After losing to New Mexico State 31-10, coming in as 25+-point favorites in most sportsbooks, Auburn football will almost assuredly look to tear this roster and its coaching staff down over the offseason — and The Opelika-Auburn News’s Justin Lee believes the overhaul will start under center.
“Progress erased,” Lee prefaced before saying, “Auburn will be looking for a portal QB in December after all. Auburn will have to shake up its offensive staff after all. And there’s more. Year 0 is just that, now: Zero progress. Freeze will try again from scratch (in the offseason).”
This isn’t to say that Payton Thorne was the problem against the Aggies. Thorne completed 15/19 passes for 148 passing yards and a passing touchdown to Rivaldo Fairweather; adding another 38 yards on the ground on 17 carries.
But things need to change. Great QBs don’t let their teams lose by three touchdowns to a program like New Mexico State. Or allow their team to be on the field for less than 40% of the game.
Auburn football must overhaul its roster again after failed relaunch
The most optimistic of Tiger fans are trying to evoke the 2007 Lousiana-Monroe upset of Alabama or the 2016 Vanderbilt upset over Georgia to justify the potentially program-altering Week 12 loss to NMSU. In truth, though, this loss was far worse.
Hugh Freeze had several transfer portal cycles (albeit not all full ones) to figure out how to field a competitive roster and with the unanimous blaming of Bryan Harsin for all of AU’s problems in 2021 and 2022, one would’ve thought enough talent would’ve signed up to restore glory to Auburn.
That didn’t happen. The Tigers just suffered a worse loss than they had at any point under Harsin. Or Gus Malzahn for that matter.
Freeze’s planned relaunch of AU sputtered out of the gate. It’s back to the drawing board for 2024: new roster, new support staff, new hope. Let’s hope something of substance is drawn up as the SEC adds two more blue bloods to an already stacked conference.
If not, Auburn is going to have to get used to the level of futility on the football field the past three years have provided.