The Auburn Tigers continue to cement their reputation as one of the most wildly unpredictable football teams in the Southeastern Conference, if not the entire country.
The wise guys in Vegas, who are incredibly accurate most of the time, actually opened the line with Auburn favored by three. The gamblers out there who pay very close attention to college football rightly started putting money on LSU and the line quickly moved to Louisiana State as a three-point favorite.
Either way, everyone in America expected a hard-fought, fourth quarter ballgame between two rather evenly matched conference rivals. Is that what happened? Nope. Auburn destroyed the Bayou Bengals by the largest margin of victory in series history. LSU came into the game leading the conference in sacks. They had a total of zero on Saturday. The orange and blue Tigers came into the game as one of the worst teams in the league at sacking the quarterback. They ended up with four sacks on the day. How can this be? Don't ask questions like that; just enjoy the moment. Auburn under Gus Malzahn is wonderfully, maddeningly, typically atypical.
Who does Auburn 48 LSU 11 really say more about? Honestly, it says more about LSU right now. Coach O put together a wonderful staff and incredibly talented roster in 2019 that resulted in an amazing national championship season. The attrition from that team by the players and coaching staff has been well documented and is clearly evidenced by the play on the field in 2020. As embarrassing as the beating was on Saturday, it's still pales in comparison to the previous losses against Missouri and Mississippi State.
LSU is simply not a very good team. The defense is terrible and seemed to lack motivation in the second half. Bo Pelini could very well be one and done and rightly so. To be fair, the game would have been different if starting quarterback Myles Brennan had been healthy. I still firmly believe Auburn would have won the game comfortably, but it would've been much more competitive. Before the season, I predicted the Cajuns to go 5-5. Perhaps, I overshot. LSU still has Alabama, at Arkansas, at Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Florida in Gainesville. They would be fortunate to finish the season 2-3.
Of course, Saturday's performance says a lot about the Auburn Tigers too. It certainly reemphasizes everything we already knew. If you give Bo Nix time to see and evaluate the field, he is a far more productive quarterback. He is an above average athlete that can be extremely dangerous with his legs. When the offensive line communicates properly, they block a whole lot better. A strong running game greatly benefits the passing game. Defense is made exponentially easier to play when a team can pressure the quarterback with four defensive lineman. Games tend to quickly get out of hand when the defense causes multiple turnovers and scores points. Most of all, Saturday glaringly and painfully showed how Auburn had no business whatsoever losing to South Carolina. The Tigers now have a week off to revel in their newfound confidence. I hope they can build upon it and finish strong, but this is Auburn so I would expect the unexpected.