FROM FARLEY'S POST BELOW: As for the season, it ended for you guys like I expected. Not the State win, but with some surprising losses. If Nutt would have relied on Dex earlier in the year, you guys might have only lost two games. It was obvious from the get go Snead was the Snead from the first half of the season not the last. ...
Good points Farley. Not singling you out here, you just segued into some thoughts I've had on the offense.
I have wondered myself where this season might have gone if McCluster had been the No. 1 tailback from Day 1.
I have a hard time faulting Nutt for not going that direction. I saw this offense at the end of last year, and I expected a bigger year from Bolden. So did Nutt, who round about the middle of the year, told us he believed he had enough weapons returning to use McCluster on screens and reverses and not make him the feature back.
I saw such an offense at the end of 2008 that I'm inclined to agree with that line of thinking. Cordera Eason and Brandon Bolden were both productive backs at the end of last season. Eason's ball-handling problems hurt his playing time this year. Bolden looked really, really good against non-SEC teams. Obviously the league is tougher, but I was surprised that Bolden's production dropped as much as it did.
Anyway, McCluster as the dotted I tailback from the beginning might have created a different outcome against South Carolina ... maybe Alabama, but that's doubtful.
Nutt made the switch for the Arkansas game, so Auburn and MSU were the only losses with McCluster at tailback. In both of those games the defense disappeared and gave up more than 400 yards.</p> I'm not sure making that move earlier would have meant the difference in a West title or a BCS bowl game.
But not having an athlete like McCluster to turn to would have made the difference in the Cotton Bowl, the Liberty Bowl or less.
There will be no McCluster next year, the offense is going to have to get greater production from other areas.