Blog Entry 120 -- Auburn's improvement

Posted on: September 21, 2009 12:53 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2009 3:26 pm

While Miami (Fla.) and Michigan are grabbing headlines with their return to the Top 25 another team is quietly moving up the ranks.

With its 41-30 victory over West Virginia, Auburn improved to 3-0 and vaulted up the 120 rankings from No. 44 to No. 23.

"I think it is huge. No. 1 this was a really, really good football team," said Auburn coach Gene Chizik after the West Virginia game. "I wasn't sure exactly where we were at to be honest with you."

Ben Tate and Auburn are 3-0

The biggest reason for Auburn's success has been on offense.

The offense is ranked eighth in the nation in total yards and 11th in the nation, averaging 42.3 points per game. Quite a turnaround for a team that was 105th in total offense in 2008.

For the diehard fans of college football it should come as no surprise as offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is calling the plays. At Tulsa last year, Malzahn's offense was No. 1 in the NCAA. Even during his one-year stint at Arkansas, the Razorbacks won the SEC West, finishing at 10-4.

Quarterback Chris Todd has seen an immediate change under Malzahn. He has already thrown six touchdown passes in three games. Last year, he had five touchdowns and six interceptions while sharing time with Kodi Burns.

"When everyone buys in, it makes a huge difference," said running back Ben Tate. "We didn't have that last year. If you sit back and look at it, it's pretty much the same team from last year. We just have a different philosophy this year. Everybody believes in what we're doing. The coaches believe in us, and they're pushing us a lot harder."

It's still unsure how Auburn's new offense will work against the rest of the conference, but the Tigers will get their first test at Tennessee on Oct. 3.

But for now, sit back and enjoy the Malzahn show.

Colorado State

The Rams have also stormed up the rankings, sitting at No. 42 right now after being ranked No. 72 last week. The Rams are 3-0 for the first time in 15 years, beating Colorado, Weber State and Nevada.

A big reason is the defense. Last season the team was last in the nation in sacks and had just 22 turnovers. So far this season, Colorado State has seven sacks and 10 turnovers. Against Nevada, the Rams forced five.

"When you have confidence, you can go play fast and hard," defensive coordinator Larry Kerr said after the game. "What we added today was we played smart. We didn’t make dumb mistakes. We kept ourselves in the right position against a very talented offense."

Things do start to get tougher for Colorado State as the Rams play at BYU this weekend.


Six SEC teams are ranked in the Top 25, including four in the Top 8 (No. 1 -- Florida; No. 3 -- Alabama; No. 6 -- Mississippi; No. 8 -- LSU). The second-most is the ACC -- (No. 11 Miami; No. 14 Virginia Tech; No. 22 North Carolina and No. 25 Florida State).


... Washington had the biggest leap, moving from No. 80 to No. 36 after beating Southern California.

... Nevada had the biggest fall, falling to 0-2 after losing to Colorado State. The Wolf Pack fell from No. 50 to No. 74. Northwestern had the second-biggest fall, dropping from No. 52 to No. 71 after losing to Syracuse.

... First win of the season? Three winless teams get to play FCS teams this week. No. 115 Utah State faces Southern Utah; No. 114 Tulane plays McNeese State and No. 107 San Jose State takes on Cal-Poly. If any of those teams lose, they will be on "going winless" watch for the rest of the season. Speaking of playing FCS teams, No. 120 Western Kentucky lost to Central Arkansas 28-7.

... Miami's strength of schedule is ranked No. 1 according to It shouldn't come as any surprise as the Hurricanes have played Florida State and Georgia Tech the first two games. It also has Virginia Tech this weekend and Oklahoma next weekend.

... South Florida's SOS is ranked No. 120. The Bulls have played FCS teams Wofford, Charleston Southern and Sun Belt member Western Kentucky, which is easily the worst schedule in the nation. Things to get tougher as the Bulls play at Florida State this weekend.


Since: Jan 3, 2008
Posted on: September 23, 2009 11:59 am 120 -- Auburn's improvement

Cab someone please xplain to me SOS. How the hell does Penn State have a better SOS then Ohio State. Ohio State played Navy, USC and Toledo. Penn State played Syracuse, Temple and Akron. These two are not even close in terms of competition. I cannot understand it.

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: September 23, 2009 1:30 am

ncaa record broken - darst didnt mention this

i would like to add a note that darst didnt even mention but deserves a lot of credit. russell wilson, the QB for NC State set an NCAA record for pass completions without an interception; something ridiculous like 330 passes. he hasnt thrown an interception since the first game of the 2008 season, and I feel that this went unnoticed

Since: Jan 20, 2009
Posted on: September 22, 2009 10:57 pm 120 -- Auburn's improvement

There are a couple of things that I want to point out about your response. First of all it is not bandwagoners as you claim. There were a couple of idiots who showed up at the airport and were just making an ass of themselves. They do not represent the whole auburn fan base. Yet some were not excited about the hire the majority supported it. That is why we keep coaches longer than your team Alabama. I also think that we are very relevant to your football program. We are always the last game of the year with you, it is a big rivalry, always a great game no matter the ranking and must I remind you before last year the 6 years before that? I do agree with you that it is a long year and there are many of long, hard roads ahead of us. Just know that on November 27 you will realize why auburn is relevant.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: September 22, 2009 7:38 pm 120 -- Auburn's improvement

If they are irrelevant, why are you commenting on them?

Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: September 22, 2009 2:25 pm 120 -- Auburn's improvement

tkelly 75 Thanks for the correction. I guess I should have read the complete sentence.

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: September 22, 2009 12:48 pm 120 -- Auburn's improvement

"The Bulls have played FCS teams Wofford, Charleston Southern and Sun Belt member Western Kentucky, which is easily the worst schedule in the nation. " He says taht Western Kentucky is a Sun Belt member man... but yeah, its cake schedule an wont get em ready for Big East competition...

Since: Feb 1, 2008
Posted on: September 22, 2009 12:36 pm 120 -- Auburn's improvement

1. You state that you don't understand the "hype & bandwagon" in regards to Auburn. You follow this by stating that you have not watched Auburn. Well there is the problem and you seem oblivious to it. To understand anything you have to at least familiarize yourself with that which you wish to understand.

2. You stated that when Gen Chizik show up in Auburn "they were shouting" as though he was met with a mob complete with torches and pitchforks. This is a complete misrepresentation of what actually transpired. Instead of stating that "they were shouting" you should have said "he was shouting" being that it was one idiot that was shouting at him. I guess we Auburn fans should consider ourselves lucky that we did not have and lady Tiger fans throwing themselves at our new coach in a pathetic drunken attempt to make out with him. Seems as though I recall something like that happening somewhere... perhaps on the other side of the state about two or three years ago.

3. You stated that you don't keep up with Auburn since "They're irrelevant to our football program". Really? Is this what you posted a somewhat lengthy post on the subject of Auburn? Is this purported irrelevance what made you suppose before the season started as to what our record would be as compared to Tennessee? The truth that you seem incapable of admitting here is that Auburn is relevant enough for you to first read this article that deals with us and to follow that up with taking more time to post your thoughts on Auburn.


Since: Apr 4, 2009
Posted on: September 22, 2009 12:26 pm 120 -- Auburn's improvement

These Auburn Fans think they are great now....hell they still are not ranked and are 3-0. That my friends is a lack of respect. Wait till they play a good defense like Tennessee. They will eat up Tate and little Mccaleb. Then when they play Alabama it will really be bad...They won't have 200 yards of total offense on Bama's defense.......

Since: Apr 4, 2009
Posted on: September 22, 2009 12:24 pm 120 -- Auburn's improvement

Saban is laughing right now....You think Saban is worried about Auburn....Hell he came in and is taking every recruit in Alabama and will continue to do so....Cheezic is not even in the same league as Nick Saban....Quit living in the past and live in the present...It took Nick Saban 1 year to get the Alabama program better than Auburns and took less than a year to take every recruit in the state............Quit dreaming....

Since: Jan 12, 2008
Posted on: September 22, 2009 12:22 pm 120 -- Auburn's improvement

Maybe you didn't see that WVU rolled up 509 yards in total offense and held Auburn to 100 on the ground, and that it took 6 WVU turnovers for Auburn to pull out an 11 point win.  Don't get me wrong, a win is a win is a win no matter what happens, but my point is that Auburn shouldn't get overly confident yet because they lost every stat but the one that matters in the end.  Without any turnovers by WVU, Auburn loses by at least 3 touchdowns, maybe more.

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