Have towel; will travel.

Gus Malzahn cleans house on the Plains.  That was fast.  So is this.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

46 responses to “Have towel; will travel.

  1. Debby Balcer

    I bet Trooper is back when all this settles down.

  2. HVL Dawg

    Does Brian Van Gorder even unpack?

    • Bulldawg165

      Funny you say that. I was actually expecting him to do pretty well there considering what he did for us but man did he fail to live up to expectations.

      • Rocket Dawg

        I think Van Gorder is a bit overrated, he won with Donnan’s recruits and jumped ship when the talent level started to fall off which coincided with Willie Two Thumbs becoming DC. If BVG would have stayed we would have been howling for him to be fired as well.

        Trooper knows where the bodies are buried, he’ll be back or be paid off. It’s the All Barn way.

        P.S. I still like driving in my truck

        • Charles

          “He likes truuuuuuuucks.”

          • Bryant Denny

            This is true: was in the market for truck. Visited a Bham dealer to inquire about a truck listed on their web site. As soon as I asked about it, the two sales folks started squirming and looking funny at each other.

            Me being the inquisitive guy that I am, says, “hey what’s up with the truck?” They says to me, “we would let you drive it, but an Auburn assistant coach has it and he won’t bring it back.” Apparently it was time for him to trade his loaner, but they never hook up with him to swap cars. The coach is one of the aforementioned in this post.

        • Macallanlover

          It is an interesting study about the proper weight to assign to a team’s performance, is it talent or coaching. No one questions both are important but I feel the majority of fans give the players too much of a pass because it is easier to put blame on someone who gets paid versus 18-22 year olds. But what is the mix: 70% talent? 80% talent? 60% coaching? I know that is somewhat rhetorical, but BVG is a good example. Many UGA fans actually wanted him as a HC (hopefully that has been put to bed), but now you look at what he did with Auburn level talent in his first year. Was it Chizik? Was it BVG’s absence from the college game? Did the stache cause his loss of respect?

          I think the whole “coach evaluation” discussions on message boards and blogs are too narrowly focused. Few coaches, like programs, are consistently excellent across a long time span; they have peaks and valleys over time. It isn’t like they get struck dumb from one year to the next (or in Cheatzik’s case, become a genius when the bagman brings in a bountiful haul.) Mature fans should be better able to keep a perspective on this. Certainly there is a time for change, but you just cannot throw a coach away because of a downturn unless there are stronger factors than just a downturn in the W/L. A long-term downturn is a different matter, particularly if there is no encouraging signs of a reversal after a 2-3 year dip. Coaches and administrators play a role, but so do the players. The BVG case was only one year, but it wasn’t like he went to Indiana type talent. Auburn had some decent recruiting classes over the past several years but they were close to GT level on defense this season so BVG isn’t the boy wonder many felt he was as a DC. And you only have to look as for as Knoxville to see how quickly the “ready, fire, aim” strategy can burn you.

        • Pollack wasn’t Donnan’s recruit. Thomas Davis wasn’t Donnan’s recruit. Odell Thurman wasn’t Donnan’s recruit.

          BVG didn’t leave over recruiting. He left because he lost a power play over an assistant coach.

          • Go Dawgs!

            Yup. BVG was a brilliant coordinator at Georgia. He was a decent coordinator in the NFL. But I think the people who made a lot of noise about the league changing during his absence had some very solid points. VanGorder hadn’t before faced some of the types of offenses he was seeing this year at Auburn. And as good as some of Auburn’s players are, VanGorder was dealing with a defense that had lost players to graduation, arrest, or other attrition. He hadn’t had time to bring in players that fit what he was trying to do.

            Now, I enjoyed watching it because I’ve thought he was a dick ever since I heard the stories of why he left UGA and the way he basically gave the middle finger to everyone at Georgia Southern when he tried to end so many traditions and basically face-planted the team. So, party on, VanGorder.

            • Bulldawg165

              Let’s not forget how bad Grantham looked in his first year. Had it not been for an offense that was above average (most of the time) then UGA would have been sitting in the same spot Auburn is right now. Alabama’s defense in Saban’s first year wasn’t too stellar either. I don’t think this past season is enough to completely throw BVG under the bus. Having a brand new system with bad talent against the likes of A&M, Bama, LSU, and UGA can make any great coach look like a fool. Call me crazy, but I think we dodged a bullet by him leaving the Plains. He wasn’t an NFL Coordinator for no reason…

              • Scott W.

                He’s not an NFL coordinator any longer for the right reasons.

                • Bulldawg165

                  I’d venture a guess that even the bottom of the barrel coordinators in the NFL are top-notch amongst their NCAA colleagues though. Grantham was fired as DC for the Browns and was demoted to defensive line coach for the Cowboys and he’s turned out to be a heck of a DC at the college level, wouldn’t you agree? Why would things be any different for BVG, who has already proven himself at the college level once (the most recent abysmal season at Auburn not withstanding)?

                  • … the most recent abysmal season at Auburn not withstanding

                    That’s kind of a major hole in your argument, no?

                  • Patrick

                    I don’t want to start a huge can of worms, but HAS Grantham become a great DC at the college level?
                    “Spike-gate” is the only thing keeping people from asking why we got run on for 350 yards with the supposed NFL-talent we have on defense.
                    Gashed by SC, Tennessee, Kentucky(!), and Alabama.
                    They played well at times, but our D was worse than South Carolina’s and Florida’s this year. Heck, Vandy gave up a half-yard less per play than we did.
                    That has to change.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        “Don’t get me wrong VanGorder isn’t that bad but he sucks at college level. Trooper Talyor is a good recruiter but sucks at developing the people he recruits.” Barner quote.
        Who knew? Remember all those Eeyore dogs were complaining and whining and begging to hire Van as the next head coach?

        “Bobby: I move around a lot, not because I’m looking for anything really, but ’cause I’m getting away from things that get bad if I stay.”

        • Cojones

          Yep, AHD, and I can remember arguing with them to no avail. You would have thought that they were statistical geniuses except they only looked at raw data to prove their stand. After statistics began to show the “great talent” they advocated was humdrum, they switched to active coaches like Saban and Miles. I still almost puke looking at their pitiful logic in trying to get rid of a great coach. Hopefully we missed the “fans”‘s bullets on both Richt and Bobo.

          Can also remember several bloggers who had each other’s backs during that time.🙂

    • No One Knows You're a Dawg

      I know Van Gorder’s family never moved to Auburn and instead stayed in North Georgia.

      You know, there’s a local program currently seeking a new defensive coordinator. Under normal circumstances, it probably wouldn’t consider Van Gorder given his job hopping. But it’s a program that’s having trouble attracting top candidates because its head coach in now on the hot seat. It’s also a program Van Gorder might normally not consider (being a former Broyles Award winner). But Van Gorder finds himself unemployed and now needs a job. It may be that both parties are thinking, “Why not stay local?”

      And that’s why I predict the next defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech will be none other than Mr. Moustache himself.

      • Go Dawgs!

        An interesting idea, but BVG might be hesitant to take that job because they don’t have any more players for him than Auburn did. They’ve been recruiting for the 3-4 for the past few years. He’d likely be in for another tough year at least if he tried to plug those square pegs in the round holes of his 4-3 scheme.

  3. Bob

    The Tennessee situation is approaching Titanic level. The Vol boards are hemoraging. I hope some Georgia fans are watching closely what happens when good is never good enough. What a disaster.

    • Bryant Denny

      Not a Fulmer fan, but you have to wonder if they would’ve been better off keeping the fella.

    • Ben

      No kidding. When you start looking around and seeing who other folks are picking up (no way I’d want Bielema or Malzahn at UGA), you see how hard a homerun hire can be. Meyer worked out at UF, but left a scorched earth when he left. Miles is just a good coach. And Saban wasn’t even their first choice up there at Bama!

      I shuddered the other day when I thought about what kind of hire Damon Evans would have made…

      • Biggus Rickus

        Aside from the crazy wife, why wouldn’t you want Malzahn? I’m pretty sure he was the architect of the success Chizik had at Auburn.

        • sUGArdaddy

          Malzahn looked great with #2 on his team. With the other guys…not so much

          • Go Dawgs!

            Malzahn turned Chris Todd into a successful SEC quarterback. We won close battles against Auburn when he was there.

            And then, when you plug a once-or-twice-a-generation type player into his system… boom.

            • Bulldawg165

              This. While Cam Newton was an incredible talent, I can’t imagine many offensive coordinators being able to utilize that talent in the remarkable way that Malzahn did. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one player be able to elevate an otherwise 7-8 win team to a perfect 14-0 national championship, and at least part of that has to be attributable to the coach.

            • Darrron Rovelll

              Yes and he also bolted Arkansas because he wanted Mitch Mustain to throw the ball every down when he had 3 NFL starting RB’s in the backfield.

              I think Malzahn is a talented offensive mind, but he is going to run his offense and try to adapt the available personnel to his system. Auburn’s move back to the spread is contrarian to what every other top team in the conference is doing save A&M.

              I think it is an acknowledgment from the TPTB in Aaa-Burn that they cannot beat Alabama with their own version of “The Process.” I will be interested to see how well it works or if we are watching the Plainsmen hire a new HC in 3-4 years.

              • Go Dawgs!

                And A&M sure did face plant running the spread, didn’t they?

                Auburn’s still got the guys to run the offense, they were only pro-style for one year. That offense is going to be fearsome next year. Immediate turn around. You watch.

                • Darrron Rovelll

                  Go back and read what I said … aside from A&M most of the top teams in the conference are running versions of the pro-style power run game that they are pairing with a vicious defense. UGA, LSU, SC, UF & Alabama are all playing that game.

                  Also, while I think that what A&M did this year is impressive – I will be interested to see if they build on it in Years 2 & 3 as Sumlin brings in more of his own recruits.

                  I think that Malzahn’s hire at Auburn is a contrarian view to what is working in the league right now. I don’t think Malzahn is a bad hire but I do think that it is an acknowledgement from the Auburn people that the shift in the offensive philosophy last year was not the long-term answer.

              • Go Dawgs!

                Besides, I don’t know that I agree that every team in the conference has moved away from the spread. I think every team in the league employs some of the concepts from that offense, including our own team.

                • Darrron Rovelll

                  Agreed .. both Miss St. and Ole Miss are running different versions of the spread. Yes even UGA is using elements of the spread in some of the individual formations and plays. However, the base of our offensive gameplan is Pro-style, power football.

                  Depending on his QB play, Malzahn will have good to great offenses. Ultimately, his team’s defenses will determine how good to great the team will be.

  4. Bryant Denny

    By the way, Auburn’s former assistant’s aren’t going to start naming names to the NCAA, if they do they would most likely be banned from coaching.

  5. AthensHomerDawg

    “Have towel;will travel.”
    I am probably reading too much into the Senators title to this post…. but I have been whistling it this morning and people have asked what’s up with me today. Hah. I need to focus on work.

  6. Cojones

    I’d like to get back to team members at UGA and give them all a little love, encourage them to work hard during the summer and to keep their noses (and lungs) clean.

  7. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Picking up on an excellent series of earlier posts:

    UT is a total train wreck right now. Think about the coaches that athletic department has kicked to the curb, at least in those former coaches estimation:

    Johnny Majors
    Phil Fulmer
    Pat Freakin’ Summit

    There’s no cohesion within the department. Hart could have “brought the family together,” but instead he bungled the Summit ending. Somehow, the Vols have leveraged every former success into a liability – and then heaped even more liabilities on top.

    Worst-run athletic department in the SEC, maybe the South. You would have to be an idiot to take a job there now. Strong’s got enough SEC connections to recognize a job killer when he sees one.