Time to Panic?
By Jay Coulter (firstname.lastname@example.org) on September 10, 2012
Today a lot of us feel like that guy. You know, the one who
spends his life savings on that Mercedes only to find out it’s not what the car
magazine critics made it out to be.
After three top ten recruiting classes, hiring away the
Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator and bringing in an offensive coordinator
that helped develop Tom Brady, Auburn people are faced today with the question
of what’s left to salvage of the season after only two weeks.
One game doesn’t make a season, but anyone sitting in the
stands of Davis Wade Stadium on Saturday morning knows Auburn’s problems are
much worse than skin deep.
Enduring those blowout losses last season, Auburn people
were led to believe that Gene Chizik’s team was simply outmanned, not outcoached.
On this Monday, many are beginning to question that logic.
It’s one thing to lose to LSU, Arkansas and Alabama because
of youth and experience. It’s an entirely different matter when you are blown
out by Miss State.
Last week in this space I preached patience. Today, we may
all need inspiration from Job himself to make it to November. Saturday’s loss was
as inept a performance as we’ve seen since the Terry Bowden era.
It was worse than anything witnessed during Tommy Tuberville’s
final season in 2008. At least Tuberville could use the excuse that most of his
players were not blue chips. Scanning the field Saturday in Starkville, I only
identified a hand full of players Auburn even recruited.
Pointing the finger at quarterback Kiehl Frazier is too
Saturday’s loss was a team effort that starts with coaching.
During warm-ups, receivers coach Trooper Taylor playfully taunted the Miss
State student section, jumping up and down, waving for them to be louder. This
was clearly a guy that was more interested in theatrics rather than X’s and O’s.
Only two Auburn players have receptions this season. Since
Emory Blake’s touchdown catch during the second offensive series against
Clemson, Auburn has gone 19 possessions without a touchdown.
Recruiting is only half the battle. You still have to coach
So where does Auburn turn?
Giving Frazier the hook after only two games is not irrational
considering Saturday’s performance. However, despite all the coach-speak, you
have to wonder whether Auburn has a true Plan B.
Is Clint Moseley’s shoulder really well enough to play? I
don’t buy the notion that Auburn coaches felt the best plan was to stick with
Frazier in Starkville. I believe it was their only option. Insert Jonathan
Wallace suggestion here.
Watching Frazier on the sidelines between series, this was a
kid that was clearly rattled. Then again, with coordinator Scott Loeffler
sitting in the press box, he wouldn’t know.
As fans, it’s hard to pinpoint what’s gone so wrong. The
coaching staff is proven. The players are heralded. Someone is not doing their
job. It will be up to Chizik to find the answers fast.
The prospects of starting 0-5 are very real. Sit and watch
Saturday’s replay and you’ll believe Auburn Armageddon is here. I prefer to
take the glass is half-full approach. Taking the other option would keep me in
bed all day.
I haven’t lost faith in Chizik, but I do have a few more