Head coach Bryan Harsin stated, “He was here. He’ll be here tonight; he’ll practice tomorrow. We’re aware of what’s going on.
The arrest stemmed from several traffic violations Finley committed, including not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle while fleeing from officers attempting to make a traffic stop.
Finley just inked a NIL deal with Amazon earlier this week, so this is definitely not the best timing. This can be a sour note in his career, so it is time to discuss what is next for the Auburn quarterback. Will it affect NCAAF picks or NCAAF matchups?
How Well Has He Done in His Career?
T.J. Finley is currently entering his junior season, but he has not played too much throughout his career. Looking at his 2021 season, he went 70-for-128 (54.7 percent) for 827 yards with six touchdowns, an interception, and a 122.9 quarterback rating.
He is not going to be the starting quarterback as that seems to be sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada’s job, and freshman Robby Ashford is tentatively penciled in as the backup quarterback for Auburn Tigers.
They are looking to compete throughout the season with a competitive roster, so this will be an interesting test to see if he is even in the thought process of seeing the field.
Finley Big Issue
It feels like a big issue as he is in a quarterback competition, but Bryan Harsin is not going to hold this against him in the battle as it sounds like it was a misunderstanding more than anything else.
He was driving a motorcycle without a helmet, not driving under the influence. I understand the severity, but it was not putting anyone else in danger, so it is definitely less than what it could have been. Eluding police in itself still is not great, though.
Auburn’s Outlook as a Team
The Auburn Tigers have been struggling as they are expected to win between 5.5 and 6.5, depending on which sportsbook you are using.
This means they are going to look like the inferior team for most of their NCAAF schedule. There is a chance the backup quarterback will see a significant amount of playing time.
Finley is arguably the third-best quarterback on the Auburn roster. I would definitely be taking Zach Calzada over him as he does not turn the ball over nearly as much.
New Quarterback In Place
Even with a new quarterback in place, Calzada is the more talented thrower of the two, and coming from a school like Texas A&M to Auburn, he sees some of the same schools anyways.
This team is not expected to be a player in the SEC, so getting the biggest talent that they can out of the transfer portal and performing well should be an important thing for the season.
Finley is a decent quarterback, but his inability to throw an accurate pass consistently gives me a little hesitance about where he will be on the depth chart, despite his junior year.
He also does not have his legs to use as a weapon, as last season, he ran 20 times for -36 yards, which you need to do if you cannot complete passes accurately and consistently.
T.J Finley’s Mistake
T.J. Finley made a mistake, which is not uncommon for a kid in college to do. However, I do not expect him to make much of an impact in the college season this year whether or not this incident happened.
It does not change much of the Auburn Tigers NCAAF odds or anything of that nature, but it definitely is a little black mark on him.
He was a starting quarterback at LSU before transferring to Auburn, but I do not see him being that impactful to a team trying to win games this season.
Not Everything Is Lost
Now, this will not ruin his collegiate career as he was arrested for something completely minor compared to other things that we hear (or not hear) about collegiate athletes.
I just don’t believe in the consistent talent at this level, which has proven throughout his play, as he will be a backup at best.