Jeff Reed: Auburn Game Means Everything for Some A-State Fans

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A friend, someone in the inner circle and someone I respect, sent out a group text Tuesday morning about how badly he wanted to win this game this week.

This game, this week, is Auburn.

Or as some in the  A-State Nation have tagged Auburn-geddon.

The real truth is it does mean everything to a lot of Red Wolves fans. And it means a lot to some of the players. But the real truth is games three and four on the schedule are much bigger.

But we will get to that later.

As most of you know, this guy Gus Malzahn, once coached the Arkansas State Red Wolves. Well that once ended about eight months ago when after leading the ASU to a 9-3 record and a Sun Belt Conference and an appearance in the Bowl.

And we all remember him making that comment about those saying he was just a high school coach from Arkansas and those who say he will leave after one year “they don’t know me.”

The stories we have heard from Jonesboro these days are along the lines of did anyone really know Malzahn?

Talking about the situation with an old friend, we shared the thoughts about how a coach who had such a reputation for being such a strong recruiter could be so void of personality. You want proof of a personality void, review copies of his coaches show last year.

But Gus is Gus. He is consumed with football and a darn good coach.

And one that is not remembered so fondly in Jonesboro.

After Saturday night all could be forgiven.

It is no doubt a huge game for Arkansas State. After the season opening 62-11 drubbing of UA-Pine Bluff, the Red Wolves are back on national stage. They have already started getting votes in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll. A victory over Auburn would get the closer to the Top 25.

With a group of friends we joked last week that on the national stage many think UL-Monroe on the Sun Belt last season based on its victory over Arkansas. For the record, the Warhawks finished in a three-way tie for second. But beating an SEC team means big-time mileage for a Sun Belt unit.

But in the big picture, the SBC opener at home with Troy a week from Thursday (Sept. 12) and the game at Memphis (Sept. 21) are far more important. Troy is a home game and conference opener. If ASU is to win a third straight league title and go to a third straight bowl game it might be the make-or-break game of the season.

Memphis, well that is just Memphis. And the Red Wolves love beating the Tigers, and they have four of the last five meetings. The Tigers and the A-State Red Wolves go head-to-head on a lot of recruits and while the Memphis school can brag about being in a better conference, etc., on the field Arkansas State has the recent advantage.

Will Arkansas State beat Auburn? Give us your prediction in the poll and please tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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