Better Know an Opponent: Auburn Tigers

The eyes of... oh, forget it - www.sportslogos.net

Familiarity breeds contempt. Lots and lots of contempt.

LSU gets to host its first SEC series of the weekend. Won't you please grab your bags of urine and rocks, and "welcome" our guests to Alex Box?

Auburn Plainsmen War Eagle Tigers

Record: 15-6 (0-3), tied for 13th in SEC

RS/RA: 131/88

RPI: 80

ISR: 44

Ancient Logo:

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via content.sportslogos.net

Yeah. That actually happened. Next time you hear someone complain about Toonces, think about this. It could be worse. Well, and you could root for Auburn.

Notable Alumni:

Walter Merritt Riggs (former president of Clemson and "father of Clemson football", thereby despised by Georgia fans twice over)
Toni Tennille (of the "Captain and" fame)
Cynthia Tucker (columnist, Pulitzer Prize winner)
Octavia Spencer (Academy Award for The Help)
Richard Marcinko (founder of Navy SEAL Team Six)
Bo Jackson (Nike spokesperson)
Rowdy Gaines (Olympic gold medal in swimming)
Millard Fuller (founder of Habitat for Humanity)
Vince Dooley (Georgia football coach)
Ken Mattingly (Apollo 13, the spacecraft, not the movie)
Lionel Richie (The Commodores)
Frank Thomas (The Big Hurt)

Dance party on the Plains, eh? Cam Newton is not a notable alumni because he is neither notable nor did he graduate.

Pretentious Music Video:

Auburn has not won a regular season SEC title since 1978 or before the SEC got good at baseball. It's been 14 years since they won the SEC tourney. Auburn actually has been to Omaha four times, which is four more times than Ole Miss, but their most recent trip was 1997 and it doesn't seem like the program is really moving that much closer to their next trip. Auburn's not a bad program per se, they are just overshadowed by the true powerhouses of the SEC. So choosing the music for a kind of generic program is difficult. While we have all sorts of hatred for Auburn football, LSU doesn't have that same rivalry in baseball. This week's pretentious music video for Auburn is No Future/No Past by the Cloud Nothings. Which kind of sums things up.


Starters:

LHP Daniel Koger (0-1, 3.49 ERA, 28.1 IP, 16/8 K/BB)

LHP Michael O'Neal (4-1, 1.99 ERA, 31.2 IP, 15/7 K/BB)

RHP Rocky McCord (2-1, 4.95 ERA, 20.0 IP, 16/12 K/BB)

The Sunday starter is still, officially, "TBA", but I'm sticking with last week's Sunday starter until I hear differently. Yes, Vanderbilt knocked him around for 4 runs in a little over an inning, but are they going to demote a guy after just one bad SEC weekend? I'd guess McCord gets the start, but a short leash. O'Neal has been impressive so far, but he doesn't overpower hitters. That's kind of the whole staff's M.O., they have a pretty good team ERA and they are doing a good job run prevention, but they just don't strike many batters out. It's all about pitching to contact and having the defense make outs. Don't walk guys, don't give up home runs, just keep it in the park and trust your teammates.

Sluggers:

1B Garrett Cooper 328/500/484

OF Cullen Wacker 313/415/448

OF Ryan Tella 286/380/403

Ryan Tella has stole 4 bases on 5 attempts. I lead off with this because as a team, Auburn is 13 for 23. They like to run, but it seems only one guy is any good at it. And tht sort of sums up Auburn baseball: they keep trotting out a team, even though it usually isn't very good. I know it's early, but Auburn is 9th in runs scored. That's mainly because they don't get on very often (7th in the SEC), but when they do, it's for not much power (10th in slugging). They rank 12th in steals, but that's okay, because they get caught stealing a lot (5th). In fact, the only two offensive stats that Auburn ranks in the top half of the conference are walks (3rd) and sac bunts (4th). This is not a very good offensive team, and they simply lack high end hitters. Well, except for the fact Garrett Cooper gets on in literally half of his plate appearances. That's downright awesome.

Tiger Bait?

Last week, a sweep would have been nice, but it didn't really ruin the weekend that the team didn't get one. The goal was just get the win, and the team pulled it off. This weekend, the team wants to get that sweep. Sure, you can never expect a sweep, just like you can't assume a double play, but this is a great chance for LSU to get an early lead in the SEC standings. Vanderbilt already swept Auburn, so they took full advantage of the situation. Now, LSU gets perhaps their easiest SEC opponent of the year at home. LSU has got to win the series, and a sweep would be extra sweet. It's the weekend goal.

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