Category Archives: Auburn’s Cast of Thousands

Help a Tiguh out.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think you’ve just been served a fastball down the middle with this rhetorical question:

If you are an Auburn fan/alumnus like myself, the past few days have brought a new personal nightmare unknown to any of us before. Yes, I am speaking of the fact that Alabama and Georgia, the Tigers’ two biggest rivals, will meet Monday in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

Sigh. How did this happen? How did it go from Auburn defeating both teams when they were ranked No. 1 to these enemies playing for it all? What did Tigers fans do to upset the college football gods?  [Emphasis added.]

Please clue him in.

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Comrades in arms

From Roll Bama Roll’s Q&A with Dawg Sports’ Macondawg comes this amusing exchange:

7. It’s pretty funny that Auburn has to watch this game, isn’t it?

It’s freaking hilarious. I think we can all agree on that one.

It’s really been a great season, hasn’t it?

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Gettin’ off the Gus Bus

Quite the reverse haul at Auburn:

Auburn cornerback Carlton Davis, tailback Kamryn Pettway and defensive end Jeff Holland are skipping their senior seasons to enter the NFL draft.

All three announced their decisions Wednesday on social media. Tailback Kerryon Johnson has also declared his plans to turn pro.

Four of his best players leaving early and an uninspired loss to UCF… Malzahn’s got to be relieved he got that monster contract extension out of the way first.

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Throwing stuff up against the bulletin board and seeing what sticks.

As I’ve already said, motivation tends to carry the day during bowl season.  In my mind, if UCF has a legitimate shot of upsetting Auburn in the Peach Bowl, it’ll be because the Knights want it more than the Tigers.  On paper, anyway, Auburn’s offense looks to have its way with a mediocre Central Florida defense and it’s hard to see how UCF copes with that menacing Auburn defensive front.

Best thing to do, then, would seem to be to lull the Gus Bus to sleep with lots of love and respect and try to catch them napping on game day. But, between one of UCF’s players denigrating SEC speed and now Scott Frost himself claiming that his coaching staff is outworking Malzahn’s, it looks like they’ve decided on a different tack to take.  Interesting.

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Today, in golden parachutes

Jay Jacobs is hightailing out of Auburn with a lot left hanging on his plate:

Jacobs announced his pending retirement Nov. 3 amid scandals within the softball program, basketball program and a federal lawsuit involving a former track employee. Basketball assistant coach Chuck Person was fired in October following his arrest on six federal bribery and fraud charges in which he allegedly funneled money to the families of players Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley. Both players have yet to play a game this season for Auburn and their status for the remainder of the season is unknown.

The softball program was rocked by sexual misconduct allegations, which led to Auburn banning assistant Corey Myers from campus two days before his father, Clint Myers, announced his retirement as head coach in August.

For ordinary mortals in a normal job setting, with a legacy like that, you’d be lucky to leave with the clothes on your back.  Neither of those qualifiers appears to apply to Jacobs, though.

Jay Jacobs will never have to worry about money during his lifetime.

The Auburn athletics director, thanks to 30-plus years in the state retirement system, will be paid $540,000 a year in state retirement money when his tenure with the university ends, according to the Florence Times Daily.

The enormous retirement payments have been labeled a “super outlier” by Retirement Systems of Alabama deputy director Don Yancey.

Jacobs will be paid at least $45,000 per month, according to the report.

Jacobs won’t have to worry about money and Auburn won’t have to worry about finding the money to pay him.  Thanks, taxpayers of Alabama!  You’re a generous bunch.

As we like to say around these parts, nice work if you can get it.

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Maybe it was meant to be.

I have to preface this by saying I don’t think even Nick Saban is this devious, but, damn, do I wish this was evidence of some serious eleventh-dimensional chess being played.

Talk to people behind the scenes on the Plains, and Auburn 26, Alabama 14 changed everything for Gus Malzahn and the Tigers. Without that victory, insiders say, it’s all but certain Malzahn wouldn’t have that new seven-year, $49-million guaranteed contract.

It’s quite possible he would be the new coach at Arkansas instead.

Go back to the next-to-last week of November. Thanksgiving week. Iron Bowl week. There was a curious vibe at Auburn.

It didn’t matter that the Tigers had beaten Georgia for the first time in four years, dominating the No. 1 Bulldogs as they hadn’t in decades in a 40-17 statement. Or that, despite having two losses on their resume, they had set up an Iron Bowl that would decide the SEC West title and maybe more.

Malzahn was concerned about the Alabama game for a different reason, people close to him say. He was convinced a fourth straight loss to the Crimson Tide would cost him his job. He may not have been wrong.

… Malzahn himself was fully aware of the possibility that the Iron Bowl could be an all-or-nothing proposition. His most insistent demand in the negotiations was that the entire amount of the contract be guaranteed to make it financially prohibitive to fire him in the future.

As concerned as he was, Malzahn had leverage in the Arkansas opening. While the Razorbacks weren’t offering the same kind of money Malzahn eventually got from Auburn, insiders said, that job was Malzahn’s if he wanted it.

Then came Auburn 26, Alabama 14.

Given what they perceived as the choice between losing a coach who’d beaten Georgia and Alabama to a lesser rival in the SEC West or making Malzahn one of the highest-paid coaches in college football, Auburn’s leaders put their faith in Malzahn. They put together a massive new deal that was essentially in place before the loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.

Or, as Malzahn skeptics in the Auburn family put it, Auburn got played by Arkansas and Malzahn’s agent Jimmy Sexton, and Auburn caved.

Those skeptics fear that Auburn has given Malzahn too much power based on too little production, that it will be financially disastrous and thus impossible to fire him if he goes 8-5, 7-6 and 8-5 the next three years, that he’ll have no real boss going forward because there will be a new athletics director learning the territory soon.

If you think there’s a downside to Gus being at Auburn for the long haul, then the way things have turned out is a win-win-win for Malzahn, Saban and Sexton.  And all it cost was a loss that didn’t affect Alabama’s chances of making the CFP.

It couldn’t have turned out any better if the three of them had planned it.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Jimmy Sexton is the Nick Saban of agents and is Nick Saban's agent, Nick Saban Rules

One day you’re up, the next you’re down.

It’s cool to see further confirmation of my thoughts yesterday about the two Georgia-Auburn games being mirror images of each other (except for the jerseys, of course).  Check out Brian Fremeau.

And, yeah, that Miami stuff’s a little weird, too.

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