A Stay of Execution?
By Jay Coulter (firstname.lastname@example.org) on September 17, 2012
It was a win. But judging from the crowd leaving Jordan-Hare
Stadium Saturday, it didn’t feel much like one. Auburn’s overtime victory over
ULM felt akin to receiving a stay of execution on death row. You live for
another week, but know the needle is coming this Saturday night.
The fact that Auburn had to hang on to win in overtime
against a mediocre Sun Belt Conference team to avoid going 0-3 for the first
time since 1950 speaks volumes about where this season is heading.
We’ve heard all the excuses. The players are young. The new
coordinators run radically different offenses and defenses than their
predecessors. The players are still learning the system.
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.
Here’s reality: Your three biggest rivals are ranked first,
second and fifth nationally.
You lost to a Miss State squad that had to hang on
to beat Troy this weekend. You had to kick a field goal in overtime to beat an
average ULM team whose claim to fame is beating an Arkansas program that lost
to Alabama by 52 points at home.
This is not going to cut it at Auburn or any place where the
stakes are so high.
“It’s difficult to ask people to be patient at the same time
you are spending millions on facilities, asking them to donate thousands of
dollars for ticket priorities, to pay $100 just to park or to pay for
tailgating spots, all while the head coach makes $3.5 million per year,” writes
Auburn Undercover editor Phillip
Like it or not, this is reality.
Suggesting that Gene Chizik be fired at this point or any
time this season is insane. Being held accountable by athletic director Jay
Jacobs should start now. Without big changes fast, this team could be facing its
worst season since 1998, when Terry Bowden’s final squad limped to a 3-8
For all Chizik has accomplished at Auburn, and he’s done
some incredibly great things, the truth is, he’s not getting the job done now.
ESPN’s Mark May was asked on-air what’s the problem at Auburn. His answer, “Gene
Chizik is not developing all that talent.”
You can’t disagree with that statement.
Nobody rational expected Auburn to topple LSU, Georgia or
Alabama this season. We did expect progress. Auburn people have traditionally
been patient, but they are not stupid.
Anyone suggesting that next year will be magically better
because the players are a year older is delusional. This team must grow up now –
not in 2013. You may have noticed, LSU, Georgia and Alabama reload, they don’t
After three straight top recruiting classes, the same is
expected at Auburn. Fans are tired of winning on signing day only to be blown
out in the fall. Chizik still has money in the bank, but he’s burning through
it like a drunken sailor.
At least we have Arkansas to keep us company.