Tomorrow’s key is a subdued Trooper Taylor.

As the 2011 season drew to a close, the suggestion that a year later Gene Chizik would be facing a less certain future than Ted Roof would have drawn chuckles, if not stares of outright disbelief.  Yet, here we are., a subscription-based website operated by 247Sports, reported Thursday that school President Jay Gogue has informed some individuals on the Auburn board of trustees he “plans to possibly” replace Chizik, who coached the Tigers to the BCS national championship just two seasons ago. Auburn has gone 10-12 since the 2011 title game.

Nothing is official as of Thursday. Chizik made his regular weekly appearance on the Auburn Sports Network “Tiger Talk” radio show Thursday evening.

Gogue told some trustees he is considering forming a search committee for a new head coach “within days after the end of the season should the decision be made that Chizik will not be retained,” according to

What Gogue does or doesn’t do isn’t of immediate interest.  How the noise affects Auburn’s preparation for and play on Saturday is, though.  If there’s a burning desire to save Chizik’s skin, then tomorrow’s game represents Auburn’s last and best hope:  nobody’s gonna care about a win over Alabama A&M and this flawed Tigers team stands little chance on the road against the Crimson Borg.  So it’s Georgia, which admittedly has had a propensity over the last couple of seasons to play down to the level of its opponent, or bust.

The problem for the Tigers is that they don’t match up well with what Georgia does well.  And Georgia’s got something to play for tomorrow, too.

I’ve never been much of a believer in stand taking for an embattled coach – if that stuff really worked on a consistent basis, would Auburn be entering this game 2-7 in the first place? – but there’s a real easy way to make sure it’s not an issue.  The Dawgs need to come out ready to play tomorrow night and take the crowd and the emotion out of the Auburn side early.  It doesn’t really matter if the game is a rout.  Simple control would be fine.  It’ll be enough if ol’ Trooper has to keep his towel holstered.  And have thoughts about needing to polish his resume before the third quarter is finished.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

53 responses to “Tomorrow’s key is a subdued Trooper Taylor.

  1. The other Doug

    If we beat the crap out of them, and then Chizik gets fired before the Alabama A&M game. Who ends up the interim coach?

    a. Van Gorder with Willie as the DC
    b. Trooper Taylor

  2. timphd

    I’ve rarely seen the “win one for the embattled coach” work either. If you have the ability to do that, then that explains why he is on the hot seat in the first place, can’t motivate a talented team. I think with Cheesewhiz the issue is that he had a once in a decade or so player that made him look better as a coach than he really is. Look at his overall record without Newton, he wouldn’t have lasted two years in the SEC without Cam.

    • Biggus Rickus

      He also had Malzhan, who is a legitimately good coach. Sometimes the assistants make the head coach.

      • timphd

        Good point. Frankly surprised the VanGorder hasn’t given him a boost.

        • Biggus Rickus

          He had the defense playing a bit better early in the year, but it’s tough to turn around a defense in year one. And the offense has been so abysmal that it would have taken Auburn becoming dominant on defense in order to have any shot at a decent season.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        ie the Pumpkin King. He really tanked when Cutcliffe left to coach at Ole Miss. Odd that a fired D coordinator lands on his feet as well as the Chief did. He’s got LSU rocking.

  3. Rebar

    I’ve been a little worried about this game. Most people tend to think Auburn is just not that good this year, and with good reason, their season has been atrocious. But, how did they play LSU to a 12-10 loss? Lets get this done early, let them taste blood from the first play and dominate them.

    • The LSU comment is a good one. Lack of interest is how you keep Auburn in a game.

    • charlottedawg

      I attribute that to more of a lack of offense by LSU and turnovers from Mett than good play by Auburn, because LSU’s D was dominating. I felt during the game that it was much more likely to turn into a solid LSU win than an upset by Auburn. That being said we need to have our shit together tomorrow, or we will experience heartbreak. Come out poised and crisp and it could get ugly for Auburn fast.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Poor qb play? Met’s cannon arm was put to good use against Bammer. Negated some of the D backs closing speed.

      • Macallanlover

        I think LSU has been very weak offensively before last week and the difference was Mett was really sharp in his throws. Criticsms of ZM seem valid to me, he certainly has the arm and potential to be excellent but he didn’t show that on the field in 2012 until last Saturday so “poor qb play” seems fair. In addition, the receiving corps for LSU seems to be a disappointment, and the running game with Blue and a couple of OL out hasn’t been as expected. Have to hand it to them though, they looked good offensively last week against the Tide. Chavis just took a real bad time to take a nap.

        I prefer to look at the LSU/AU game as one to pay attention to, but not representative of the two teams. I am glad that game was close to get our guys’ attention but Auburn is truly this bad as a team. I am sure we will get a strong 1st half effort from them but we can break their spirit. If tghey were going to get up off the deck, it would have happened much earlier.

    • WarD Eagle

      LSU had no dynamic passing game. UGA does.

      I expect a full-blown rout by Q2.

  4. CrawforDawg

    Not only do I think we’ll be focused and play well tomorrow night, I believe we’ll do the same in the SECCG. Go Dawgs!

  5. William

    Isn’t this the same formula for every away game? Go for the kill early and take the crowd out of it? Establish control early and then slwoly grind them to dust at your leisure? I mean, I’m 100% for that, just seems to be what we always strive to do.

    • Really? I must have missed when that happened in Lexington.

      Big difference between lip service and striving…

      • William

        Alright now Senator, don’t parse my words. I said “strive to do” not “accomplish with regularity”. Hell, I’d settle for “mildly achieve” so long as it ended in a nice big W.

        • The point to my post is that they need to avoid the cheap talk and go out and take care of business.

          • William

            Which I whole heartedly agree with. My only point is the things you outlined are the keys to winning any road game. The unspoken part of mine (or rather untyped part) was the same as yours. Just do it damnit! For once just go out there and do what you are supposed to to shut up an abysmal team and shut the damn Wartigerlesman up!

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        No shit, and don’t forget to pick the right damn hat.

        Boy, is it ever cold up here….whaddaya figger the chances are I will get the Georgia game in New England? Not Much?

  6. ScoutDawg

    Crimson Borg, good stuff right there.

  7. 202dawg

    Mark Richt has lost control of Trooper’s swag.

  8. NC Dawg

    The let-down game I’m worried most about is Tech. They’re so very easy to overlook this season, but that offense has given us trouble before when we don’t prepare properly.

    • Daniel Simpson Day

      We have Ga Southern as a warm up though. As long as our knees survive, I think we’ll be better prepared than most years.

      • Will (the other one)

        Very much agree. 2008 isn’t long enough ago that the coaches will let them forget (and don’t underestimate the “do you want to travel to Atlanta past a ‘we beat the SEC East Champs’ sign off North Ave.?” factor).
        Plus, by some accounts, Southern runs the triple option at a faster speed than the NATS this year.

    • Bubs

      With GA Southern the week before and Grantham, who gets his boys ready to defend the option very well, I don’t think Tech is much of a threat. Especially in Athens. Plus even if we don’t stop them, we will outscore them. Their D is pretty terrible. It will probably play out like last year. 31-17 type score.

      • Joe Schmoe

        Jarvis is one of the best option defenders I have ever seen. The way he played it against Mizzou was a thing of beauty. That essentially takes away one side of the field for Tech. I’m really not worried about that game.

        • Beer Money

          BYU held Tech to under 200 yards of offense. BYU.

          We are going to bash their teeth in.

          • Will (the other one)

            When I have my “dream endings to the 2012 season” daydream moments we beat Auburn by a greater margin than Texas A&M, and then become the first team to shut out the NATS under the Genius’s leadership.

            As dreams go, I find both more plausible than “win Powerball” or “marry Scarlett Johansson.”

  9. Rusty

    I could be wrong…but this IS Auburn. Huge rivalry game. Plus a chance to clinch the SECE….I think they are going to take it very serious. Not to mention another chance to snatch their britches down to their ankles and mug them after the 2010 debacle.

  10. Joe Schmoe

    One thing I would point out about the crowd on Saturday is that most Auburn fans I know have never really bought in to Chizik (even if they are only now ready to admit it). I think many of them would just assume lose tomorrow if it was the difference between him getting fired vs. getting another season. I don’t expect it to be all that electric in JH.

  11. Debby Balcer

    I think the D finally has recaptured its chemistry. Hopefully the lose of Marlon Brown is not an issue for the offense.

    • Macallanlover

      Good stretch for Murray to use the TEs and RBs more in the passing game to get some space for TK, Mitchell, Woot, and Conley. Bennett and Brown were the go-to possession guys because they could catch it in a crowd, we just need less “crowd”. Frankly, including the big TEs, fast RBs, and a FB in the passing plan is going to be helpful in the SECCG. We have three games to work on doing that at game speed. As BD said the other day, Bama is most vulnerable to the short passes, just like we are. UGA has been a big play passing and running attack all year, that will not work enough against the Tide to win. Like Bobby Cox never learned with the Braves, you will not win playoffs relying on the long ball to get you through. Same is true against strong defenses in playoff football.