Dye-Gest: Optimistic About Auburn's Future

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about the Auburn Tigers in this edition of his Dye-Gest column.

Naturally, fans are disappointed about not winning the big game against Alabama, but from the Auburn people I have talked to there is an optimistic feeling from everybody about the football program going forward.

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I can say that I have confidence in Coach Malzahn and his decision-making, and believe he will make the right choices to move the football program forward.

The fact that his team scored 44 points in Tuscaloosa against a very good defensive team is truly impressive, almost the opposite of giving up 55 points, something that might have been the thing that broke the camel’s back in the decision to make a change with the defensive coordinator.

Auburn’s defensive issues just didn’t start against Alabama--they have been there all year. As the play caller on game days, Gus Malzahn concentrates on the offense and depends on his defensive coordinator a great deal.

There are a lot of things that can be pointed to from a defensive standpoint about why the Tigers weren’t good enough to defend their SEC Championship this year. Coach Malzahn, who is around it every day, knows better than anyone what needs to be done to get his team back to a championship level next season.

Like other Auburn people I am curious to see who the Tigers will hire to lead the defense and get their edge back on that side of the ball. I have no idea who that will be, but I do know that whoever it is will be someone I will be rooting for to succeed and all the Auburn people need to do the same thing.

I have never been any more optimistic and more confident about the future of Auburn’s football program than I am right now even though the Tigers didn’t have the type of season they wanted. Auburn isn’t alone in that respect. If you look around the country there are plenty of teams that went into the season with high expectations that are in the same place the Tigers are right now heading into the postseason.

The best thing that the Tigers can do now is get focused in on a strong finish to the season by going out and playing their best football game of the year in the bowl game and send the seniors out with a win. In the process of doing that they need to regain the edge and swagger you have got to have to be successful playing in the toughest college football league in the country. If they do that the Tigers can head into the offseason with as much positive momentum as possible.

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