Monday, May 4, 2009

Slumping at the wrong time

 

After being swept by LSU and then bouncing back with two blowouts of Troy, Auburn faced pretty much a win or else situation when Ole Miss came to town. The prospects looked bleak to say the least. The Rebels came in ranked as high as 7 in the country and having one of the best rotations in all of the SEC if not the country.

Right now, we’ve reached that “or else” situation. After being swept, at home, to the Rebels, Auburn has now dropped 8 of our last 9 SEC games and whatever slim possibilities we had of making it to the SEC tournament have all but evaporated.

This weekend, what killed Auburn was just another cold showing at the plate. That coupled with shotty defense and some just average bullpen work made for a very long weekend.

Still, I’m a guy with Orange and Blue glasses and I still won’t say we are completely eliminated just yet. There are still six SEC games left to play and as long as we can stay within striking distance of that 8th and final spot then, technically, we are still in the hunt.

Well there is still a chance. Granted it’s a slim chance but its a chance nonetheless.

Basically it boils down to this. Auburn is still 2.5 games out of the 8th and final place of the SEC tournament with six games to play. The Tigers are chasing Vanderbilt (also being victim of a sweep this past weekend).

The race for that final spot is pretty much a three team race between Auburn (8-16), Kentucky (9-15) and Vanderbilt (10-13). Last week we played the hypotheticals. This week I’ll just spell it out with what Auburn needs to have happen.

Auburn beats Kentucky (2-1)

UGA Beats Vandy (2-1)

That finishes the penultimate week like this: Auburn (10-17), Kentucky (10-17), Vanderbilt (11-15).

That would mean the final week would come and Auburn still wouldn’t be in complete control of our destiny.

That final week Auburn would need to make up some ground. Requiring a series loss by Kentucky to Florida (which is likely) and would need UT to sweep Vandy (highly unlikely) and Auburn to take a series from Alabama. That leaves the three teams like this Auburn (12-18), Kentucky (11-19) and Vanderbilt (11-18).

Now a sweep could change everything. AUburn gets swept (hell if Auburn even loses the series to Kentucky) then it is out. However, let’s say that Auburn sweeps UK and Vandy is swept by UGA. That moves Auburn to 11-16 and drops Vandy to 10-16.

That would give Auburn a little more breathing room heading into that final week; because, even with those sweeps, Auburn could still drop the series (but again not get swept) to Alabama. However, we’d still need UT to take the series to Vandy.

Even if we swept Kentucky and lost the series to UA, a Vandy series win puts them at 12-17 and moves Auburn to 12-18. Auburn would then miss the SEC tournament by a half game (all because Vandy had a rain out early in the season).

Yeah, its slim.

But before any of this “coulda-woulda” can happen, you have to win this series.

Last week the “must-win” against Ole Miss was a little iffy. It wasn’t a complete must win (as you can see with this the showdown this weekend). The door is still open just slightly.

However, drop the series to UK and the door shuts completely.

And to close, if you want to read more about the collapse this weekend here are the Auburn releases for the 9-2, 8-2, and 11-4 losses. If your a masochist then here are the Auburn beat writer takes from Gribble and Goldberg. Jay Tate, thanks to a Gannett furlough, is off the beat path but the Advertiser has something here.

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