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An Iron Bowl Week to Forget

By on November 19th, 2012 in Football 32 Comments »

Typically this is one of my favorite weeks of the year. Combining the Thanksgiving holiday with the Iron Bowl is heaven on earth. Food, Family and Football. It’s hard to top.

This year things are different.

With the Iron Bowl resembling more of an execution date than a matchup between two top SEC programs, Auburn people are angrier than I’ve seen them in my lifetime. Not during the collapse of Terry Bowden, Tommy Tuberville or even Doug Barfield have Auburn people been so united in demanding change – and not just with the coaching staff.

With alumni and fans growing more frustrated by the minute, Auburn president Jay Gogue continues to come across in the media as clueless and unaware, reminiscent of Baghdad Bob.

When asked on Friday why he’s waited so long to make a decision on the future of Gene Chizik, he replied, “You never know until the season is over what you’ve got,” Gogue said. “We’ll wait until the end of the season and review the program.”


What part of the season has he missed? And what exactly did he hope would change? When Auburn fell to Ole Miss by 21 points on Oct. 13 and then to Vanderbilt a week later, did he really believe Chizik was going to miraculously turn things around?

When asked to comment on reports that Chizik hired outside security to monitor the off-campus activities of his players, Gogue said that he’d read about it in the newspaper.


What else is going on at Auburn that Gogue is unaware of? Auburn leadership has never looked worse – ever.

The effects of this season could be far reaching. With it looking more like Jay Jacobs will remain as athletic director, Auburn people have already started to splinter. When noted Auburn r Phillip Marshall questioned in a column last week whether Jacobs is completely to blame, his website, Auburn Undercover exploded.

Some openly accused Marshall of shilling for Jacobs’s job, while others said much worse. It got so bad, they turned the comment section off on the article. And to think, Gogue’s has yet to show his hand.

Anything short of Jacobs and Chizik being shown the door next Sunday, and you may see angry mobs with pitchforks on the president’s lawn. And I’m only half joking.

Auburn stands to lose more than just a football game next Saturday. The real action will take place off the field, after the game. While Auburn burns, Alabama continues its charge toward another national title.

Meanwhile, Baghdad Bob and the good ole boys try to make it work on the Plains. It’s enough to make up vomit your turkey and dressing.

Somebody helps us.


  1. KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

    As far as Jacobs not knowing about the hiring of a private security firm, unless Chizik is paying for this service out of his own salary, a budget request must be submitted for approval and signed by someone in authority. This information should be available to any enterprising reporter.

  2. almightytmc1 says:

    The folks up in Ames did not lie about Chizik. He was eveything they promised. I cannot believe Auburn football is this bad. I must admit a bit of shadenfreude. But at the same time the Iron Bowl is suppose to be well…. the Iron Bowl. Not Nick Saban and the juggernauts vs. the shell of what used to be Auburn Football. Its kind of like beating your brother up while he is in traction. I dont like it. At all.
    Most other fanbases hope Gene Chizik can get a lifetime contract at Auburn. Not me. I hate it. Thanksgiving will probably be a one sided affair with the reserves playing the last half. Gene, Jay, Pat, and the gang have almost killed one of the greatest rivary games in American history. I think they should be publicly shamed for the diservice they have done to football.

  3. restless6 says:

    If drastic changes do not come, I.E. Jacobs, Jackson and the Chizik staff are retained in some combination, the Auburn fan base will be more splintered than it is now.

    If Gouge is oblivious now, he has a rude awakening coming.

    • almightytmc1 says:

      I believe it would bomb Auburn sports into the stoneage. Gouge can play the middle of the fence for only so long. If he does not fall on the right side, they results will be catastrophic. The wild card is that there are not very many good coaches available. If I had a say in it, I really liked Willie Taggart from Western Kentucky. That man is impressive.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      Is the fan base really splintered? Every single alumnus and or fan that I have spoken to, want all of these clowns gone. Support for Gouge is dwindling.

  4. AETiger AETiger says:

    I can’t agree more. One of the more enjoyable weeks of the year has been replaced by a sense of dread by the current regime. I was at the Falcons game yesterday & several people were asking me about the UA game. I told them I just wished it were over & that I would gladly take a 0-30 score right now and just shuffle along.

  5. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    This has been an Auburn football season that I will soon forget. I thought that the last season of Tuberville and this season was much worse. Auburn has a captain who has lost his GPS. Hopefully, the Auburn decision makers will make the right choice. If not, it may take some time to repair the hole in this ship.

    Happy Thanksgiving and WDE!

  6. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I thought Phillip Marshall made some good points in that article, and he was just torn to shreds in the comments. He didn’t deserve that. What happened to the America where it’s ok to have your own opinion about things?

    …..I’ll still be here, cranking up for the Iron Bowl. I can’t help it. I was raised in an era where Auburn seldom won, but we still got fired up and hoped to lay a good lick here or there. Here’s hoping our players are fed up, and ready to take out some frustrations. It’s really their last chance for a while. They are going to be having finals, then a LONG offseason of workouts, and drudgery.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      I also thought Phillip Marshall’s piece on JJ was well reasoned. I think that folks are so mad that they the only way that they can blow off steam is to metaphorically lop off everyone’s head. Thankfully, this isn’t the 1790’s in France….

  7. Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

    I am sure president Gouge is a good man and a very intellectual academic but that may be exactly what is wrong with him. Mr. Gouge, and this is purely based on the limited and biased information I get in the “press, seems to be out of touch with the demands of moders collegiate athletics. While I hope he is playing this politically and showing as little of his hand as possible, it appears more likely that he has been playing an absent authority figurehead position. This could have extremely dire consequences for Auburn as it could experience a revenue drop of $20-30 million dollars as early as next year, dropping the athletics program into the red. Should that be the case, in this financial environment, it may throw Auburn athletics into a financial death spiral. As revenues drop, the administration will raise ticket and parking prices, concessions and merchandise, and donation minimums to keep your seat….all of which will drive away fans, especially if we aren’t contending for the SEC West.
    On a 60 Minutes piece on college athletics last night, it stressed how college football had become a huge business in every aspect of its existence, making or breaking its schools athletic programs. Of course it was spun as a bad thing, but the bottom line is it is RE-AL-IT-Y. Saban was interviewed and was asked if he was worth the $5mil+ he receives in salary and to his credit, he said “Probably not, but the hope is to achieve the desired results”, in this case, higher revenue generation to fund the athletic programs. That can’t be argued, as Alabama resides behind only Texas in terms of revenue generation and has been in the top 5 since at least 2008.
    The moral of the story of course is that paying too much to get the RIGHT COACH and the RIGHT AD, isn’t nearly as costly as making the wrong decision. I hope Mr. Gouge is up to the task….unfortunately I don’t think he is.

    • Jay Coulter Jay Coulter says:

      I saw that piece on 60 Minutes. It was chilling when you compare it to what’s happening here at Auburn. You are so right, football drives everything. I’m not convinced Gogue is up to the challenge yet.

      • Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

        Thank goodness that was on this week though, instead of a month from now. If there was any doubt that you can’t take a flyer on a 5-19 coach that has a good interview….it should be removed now. College football is SERIOUS business and to not approach it as though it were a Fortune 100 company is complete and utter folly. We don’t have to get all Bain Capital on the adminsitration but as Michigans AD showed, you have to take every aspect of “the business” part of college athletics serious because it is all about enhancing the brand and the experience for the fan/customer. Without them, the UNIVERSITY suffers.

  8. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I woke up this morning oddly happy about the week in Auburn football. For the record, I did not fall and crack my head. And, no, I don’t really give us a shot at making this game competitive (even though I hope beyond hope that the magic of the season will inspire our young athletes to do something that they have yet to even, well you know…try).

    My hope is that this is the last week of Coach Gene Chizik’s tenure. But that’s not the part that made me happy….it’s the part where we get new hope from a new coach. New life. New legs. New running plays with the appropriate blockers. Maybe solid fundamentals in tackling. Maybe the development of one bright quarterback, Jonathon Wallace.

    Also, a big WAR EAGLE to Jason Campbell who gets to play for the Bears tonight in Monday Night Football. May he have an AUsome game!!! Go get it, Mr. Campbell!!

  9. plains74 says:

    I can remember the Barfield days and always wondered why we put up with that as long we did..
    Pat Dye said it best in his job interview when asked how long would it take Auburn to beat Alabama .He said sixty minuets. Two years later we were on par with Bama for the next thirty years after losing to them year in and year out for a decade in the seventies. Florida State was the land grant school in Florida and looked how they dominated the state and won national championships under Bowden. All it would take is the right coach with the right attitued. Oh it may take the right adminstration and athletic director with the right attitude to make that hire! As far as the good ole boys, if nothing changes quit going to games and buying tickets to see a poor product. Hurt them in the pocket book. There are a lot more average alumni than ultra wealthy good ole boys!
    Why not sooner than later! We do not need to go back to the future!

  10. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    I hope the following statement is totally wrong….I have a feeling in my gut that we keep Jacobs which in turn will give Chizik a mulligan. Then Chizik will give Loeffler and BVG another chance. I don’t think Gouge has the stones to unload Jacobs. Get ready to be disappointed folks, it could happen.

    • CTAuburnfan says:

      Unfortunately I have to agree with you. I’m getting myself prepared for another year of Chizik.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      I am worried about this scenario. If it happens, it really will take years to amend the damage. I would like to think that even Jacobs must realize that historically, no SEC coach has done less with more than Chizik has, and that’s not really anything on the eval form to get double-lightening-round bonus points in….

      …Not happy anymore. Not happy.

  11. plains74 says:

    Well, if the status quo is preserved, I will not be ordering any more tickets until it does change. That will cost me my priority most likely, but I will not pay for a bad product . I will still always love Auburn and will look foward to the day when this all changes.

  12. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    The only question is, who is out their for AU to get that would be a sure fire upgrade? If AU can’t pry away a Gary Patterson/Jimbo Fisher then we’d have to settle on an up and coming coach or coordinator. And that coach would be guaranteed at least three years (probably) on the job. Can AU take another big gamble on a coach like that? Would it . . . gulp . . . be better to get rid of Loeffler, keep BVG, CGC, and the recruiting class for one more year and hope that a true big name coach is available next year? I still think AU would have gone bowling with ANY coordinator other than Loeffler, we would have won the Clemson, Vandy, LSU, and Arkansas games with decent play calling and development. That would have made this a very respectable year (wins over two top 12 teams). I’m just thinking that if AU misfires on the next hire it will compound the problem for many more years than it need be.

    • MyAuburn myauburn says:

      The only answer to the question of who is based on money…we could get anyone we want if we a big enough check. The remaining question is, are we willing to do it?

      • almightytmc1 says:

        The answer should be YES!. Auburn University has proven it can play major college football. The only thing that can possibly stop it is an inaction by the administration right now. Unlike most teams in NCAA football, Auburn can afford to paybig money. What’s more, it shows the fans, recruits, alumni and media that AU is willing to step up its commitment to excellence.

    • KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

      Chizik has meddled with Offensive Coordinators, Malzahn and Loeffler, to the point we’re not sure who is really at fault for less than stellar play.

      Same for defense. (See Roof’s success at Penn State.)

      So Chizik must go.

      A new HC coming in should be allowed to bring in his guys or take what we have after he interviews them and figures it out. That is only fair to the incoming guy.

    • almightytmc1 says:

      I would offer Peterson 5 mil a year. I would offer Shaw from Stanford 5 mil a year. I would offer Willie Taggart from Western Kentucky 3 mil a year.
      Of the 3 Taggart is my favorite. He is tough, he wont back down from anyone or any challenge. And he will not “let” you win. He is excellent in game planning. He knows how to get the most out of the players he has. He will not be a “yes man” for anyone. I also believe if given the chance he could be the coach who will save this recruiting class. And given the talent stockpile he would compete as early as next year for the west. I don do endorsements often. But if anything happens to Saban at Bama I want this guy.

  13. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    We have reached the point where the only positive scenario would be Jacobs and Gouge have locked up a can’t miss coach and have managed to keep it a secret. Considering our braintrust’s coaching hire track record that scenario is highly unlikely. Considering the aformentioned track record it is much more likely that our braintrust will FUBAR this chance as no other chance has been FUBARed before.

  14. DBAU81 says:

    Over the last several days there seems to have been a growing fear that Jacobs and Chizik will be retained. Question: if, in fact, Dr. Gogue has decided to keep them, why hasn’t it been announced? What harm could it do to announce it now instead of waiting until after the Iron Bowl? Does anyone really think that such an unpopular move would be received any better AFTER the expected beatdown in Tuscaloosa? When viewed in this light, perhaps the prolonged silence from the administration is not such a bad thing. It may just be an indication that Dr. Gogue is simply telling the truth when he says he’ll evaluate everything once the season is over. Or it could be an indicator that he’s decided to make a move but just hasn’t settled on the next step yet. Chizik’s buyout supposedly declines after the season, so economics may be playing a role here too. Conclusion: as hard as it may be, especially with Kentucky and Tennessee having already pulled the trigger, we need to sit tight, be patient, and let this play out a little longer. For now, no news may in fact be good news.

  15. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Jay said -“Typically this is one of my favorite weeks of the year. Combining the Thanksgiving holiday with the Iron Bowl is heaven on earth. Food, Family and Football. It’s hard to top. This year things are different.”

    But it will still be a good week even if the game will be hard to watch.

    I’m looking forward to reading your Thanksgiving post.

  16. rn4au rn4au says:

    DBAU81 has a good point, … If this decision goes the wrong way however, please let said Auburn fan know where the angry mob plans to gather and I’ll come with my pitchfork in hand.