What a difference a year makes

No, I’m not talking about Mark Richt and Georgia.  I’m talking about the hand that Gene Chizik now finds himself playing.  He’s gone from the man hoisting the crystal football to the man who’s overall record is being questioned again.

… All due respect to a guy only a year removed from a national title, but why should anyone believe that Chizik will experience long term, sustained success as a major college head coach?

I ask because as of now, he hasn’t proven anything. Remove that 14-0, Cam Newton-produced season last year and Chizik is an unremarkable 20-29 as a head coach.

It’s not just that this season was disappointing.  It’s that the offseason is proving even more difficult.

… Florida State’s Mark Stoops “is not planning to leave for Auburn or any other university,”according to a story by the Tallahassee Democrat today.

That leaves Auburn coach Gene Chizik still in need of replacements for former defensive coordinator Ted Roof and soon-to-be-departed offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.

Auburn, or a representative, had discussed the job with Stoops, at least at some level. It’s not clear if he had an offer.

Chizik, who’s been juggling duties as head coach, defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and recruiter, can concentrate more on the hiring process after this weekend. Coaches can’t recruit on the road after midnight tonight, and can’t contact recruits after midnight Sunday.

Saturday’s coaching search update?

“I feel like we’re in the right direction. There is no timetable,” Chizik said. “After tonight, after I won’t be able to go out on the road recruiting, obviously I’ll be able to put more time towards getting our team ready and doing all my homework on my coordinators.”

So it’s been recruiting prioritized over getting the staffing settled. You can probably guess the punchline coming here.

Yep – the top recruit in Auburn’s class, running back T.J. Yeldon, switched his commitment yesterday to Alabama.  And since the down period has hit, Auburn can’t even contact Yeldon to discuss it.  Yeldon’s planning on being an early enrollee, which means he signs in two weeks.  He’s a lost cause at a position of need, given the rumors surrounding Dyer and McCalebb.

Track ‘em Tigers speculates that Yeldon’s change of heart doesn’t pass the smell test, but as someone who’s followed a program that’s recently received the benefit of Alabama’s, um… special attention in recruiting, I would suggest that badly misses the mark.  Auburn’s an easy target for negative recruiting right now, with a season that ended with several lopsided defeats, a coaching staff in flux (along with rumors that Chizik interfered with Malzahn’s gameplanning), top players leaving the program and questions about whether Cam made the program or the program made Cam.

Chizik’s got to land two solid replacements for Roof and Malzahn and to coach his team to a competent victory in the bowl game to recover some traction to close out Auburn’s recruiting class decently and to build some momentum for next season.  The West won’t be getting any easier in 2012 and if Auburn doesn’t appear to be heading in the right direction soon, it’s not going to be pretty on the Plains.

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53 Comments

Filed under Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit

53 responses to “What a difference a year makes

  1. I like to ride in my truck…

  2. Chris

    This could not have happen to a better team.

  3. Know One Knows You're a Dawg

    Auburn’s MNC last year is the Barry Bonds home run record of MNCs.

  4. JasonC

    To hell with Auburn

  5. Biggus Rickus

    Given what Newton has been able to do as a rookie this year and Auburn’s cliff-fall on offense this season, I’d say the question of whether or not Newton made the program has been settled. But hey, Auburn got a nice return on their investment.

    • Normaltown Mike

      no doubt. he’s been far better in the NFL than I would’ve guessed.

      I guess that’s why I’m not a pro scout.

      • Biggus Rickus

        I’m not all that surprised by Newton. He had the arm, delivery, size and speed to be successful right away. I didn’t think he’d throw for 4,000 yards as a rookie, but I thought he could be a very good pro QB. Tebow being an adequate one is more of a shock to me.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          I am stunned by Tebow’s success. That said, there is something to the saying: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Tebow has earned my respect by what he has accomplished in the NFL and, moreover, how he did it–by outworking the competition.

          • Biggus Rickus

            I thought his ceiling was a middling NFL starter, which is all he is right now. I’m not sure that’s his limit anymore though. I hope to God it is so people will shut up about him, but I’m not sure of it.

            • I have to respect who he is & what he has done (& is doing); But, I still manage to tune out any time his name is mentioned. Yes, shut up about him.
              I guess I now understand what people were saying when they got tired of hearing about the Davids back in their day.

        • Reptillicide

          Honestly I never questioned his skill or natural ability… I just thought Cam was too stupid to be a good NFL QB. Time will tell I guess. Vince Young looked hot out the gate, too.

  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    Jay Coulter at Track em Tigers says he’s not insinuating that Bama cheated, so you know he’s insinuating that Bama cheated. And he said we should look closely at lifestyle changes in the recruit’s family. Wonder where Jay learned that one.

    Those two schools deserve each other.

  7. Lrgk9

    As ye sow ye shall reap…

  8. Spike

    Priceless.. ALL IN!

  9. Go Dawgs!

    Auburn truly did go all in, and they damn sure won the pot. However, the deck certainly isn’t stacked now that Cam Newton is reporting his earnings in the NFL. Gene may find it harder to stay at the table when the odds are even.

    I think even most Auburn fans knew that the strength of Chizik’s regime was the offensive coordinator. They saw the defenses being trotted out on the field, and they knew that was Chizik’s area of expertise, so I think they know what they’ve got in a head man. He needs to make some inspired hires and then get the hell out of the way. If rumors are true, he chased Malzahn off by trying to get more involved with the operation of the offense. Gus was like, shut up!

    • Go Dawgs!

      Also, “Track ‘em Tigers” is one of the more ridiculous fan blogs out there, and I wouldn’t believe anything they publish. That said, sour grapes, guys. If a star player is planning to enroll early and he sees the offensive coordinator he was planning to play for suddenly leave, what the hell do you think the guy’s going to do? Just go to Auburn anyway and hope that the next guy runs an offense suited to his talents? Just cross your fingers and hope that he retains the position coach for whom you were planning to play three or four years? Hell no. You start looking around. It’s an easy pitch for Alabama. They’ll be bringing in a new offensive coordinator, too, but the program there certainly looks more stable than Auburn’s right now. And Saban’s teams have pretty much always looked the same offensively anyway.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      The smart thing for Cheats-it to do is get out while the getting is good. There still are several HC vacancies out there. Alternatively, he could let them fire him in another year or 2 and take the buyout which would have to be huge.

  10. JaxDawg

    We all saw this coming.

  11. Yeah…Track em Tigers may as well replace the header of their website with the Kevin Bacon scene from Animal House proclaiming that “all is well!”. That is the most Pollyana site out there – Gene Chizik could have been caught parading with Osama bin Laden and they’d spin it into a positive for the Auburn program.

    All that said, the reasonable Auburn fans I know (i.e. those that don’t read Track em Tigers) tend to agree with me that Gene Chizik is likely Larry Coker version 2.0 in that he fell into an awesome situation (Coker with the ridiculously talented 2001 Miami team; Chizik with a deep OL and the only college football player I’ve seen during my lifetime that carried an entire team in Cam Newton – please note that I was born post-Herschel for that comparison) which his sole purpose was not to screw it up. Now they’re supremely happy that a national championship happened during their lifetimes, no matter how dubious the circumstances surrounding it – but their view tends to be that it was kind of a flash in the pan and ’09 and ’11 Chizik is the most likely outcome as long as he’s coaching at Auburn.

  12. sUGArdaddy

    Well, I hate auburn, so…good.

  13. Hahaha….couldn’t happen to a better bunch of losers. Guess Money Lauder not being on the BOT anymore has hurt the financing over in the plains and now they have to resort to getting recruits to actually like coming over to the cesspool known as Auburn, AL in order to play for them. Like someone on the radio said the other day….We now get to see the Iowa St. version of Gene Chizik. LO…F’n L

  14. Puffdawg

    I wrote this exact comment a few days ago but I felt compelled to repeat it, with a tweak…

    “Oh, one more thing: I want all you fucking retarded Dawgs fans out there who bitched and moaned about USCe Auburn overtaking us in the East SEC pecking order as supporting evidence to fire Mark Richt to raise your hand and leave the building.”

    Sorry, I’m in a cross mood this morning.

    • UGLYDAWG

      Some of the retards haven’t yet given up the chant.

    • Cojones

      Not unless the truth is “a cross mood”. They are still sittin’ like buzzards in a tree waiting for something to die. I commented within the last couple of days that I wonder how many actually qualified as trolls. Just don’t believe there are that many dumb-ass Dawgs.

  15. The barn burning is inevitable. There`s even an article over on Al.com on their “sound off” proclaiming Trooper Taylor deserves a shot at Offensive Coordinator… please, please, make this so Auburn that`s all I want for Christmas.. a power towel waver calling the shots on Offense.

  16. Ell

    FWIW, the book on Saban is that he lets everyone else negatively recruit, and he stays regally above the fray. Kids have said it again and again. He lets someone else do his dirty work (you know Miles/Spurrier/Fisher somebody was in this kid’s ear about Auburn’s chaos), and just keeps saying that Alabama’s the best place for the kid, and if he keeps his nose clean and works hard, he can be at the Heisman ceremony like the last two starting backs.

    Now, whether that’s true or not, who knows. But that’s been the consistent message I’ve heard from recruits who commit.

  17. Always Someone Else's Fault

    It’s that scene in the movies where the bad guy’s in a bus that just slammed through a guard rail and sits there, hanging on the edge of a cliff. Then a big chunk of rock falls way. Then an ominous grinding sound, as the camera swings to an aerial view to fully appreciate the impending plunge.

    This gets better every week. I can’t wait until next season. Tennessee, Florida, and Auburn, all in free fall, which can only mean one thing….

    Georgia’s back on afterburners to the top. Richt is going to CLEAN UP come signing day.

  18. Pingback: Shadenfreude Chizik-Style « Tide Bits

  19. 81Dog

    no one else has thrown this out there, but it needs to be said:

    AU 2011: War Regression to the Chin Gizik Lifetime Coaching Record Mean!

  20. Aligator

    he is a too! his is 34-29 with his NC season and it will be 7-5 till he gets fired … right time and right place with the right people ….