The Auburn football program’s unthinkable Week 12 loss to New Mexico State changed the entire trajectory of the program moving forward according to “Pregaming the SEC” host Jacob Hester — who cannot look past AU’s 31-10 whooping at the hands of the Aggies enough to not see the sky falling on the Plains.
“I was thinking bowl eligible in year 1 after what he took over from Bryan Harsin, talking about Hugh Freeze, they’re going to be able to build off of this,” Hester said (h/t Saturday Down South). “They’ll be maybe a 9-win team next year. It changed my mind. It’s New Mexico State, and I’m not trying to be disrespectful because they’ve had a hell of a year. This can’t happen. And not only did it happen, but it happened in a way that it wasn’t close.
“Honestly, it has changed my perspective on what Auburn can be next year. I know I shouldn’t do that off 1 game, but it has.”
Auburn football cannot let itself be defined by New Mexico State loss
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Auburn cannot let the New Mexico State loss define anything moving forward; other than perhaps one of the great trivia questions about the 2023 college football season.
Hugh Freeze getting his program over this loss may be his biggest test this season, more so than the four-game losing streak against Texas A&M, Georgia, LSU, and Ole Miss. If he can’t, he may not get enough of a leash to see his long-term vision through.
If AU continues to produce five and six-win seasons, all of the hard work on the recruiting trail for future classes will be for naught when this coaching staff doesn’t see it through to welcome those recruits to campus.
This program is not, and will never be, in a position to take part in long rebuilds.