top of page

Matt’s Monday Morning Musings-Week Four – New Kids in Town

Each week, our Executive Director, Matthew Redding (5’11, 185, 4.78 40-yard dash, $4.99 on Wish, 5.49

on TEMU) sits down with a cup of coffee and ponders life in the world of College Football and beyond.

Ask him anything on Twitter (@TheBarningMan) and he may answer it next week over his breakfast. This

week, he’s thinking about the rude awakening Oklahoma and Texas are walking into when they join the


Apologies for missing a week, but thank you to our loyal readers for your patience. I was

busy last weekend getting married(!) to my wonderful wife and honeymooning all week

afterward in Savannah, Georgia. I have been MIA, but I have kept tabs on everything

happening in college football and read the thousands of comments from rabid fans eagerly

anticipating the first kickoffs of college football Saturdays, which are right around the corner

(August 31st is week zero), and the trash talk has begun!

Matt with his new wife Jasmine

A certain kind of trash talk has caught my eye recently. It isn’t Ohio State hounding Michigan for

having half a title or South Carolina bragging about spoiling Clemson’s playoff hopes last year.

For some reason, I’ve seen a consistent string of memes and comments talking about how

Oklahoma and Texas are about to become the SEC’s “daddy” when they join in 2024.

My reaction to both? Maybe get past Texas Tech first.

It’s fair to point out that Oklahoma has a winning record against the SEC (22-20-1) but when

you look at bowl games, where the usual culprit is Alabama or Georgia in a playoff game, they

have a 7-10 record - which should be 5-12 when you consider that their last two non-CFP Sugar

Bowl appearances were against an Auburn team playing a backup quarterback (because Sean

White got injured), and an unmotivated Alabama team that had just had their BCS hopes

spoiled by the Kick-Six and didn’t even want to be there.

When it matters most? Just short. When a chance for all the glory was on the line, the heroics

of Heisman winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray weren’t enough to get the Sooners into

the championship, falling to both Georgia (in one of the best playoff games in years) and


And Texas? Dude, they’re ALWAYS “back”, whatever that even means now. Don’t even get me

started on how they rose to no. 15 in the AP back in 2021 only to get absolutely MANHANDLED

by Arkansas. If Woo-Pig can do that to you on a random Saturday, think about what the big

boys of LSU and Alabama are going to do every year.

I won’t even acknowledge the fact that they have a winning record against the SEC. Coach Sark

has recruited well, but if he doesn’t learn how to make his adjustments faster than SEC

defenses can punch, Texas is about to see that winning record dip fast (insert faster than Horns

Down joke here). And seriously, stop saying you’re “back” until you actually win something or

make the playoff. The Vols and the Trojans came “back” before you did and we all knew it

because they won meaningful games. Heck, TCU came “back” before YOU did.

Granted, Quinn Ewers would’ve beaten Alabama last season if he hadn’t gotten injured, but Hudson

The card looked wildly unprepared that day when he stepped in.

Anyways, moving on.

Most of their winning records were before the modern era of the mighty SEC as we know it

today (starting sometime around 2009? 2007? When you’ve been to the best conference in

America for so long you tend to forget the actual start date). They talk big games for teams that

don’t have to play Nick Saban and Kirby Smart every year, but they’ll learn.

I remember when Texas A&M and Missouri first joined in 2012. The Aggies made a hot start

(10-2) and the Tigers, well, found their footing (4-8, back-to-back SEC East champions the next

two years) but both took a little time to fully settle into the SEC life. You’re telling me a Sooner

squad who went 6-6 last season is gonna show Alabama how big-boy football is played? I

should just accept Steve Sarkisian is suddenly the Joker to Kirby Smart’s Batman now.


Do I think they’ll be worthy additions to the conference? Absolutely. If anyone has the horses to

keep up with what the SEC has become nowadays, it’s Oklahoma and Texas. They recruit the

areas well (particularly Texas) and are household names in the lore and legend of college


Do I think they’ll start off winning 10ish games each? Pump your brakes. They might know

offense, but if your defense still comes in ranking 54th (Texas) and 122nd (Oklahoma) you’re in for

a hard kick in the teeth.

Also, Beat Bama. Then we’ll talk about you being “back”.

Matt’s Monday Morning Mailbag

“What is Auburn’s outlook for 2023 under Hugh Freeze?” – Mah Wife

My lovely wife is a relatively new Auburn fan, mostly because she’s a relatively new

Matthew fan, but she finds herself in the same boat as every seasoned Auburn fan when this

the question pops up.

Short answer, good luck figuring that one out.

Long answer, I expect good things to come from Hugh Freeze, and I expect them soon. He was

known to be a master recruiter at Ole Miss, one of the best halftime adjustment coaches in the

game according to several SEC coaches. He has proven he can develop the QB position like no

other, turning the likes of Chad Kelly and Malik Willis into NFL picks, and Bo Wallace even beat

Bama while leading the Rebels to the Peach Bowl in 2014.

Couple that with Auburn’s facilities and reputation and it should be an insanely dramatic

turnaround for the Tigers.

Ever since I was a kid, there has always been one constant in Auburn football, no matter the


When they’re supposed to suck, they’re historically good.
When they’re supposed to be good, they historically suck.

Every time. No consistency. Tuberville might’ve broken that streak momentarily when they

started and finished as a top-ten team in 2006.

Since then? Crapshoot. Cam Newton took a 7-5 roster to the promised land in 2010, a season

sandwiched between two 8-5 campaigns. Gus then turned around a 3-9 squad to SEC

Champions in his first year.

However, when Auburn had a returning quarterback, a hot quarterback prospect and

defensive mastermind at coordinator, and a potent offensive attack returning half of its

production with an easy schedule (2018) what were the results? 8-5, 7-6, and 8-5.

When Hugh arrived after the 2022 season, he immediately put together a roster that was at

least competent to compete in the SEC. Transfer QB Peyton Throne joins a revamped offensive

line, and Ron Roberts is a DC who is known for creating schemes meant to generate turnovers

(after all, this is the guy who taught Dave Aranda all he knows).

Auburn also gets Georgia and Bama at home in the rough and rowdy Jordan-Hare stadium.

So for this year, I won’t be surprised if they struggle a bit adjusting to the new offense. I also

won’t be surprised if they win the West.

It comes with the territory of being an Auburn fan. Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy

enough to be one.



Michigan Football
Blue Screen
bottom of page