Thursday, May 17, 2012

Beat writer challenges Auburn coach Gene Chizik's "youth" argument

How big an issue will youth be for Auburn in 2012? We break down the Tigers' roster |
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By my unofficial projection*, Auburn will start seven or eight seniors, nine juniors, six sophomores and one or two freshmen on offense, defense, kicker and punter. That makes Auburn slightly younger than the rest of the league, but not dramatically so. That ratio is comparable to Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi State. Arkansas will likely start more seniors. LSU has a bigger junior class and a smaller group of seniors and sophomores. As a whole, however, Auburn is not markedly younger.
Read Woodbery's analysis here.

Cue the Never to Yield Foundation attack post in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

Truth is, Auburn is somewhat younger than the rest of the league. But leaning on that canard is an excuse in the Southeastern Conference. Every team is "young." That's by design and part of the culture of college football.

Auburn's "youth" problems aren't difficult to isolate and their root causes are not difficult to identify. They are the collective result of poor recruiting by former coach Tommy Tuberville and a mass exodus of players from the 2010 BCS Championship team through arrest and transfer.

You can only lean on that crutch for so long, right Coach Dooley?