Finebaum Analyzes Auburn Setback: Auburn faced a setback in Hugh Freeze’s inaugural season with a 31-10 loss to New Mexico State at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Despite the defeat, Paul Finebaum, speaking on ‘The Matt Barrie Show,’ expressed measured concern, taking into account various factors.
Finebaum acknowledged the Tigers’ unexpected struggle against their Conference USA opponent, emphasizing Auburn’s shortcomings in both offensive and defensive lines. He noted, “It looked like Auburn was the team playing the cupcake role for New Mexico State.”
However, Finebaum refrained from harsh criticism, citing the reality that every team, even successful ones, can experience unexpected losses. He attributed part of the performance to the young roster’s lack of focus on the game, anticipating that they might be looking ahead to upcoming challenges.
Reflecting on a historical perspective, Finebaum recalled a similar scenario in 2007 when a surprising loss occurred. Drawing a parallel, he suggested that while Hugh Freeze may not replicate Nick Saban’s championship success, the overall program remains in good shape.
Finebaum emphasized the impact of the loss on Alabama, stating, “I am not going to melt down on this because I think the unhappiest person in the country because of that was Nick Saban.” He speculated that Saban might be frustrated at having to engage in a game that seemingly lacks significance.
In conclusion, Finebaum downplayed the significance of the loss, highlighting that Auburn is already set for a bowl appearance. He emphasized that, despite the less-than-ideal outcome, the program, under Freeze’s leadership, remains on solid ground.