It would be nice to be able to come up with a quirky, unseen choice for this one. It's great as a blogger to be able to provide unique insight or the overlooked nuance missed by the mainstream media.
But, when it comes to Auburn's depth chart, there is one dominant issues. As Track Em Tigers puts it: "Auburn's Success Rests in the Hands of its Quarterback -- Again."
Or Auburn's success will rest in the hands of its quarterback, once the coaching staff decides who that quarterback will be. Getting it down to fewer than five would be a good start. But at this point, no one can definitively rule out Kodi Burns, Neil Caudle, Chris Todd, Tyrik Rollison or Clint Moseley. (Too bad Brandon Cox used up all his eligibility.)
For the three returning players from last year's squad, the numbers aren't too encouraging.
|2008 - Kodi Burns||10||99.6||94||179||52.5||1050||105||11.2||2||7||98||411||41.1||4.2||5||-||-|
|2008 - Neil Caudle||1||133.8||4||5||80||32||32||8||0||0||1||4||4||4||0||-||-|
|2008 - Chris Todd||7||108.7||86||156||55.1||903||129||10.5||5||6||33||-63||-9||-1.9||0||-||-|
That's right. The only returning quarterback with a completion percentage of more than 55.1 percent and who didn't throw more picks than TDs attempted five passes all year.
Of the two freshmen, Rollison is the more highly touted, to borrow from Phil Steele. Rollison was 315-of-428 in his senior season, threw for 4,728 yards and 51 TDs, and tacked on 1,094 yards rushing.
Quarterback, though, might not be the most difficult position at which to get on the field. There are no fewer than nine running backs on the spring roster, 10 according to Auburn's spring game program. (I couldn't find a depth chart.) Your big names are Ben Tate and Mario Fannin, though Chris Low has put in a plug for unheralded walk-on Justin Albert. (HT: The Joe Cribbs Car Wash)
Catching the ball, assuming the Tigers find someone to throw it, will be a receiving corps led by WR Montez Billings. Maybe. He didn't set the world on fire last year, but neither did most of his teammates. Besides, who else is going to lead the unit? TE Tommy Trott? Trust me: You don't even know the other names in Auburn's pool of receiving talent.
Among the seven returning defensive starters are some nice players, from top tackler FS Zac Etheridge to sacks leader DE Antonio Coleman. Interception leader Josh Bynes -- a linebacker! -- returns. (Okay, he only had three picks.) CB Walter McFadden doesn't draw the gaudiest stats, but you hear his name if you're watching an Auburn game; he had eight broken up passes last year.
But it all gets back to that guy under center, whoever he might be. Knowing the name might not instill a lot of comfort in Auburn fans.
It's better, though, than not knowing at all.