Petrino Is Not The Answer For Auburn

By Posted on: October 29th, 2012 in Football 50 Comments »
bobby-petrino-neck-brace

It was ominous from the start. When Spirit jumped from his cage Saturday night and took a right out of the stadium, we should have known he was trying to tell us something.

Like a Bruce Springsteen song, he took a right turn and was never coming back – until fans screamed loud enough to make him reconsider. He knew better. Call it animal instinct, but even Spirit knew it was over for this Auburn team.

With Gene Chizik’s fate sealed following Auburn’s worst home loss in school history, talk will turn even more this week to Bobby Petrino. His name has dominated Auburn message boards for a month.

There’s no question, he’s a galvanizing figure and one hell of a football coach. There are few better offensive minds than the former Arkansas leader. With Auburn’s talent, he could compete in the SEC almost immediately.

Conventional wisdom says that despite never beating Nick Saban, he could win with Auburn’s resources. It would only be a matter of time before the Iron Bowl was competitive again.

In the SEC arms race, Petrino is the perfect weapon for Auburn.

But…

Auburn is too good for Bobby Petrino.

There’s no reason to sell your soul to the devil for a few extra wins. I know many will disagree. I understand the importance of the football engine that makes things go at Auburn. And nobody enjoys beating LSU, Georgia and Alabama more than me.

Auburn is not perfect. Its flaws have been discussed publicly for years, like any other institution. Not all of the leaders that have walked through the door have been perfect. Last I checked there’s only been one perfect person to walk the earth.

Petrino is not a bad fit for Auburn because of his infamous motorcycle ride earlier this year in Fayetteville. He’s a bad fit because he’s had too many of these lapse of judgment moments.

Going behind the back of your friend who gave you a big career break, only to try and take his job on a runway in Kentucky is not right for Auburn.

Quitting on your team in mid-season and then not being man enough to stick around and tell your players why you are leaving – that is not the right person for Auburn.

A coach who puts a woman young enough to be his daughter on the university payroll and then parades her around campus on his motorcycle while having an intimate affair is not the kind of person you want at Auburn.

We all make mistakes. We’ve all had lapses in judgment.

Had only one of these things happened, then most people could probably move past it. When it seemingly happens every other year, you have to ask yourself why you would want this guy leading your football program.

For more than 100 years, Auburn has preached the importance of character to its students and alumni. The third paragraph of The Auburn Creed says, “I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.”

Hiring a guy with such a checkered past doesn’t feel right. Would you send your son to play for him? It would be a cold day in hell before I’d do it.

Seeing Petrino in orange and blue would be a hard thing to stomach for many fans. Others would welcome him with open arms.

As for me, I’ll pass on Mr. Petrino.

Many of you will disagree and that’s what makes the world go around. Let’s just hope it doesn’t splinter the program further.

That’s the last thing Auburn needs.

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  1. restless6 says:

    I caught some comments on the CSS replay last night that were interesting when discussion on Chizik’s future came up.

    There are only a few schools that aren’t in the red, and football revenues are very important to schools. The empty seats was used as an example.

    This is the fans voice of disapproval. Hurt em’ in the pocketbooks, the change will come.

    My gut feeling is that Petrino has the job. The good ol’ boys finally have their guy.

  2. mikeautiger says:

    Amen! A pattern of lapses in judgment go against the Auburn Creed and the Character Auburn tries to instill in its faculty, students, community, and it’s fans. Truly great leaders have standards to live by! It is the true path to being a winner!

  3. restless6 says:

    Petrino is the pick. As everyone knows, the fellas have wanted him for almost 10 years. They know that he wants it, and that they can control him.

    Auburn has few choices. Don’t y’all think that the coaching community knows how effed up it is at Auburn?

    The Jetgate scandal is to blame for this predicament, IMO. Auburn fans better learn to love Bobby.

  4. AuburnEdS says:

    As a believer I am expected to forgive my fellow man. If he has truly repented and asked God for his forgiveness, then who am I to judge? If he is forgiven, that is awesome. Just because he has been forgiven, that does not mean he needs to be my football coach.

  5. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Interesting. I haven’t heard this yet but there must be something significant if TET has written at least two stories on this already like it is a done deal. Incidentally, that is more than anyone else.

    About this weekend: Everything minus the football program was awesome. God bless our band! Auburn did military appreciation day up right! Tailgate was to standard as well! And then the game.

    The game. It was an abomination. And YES… I LEFT AT HALF TIME ALONG WITH 2/3ds of ‘the family’. SUE ME SUNSHINE PUMPERS. I REFUSE TO WATCH POOR EFFORT & POOR COACHING. You can’t defend what happened. If you watched it at all… it was horrible. It was 42-7 by half… and that was Texas A&M being merciful! God help us as we play Georgia and bama. This is going to leave a mark for YEARS. But I digress.

    While you guys are preparing for the worse with Petrino… and you may be right… just curious…are there any other names being considered?

    By the way, did you guys see Jacobs at the game? Smiling like everything was ok and it was 2010? I did. Right before kick off. That is why it pains me to say… while you guys are panicking about picking the devil…. I am wondering what happens if NOTHING happens. What happens to Auburn if CHIZIK IS ALLOWED TO STAY FOR ANOTHER YEAR?

    I think with the lack of leadership being exhibited…that is exactly what we are going to get.

    Anyone wishing we had Bobby Lowder now?

    WDE

  6. Jay Coulter Jay Coulter says:

    I don’t believe Petrino will be hired. He has way too much baggage and JetGate will likely automatically disqualify him. However, I know there will be a lot of people pushing for him. According to Phillip Marshall at Auburn Undercover, his sources say Jacobs is on shaky ground. I’m hearing the same thing. I would be shocked if Jacobs survives. Then again, I’ve been shocked before.

  7. The Smarch The Smarch says:

    Petrino’s a hell of a football coach. But I don’t want him. He’s a creep. Period.

    War. Damn. Eagle.

  8. JRoweMDN says:

    What a shame we did not follow through on Jetgate and get rid of Tubby back then instead of letting him drive us down to a second tier team.

    Is Petrino perfect? No. Is Auburn capable of drawing a top tier coach without a defect at this point? I doubt it. Better the devil you know with Petrino than getting another hack? Maybe so I just really do not know.

    I was a big fan of Chizik and thought after 2010 and the miracles we pulled off to make that season work I was sure we had our legacy coach, a real “Auburn Guy”. Now I see he was not that at all and may be proven as one of the worst . Let’s at least see if we can get a coach who can recruit AND utilize players before this becomes permanent. Let’s be honest and understand that all coaches are coin operated and they are all just one dream offer away from leaving, recruiting is all about who can give you the best opportunity, and TV wants teams that can win and draw ratings. If Auburn wants to compete as a top tier football program they will have to play the game, and Petrino may be part of that game. I am all for looking at the options, but this is going to be one of the most critical choices ever made for hiring a head coach and I do not want to see it done wrong.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      Unless there are major changes imminent within the entire athletic department, I don’t think there is a top shelf coach in the country that would be willing to risk their prefessional reputation at Auburn. That being said, we may be stuck with Petrino simply because we need each other. Personally, I would ratther take a chance on Petrino than another Bowden, Tuberville, or Chizik.

  9. WarEagleEngr says:

    Another possibility to consider: could Auburn lure Jimbo Fisher from FSU?

    It would seem a perfect fit. Fisher has strong past ties to Auburn (as do some of his staff). In ’08 he pointedly declined to deny interest in the Auburn job, though granted, that may have been a calculated non-answer intended to expedite Bobby Bowden’s ouster.

    Fisher is clearly succeeding at FSU. He has the program relevant again, he is recruiting elite players, and avoiding discipline problems. But he has not been there long enough to become entrenched, a point in Auburn’s favor. It may be a long shot, but it definitely seems a possibility worth discussing.

  10. el jefe says:

    I’m a Bama fan and I came over here just to read who y’all were wanting for your next head coach, not planning to comment at all. But look, y’all don’t need Petrino. He’s a scumbag. I’m not saying this because I don’t want y’all to have him from a competitive stand point, because we beat him at Arky and we’ll beat him at Auburn if we have to. But Petrino isn’t the elite level coach that is worth selling your soul for (now if I thought you could get Pete Carroll, I’d say sell your soul).

    There are plenty of great coaches out there Auburn could snag, don’t get caught up on that crush you had in high school who turned out to be really trashy. Charlie Strong for instance could be great and isn’t a scumbag. If I were an Auburn fan, I’d be really excited to get Charlie Strong.

    Kevin Steele at Clemson and Brent Venables at Oklahoma would all be guys people could get excited about and at least would be good enough to rebuild some of Auburn’s clout and it can’t hurt to ask to see if Gary Patterson or Chris Petersen might be interested in a big mountain of cash.

  11. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Comments from Chizik’s latest interview:

    After looking at Texas A&M film, what did you see?

    “It’s tough. You go back and evaluate things as coaches we could have put them in places to make better plays. Going back and really doing a self evaluation. It’s hard. That’s why we’re spending more time in the film room and going over in greater detail.”

    Aware of historical lows? “I haven’t studied the record books, but you have to know historically it has to be at the very bottom, or very close. That’s obvious to everyone who was at the game.”

    “I feel like there’s an urgency. I’ve been very proud of the players, this is very difficult. For our coaches as well. Day in and day out when we go to work and we put ourselves

    Have you been through something like this season before? “Probably not like this, no. When you do this long enough, you have a chance to come to these valleys. We’re in it, and we’re going to work to get out of it.”

    Thoughts having No. 120 total offense, No. 119 scoring offense? “It’s very disappointing. You try to submerge yourself in work and improve and get better. You can pick out areas that are disappointing, but none more than the fact we’re 1-7.”

    On fans leaving early and keeping them engaged? “I feel a high responsibility to our fans. We have great fans and they want to see us win. When we looked at the film, you could see a lot of them left. Based on the production on what they saw, I understand. I want to encourage them there will be a better day and part of Auburn is coming to support their team. I want to encourage everyone to come out and support our guys, it’s all about the players. I want to reach out to them.”

    Aware of anger in fanbase? “I don’t have time for the outside, although I respect everyone’s opinion. I’m sure at 1-7, there’s a lot of upset fans. That comes with the territory.”

    Thoughts on President Jay Gogue’s statement? “I’ve got one focus, and that’s our young guys going out and getting a win. It’s the only option (now), and it’s the only option when you’re undefeated too. I’ve never been able to pay attention to outside distractions, good or bad. When you’re great, everybody loves you. I don’t change and listen when it’s good, and not when it’s bad. If you’re focused on your job, you do your job. That’s not part of your job, in my opinion.”

    Ok. The man is lost like apple sauce. I swear… this is right out of the Tommy T. / Sports agent (can’t think of his name) play book.

    BL: Make them fire you to get the pay out.

    This should be illegal. And Chizik can say what he wants… but what I saw on Saturday evening was anything but showing an “urgency”. It starts with him!

    WDE

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Sports agent = Jimmy Sexton…. AU’s #1 fan.

      WDE

    • mikeautiger says:

      His mother just died and he has not even buried her yet, at leat 4 other deaths he has had to deal with in his program in the last 3 months. You let that Mack truck run over you a few times and see how much regency you have…..

      • wde1988 wde1988 says:

        Really???

        We are all sorry for his loss Mike. But I find this “exuse” to be rather tired. I mean, am I supposed to give him points for showing up to the game? I mean… his coaching really wasn’t a deciding factor anyway… it was like he was absent already… the team had no discipline, no real organization and absolutely showed no signs of improvement after 8 weeks. We could have done no worse if we put his assistants in charge. Heck, we might have even done better.

        Really – you want an example of going above and beyond look no further than Dooley up in UT land coaching with a hip replacement if you are going to pull this card.

        Don’t say it often but this comment was pretty lame.

        WDE

        WDE

  12. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    No to Petrino.
    Too much baggage. Auburn can do better than that.

  13. tigertracker says:

    What’s everyone’s thoughts on James Franklin? I’m just trying to think realistically about who we could get this year with all the other teams (likely) on the market. I figure Gus already has the details worked out for arky. Petrino to Kentucky since they could get him at a bargain price because I’m sure he wants his foot back in the sec door. Peterson probly not leaving Boise. Strong…who knows. But I like what Franklin has done to this point (with less). What could he do with auburn resources? I just don’t want to get an up and comer with no D1 or SEC HC experience and learn on our dime. Not saying franklin is the answer, just gauging everyone’s temperature on th idea.

    • BigDaddyAU says:

      Franklin should certainly be considered should Chizik lose his job. I think you have to approach a wide variety of candidates and he certainly has done some good things at Vandy.

      I like what I’ve seen from Mark Hudspeth at Louisiana-Lafayette. Willie Taggart at Western Kentucky has done some nice things as well. Those are less established coaches that have experience as head coaches and have done good things with less talent. Kirby Smart (but do we want to continue the defensive minded HC??)

      Established head men that obviously need to be looked at: Chris Peterson, Gary Patterson, Art Briles, Charlie Strong, Frank Solich just to name a few..

      • wde1988 wde1988 says:

        Why go small pototos? I mean Gene Chizik was a small potato.

        I think we need to get out the check book and get somebody. EVERYONE has a price. Find who we want and get them. So we pay as much as Bama. But we get someone who can deliver.

        I think that puts us where we want to be. Maybe it takes 3-5 years to get the program back on its feet…

        We give the guy a chance. As long as he keeps us moving in the right direction… we will eventually have our day. Heck, I think too we might see Saban popping out soon… I mean how many NCs can you win and still keep the fire? Maybe our new guy gets the same problem…

        Till that day!

        WDE

      • tylerj19 says:

        I don’t understand the Gary Patterson love… His off-field troubles at TCU put anything Auburn’s had lately to shame. Also, if you don’t want a defensive guy, Patterson’s not your man.

  14. beezybub beezybub says:

    Jimbo Fisher (Head Coach)
    Scott Etheridge (Athletic Director)

    Your Thoughts?

    • BigDaddyAU says:

      Jimbo won’t leave FSU…and we need someone NOT related to Auburn University to run the Athletic Department ..some one with the sack to tell the BOT’s and Pat Dye to stay out of the way.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Keep dreaming.

      Never going to happen…. but I sure wouldn’t object to it.

      WDE

    • theoldguard says:

      HaHaHaHa…

      Jimbo will ask himself one question: Where is it easier to compete & win a NC?

      Right now the clear answer is FSU.

  15. BigDaddyAU says:

    As long as Jay Jacobs is the AD Auburn will continue to deal with this sort of stuff on a cyclical basis. President Gouge MUST find a strong candidate for AD that will be willing to make the hard decisions about coaching (not just football) and will stand up to the power brokers that want to run Auburn. However, we still must look for integrity, discipline, family to fill these positions. If that is an “Auburn” man or woman so be it..

  16. restless6 says:

    Kevin Sumlin.

    Oh, nevermind, Auburn has already passed on him.

    My guess is the fellas want a quick fix to stop the bleeding. That’s why Bobby is the man.

  17. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    I bet Art Briles would like a shot in the SEC… Man of faith and character, spread offense…

  18. Malakai Malakai says:

    Who wants this job now? What kind of recruiting can we get for ’13 and ’14? Recruiting for two years is DEAD. He may be creepy, but he will win games. Take me to the crossroads, I’m willing to deal. War Eagle!

    • restless6 says:

      I agree with you. I also am beginning to think that JJ and the fellas are willing to let the program continue to burn down to make the fans feel a quick fix is urgent, thus hiring Bobby.

  19. TexasAUTiger says:

    Gary Patterson, nuff said. The man knows how to coach, just look at what he has done with the caliber players he has at TCU. Not sure if he would come here but he would get my vote.

  20. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    After hearing all the names my big question is who could we throw enough money at to get. I would love to have Peterson, Paterson, Smart, or Pete Carroll, but could we dangle a big enough carrot. Petrino, while arguably a scum bag may be the only one we can get. Lets face it, the AU job is not very appealing right now.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      I would agree with you.

      However, I do think if we could get things straight within the administration and AD… that folks would consider the challenge if offered enough money.

      The question AU needs to ask itself…

      Do you want to be a top tier school?

      Because right now… at best, we are 2nd tier although our ranking is dead last in the conference… and that is somewhere near bottom near Kentucky. I am not sure who is who anymore. I guess it depends if we get beat by NM or Alabama A&M.

      Funny – I was hoping AU could play the A&M game up here in Huntsville. At least if we lose it wouldn’t mark the university with skid mark.

      Just saying….

      WDE

      • MyAuburn myauburn says:

        I am also in Huntsville and am actually a little worried about the game. My manager has said if we lose to A&M he is going to hide my belt and shoelaces.

        • wde1988 wde1988 says:

          LOL. That is funny. I don’t care how bad it gets… you gotta laugh at that.

          Oh well… to new horizons…. or not.

          WDE

        • Bren Dekura Bren Dekura says:

          I think, as long as we play the younger guys, they’ll have enough fire to pull out wins in our two remaining “gimmes”. Hell, they may even pull out an unbelievable upset!

          • wde1988 wde1988 says:

            Brother, did you see the game on Saturday?

            We played our A game guys.

            It was 42-7 by half.

            There wasn’t any fire. There wasn’t any concern. If any team we play has a good offense or defense… there isn’t a game on this schedule that AU will be favored in… sad but true.

            WDE

        • auburnsnumberonefan says:

          Good assessment and a classy comment from the other side of the state!

  21. mandmvinson mandmvinson says:

    If we are going to consider Petrino, we might as well look at Jim Tressell. He is a proven winner and can recruit.

  22. Frank Drackman says:

    Petrino? is Mike Price busy?
    I know it was a whole 22 months ago, but how about the guy who almost
    single handedly brought the BCS trophy home to Lee County?
    Nick Fairley,
    I mean Gus Malzahn
    might actually have some plays Kodi Burns, I mean Frazier can run

    Frank “I hope Harvey Updike gets cancer from that herbicide” Drackman

  23. Ricky Bobby says:

    Long-time lurker, first time poster. I’ve seen all the potential HC names thrown out there, but I’m wondering why no one ever mentions Pat Sullivan? Granted, he had his health issues back in the early ’00s (all clear), and his coaching may or may not have already peaked. LSU tabbed him to be their HC in ’95, I believe it was, and to be honest I would have rather had him as our HC instead of Tuberville when we had the opportunity to bring him home.
    Thoughts?
    War Damn!

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..I think the biggest strike against Sullivan is his age. Do we want to start over again with a 62 year old (63 in January) coach? It was also said that he recruited great players at TCU (Ladanian Tomlinson), but couldn’t win with them. That’s kind of what we have now…

      …..Sullivan has shown that he’s willing to adapt, as he gave Malzhan disciple Chad Morris the reins of his offense last year. He’s not won big, though, even at Samford. He’s 5-3 at this point, with Wofford, Elon and Kentucky left on the schedule. They’ll likely beat Elon, but Wofford is doubtful, and they’ll almost certainly lose to Kentucky. I’m not sure a coach who had a losing record in his one FBS job, and a .500 record in FCS is Auburn’s answer.

  24. AUdacious_Dude says:

    Petrino is the best available coach in America. He has no buy-out (which will save AU some money). He is an offensive genius and perhaps the best play-caller in football. He is the kind of coach who is able to do a lot more with less talent than most other coaches.

    I don’t care bout his infidelity. It’s none of my business. He keeps his players in line, makes sure they go to class, and makes sure they keep their noses clean (just ask people at Louisville). He is a disciplinarian, so much so, in fact, that he won’t even allow his players to bring a cell phone to practices or meetings. He has no history of NCAA issues. Auburn needs someone who will keep the players in line. Under Chizik’s tenure, AU has had more off the field issues than under any coach I remember.

    A lot of people mention Pete Carroll. Yes, Pete is a great coach, but he has NCAA issues (people seem to forget Reggie Bush and his house). Pete put USC on probation and make them forfeit a MNC as well as a slough of wins. Besides, he isn’t leaving the Seahawks.

  25. restless6 says:

    Anyone else hearing the Jimbo Fisher chatter lately? What would make that guy leave FSU to take the Auburn job? I don’t get it.