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A Stay of Execution?

By on September 17th, 2012 in Football 14 Comments »

By Jay Coulter (jccoulter@gmail.com) 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
Marshall.

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
finish.

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
rebuild.

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.

14 Comments

  1. Zach Matthews says:

    i agree with everything but ULM being a mediocre sun belt team, a sun belt team is a sun belt team but that was a good one if not the best one ive seen. it doesnt justify how close the game was but they are not a mediocre sun belt team

  2. Mic Head says:

    Great article. However, we did not win in Stark-vegas.

  3. Jay Coulter says:

    Wow… That was a brain fart. I was thinking ULM. Thanks for the catch.

  4. AubTigerman says:

    Agreed. However …
    Tigers would have covered the spread but for three things. a interference called on a great play by Jonathan Mincy at the seven yd. line (that was NOT interference) setting up ULM’s first TD inside the 4yd. line, Sammie Coates great diving catch for a Touchdown called back, and of course the fumble on the one yd. line when Tigers were going in for a TD.
    I know bad calls and fumbles are part of the game, just saying the effort was there, the breaks were not.

    • LSU Jonno says:

      "I know bad calls and fumbles are part of the game, just saying the effort was there, the breaks were not."

      Auburn scored on a hail mary to end the half. Said another way, ULM could have won this thing in regulation. All the breaks didn’t go Auburn’s way, but they never will.

    • augaub says:

      i agree about the PI call, but they still moved the ball pretty easily most of the day. The sammie coates catch, after looking at it again wasn’t a catch but it was still great effort..

      it took a hail mary and their kicker missing a chip shot for us to beat them..auburn was outplayed except for special teams.

  5. Tiger on the Mountain says:

    I agree with holding the coaches accountable. I dont want to see Auburn to become that place that talent comes to die…Firing Chizik at this point would be stupid. Who would want to come coach at a place where they fire a national championship winning coach? By these modern metrics, Shug Jordan would have never been a long standing coach.

  6. myauburn says:

    Firing coaches is not the answer, devising a scheme to use the talent we have is. Obviously the scheme we are using isn’t working. All you have to do is look at programs who get the "big" schools leftover recruits. Boise State, Utah, Kansas State come to mind. The manage to stay competitive with dang near anyone with so called 2 and 3 star recruits. With us what we are doing is not working at all. It is like the definition of insanity…trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

  7. Brett Mason says:

    This may be the first honest assessment of this team I have read this year. The OC may be the best OC to ever live when he has the pieces to run the offense he prefers. However Auburn doesn’t have those pieces and he should be planning to our strengths rather than making these guys try to perform in an offense they are not best suited for.

  8. augaub says:

    I’m hearing more and more about parking issues and tailgating issues..the people in charge need to fix this before more people stop coming to the games. Stop trying to change auburn from a family atmosphere into a corporate one