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I Hate to Say I Told You So, but Here We Are…

By on October 10th, 2012 in Football, Member Post 27 Comments »

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.

War Eagle! 

27 Comments

  1. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    At least we never have to read between the lines with you…

    I will quibble with you calling Arky ‘talentless’. They have loads of talent-which is why they were still picked to finish near the top in the SEC West. No one could have imagined just how badly John L. Smith would run this team. He just needed to be a figure head and allow the staff to do their jobs and run their schemes. That’s it.

    The fact that we were blown out by the John L. Smith-coached team AT HOME (!), speaks volumes to how far we have dropped. No offense to the Razorbacks out there….

    • CapnVegetto says:

      True, at least on the offensive side of the ball.

      Defensively, though, Arky is talentless. They are TERRIBLE. We are just worse.

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I don’t see firing anyone midseason. But if we show no ability to adapt to the horror this season’s become, then changes should be made in December. It hasn’t been worth a flip this season, but I say see how it plays out in October and November. If we go 3-9, yeah. It’s time to cut our losses. We sure don’t want a lost year like Ole Miss had in 2011 hanging onto Houston Nutt.

    • CapnVegetto says:

      Agree. Won’t happen midseason. If he somehow pulls off a miracle and beats Bama, he might even save his job, which in my opinion would be major stupid. You can’t win one game, lose everything else and expect that one win to make everything OK. The direction of the program is at stake here, and it is far more important than just one game.

      Bear in mind, I’m basing my opinion on his ENTIRE body of work at Auburn, including 2010. The program has been going backwards ever since he has been in charge. Yes, I know we won a BCSNC, but again, that one year does not excuse the other 3 years of being mediocre to terrible.

      It’s time for him to go. End of the year should be bye bye Chizik. But more importantly, bye bye Jay Jacobs.

  3. AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

    Welcome back Capn’

  4. autigrman says:

    Hate to end the love fest for capnvegetto….

    You rant an opinion but have no football skills or facts…TOTM pointed out your mistake with Arky and talentless…if you had commented about pulling Kiehl Frazier after a 9 for 14 first half with multiple receivers catching balls and a pointless single interception thrown I would agree with you about the Chizik…but again you provide negative invective about the staff instead of asking the questions like – is Kiehl capable of changing to pro set? How were we to know last year that we would have to deal with Malzahn leaving and a change in offensive philosophies -and thus start Kiehl? Did you notice that we had four sacks In The first half and four sacks in the second half? Prob not the Qb…maybe we should look elsewhere? Why have we forgotten that we have several freshman on the OL? We think cam was the only savior of 2010 but we seem to forget the quality of our line that year. BTW that’s both offensive and defensive. So rant like you have but I for one will refrain from reading your useless commentary until they are backed by hard football sense.

    • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

      Here, here.
      With emphasis on “Useless”

    • Jay Coulter Jay Coulter says:

      Excellent points. Not enough has been made about why Frazier was pulled at the half. He was improving in spots. I believe Chizik felt the pressure to do something – anything at the half. It’s just a giant mess right now. Again, good points. I rarely agree with everything the Capt says, but I do appreciate his passion for Auburn.

      • tigertracker says:

        Not arguing one side or the other but I’m just fed up in general classifying the types of athletes needed to run a “system”. If we were running Gus offense would Frazier be expected to throw the ball? Of course he would just like Todd, cam, and trotter. It’s freaking football people. That’s what our guys have lost sight of. The fundamentals don’t change regardless of system and at the root of all that you have to execute and often times physically overpower the man across from you and that is what we are failing at. So Coach go make them eat briars, sleep on barb wire, take away the iphone or whatever you must to PISS THEM OFF so they’ll take it out on the guy opposite them. Hell make them watch “the waterboy!”
        From what I can tell chiz hasn’t stuck his nose into anything enough and hopefully he is correcting that now though probably too late.

        • CapnVegetto says:

          I would say that a mobile QB can play in a pro style offense, but a pocket passer has far more trouble running a spread, running type of Cam Newton offense. Remember Chris Todd trying to run the zone read? It was comical. Did anybody REALLY believe that Chris Todd was a running threat? Or Clint Mosely? Or Barrett Trotter? Defenses could easily zero in on the RB because they KNEW that even if the QB took off, he wouldn’t get far.

          Malzhan’s offense, IMO, requires a mobile QB, otherwise you are hamstringing yourself in a large number of plays. The zone read, which is a bread and butter running play of the spread, is darn near worthless unless the defense believes that the QB can hurt them with his legs. On the other hand though, a mobile QB is perfectly capable of operating in from the pocket in a pro style offense, with their mobility being an added bonus. Just look at the success RG3 is having in Washington right now. I honestly think he can be great, but running QB’s never last long in the NFL because the human body can only take so many hits from guys like Ray Lewis. RG3 just had his second concussion last week, and at some point, he’ll probably get hurt just like Michael Vick did.

          But at the end of the day, you are right. You can either read defenses or you can’t. And fundamentals don’t change.

    • CapnVegetto says:

      Boy I have lots to say about this.

      Arky IS talentless, at least on the defensive side of the ball. Take a look at their recruitment rankings the last few years, especially defensively, and compare them with the rest of the SEC and the nation. The numbers speak for themselves.

      Is Kiehl capable of changing to a pro set? Maybe, but we’ll never know. Because of Chizik’s poor decision making last year he is so far behind the 8 ball he may never catch up. About 60% of the QB position is between the ears, and with Kiehl making the ‘new starter’ mistakes he should have been making last year, not having a whole summer and spring practice to think about them and work on them, on top of learning a whole new offense with new terminology and a completely different philosopy, the truth is we’ll probably never know if he was/is capable. Time may tell on that, but I can guarantee you he’d be a lot further along had Chizik taken a step back and looked at the big picture last year. Malzhan leaving and the changing of styles had nothing to do with it. He should have been in the game, gaining the game experience, and leading the team, and NO, I am NOT talking about the severely limited playing time under a specifically controlled environment he got last year.

      The sacks in the game were again a fault of Chizik not PLAYING those talented offensive linemen last year and getting them the GAME experience that they needed so they would be more prepared for THIS YEAR. Quite a few of those guys were around last year, and were redshirted despite being far more talented then the crop that was playing. Even if they weren’t starting, getting them in the rotation would have gotten them the valuable experience that only playing in a real game in the SEC can give them. Next.

      Cam was the PRIMARY savior of 2010. He is probably the greatest college football player of all time. Yes, we had probably the best defensive front 4 in football that year, but every time Chizik/Malzhan made a bad call, Cam would bail them out. Go back and watch the film.

      I realize that you are a Chizik apologist and that he can do no wrong, but his coaching decisions have been extremely poor, and if you’ll care to look around, a lot of major media outlets agree with me as far as him being on the hot seat. In the meantime, try taking your blinders off and getting some ‘hard football sense’ of your own, because all of your points fail the litmus test of reality by a large margin. We are EXACTLY where I said we would be last year if you care to go back and read any of my ‘useless commentary’. If that doesn’t count as ‘hard football sense’ in your book, perhaps you need to find a new one.

    • CapnVegetto says:

      For some reason the reply went further down.

      I dunno.

  5. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    Like TOTM said, no one has to guess where you stand. Question for you Capn…since you are the official spokesman for the “Fire Chizik” party, who would you hire as head coach and OC?

    • sparkey sparkey says:

      If I may chime in with my own choice…

      Gus Malzahn as our new HC and he bring Lashlee with him or make Luper his OC. From there move Thigpen into Lolley’s position and tell Lolley thank you for time here. Move to Pelton to coaching the defensive ends, if you look at his career he has always had stellar defensive end play but rarely have his tackles been great or fire him completely leave it up to him. Hire Panagos to handle the tackles and the defensive line as a whole and let Van Gorder coach the linebackers. If any of these moves are made, Auburn would have a much better season in 2013 regardless of schedule.

    • CapnVegetto says:

      Good question. Depends on who is available at year’s end. I think that’s a bridge we’ll have to cross when we come to it.

      I know there are a lot of Bobby Petrino rumors swirling around, but I’m just not sure that’s a good idea. Petrino is a brilliant offensive mind, one of the best in football, but he is an abysmal failure at cultivating good relationships with his players, which greatly hurts recruting. Reference my post earlier and look at Arkansas’s recruiting rank the last few years as a case and point. Petrino was able to get monumentally great performances out of mediocre at best recruiting classes because of his brilliance at coaching, but he was never able to put Arky over the top because of his inability to get the top talent to come there. Could that change at Auburn? It is a distinct possibility, but it’s a big question mark to say the least.

      Arky this year is a prime example. They lost quite a few players, sure, but they still had some relatively good talent on the offensive side of the ball plus Arky’s first all SEC QB in decades, and they can’t do anything because Bobby Petrino is no longer calling the plays. It is a BIG difference.

  6. t_roydon1973 says:

    IN CASE YOU WEREN’T WATCHING CLOSELY,KEIHL CAN’T READ A DEFENSE FROM THE SHOTGUN,EITHER.JUST SAYING.

    • CapnVegetto says:

      Not arguing that at all. The question is, would he be better at it if he’d had the chance to learn it in some real game experience last year?

      We’ll never know.

      I don’t fault Kiehl. I fault the coaches for not putting him in the best position to succeed. He may have been better, he may not have been. But the point is, Chizik screwed up last year by not thinking about the future and only thinking about right then. To me, that is unforgivable.

  7. sparkey sparkey says:

    Hell, they should hire me as the AD. You guys can laugh at me for saying that, but I would bring success to Auburn in all sports because I would research, study, and I wouldn’t care if they had previous ties with Auburn. Furthermore, I’d hire the coaches and let them do what they do and stay out of it. Plus, I’d constantly be looking on how to improve each and every sports program at Auburn. Hell guys, even our swimming program has fallen from its incredibly high perch. I find the job performance of one Jay Jacobs unacceptable. There are better AD’s out there. There has to be better AD’s out there somewhere right?

    • CapnVegetto says:

      Damn skippy. Couldn’t agree more. Jay Jacobs is grossly incompetent, and has been for years. We have to get rid of him before any real changes can occur.

  8. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    The snow ball is rolling. You are right about that.

    I think because of the performance (or lack thereof) this season it has called into question what you mentioned above.

    How well AU does this weekend and next will, I think, determine the job futures of not only Gene Chizik… but Jay Jacobs too.

    It’s a shame really.

    But it was obvious from the first game to the next. AU hasn’t improved. ANY! It’s gotten worse each game. I realize I am speculating… but I think these kids have given up.

    The clincher to the prediction above is IF AU goes into BDS this year at 2-9 or 3-8 and gets pummled by bama 45-0. If that happens… the party is over. If I were a coach at AU… I’d be getting my resume in order.

    The only good news here is that it always get’s darkest before the dawn…. the sun will come up. Auburn will still be around. And for the record, I never give up on Auburn.

    WDE

  9. KevinATL KevinATL says:

    Ugh. I see no way to win in this situation. I hate to be negative, but this is a lose/lose.
    Fire a guy who won an NC two years ago? Pay him 7 million? Aren’t we still paying for Tubberville?

    And who exactly will we hire? Who are the big coaches willing to walk into a job with a history like AU. I hate to say it, but we are becoming a joke when it comes to coaches. Bowden, Tubberville, Jetgate, etc. Some people are seriously talking about Patrino? I mean, seriously. Who would want to work somewhere that a National Championship does not even buy you two years of job security?

    Two things need to happen very soon. 1. Fire the OC. 2. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE have Pat Dye shut the heck up. I am sick and tired of his stupid senile comments. He is a joke, and he makes AU look like a joke. He is a living breathing example of the “good ole boy” AU curse. He seriously said that he would rather have 10 Chiziks than 1 Saban. What a fool. He makes our suffering much worse. PLEASE PAT DYE….GO HOME!

  10. CapnVegetto says:

    Fire Jacobs, Fire Chizik, Fire Loeffler. The rest of the staff gets evaluated by the new guy.

    I cannot BELIEVE that there are still people defending this performance! There are STILL people saying ‘but he won the national championship 2 years ago!!’

    My GOD, how much worse do we have to get before you people wake up and see what the rest of us have been seeing every year we haven’t had Cam Newton. Chizik CAN’T COACH. Every team he has fielded, with the exception of 2010, has looked TERRIBLE. And in 2010, we won several games we shouldn’t have because of Cam bailing them out. Remember how bad our pass defense was that year? What was our defensive ranking that year? What was out pass defense ranking? We won in SPITE of that, not because of that.

    This is not about 1 year. It is NOT about 1-5 THIS YEAR. This is about the complete lack of improvement, and the inability of this coach to consistently win and be competitive with top 10 talent. Last year we were 8-5. Forget about the three lucky wins that we shouldn’t have had. Were we even competitive against ANYBODY that was any good? Did we even give them a game? NO.

    Fire Chizik now. Fire Jacobs now. GET RID OF THEM AND START OVER.

  11. Lawnboy says:

    It’s time for the team ie players & staff mans up and try to finish this year ! ,

  12. DBAU81 says:

    We have to finish this year as best we can. Then, the president and the Board of Trustees must step up and assert their authority by:

    1. Firing Jacobs (not just because of football, but because of the sorry state of all our major programs) and hiring a competent athletic director to take his place.

    2. Eliminating whatever influence (I would call it meddling) that Pat Dye continues to assert over the program. His name is on the stadium, and deservedly so, but that should be enough. No self-respecting coach will take the job with him continuing to prowl the hallways of the athletic department.

    3. Firing Chizik. I don’t know who the replacement should be, but in my opinion all the talk about Petrino is nonsense.

    I’ve seen a lot of wild things with Auburn football over the years, but the current situation is just surreal. While I personally like Chizik, he has done less with more talent than any coach in our history, and I see no indication that he is capable of leading us out of the abyss. Make no mistake – it is going to be a long, hard road back, but the sooner we get started, the better. The university, the fans, and the current players deserve no less.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      The idea of Pat Dye having any input to Auburn football today stops at the field that bears his name. He has no authority at Auburn – in any capacity. He is now classified as a “FORMER” football coach and serves in an entertainment capacity.

      Getting him to shut up would be like…. asking people to not write in the blog.

      WDE