This and That in Mid-December.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

This and That in Mid-December.

It has been a fun year in basketball, thus far.
(Photo by Acid Reign.)

     War Eagle, everybody! Christmas season is roaring in, and it’s hard to believe that Auburn’s appearance in this year’s Music City Bowl is just 2 weeks away. Fall seems to go by quicker and quicker each year. On the hardwood this week, the men’s basketball team has a couple of interesting matchups, with road trips to UAB Saturday, and North Carolina State next Wednesday evening.

     Normally Auburn and UAB play a fairly close game, but I’m not so sure that will happen, this year. Auburn has just a single loss this season, to mighty Duke by a half dozen points. UAB has lost to Georgia, Florida State, College of Charleston, and Memphis. The loss to FSU was by 18, and the last couple of losses were by more than 20 points. We will have to see if Auburn plays down to this team, or if the Tigers will run away with it. This game tips off at 6:30 PM Central Time Saturday, on the CBS Sports Network.

     North Carolina State will be a significant challenge. Like Auburn, they’ve only lost once, a close 79-75 decision at Wisconsin. The Wolfpack rebounded from that loss by knocking off Vanderbilt 80-65 in Miami. As I look down the NC State schedule, I notice that in 10 games they have broken the 100 point mark 5 times. Auburn has only broken 100 twice. Beating Vanderbilt by that margin is impressive. The Commodores have long been a thorn in Auburn’s side, in basketball.

     The drama this week with the Auburn football program is that the Tigers have hired an offensive coordinator, Kenny Dillingham, and that head coach Gus Malzahn will call plays. I think this is a good thing. I’d rather have the head coach take ownership, than the back and forth rumors we’ve heard for the last 3 years. There has been just one time in Auburn history, where the offense averaged 30 or more points per game over a season, for 4 straight years. That was from 1993-1996. The head coach, Terry Bowden called the plays, and it worked out ok. Former Auburn coach Gene Chizik has gone on record this week, stating that Gus Malzahn is one of the best play callers in the business.

     The more I look at the Purdue football team, the more I’m struck by the inconsistency. This team was good enough to mangle Ohio State by 29 points, and bad enough to lose to Eastern Michigan. Purdue took a 41-10 beating at Minnesota, as well. Boilermaker losses were to Northwestern, Eastern Michigan, Missouri, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin. They beat Boston College, Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio State, Iowa and Indiana.

     Auburn and Purdue will tangle on Friday, December 29th, at 12:30 PM, on ESPN. I plan to have my usual open thread cranked up and ready to go. I’m worried about this game. Auburn is coming off a rather disappointing season, while Purdue is happy to have just made a bowl game this year. A team in turmoil meets an up and coming team, looking to make a mark. Auburn will be in trouble if they try to mail it in against this team.

The post This and That in Mid-December. appeared first on From Neurons to Neighborhoods: An Update: Workshop Summary .

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