In an act of remarkable subtlety, the company that produces the Auburn football coaches program announces that it will not produce a program following the Iron Bowl.
Boy, are they going to regret that call if Auburn pulls off the upset.
How dreaded is a vote of confidence if you give it to yourself?
I wonder if Brian VanGorder knows he signed up for this.
Q: Do you, as a head coach, say, ‘This is what I believe in and, you, as the coordinator this is what I want’ as opposed to saying ‘we need to run play X or play Y’?
A: “My role is to conceptually build what I think wins. That’s why I hire the guys I hire because they’re going to believe in the same things I believe in. That’s where it starts. Week to week, we always have a plan and we’re on the same page. I don’t call the games, but I’m certainly involved with suggestions at different times and can give a bird’s eye view sometimes. I’ve been a coordinator. I can say, ‘Coach, just beware that you’ve blitzed four times in a row.’ I see things that I think can be very helpful because I’ve been in that spot. Or ‘we’ve played so much base defense, we’ve got to get aggressive on this down.’ That’s where I feel like I can give a perspective.”
But at least Chizik’s gonna help a brotha out by having the offense huddle more, so there’s that.
The chafing dishes have been refilled.
UPDATE: Regarding the likely rejection of playing the semi-finals at on-campus sites, Brian Cook offers some excellent snark here.
Jordan Jenkins tells a story that shows Gene Chizik to be pretty adept at negative recruiting in a lighthearted way:
“… When coach Gene Chizik was comparing Auburn and Alabama, he put up a slide that showed they had more wins, more this and that … then he started talking about Florida and how Will Muschamp follows in his shoes. I started busting out laughing. He said ‘When I was at Auburn the first time [as an assistant] and after I left, Muschamp came here. Then I was at Texas and after I left, Muschamp came there.’ He went on and on. He said ‘Muschamp just follows in my footsteps’ and it was hilarious the way he said it.”
Boom! Jenkins qualified it by saying “This wasn’t meant to be as insulting as it sounds”, but I thought it came out just right. In fact, he could have made an even stronger point by noting which of the two were on staffs which won national titles during that period.
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.
Kevin Scarbinsky notes Auburn’s remarkable statistical decline this season from 2010:
This team has given up 52 more points than it’s scored this season. This team is on pace to give up more points than the 2009 defense, the worst in school history. This team has scored an astounding 335 fewer points than last year when the offense set the school scoring record.
Unless I’m missing something there, that means Chizik and Roof are in the process of presiding over the two worst defensive scoring seasons in Auburn’s history. (And it’s not like 2010 was any great shakes either.) Ouch.