Former Tigers QB addresses 'unhealthy obsession' of Auburn football fans

Mississippi State v Auburn
Mississippi State v Auburn / Michael Chang/GettyImages

Bo Nix clearly enjoyed being on Dan Lanning's Oregon Ducks far more than playing for Gus Malzahn's Auburn football team; and especially Bryan Harsin's. During an appearance on The Ryen Russillo Podcast, Nix explained how the "unhealthy obsession" with football that Tiger fans had ruined the game for him.

“In the sense, the hostility and maybe the unhealthy pressure that is added to 18- to 22-year-olds by outside noise and fans,” Nix said (h/t “Like it’s almost like an unhealthy obsession in the South. I was that way growing up. I thought it was life-or-death football.”

Nix preferred the de-emphasis on football in Oregon, one that allowed him to focus on improving without being the subject of scrutiny from fans whose happiness depends on the results of college football games.

“You move out here, and you play the game as hard as you can,” Nix prefaced before saying, "You got great passion for the game. It’s a little bit more laid back in a way. “I think that’s the difference, quite frankly, is what is put into college football in the South. Then, how out here football is just a game, and we want to find the joy in it.”

Auburn football hasn't recovered under center since Bo Nix left

The narrative from fans on Nix was shocking. AU fans have always favored those who come from the state, glorifying Robby Ashford after he left while crucifying TJ Finley and Payton Thorne, natives of Louisiana and Illinois, respectively.

For Nix, though, it was different. He was held to higher standards than any of his successors and wasn't given the grace that Ashford got for being a Harsin-era QB -- though to be fair, his worst season wasn't under Harsin but rather during the once-in-a-lifetime-and-hopefully-never-again pandemic-stricken 2020 season.

The position hasn't recovered since Nix left and he's gone on to do great things at Oregon. No one has capably filled his shoes or come even close. Walker White looks like he has the physical tools to be QB1, but will he get the chance?

The quarterback position on the Plains just hasn't been the same since Nix transferred away. Hopefully that changes, whether it's from Thorne improving or one of White, Holden Geriner, or Hank Brown getting the chance to change the narrative.