Category Archives: Auburn’s Cast of Thousands

“You hired a weak man with no backbone who is gonna get run over by all these boosters.”

I think it’s safe to say that Tony Franklin is no fan of the Bryan Harsin hiring.  Or of Bryan Harsin, for that matter.

“Four games in and you crack, and you fire your receivers coach?” he asked. “The best coached group on the field for offense was your receivers. You’re basically firing your receivers coach because your offensive line sucks. Your offensive line is bad.”

He was just getting started.

“You showed the powers that be they run the show,” Franklin said of Harsin. “They make the calls.

“If you want to blame somebody for sucking right now, the way your football team sucks, I got a great idea. Instead of firing Cornelius, or whoever the next guy is you’re going to fire, just quit. Just resign.”

Franklin continued to hammer away at the Tigers, who he said are nothing more than a reflection of their coach.

“The characteristics of this football team are the same as the coach: soft, soft, soft,” he said.

“They aren’t a physical team. I’ve seen physical Auburn football many times in my life as a fan, as a coach.”

Axes to grind at Auburn?  Looks like I’m gonna need a bigger bag of popcorn.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Tony Franklin - Misunderstood Genius

“But no, Auburn did what people with brains expected.”

Lest we forget there were two great SEC moral victories this past weekend, please enjoy this masterpiece of rationalization.  It’s truly epic.

My favorite part:

Officiating was stupid and bad both ways, but in crunch time it was stupid and bad towards Auburn. That’s a fact. It’s always a bad pass interference call or non-call that matters late, and Auburn got two in the final three minutes. So, again, it always “evens out” — even though it doesn’t — but Auburn’s half came at the worst time.

If you want to talk about Penn State being shorted a down in the 1st half, sure, they were. But it would’ve been 3rd-and-11 on a drive that the Auburn defense had locked down, so it’s very likely that they would’ve been punting the next play anyway.

The down count screw up immediately followed the worst intentional grounding call I’ve ever seen, but, sure, man, it was Auburn the SEC refs screwed.  I guess I lack the requisite brain power to appreciate their work.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Auburn, you complete me.

Jeez, this can’t be good.

In context, it’s even worse than that.  Here’s how SEC defenses rank in terms of completion percentage:

The next most porous pass defense (Alabama!?!) is 12.5 percentage points better.

The only thing I don’t understand is why opposing offenses weren’t throwing the ball more often than they did, especially considering Auburn’s tops in the conference in rush defense.  In any event, I assume Monken will be on the mother three weeks from now.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Stats Geek!

I didn’t think it was possible to include ‘Auburn’ and ‘zen’ in the same sentence, but…

Grasshoppers, this deep thought is brought to you by friend of the blog Ed Kilgore.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

The game that’s changed stays mainly in the Plains.

Tennessee fans:  Hey, there’s no program out there that’s showed its ass with stupid coach tricks like ours!

Auburn:  Hold our beer.

They’re totally beating ‘Bama now, amirite?


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Today, in “personal decisions”



The most Georgia thing that could happen this season is the Dawgs beat Clemson, get on a roll, only to have their season derail when half the team tests positive for COVID after the Auburn game.

Of course, it could be worse — if McGarity were still the AD and Auburn was faced with not being able to field a team against Georgia, he’d offer for our side to forfeit.  (I keed, I keed… I think.)


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, The Body Is A Temple

Today, in run the damned ball, Bobo

You mean, like first and goal on the opponent’s four-yard line, with less than six minutes to go in the game and Todd Gurley in the backfield?


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Strategery And Mechanics

“Bryan Harsin is a thief from Idaho.”

Honestly, I don’t know if this is snark or straight…

Everyone loves a good black-hat villain in the SEC, and Harsin is wearing it today. On Thursday, Auburn’s football coach did something many longtime fans of the league would have once considered unthinkable. Harsin straight up stole a former five-star recruit off the roster of the rival Georgia Bulldogs.

Harsin walked into the Bulldogs’ receiver room this week, and left with a former freshman All-American. Demetris Robertson wore black and red in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry last season, but this fall he’ll be dressed out in burnt orange and navy blue. He’s the third transfer this offseason to go from an SEC school to Auburn, but the others were from Vanderbilt and LSU.

… because if it’s the latter, the entire piece is likely to be the dumbest thing I read all year, and, yes, I know we’re only in early July.

If you don’t think that qualifies, try this on for size:

… Georgia recently added a former five-star receiver from LSU, Arik Gilbert of Marietta, Georgia. Was Robertson addition by subtraction for Georgia, or will losing him to Auburn come back to haunt Smart and his staff like quarterback Justin Fields?

Tell me that has to be sarcasm.  It has to be, right?

Auburn needed a veteran receiver for Nix going into fall camp, so Harsin looked around and took one from Georgia like he was pulling a gold chain right off Kirby Smart’s neck.

Robertson, while extremely gifted, apparently didn’t impress Smart enough in practice over the last three years to earn more chances on the field.

Okay, maybe not.

At one point, he refers to Harsin as “this Bandit from Boise”.  He better hope he’s not saying that in a few years about Harsin’s paycheck.

(h/t 81Dog)


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Transfers Are For Coaches.

The Nix Mix

Demetris had better hope Mike Bobo is a miracle worker this season.

Yeah, that worked out well.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

“… the Boise blueprint melds perfectly with Auburn’s ideals.”

So, Bryan Harsin has a great run at Boise State and Brandon Marcello thinks that’s gonna translate beautifully to Auburn.

Bryan Harsin is never far from Boise. The Auburn coach is an ardent believer in carefully-crafted plans, hard work, accountability, and one-on-one instruction and mentorship wrapped in blanket of understanding and empathy.

He picked up those traits and molded his own coaching philosophy from his 25 years as a coach and player alongside Boise State greats Chris Petersen, Dan Hawkins, Dirk Koetter, Justin Wilcox, Andy Avalos and others. It’s a blue-collar approach with a personal touch. Petersen calls it his “Built for Life” philosophy. Others have adapted it, but it was mostly tweaked, perfected and handed down by four head coaches from the same coaching tree over the last three decades at Boise State, a program that evolved from college football’s Cinderella into a powerhouse in the 2000s and 2010s.

I hate to rain on anyone’s parade (although I’ll make an exception for Auburn), but has Marcello bothered to look at how Harsin’s predecessors at Boise fared when the moved on to big boy football?  I did and it’s not impressive.

  • Dirk Koetter:  26-10 at BSU; 40-34 overall/21-28 conference at Arizona State
  • Dan Hawkins:  53-11 at BSU; 19-39 overall/10-27 conference at Colorado
  • Chris Petersen:  92-12 at BSU; 55-26 overall/34-20 conference at Washington

Petersen, who I really respect as a head coach, did a decent job, but let’s face it, overall, the three of them didn’t exactly set the world on fire.  And all of that was in the relatively friendly confines of the Pac-12, which, while a step up from the Mountain West, ain’t exactly the SEC.

Like the Auburn Creed declares, it’s work — hard work — that remains a constant force in Harsin’s life.

On a late afternoon in May, Auburn’s athletics building is quiet but Harsin is busy studying in his office. His large desk is strewn with papers. A computer monitor with film of an Ole Miss game is frozen on the screen. Across the room is a board pinned with several pieces of important papers and pictures. One sheet on the board stands out: a recent interview with Petersen about his life as a coach and now a professor. The refreshingly honest and open interview about the challenges of being a leader is required reading for the staff at Auburn, which is composed of SEC veterans and a few assistants from Harsin’s time at Boise State.

This is the blueprint.

“We’re going to get families and players that are going to feel [Auburn],” Harsin said. “There will also be guys we bring into this program and people are going to go, ‘Where the hell this guy come from?’ This program, how we develop our players, this culture, and the people in the program are going to be what helps build the ability to sustain success.”

If Harsin thinks the key to success at his new gig is hard work, scouting and player development, I’ve got some bad news for him.  Pretty much every SEC coach believes in the same formula.  Welcome to the party, pal.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands