I Hate to Say I Told You So, but Here We Are…
For those of you who have migrated to this site, I’m back. If you don’t remember me, I am the guy that was yelling and screaming last year about how we were so poorly coached, despite our record, and that Gene Chizik was making poor decisions and that we needed to seriously reevaluate his position as the head of our football program.
I don’t look so dumb right now, do I?
We are now 1-4. We’re doing worse as a program then we have done in decades. We just lost to the most talentless, poorly coached team in the SEC. Gene Chizik is now 22-34 as head coach of teams that don’t contain Cam Newton. Maybe that guy that was yelling at Jay Jacobs at the airport, while classless, wasn’t too far off the point?
I was saying all last year that we looked terrible, especially defensively. I was screaming for Kiehl Frazier to be starting the entire second half of the season. I cursed Gene Chizik for making stupid decisions based on winning a few games NOW, instead of thinking about and preparing for the future, i.e. this year. Now, the team is paying a hefty price for his lack of foresight and leadership. Let’s face the facts: Gene Chizik has been our coach for 4 years now, and in that time, with the exception of 2010, all of our teams have looked like complete crap.
Last year we won 8 games. We should have won 4 or 5, but there was a lot of luck involved. We beat Utah State at the last second at home, after being dominated the whole game. We beat Florida in the Swamp when 2 of their 3 best players were hurt and not playing, and their only good player left completely forgot how to field punts. And we beat a superior South Carolina in Stephen Garcia’s final game before he was gone, because Steve Spurrier finally was able to admit that Connor Shaw was better, which everyone in the country seemed to see before him. This year that luck is long gone. We are so bad we haven’t even given ourselves a chance to be lucky. The ONLY win of the year has come against ULM, and it took a trick play, a hail mary, and overtime to beat them.
This is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE.
I’ve watched Gene Chizik do fantastic things with personnel and recruiting the last 4 years. He has recruited a top 15 class every single year he has been here. He stole away the Atlanta Falcons’ defensive coordinator last year. He replaced the only really poor coach on his staff, which was the secondary coach. Chizik is a fantastic program manager. He has made numerous GREAT decisions regarding the personnel of the program since day 1. He still is doing that to this day.
So why are we losing? It’s very simple. While Chizik is a phenomenal program manager, he is just a flat out terrible football coach. His decision making in regards to the games is the worst in the nation. He has no foresight. He has no ability to view the big picture. Kiehl Frazier is the primary case and point. Keeping Frazier on the bench last year was STUPID BEYOND ALL MEASURES OF STUPIDITY. Clint Mosely stunk. Frazier was by far the most talented player at the position, but he had no experience. There was only one way to get him that experience, and that was to give him the ball, say ‘this is your team’ and send him out there.
Would we have lost some games? Sure. Probably. But, we still probably would have made it to a bowl game and most importantly, FRAZIER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE RESPONSIBILITY AND GAME EXPERIENCE HE NEEDED, AND WOULD HAVE COME BACK THIS YEAR A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PLAYER THAN HE IS NOW. Frazier has spent most of this year making the mistakes that he should have been making the last half or third of last year, and had and offseason to think about them and work on them. But, because of Chizik’s stupidity and lack of foresight, he is having to go through that now, under FAR more pressure than he would have been under last year.
Before you say, “Oh but he did play last year!!!” just stop right there. He played last year in a VERY limited package a few plays a game. That’s not experience. That’s not what he needed. He needed to be ‘the man’, and told that from this point forward, it’s his team.
This season is a painful validation of everything I have been saying the last couple of years, even when we were winning. Chizik is a poor coach, and it is time for him to be fired. We will NEVER be an elite football program with him running the show. EVER. But in order to fix the program, we not only have to fire Chizik, we have to get rid of Jay Jacobs. Jacobs is responsible for hiring Chizik, despite his lack of a winning record, simply because he is an ‘Auburn Man’.
While I respect what he is trying to do, that is a foolish, starry-eyed way to run a multi-million dollar program. As long as he is doing that, we will never be successful. If we fire Chizik now, Jacobs will just hire another ‘Auburn Man’, despite his lack of qualifications and/or record, and we’ll be right back where we started. We need to hire the best, most qualified person for the job, despite his affiliations. We need Pat Dye to keep his mouth shut and his nose out of the business of the Athletic Department. Take a look at where the program is right now. The people running the show are DIRECTLY to blame for this mess.
Now are you ready for some good news? Here it is: This is NOT something that is going to take years to fix. We have all the talent in the world, we just have no leadership for them at the top. My solution? Fire Chizik, fire Loeffler, keep VanGorder, and have the new guy evaluate each assistant individually. VanGorder has done a good job this year. Our defense has shown marked improvement at times, which is more than I have seen in 4 years, including the 2010 National Champioship year. Without Chizik sticking his nose in VanGorder’s business, there is no telling how good they could be.
There is no telling how good they would have been with Ted Roof coaching them were Chizik not sticking his nose in. Loeffler, on the other hand, is HORRIBLE. He is the worst playcaller I have ever seen. Chizik made a REALLY stupid coaching decision by recruiting spread players for 4 years, then all of a sudden hiring Loeffler and deciding to move to a Pro Style offense. Did he really think that it would be successful?
It is time for a change. I wish I had been wrong, but the circumstances this year have unfortunately played out exactly as I have feared they would, and exactly like I said they would all last year. Believe me, I wish I had been wrong.
I am officially calling for a house cleaning at the top. It’s time to fire Jacobs and Chizik. No bones about it. We will never be good again until they are all gone. I love Auburn, and I want us to be the elite program we were all through the 90’s.