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Posts Tagged ‘Willie Martinez’

No. 40: Auburn

The gap in talent between Cam Newton and Barrett Trotter is larger than the gap between an Alabama fan and an Auburn fan as they pass on the street. A player like Newton comes along once in a lifetime; Trotter, while he gave his all, had none of the gifts that made Newton such a jaw-dropping talent. This isn’t news: Auburn struggled offensively because Newton was no longer in the fold. What was surprising was the ease with which the fan base soured on Gus Malzahn, who only eight months before the start of the 2011 season had been viewed as the one irreplaceable piece on Gene Chizik’s staff. Was Malzahn really to blame for the drop in offensive production, or was the decline merely a byproduct of Auburn being caught unprepared by Newton’s one-and-done junior season? The answer will come in September, in a way. Malzahn is out, having taken the head job at Arkansas State. And Trotter is out, having opted to skip his senior season. That leaves Auburn with a new coordinator but a similar problem. Three quarterbacks: one junior with some experience, a sophomore with little experience and a true freshman trying to learn the system on the fly.

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    The Countdown

    A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.