Category Archives: Auburn’s Cast of Thousands

Nick Marshall is looking for another chance.

I’m not sure if it’s by choice or by design, but it’s a little strange to see Hutson Mason, Dylan Thompson and Blake Sims all invited to college football all-star games and Nick Marshall not.

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Survivor

The defensive housecleaning at Auburn keeps apace, as Charlie Harbison is let go.  It’s amazing how much money Auburn keeps pouring into coach compensation; aside from what the new guys are being paid, Harbison is owed a whopping $1,187,500 through June 2017 if he does not find work to offset his buyout.

It’s not a complete wipeout, though.  Boom doesn’t get to work with a totally clean slate.  Guess who’s staying for dinner?

Defensive line coach Rodney Garner is the only remaining member of the defensive coaching staff from the past two seasons.

Garner is on his eighth defensive coordinator change since Donnan hired him.  I think.  I may have lost count.

The man must have the greatest photography collection in America is all I can figure.  It’s impressive.

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He forgot to remember to forget.

They’re hoping for big things out of Georgia refugee Tray Matthews at Auburn next season.  Here’s one thing they think he’s got going for him:

And there’s one thing working in his favor that many might not have thought about, Holsey said. Since Matthews never had to memorize the concepts in former coordinator Ellis Johnson’s 4-2-5 scheme, he won’t have to force himself to forget them now.

That should only help his cause as he vies for playing time under the Tigers’ new defensive coordinator, Will Muschamp.

“He didn’t really know the terminology for the last defense,” Holsey said. “So his first experience (at Auburn) is going to be a fresh start with Coach Muschamp.”

If not memorizing defensive concepts is a major deal on the Plains, dude, then Matthews ought to be on his way to superstardom, because it never appeared that he knew the terminology for his first defense, either.

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“I think some stuff was going on that he hasn’t figured out yet.”

You think there are changes coming on the defensive staff at Auburn?  I think there are changes coming on the defensive staff at Auburn.

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Happy Malzahnukkah!

As a Member of the Tribe, I have to admit this gave me a chuckle.

Gut yontif, y’all.

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Boom goes the expenses.

Sounds like some Gator fans aren’t happy being on the other side of the Agent Muschamp divide now.  That’s to be expected, but Boom’s already rubbed a bit of salt into the wound with this recruiting trail observation:

It didn’t take Will Muschamp long to take a thinly veiled shot at Florida’s facilities after taking the defensive coordinator job at Auburn, mentioning Auburn’s top-notch facilities in his opening statement.

“All the facility changes and all the nice things that have happened within this campus is awesome to see,” Muschamp said. “I’ve seen the Wellness Center and I know the student-athlete housing. On the recruiting trail, all the kids that would come to Florida would come to Auburn and tell me how nice the housing was here, so it’s good to be on that side of it now. I’m excited about that.”

Florida’s University Athletics Association doesn’t have control over the student dorms that many football players stay in, but they’re yet another factor contributing to the growing narrative that the Gators are falling behind in the facilities arms race. Muschamp’s comments certainly won’t help the Gators any in that regard.

Jeremy Foley purports not to know what Muschamp is talking about.

“I wear orange and blue goggles a lot and I’m open to have wide-open eyes, but I don’t agree that our facilities have fallen behind,” Foley said. “We judge our facilities based on can they help our programs be successful? Do they make an impact on their ability to be successful, whether that’s a weight room for football, gymnastics practice studio, what have you. As you look around our facilities, we’re not into bell and whistles.

“We’re putting a major expansion into our academic center. We’re designing that right now. I think when you bring young men and women on campus with their parents, I think their commitment to their to academic success and personal development as human beings is really important, all right? So we’re always looking to upgrade our facilities, but we’re not getting into an arms race and our facilities aren’t any issue, in my opinion, affecting our success. A new coach will come in here, every coach that comes in needs something new, I don’t think this meeting room looked like this until Will got here, all right? But that’s the way it works. On a major scale that’s not impacting our success at all.”

Greg McGarity couldn’t have said that any better if he tried.

But McGarity also has the luck of avoiding a costly fight that Foley may have on his hands to keep a key recruiter on campus.

But the last part of Muschamp’s move — the dreaded other shoe — might be his recruitment of Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson to join him at Auburn.

Robinson was an Auburn player, is an Auburn grad, and got into coaching because of Muschamp — he was a graduate assistant while Muschamp was Auburn’s defensive coordinator in 2006 and 2007. For him, heading to Auburn would be going home, potentially raking in a raise — Robinson has made $500,000 a year at most at Florida, and Auburn could pay a bit more than that — and a promotion (Auburn already has co-offensive coordinators, and a meaningless title for Robinson’s C.V. wouldn’t be hard to add, in theory), and a chance to keep learning from and working with a man who is among his most important mentors. It makes a ton of sense for him to go, by any objective analysis.

But Robinson’s also a son of Miami, and he likes Florida, and he has done significant work at Florida, and it’s very clear that McElwain trusts him. Robinson was, as of Sunday, still recruiting for the Gators, and while it’s possible, I doubt that McElwain would be bringing a coach who he knows is leaving for another job on in-home visits. At minimum, Robinson’s proximity to McElwain this week suggests that McElwain very much wants to retain him.

That might set up a bidding war, or a tug of war between two different definitions of home, for his services.

Ooh, “bidding war”:  the two words that send a shiver up the spine of any cost-conscious athletic director.  The truly juicy part here is that both Auburn and Florida are in the midst of paying out big money to coaches who no longer are employed by the schools.  The difference is that Jay Jacobs, unlike Foley, doesn’t give a shit about that.

Get some popcorn, kick back, and enjoy.

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Tuesday morning buffet

Another day, another buffet.

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