Is it really that hard to envision Gene being cut from his position at the end of this season, after all the new lows? It seems like there’s plenty of Auburn fans that believe Gene should be given another year or two (at least). Here’s my take on why one more year would be respectful but maybe very painful.
Yes, Gene took us to the promise land along with great players. Was Cam the ‘it’ factor that year? Yes. The rest of the country should give Gene every bit of credit for that year too. Gene was a piece of that puzzle that held it all together and he deserves every bit of credit. Unfortunately those days are gone. Not the memories, but the production is. In recent eras Terry had an undefeated year (we were on probation), Tommy had an undefeated year (we were shafted from the NC), Gene gets an undefeated year (during a time when the SEC reigns supreme in the BCS). All three guys were Coach Of The Year. Say what you will about each person, but you cannot take away those accomplishments. Terry went 6 years with a 47-17-1 record. Tommy went 10 years at 85-40. Chizik is 31-15 four years in. We’re about to have fired all these guys, don’t look so surprised.
Here is where Gene’s credentials come into question. Folks, we hired Gene with a losing record as a Head Coach. Paul Rhoads seems to be doing better with Iowa State than Gene did during his tenure there. Gene lost 10 straight games at Iowa St. before moving on to Auburn. Again, that kind of work puts you on the hot seat, but yet Jay Jacobs still saw him as our next coach. Our replacement for Tubberville, but wait! What is Tubberville doing at Texas Tech? Oh yeah, he worked with the offensive system in place and put their Defense at the top of the stat list this year. We’ve regressed right back to where we started four years ago with the team in shambles and heads about to roll. Would I be alone to say that maybe we search for an Offensive minded head coach for a change? Maybe take this whole thing in another direction to offset trying to keep up with ‘other’ programs. I know that Auburn purists will say we need to stick with Defense and pounding the ball, but I’m merely adding to the conversation.
There’s plenty of comments in regards to Auburn’s top ranked recruiting classes following ‘that year’ and how we should be competing today and not be the whipping post. The coaches just aren’t developing the players they sign and/or aren’t keeping them on campus are a couple that top the list. How many of these players are impact players today? How many are still on the team? Excuses for a ‘young’ team are unacceptable. In this day and age when players leave for the NFL well before 4+ years of studies are finished, a player to give us three years of action are becoming the norm. Heck, JUCO transfers can have even shorter life spans (one year, maybe?). If these are Blue Chippers then they need to be impact players by their sophomore year at least. The top guys should be starters from day 1. “Young Team”, get outta here!
It’s unprecedented that we would fire a coach two years removed from a NC. It’s unprecedented for a team to be so far from resembling one that’s only two years removed from an NC. I’m sorry, if you get paid millions of dollars (well above any other professional on campus shaping young minds) then you better produce, above the norm. Gene isn’t producing and he sure isn’t shaping the next Pulitzer Prize winner either. Win or go home. Chizik might be a better Defensive Coordinator than Head Coach… his resume says so, there, I said it.