I think a lot of that progress was made with the players getting to know their new defensive and offensive coordinators and learning what those coaches expect out them. I also think the coordinators made a lot of progress getting a handle on what type of players they will have to put on the field for games this fall.
When Gene Chizik hired Brian VanGorder to coordinate the defense and Scot Loeffler to do the same thing for the offense, I was impressed. After seeing them in action I think Coach Chizik made wonderful hires for both of those positions and I wouldn't put one ahead of the other.
I have enjoyed watching both of them coach. They are high energy guys who demand perfection.
You can cut it any way you want to cut it, but with everything being equal the college football team that wins is the best coached team. Those teams are going to make fewer mistakes and will have more of the intangibles going for them that are the difference between winning and losing on Saturdays.
This year's Auburn team is going to have ability, but that will take you only so far in college football. Ability only gives you a chance to win, what you do with that ability as a player, and how it is developed and used in a team concept by a coaching staff, is going to determine how many games Auburn, or any other team, will be able to win this fall. From what I have seen so far of the 2012 team in practice and A-Day this team is showing promise although like any team this time of year there is still plenty of word to do.
I normally enjoy the A-Day weekends and this year was no exception. My A-Day weekend started on Friday night with a reception at the president's house for the Heisman Trophy winners. Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson were at Dr. Gogue's place with their wives along with some people who were big supporters. Cam Newton wasn't at the event on Friday night, but he made it in for the statue unveiling event on Saturday.
Pat and Bo both got up and had a few words on Friday night and were very good. Listening to what they also had to say on Saturday, along with the comments from Cam, you couldn't be prouder to be an Auburn man or woman. Their personalities were able to shine through.
Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton are shown at the A-Day Game.
They are certainly different people, but they made it clear they share a love and appreciation for Auburn and the people here. They made it clear how important it was to them to develop the relationships that blossomed during their time as Auburn students. It was kind of a Love-Fest with those three players who received the pinnacle award a college football player can receive.
The Heisman unveiling ceremony featured a nice twist with the unveiling of the bust of John Heisman, who was one of the coaches in the early years of Auburn football history. The whole event added a lot to the A-Day weekend and was a lot of fun. I didn't see any Auburn folks with long faces. Everybody was having a good time on a beautiful weekend to be in Auburn.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.