I know taking advice from former Auburn offensive coordinators – amazingly enough, two of Tuberville’s former staffers are up for the Broyles Award this year – is probably the last thing Gene Chizik wants to hear right now, but something Tony Franklin said bears repeating as we enter into what very well may turn out to be Chizik’s farewell on the Plains today:
“New England is the best offense in the NFL for one reason,” Franklin said. “They play like colleges do. They play no-huddle, fast-tempo, they change tempos and they do what they have to do to win. I think Belichick would probably disagree with his buddy.”
“It’s the great equalizer,” Franklin said. “People say Baylor can’t play defense. You know what? Before Art Briles got there, they couldn’t play offense, either, and they couldn’t win games. Now all of a sudden, Baylor can beat people because they can outscore people.
“Obviously if you can line up and you’ve got better players than everybody else and play great defense and eat clock and win as many games as you can, that’s a great way of playing football, too. The problem is, 95 percent of us don’t have that type of talent to do that.
“So when they fall into that trap of saying, ‘Here’s how Alabama has won championships. Here’s what we should do,’ to me, that’s the trap that Coach Saban would want everybody to fall into because, the reality of it is, he’s going to have better players most of the time.”
Chizik walked right into that trap with eyes open when he ditched Malzahn and elected to go with a more traditional offensive scheme. I read the other day that Chizik without Malzahn has a 2-22 record as a head coach against D-1 teams. Choosing a course of action with the thought that Auburn would be able to go toe-to-toe with Saban’s Process, even with guys like Luper and Taylor luring recruits to Auburn, was a fool’s errand from the start and Chizik is about to be presented with the check.
It will be interesting to see where Auburn goes from here. Does it proceed to act as if it’s part of the five percent that can line it up with Saban, or does it go the let’s try to outscore ‘em route – a path that served Texas A&M pretty well this year (and made Ole Miss a pain in the ass to play)?