling State.

     For Auburn, this game is a chance to fine tune things, and work on whatever issues remain from the season opener against Washington in Atlanta. Alabama State opens the season on September 1st at home, against Tuskegee in the a Labor Day Classic White-out game.

     It’s that time of year again, where various rule changes and such are discussed. Of particular interest this year is that transfer rules are up for debate. Some of what is current canon needs to be changed, I believe, but I really don’t think wide-open free-agency is the way to go. I don’t have a problem with players leaving, sitting their year out, and playing elsewhere at the same level. If they transfer to a lower division, they play immediately. Again, this isn’t a problem. What bothers me is when a school can block a player from transferring, or make it more expensive. We can get an idea of what to expect if the rules were really relaxed, from the NFL. Raise your hand if you think players hopscotching around the country from year to year has made that product more entertaining!

     The Ole Miss/Michigan drama involving quarterback Shea Patterson is an interesting one. Patterson has been allowed to transfer from the Rebels to the Wolverines and play immediately. Presumably, the rationale is that Ole Miss was hit with sanctions. And of course, both schools agreed to the deal. If sanctions are a valid reason for relaxing the transfer rules, shouldn’t that be part of the code? I think that needs to be addressed.

     Meanwhile, it’s that time of year for speculation around the country. Certain TV talking heads are touting Mississippi schools as dark horses for the SEC West title, this year. First off, I don’t think Ole Miss can win it, even if they go undefeated. Aren’t they still on probation? And their quarterback is suiting up for Michigan, as well. In 26 years of division play, those 2 schools have exactly one trip to the SEC Championship game, and 1 co-championship.

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