Iron Bowl 2013… and Other Turkey Notes

Source: collegefootballsi.com

What The State Of Alabama Has Been Waiting for

First off, sorry for the delay of a new blog post on Carl’s Clipboard. I know only three people read it, but for those three folks… my apologies… now moving on…

Can this Iron Bowl get anymore hype? Thank goodness it’s Friday and we can see kickoff right in front of us at Jordan-Hare Stadium. #4 Auburn hosting #1 Alabama for a TON of high stakes. The winner heads to Atlanta and the SEC Championship game and the inside track of playing in Pasadena for the BCS National Title game.

For the Auburn Tigers, it’s been a miraculous turn around in Gus Malzahn’s first year as Head Coach. winless in the SEC, and now 10-1 with a chance to win the West in the regular season finale? Couldn’t ask for anything more than that. They’ve ran the football with ease this season, the best rushing offense in the league.

As for Alabama, it’s been business as usual for what is currently the best college football program in the country. 11-0, only two serious threats this season (Texas A&M, LSU), both games they won, and now Nick Saban and company get to travel on the road in what will be a rocking atmosphere to try and keep their hopes of a third straight National Title in the picture.

Keys to the game in yours truly’s eyes for Auburn

You better be able to run.  Gus Malzahn has made no bones about it, he will dance with the offense that brought him to this point. Tre Mason and Nick Marhsall have been devastating with the read option this season. Add in speedster Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne and you have a run game that hasn’t been stopped but for two quarters this season (at LSU).

Marshall has shown that he can throw the football, and has nice touch on the deep ball. Sammie Coates and Ricardo Louis have been fantastic this season..  Louis especially for this..

along with CJ Uzomah and Jay Prosch doing their job as far as run blocking. Let’s not forget about that offensive line. Remember before Gene Chizik was fired, he brought in a trio of top 5 recruiting classes, most of those prospects on the offensive line. The big fellas up front have been just as dominant.

Keys to the game for Alabama

DO WHAT YOU DO. The defense has continued to develop with each snap, each quarter, and each game. the front seven has sniffed out anything and everything that has attempted to run the football this season (Oustide the beasts known as Texas A&M’s offense). The secondary has had their issues throughout the year, but many teams haven’t been able to expose those issues consistently (beside A&M). It will be the front seven against the backfield and O-line of Auburn that could tell us all we need to know in the first quarter of the game.

Key Matchups

CJ Mosley Vs Nick Marshall, Tre Mason, Cameron Artis Payne, Corey Grant

Oustide of UCLA’s Anthony Barr, CJ Mosley has been the best linebacker in the country in my opinion. He will once again be needed to try and take away what Auburn wants to do. He makes all the checks at the line, he does all the adjustments in  game for that front seven…. He will be called upon again Saturday.

Brian Vogler, O.J. Howard, Bama Running Backs  Vs. Auburn Linebackers

Auburn runs a great 4-2-5 scheme by Ellis Johnson, who’s done a masterful job of implementing his system this season. It doesn’t hurt that he can get quality minutes from 9-10 Defensive lineman in the scheme. the most important part of the scheme.. the linebackers. they are called to do a ton in space, run support, and against the pass. Very interested to see if the Auburn linebackers will be able to cover O.J. Howard, Vogler, and Tide running backs in the flats Saturday.

Prediction for Iron Bowl 2013

Let’s just wait till later… why not?

Quick Hitters

— I still think that Johnny Manziel should win the Heisman. It’s for the best player in college football. Did he play poorly against LSU? yep, he has the past two seasons. But if he goes nuts against Missouri, those that jumped off the Manziel train, will be looking for another ticket at the A&M depot.

—-My top five invited to New York (on Friday Nov 23rd),  IF they bring five: Manziel, Derek Carr, Jordan Lynch, Jameis Winston, AJ McCarron

—I have NO clue about the Winston saga, nor do I want to speculate when dealing with such a serious matter. The only issue I have is the length of a decision. If you have all the facts, or what you need, why wait till two weeks from now when the teams focus will be on a bowl game and/or Heisman talk? I want justice to be served either way, I just don’t want grandstanding by judges and officials because of current football circumstances.

—Missouri has the better defense, which means you should give them the win over A&M this week. One problem. I can’t bet against Mr.  Manziel. I don’t know how, but A&M will come away with the win, sending South Carolina to the SEC Title game.

—Just watching throughout the season in the SEC, defenses will reign supreme again.. in 2014.  LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss,  Mississippi St, and Auburn come to mind. Overall defenses will be far better, including Texas A&M… but how much worse can they get?

—Kevin Sumlin stays in College Station and contends for a BCS bowl or better next season, with or without Manziel, James Franklin leaves if it’s USC or Texas calling. Look Vandy fans, you are having more success than you have ever had in the history of your program. and YOU STILL CAN’T FILL YOUR STADIUM. That’s a problem. I admire Jordan Matthews (know him and his family, great people), but my goodness what else can Franklin do with this program? If you loose him Vandy fans, It’s your fault. End of story.

—Will Muschamp loses to Georgia Southern last week, Gators AD Jeremy Foley, and president Bernie Machen say he’s safe. Does that change if they lose by 45 plus against the Noles?

—No disrespect to Michigan. But if Ohio State loses to the Maize and Blue Saturday, they will not shake the overrated moniker EVER until they win a National Title. You win Saturday and you lose to Michigan State, it wont be as bad. Still bad, but not as bad as losing to an average Michigan team.

—Michigan State has the best defense in the country.  But Minnesota has a solid group… Gophers Vs Spartans should be one of the better games of the day Saturday.

—Not even gonna lie about it. I’m rooting for David Cutcliff and Duke against the Tar heels. One of the nicest men in the game hands down.

–Also rooting for my Alma mater. the fighting Bobby Petrino’s.. big game at home.

PREDICTION TIME FOR IRON BOWL

I have went back and forth on this game. Is there something magical happening at Auburn? Is Alabama too much Saturday? Can Auburn run against that D? Can Auburn’s D stop Bama run and total offense? I have the same questions and thoughts as I’m sure most do whether you’re a Tide or Tiger fan.

I keep thinking this game will be close, with Auburn making some plays throughout. I want to think because the Tigers are at home, playing in what will be an electric atmosphere, on Senior Day, the  emotions will carry them a ton. I think Nick Marshall will play well. Can he make THE play on offense in the game when his team needs it the most? Can Auburn’s defense stonewall the Tide O?

I have to be real with myself, and as I do believe Auburn can win this game (last 24 years..12 wins for Auburn, 12 for Alabama), and wouldn’t be shocked if they won… They will have to show me first hand if they can beat the champs.

Alabama 31, Auburn 27.

I hope that everyone has a great Holiday weekend, enjoy your health, family, and friends, and have fun watching the game and the rest of college football this weekend. I’ll be back for sure typing away next week as we get ready for the SEC Championship in Atlanta.

PEACE!

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