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What Now?

It has become painfully obvious that the Gene Chizik regime at Auburn is not working.  While I don’t believe it is set in stone just yet that there will be a new head football coach on the plains next season, we are drawing very close to the point of no return.  Auburn’s 41-20 loss to Ole Miss this past weekend didn’t do much to help Gene’s case.  A few thoughts on that game:

 

  • I did not watch the game live (decided it was a better idea to go fishing, but all of the fish were apparently watching college football and were unavailable for catching).  I found out the score about an hour after the game ended, and spent most of the night reading all sorts of doom, gloom, and head coaching change predictions on internet message boards.  I didn’t actually watch the game until tonight, and I will admit my expectations were quite low.
  • That being said, Auburn actually looked better than what I had expected based on the comments I had read.  To be sure, it’s no fun to lose to Ole Miss.  This a good, but not great, Ole Miss team – a team that Auburn should have absolutely no trouble beating with the talent on its roster.  However, all things being relative, Auburn looked better to me in this game than they have in most this season.
  • It’s tough for me to assign blame to a single place in this game.  There were lots of issues.  The defense had no answers for Bo Wallace or Jeff Scott.  Whoever is calling the plays made some boneheaded decisions.  Auburn once again fell apart mentally after some miscues.  It’s just a perfect storm, really.
  • One thing is for sure.  The primary focus of this offense needs to be feeding Tre Mason the rock.  He looked excellent in that game, and it’s a shame that Auburn shied away from him in key situations.
  • Clint Mosely looked serviceable.  He took a couple sacks that maybe he could have gotten away from, and obviously his interception at the game was a mental error, but overall he did look better than Kiehl Frazier has looked.  This loss was not his fault.
  • The fact that it’s difficult to pin blame on a single entity within the team basically means one thing – the only person to blame is Chizik.  Like it or not, it all starts and ends with him.  It’s obvious there is mental and emotional distress on this team, and those things are wholly within the control of the coaching staff.

This is what I believe: Gene Chizik has to win at least four games this year to keep his job.  That means he basically has to win this weekend at Vanderbilt (the ‘Dores are an 8 point favorite, by the way.  Painful).  I highly doubt that Auburn would make any kind of a move during the season, but a loss next week (especially a bad one) would be awfully hard to swallow, and stranger things have happened at Auburn.
That said, on to the possible replacements (although this almost feels like rating potential mistresses).  Rumors abound regarding Bobby Petrino.  He’s not likely to get a better offer than Auburn this year, so I think there’s no question he would accept if Auburn offered.  The fanbase is split along the lines of Republicans and Democrats when it comes to Bobby P, and I have to admit I have a lot of reservations about hiring him.  I also have to admit that my reservations and how important I feel it is to have a “moral” football coach seem a lot less important now that Auburn is 1-5.  As things move along I will certainly have more to say on Petrino.

Other early names seem to be Charlie Strong at Louisville and Jimbo Fisher at FSU.  I think Charlie Strong is probably the best option of the bunch.  He’s a great recruiter, defensive minded, and has good “morals”, whatever that means.  Jimbo would be an okay option as well, although I’m still not convinced after seeing FSU stumble once again to a lesser team in NC State.
One thing is for sure: if a new coach comes in they will have plenty to work with.  You can see flashes of the talent on this team even in the worst games.  It is just painfully obvious that the coaching staff has no idea what to do with it…

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About Andy

Co-host, along with David, of the Outputting Our Coverage sports talk radio extravaganza show every Thursday at 5:30 PM (College Football!) Lover of all things college football, the Auburn Tigers specifically, and 80's music by bands named after continents. Personal motto (adopted from Coach Mose): "None of that Tutti Frutti; Just the plain vanilla."

3 comments on “What Now?

  1. davidtutwiler
    October 15, 2012

    The fact that Auburn fans are even hinting at the fact they could get Jimbo to call them back is absurd. Just remember that the whole reason you ended up with Chizik in the first place is that no one wanted the job when it was open.

    Jimbo has a great thing at Florida State. They will get a top 5 recruiting class every year, they will be projected in the top 10 preseason every year, they will win at least 8 in a weak conference every year, and he only has to win a BCS game once every 3-4 years to keep his job. Oh and he gets paid well.

    To think Auburn could snatch Jimbo is insanity.

    • Andy
      October 15, 2012

      I think Jimbo would listen if the price was right. I believe he’s only making about 1.8 million at FSU. In addition, his wife is from Alabama and he apparently really liked his time at Auburn as QB coach.

      That being said, I think Auburn’s the one who should turn him down. We’ve already got a Jimbo – a great recruiter who can’t get it done on the field.

  2. davidtutwiler
    October 16, 2012

    I still think that’s crazy talk. Auburn is not the job it once was. I think at best you’re looking at a Todd Berry or Paul Rhoads.

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This entry was posted on October 15, 2012 by in College, Football, Sports and tagged , , , , , .
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