This is not surprising. In his weekly mailbag, Sports Illustrated national football writer Stewart Mandel was asked which team was the most disappointing this season. His options? Clemson, Auburn or Wisconsin.
Here’s his reponse:
“I have to go with Auburn. Clemson, while unquestionably a flop, was a flop most of us saw coming from the get-go but foolishly talked ourselves into anyway. I certainly thought the Badgers would be better than they are, but their demise hasn’t exactly sent shockwaves through the sport.
“Auburn’s implosion, on the other hand, is downright inexcusable. The Tigers have been playing at a high level for years. The athletes are there. It’s just been a case of a coach’s grand experiment going completely awry, and it’s a complete waste of an incredibly talented defense. At this point, Auburn’s problems run far deeper than their offensive scheme. As I predicted at the time, Tommy Tuberville‘s hasty dismissal of coordinator Tony Franklin sent that whole program into a cloud of negativity, and you can see the ripple effect.
“Against West Virginia last week, the Tigers simply looked like a team that’s thrown in the towel. They jumped to an early lead, but as soon as the Mountaineers fought back, Auburn flat-out crumbled. Suddenly this week’s Ole Miss game is huge. Lose that one, and there’s almost no chance the Tigers finish .500.”
Can’t say you’ll find too many contrary arguments around here.