Entering Amen Corner – A New Hope Emerges
Hope is as scarce a resource on The Plains as uranium, but it may not be long before it can be found detonating inside Auburn’s athletic department. Rumors regarding the future of the football program have grown exponentially in prevalence over the previous few weeks, and it now appears it is only a matter of time before drastic changes are made. It is a sad ending to a story that started as well as one could ever ask for, but now it appears that the Gene Chizik era is only awaiting the final knockout blow. Something tells me Mark Richt won’t have a problem putting us out of our misery.
Georgia will travel to Jordan-Hare stadium tomorrow with the intention of making a statement. The Tigers are the only thing standing between the Bulldogs clinching a spot in the SEC championship game, and there’s more than a fair chance that Georgia will be out to humiliate us. After all, wouldn’t we offer them the same treatment if our situations were reversed? Auburn will have to have by far its best performance of the year to pull out the upset, but all signs point to this game being an exercise in futility.
Something Auburn fans do have to look forward to, however, is the play and development of freshman-quarterback, Jonathan Wallace. It took longer than many wanted, but Wallace finally got his chance last weekend in his first career start against New Mexico State. Could he be the next big thing? Despite it being against lesser competition, he was noticeably more comfortable than Clint Moseley and Kiehl Frazier. It is now clear why Loeffler pushed so hard to sign him in his first class at Auburn. It may have been better to play the kid all along, but that decision would have most likely been met with substantial criticism. However, at this point, Wallace is the new hope for Auburn football. He is the apparent leader of the ‘future’ that so many Auburn fans cling to at this point.
Jonathan Wallace represents hope to me as well, but he also represents something else. He is a shining example of Gene Chizik’s complete inability to evaluate talent at the quarterback position. Something that is absolutely unacceptable of a head coach at any level. Chizik did not want Cam initially. He decided not to fight too hard to keep Trotter after last season. He did not want to sign another quarterback when Loeffler began pursuing Wallace. Maybe it isn’t all Chizik’s fault, but with the recent staff turnover it is apparent we don’t have the right coaches in place to consistently field even an above-average quarterback. To that I say, “good-riddance.” The lack of talent development is apparent all over Auburn’s roster, but the quarterback position under Chizik is what I consider the true barometer of his head coaching abilities.