Auburn vs. Alabama 2009 Preview
Auburn lost a game to NC State this weekend.
No, you didn’t miss a football game. Auburn lost a basketball game at a tourney in Florida. Auburn was the underdog going in. The team lost a lot from last year’s 24-win squad that dropped a heartbreaker to Baylor in the quarterfinals of the NIT. They are predicted to finish 6th in the West Division this year, not much different from the last few years.
The team trailed at halftime, but led through much of the second half. NC State came back to tie it at 48-all with a few minutes left and it was back-and-forth all the way. Auburn, outmanned and outgunned, lost 60-58 on a basket with 1.7 seconds left. The men’s team is currently 2-3. No one can tell them if that’s good yet.
This week, Auburn, the football team, plays Alabama. It’s a Friday game, meaning it won’t get lost in the melee of games on Saturday. Granted, Alabama and their fans probably think this Friday will be a showcase. A chance to show off. The press has already written us off. Finebaum predicted a blow-out last week. Scarbinsky has already commented that Auburn won’t get beat as bad as last year, but it will still be a beat-down.
And no one expects us to have a chance. We’re currently 12-point underdogs. Prior to last year’s game, we were 14-point underdogs. Since home field advantage is supposedly worth seven points (which makes the Kentucky loss seem even worse), this team, from an odds standpoint, is a bigger long-shot than last year.
The ESPN GameDay guys don’t have to show up for a prediction. They can just use tape from 2003. On that day, the crew pontificated on how bad the beat down might be. When they reached Corso, he just paused as if to add one of his infamous “not so fast, my friends,” and then shook his head and spoke one word, “Alabama.”
This team is better than last year’s team. The defense has been through a lot of changes and is more porous than last year's squad, but the overall team has a stronger heart.
And if the referees allow the game to play, then this is a team that can challenge the whole game.
Pat Dye, when asked in his interview how long it would take for him to beat Alabama, replied “Sixty minutes.”
It will take sixty minutes of solid play for Auburn to beat Alabama this year. I just hope it doesn’t fall in the last 1.7 seconds.