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    Marshall Law: Bad times don't often last

    July 1, 2013


    Ramblin' around ...

    Ellis Johnson would not have dreamed last year what was to come when he took over as head coach at Southern Mississippi.

    Johnson, whose reputation as one of the game's top defensive minds was secure, found little but trouble in Hattiesburg. There was a flood of injuries. There was a disconnect with some in the administration. And finally, there was an 0-12 record.

    But even the worst of times can lead to good times. And that's what Ellis' wife Caroline says happened.

    "I think that how Ellis is, they weren't used to it at Southern Miss," she said. "He is very demanding and expects the best and won't accept anything else. I'm not sure how ready they were for that. It was a tough year, but I think it worked out best for us. I don't think they were really ready for us to go there. It worked out best for them and best for us." ...

    Before last season, starting with Pat Dye's arrival in 1981, Auburn had five losing seasons - 1981, 1991, 1998, 1999 and 2008. Every time, at least a nine-win season followed within two years. The Tigers were 11-1 in 1983, 11-0 in 1993, 9-4 in 2000 and 14-0 in 2010.

    Along those lines, an old friend and student of college football puts it this way:  "Every program has down years. There are only a few you know won't stay that way for long, because it matters too much. Auburn is one of those." ...

    Arkansas will be one of the more interesting SEC teams to watch in the coming football season. Bret Beliema brings from Wisconsin a similar offensive style to what LSU and Alabama play. That sounds good, considering the success those two have enjoyed. But if you're going to play their way in their division you'd better have players like they have. I'm afraid Beliema is going to find out that he is a long way from that. ...

    Fullback/H-back Jay Prosch will be the only scholarship senior on Auburn's offense next season. That's not the only senior starter, that's the only senior, period. ...

    After dead bats led to deadly boring in the College World Series, there is lots of talk about how to inject more offense into the college game. Apparently, the powers that be are adamant about not going back to more lively bats. Instead, colleges might go to a different baseball.

    The major league baseball is harder and has much tighter seams. It flies, on the average, some 25 feet longer than the college ball. The minor league baseball is between the two and would be the most likely choice if there is a change. ...

    It goes without saying that having a big-time quarterback is crucial to winning the national championship. But does it have to be a future NFL star? No way.

    Of the quarterbacks on the SEC's seven consecutive national championship teams, only Cam Newton has made a significant impact in the NFL. A.J. McCarron will have a chance to make it two after this season. ...

    Until next ti

     

    Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter:

     

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