BMatt’s Monday musings
AUBURN | Auburn didn’t have a reliable backup to Kerryon Johnson in 2017 and it may have cost them an SEC Championship. It was the same last year when JaTarvious Whitlow was slowed with a nagging injury and the Tigers rushed for just 19 yards against Texas A&M — and somehow won — and 102 yards in a lopsided loss at Georgia.
With Whitlow sidelined for the next month, that running back depth will be put to the test for the next three games against Arkansas, No. 2 LSU and Ole Miss. It’s absolutely imperative that somebody, anybody steps up at the position.
Auburn has a long and storied history of great running backs. Gus Malzahn has created some of the best rushing offenses in SEC history. Really, there’s no excuse — none — for the Tigers not to have viable depth at the position, especially for a third consecutive season. Malzahn has kept his promise about building depth by playing more running backs this fall.
Now, it’s time to show what some of those backups can really do.
I’ve noticed a lot of Auburn fans on our message board or social media agitated with Georgia being ranked No. 10, one spot above No. 11 Auburn. Their main point is that the Tigers lost to a top 10 team on the road while the Bulldogs lost to an unranked team at home.
It’s a pretty good point. But it’s also a completely moot point. It just doesn’t matter. In fact, none of the polls matter right now. Only the CFP Rankings, which come out for the first time Nov. 5 hold any real weight. And really, it’s only the final one, which comes out Dec. 8, which actually matters.
Between now and then, Auburn will play Georgia at home. It will also play No. 2 LSU on the road and No. 1 Alabama at home. Win the next six including those three rivalry matchups and the SEC Championship game, and the Tigers can punch their ticket to the College Football Playoffs for the first time in school history.
In fact, if Auburn runs the table between now and Dec. 7, it’ll be a lock for the No. 1 seed in those playoffs.
Today’s musical journey takes us back 58 years to Oct. 16, 1962, and the day Crazy by Patsy Cline was released. The song was written by Willie Nelson for a different country artist, Billy Walker, but he passed on it and Cline picked it up and turned it into one of her signature songs. It had a 21-week on the country charts, topping out at No. 2, and is ranked No. 85 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
Cline, born as Virginia Patterson Hensley in 1932, began performing at the age of 15 in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia. She had her first big hit, Walking After Midnight, after performing it on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts in 1957, her first national T.V. appearance. She topped the country charts for the first time in 1961 with I Fall to Pieces and the second and last time with She Got You. Cline along with her manager and two other country artists, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins, were killed when their plane crashed in Camden, Tenn., following a benefit concert in Kansas City. Cline was just 30 years old.
Cline was one of the first country artists to successfully crossover to the pop charts and is considered one of the most influential performers of the 20th century. She was the first female performer to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973 and was portrayed by Jessica Lange in the 1985 biopic Sweet Dreams. Her greatest hits album has sold over 10 million copies, making it one of the largest-selling albums by a female country artist of all time.