Category Archives: Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit

Chizik, losing his religion

I know taking advice from former Auburn offensive coordinators – amazingly enough, two of Tuberville’s former staffers are up for the Broyles Award this year – is probably the last thing Gene Chizik wants to hear right now, but something Tony Franklin said bears repeating as we enter into what very well may turn out to be Chizik’s farewell on the Plains today:

New England is the best offense in the NFL for one reason,” Franklin said. “They play like colleges do. They play no-huddle, fast-tempo, they change tempos and they do what they have to do to win. I think Belichick would probably disagree with his buddy.”

It’s the great equalizer,” Franklin said. “People say Baylor can’t play defense. You know what? Before Art Briles got there, they couldn’t play offense, either, and they couldn’t win games. Now all of a sudden, Baylor can beat people because they can outscore people.

“Obviously if you can line up and you’ve got better players than everybody else and play great defense and eat clock and win as many games as you can, that’s a great way of playing football, too. The problem is, 95 percent of us don’t have that type of talent to do that.

“So when they fall into that trap of saying, ‘Here’s how Alabama has won championships. Here’s what we should do,’ to me, that’s the trap that Coach Saban would want everybody to fall into because, the reality of it is, he’s going to have better players most of the time.”

Chizik walked right into that trap with eyes open when he ditched Malzahn and elected to go with a more traditional offensive scheme.  I read the other day that Chizik without Malzahn has a 2-22 record as a head coach against D-1 teams.  Choosing a course of action with the thought that Auburn would be able to go toe-to-toe with Saban’s Process, even with guys like Luper and Taylor luring recruits to Auburn, was a fool’s errand from the start and Chizik is about to be presented with the check.

It will be interesting to see where Auburn goes from here.  Does it proceed to act as if it’s part of the five percent that can line it up with Saban, or does it go the let’s try to outscore ’em route – a path that served Texas A&M pretty well this year (and made Ole Miss a pain in the ass to play)?


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Strategery And Mechanics

Must not see TV

In an act of remarkable subtlety, the company that produces the Auburn football coaches program announces that it will not produce a program following the Iron Bowl.

Boy, are they going to regret that call if Auburn pulls off the upset.

(h/t TSK)


Filed under Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit

What I tell you three times is true.

How dreaded is a vote of confidence if you give it to yourself?


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One coach’s perspective can be another’s pain in the ass.

I wonder if Brian VanGorder knows he signed up for this.

Q: Do you, as a head coach, say, ‘This is what I believe in and, you, as the coordinator this is what I want’ as opposed to saying ‘we need to run play X or play Y’?

A: “My role is to conceptually build what I think wins. That’s why I hire the guys I hire because they’re going to believe in the same things I believe in. That’s where it starts. Week to week, we always have a plan and we’re on the same page. I don’t call the games, but I’m certainly involved with suggestions at different times and can give a bird’s eye view sometimes. I’ve been a coordinator. I can say, ‘Coach, just beware that you’ve blitzed four times in a row.’ I see things that I think can be very helpful because I’ve been in that spot. Or ‘we’ve played so much base defense, we’ve got to get aggressive on this down.’ That’s where I feel like I can give a perspective.”

But at least Chizik’s gonna help a brotha out by having the offense huddle more, so there’s that.


Filed under Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit

Wednesday morning buffet

The chafing dishes have been refilled.

  • Everybody’s been focusing on Gary Pinkel’s “mammoth” comment, but I think the more interesting news from Seth’s post is that the Missouri coach is still hedging his bet on whether James Franklin will be ready when Georgia comes to town.
  • Chris Low thinks it would be better to base the composition of a playoff field on the BCS standings than on a selection committee, “… because it’s farfetched to think you could truly find enough qualified people, who didn’t have a dog in the fight, to serve on a selection committee.”  Did somebody have a meeting about dropping the Coaches Poll that I missed?
  • The future’s so bright at Auburn, Gene Chizik has to wear shades.  Or at least he will, once he figures out exactly how bright that is.
  • Not surprisingly, Mark Richt doesn’t think much of Steve Spurrier’s divisional champ proposal.
  • The rejiggered SEC is trying to figure out how it meshes with the bowls.
  • The BCS looks like it’s going to adopt a fan-friendly format.  NotOne commissioner, who is against semifinal games being played on campus, said: “The NCAA [men’s basketball] tournament doesn’t have campus games, do they?”
  • Even if you don’t care about the NFL (I don’t), you might be interested in this article about how its metamorphosis into a pass-happy league is affecting the value it puts on certain positions, because of the impact that may have on the college game.


UPDATE:  Regarding the likely rejection of playing the semi-finals at on-campus sites, Brian Cook offers some excellent snark here.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, BCS/Playoffs, Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Georgia Football, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Tales from the recruiting trail: just because it’s funny doesn’t mean it ain’t true.

Jordan Jenkins tells a story that shows Gene Chizik to be pretty adept at negative recruiting in a lighthearted way:

“… When coach Gene Chizik was comparing Auburn and Alabama, he put up a slide that showed they had more wins, more this and that … then he started talking about Florida and how Will Muschamp follows in his shoes. I started busting out laughing. He said ‘When I was at Auburn the first time [as an assistant] and after I left, Muschamp came here. Then I was at Texas and after I left, Muschamp came there.’ He went on and on. He said ‘Muschamp just follows in my footsteps’ and it was hilarious the way he said it.”

Boom!  Jenkins qualified it by saying “This wasn’t meant to be as insulting as it sounds”, but I thought it came out just right.  In fact, he could have made an even stronger point by noting which of the two were on staffs which won national titles during that period.


Filed under Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Recruiting

What a difference a year makes

No, I’m not talking about Mark Richt and Georgia.  I’m talking about the hand that Gene Chizik now finds himself playing.  He’s gone from the man hoisting the crystal football to the man who’s overall record is being questioned again.

… All due respect to a guy only a year removed from a national title, but why should anyone believe that Chizik will experience long term, sustained success as a major college head coach?

I ask because as of now, he hasn’t proven anything. Remove that 14-0, Cam Newton-produced season last year and Chizik is an unremarkable 20-29 as a head coach.

It’s not just that this season was disappointing.  It’s that the offseason is proving even more difficult.

… Florida State’s Mark Stoops “is not planning to leave for Auburn or any other university,”according to a story by the Tallahassee Democrat today.

That leaves Auburn coach Gene Chizik still in need of replacements for former defensive coordinator Ted Roof and soon-to-be-departed offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.

Auburn, or a representative, had discussed the job with Stoops, at least at some level. It’s not clear if he had an offer.

Chizik, who’s been juggling duties as head coach, defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and recruiter, can concentrate more on the hiring process after this weekend. Coaches can’t recruit on the road after midnight tonight, and can’t contact recruits after midnight Sunday.

Saturday’s coaching search update?

“I feel like we’re in the right direction. There is no timetable,” Chizik said. “After tonight, after I won’t be able to go out on the road recruiting, obviously I’ll be able to put more time towards getting our team ready and doing all my homework on my coordinators.”

So it’s been recruiting prioritized over getting the staffing settled. You can probably guess the punchline coming here.

Yep – the top recruit in Auburn’s class, running back T.J. Yeldon, switched his commitment yesterday to Alabama.  And since the down period has hit, Auburn can’t even contact Yeldon to discuss it.  Yeldon’s planning on being an early enrollee, which means he signs in two weeks.  He’s a lost cause at a position of need, given the rumors surrounding Dyer and McCalebb.

Track ’em Tigers speculates that Yeldon’s change of heart doesn’t pass the smell test, but as someone who’s followed a program that’s recently received the benefit of Alabama’s, um… special attention in recruiting, I would suggest that badly misses the mark.  Auburn’s an easy target for negative recruiting right now, with a season that ended with several lopsided defeats, a coaching staff in flux (along with rumors that Chizik interfered with Malzahn’s gameplanning), top players leaving the program and questions about whether Cam made the program or the program made Cam.

Chizik’s got to land two solid replacements for Roof and Malzahn and to coach his team to a competent victory in the bowl game to recover some traction to close out Auburn’s recruiting class decently and to build some momentum for next season.  The West won’t be getting any easier in 2012 and if Auburn doesn’t appear to be heading in the right direction soon, it’s not going to be pretty on the Plains.


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Sometimes coaching genius isn’t enough.

Kevin Scarbinsky notes Auburn’s remarkable statistical decline this season from 2010:

This team has given up 52 more points than it’s scored this season. This team is on pace to give up more points than the 2009 defense, the worst in school history. This team has scored an astounding 335 fewer points than last year when the offense set the school scoring record.

Unless I’m missing something there, that means Chizik and Roof are in the process of presiding over the two worst defensive scoring seasons in Auburn’s history.  (And it’s not like 2010 was any great shakes either.)  Ouch.


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That win looks a lot better now.

Granted, Ole Miss does have a helluva punt team.  But how bad are things for the Nuttster to be getting patronized by a guy who used to coach Iowa State for a living?

(h/t Jason Kirk)


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NCAA to Chizik: it’s not over until we say it’s over.

It’s hard to say whether this exchange was born from innocence or arrogance, but it probably wasn’t the brightest move on the part of the Auburn head coach:

… Julie Roe Lach, the N.C.A.A.’s vice president for enforcement, made a presentation to the group, which included every men’s basketball coach, football coach and athletic director in the conference. When she opened up the room for discussion, Auburn’s football coach, Gene Chizik, raised his hand first.

He peppered Roe Lach with a flurry of questions about the N.C.A.A.’s investigation into Cam Newton and why the N.C.A.A. had not publicly announced that the investigation was over. Chizik complained that the inquiry’s open-ended nature had hurt Auburn’s recruiting and he followed up at least three times, leading to a testy exchange.

“You’ll know when we’re finished,” Roe Lach told Chizik, according to several coaches who were at the meeting. “And we’re not finished.”

As amazed as I am that Chizik would try to show her up in front of other coaches like that, you know what really amazes me?  How a story like that – again, in front of witnesses – doesn’t get reported until a month later by the New York Times.  What were all the southern fried reporters doing then, getting suntans?  Or, worse, did some of them sit on this?


Filed under Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Media Punditry/Foibles, The NCAA