Is the old saying about karma true?
You must live under a rock if you don’t know about the drama unfolding on the Plains. In the blink of an eye things have gone from bad to worse. Why? Overnight there have been developments in the search for a head coach at the University of South Carolina. http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/14300307/will-muschamp-accepts-south-carolina-gamecocks-head-coaching-job-report-says
Will Muschamp, former Auburn defensive coordinator and one half of the vaunted “boom brothers,” has taken the head coaching job for the Gamecocks. The university hasn’t stated anything yet, but it would appear that the announcement is coming soon. They are working out the details of his salary.
Muschamp wasn’t the Gamecocks’ first pick. That honor went to Rich Rodriguez from Arizona. However, Muschamp soon became their primary target after Rodriguez posted his response that he was staying in Tucson.
Karma is a fickle mistress.
Going back a couple of years… it would seem that karma has played this hand before. In 2011, then Coach Gene Chizik was shaking hands and giving a hug on the side lines after the peach bowl as Gus Malzahn was leaving Auburn for a head coaching job at Arkansas State after a disappointing 8 – 5 season. Auburn was in a state of free fall.
How does it feel Jay Jacobs?
I mention the Auburn Athletic Director because some are speculating that he left again because of…. Jay Jacobs. The two just didn’t see things eye to eye even though Muschamp had a sweet deal this year and could leave any time after the 2015 season. The last time Muschamp was at Auburn he left in the middle of the night when an offer came in from Texas. This time he’s leaving out the front door with a pat on the back.
Considering that he wrote the contract for Muschamp, one would think that Jacobs could see this one coming and be prepared for it. Apparently not.
Regardless, I do wish Will Muschamp well. I don’t think he would fit in at Auburn as long as Jay Jacobs is the AD. Why? Will is a modern day “Woody Hayes”. He is a meltdown away from having an aneurysm on the field. And I think he is a guy that carries a grudge to the nth degree. Whatever Jacobs did the first time… well, Muschamp is a guy that doesn’t forget. I never thought he was the silver bullet defensive coordinator that some thought he was, anyway. But if you look at his body of work at Florida he did a fine job, and I believe that Jim McElwain owes him some respect. Perhaps what little he did at Auburn will help start the arduous process to move us back to the center on defense. Muschamp will be big competitor in the SEC and is yet another Saban disciple that will make his mark.
This takes care of a major concern that I had considering how things were going for Malzahn. I was worried that Muschamp was going to be the replacement. You know, sort of like, pardon the pun, “the coach in waiting”. Well, worry no more.
I mentioned before this happened in 2011. The rumor was that Chizik was slowing Malzahn’s offense down… and Gus didn’t like it. It resulted in his departure after three years of being on the Plains. Flash forward to present day. While everyone knew this was only a temporary arrangement from all that I have read, it appeared that the relationship between Malzahn and Muschamp was cordial. They did work well together. I think Malzahn gave Muschamp complete reign over all things defense so he could ‘focus’ on offense. The point I am trying to make is that history showed us in 2011 that the departure of the functioning offensive coordinator was the beginning of the end for head coach Gene Chizik. The question now will be – what about for Gus Malzahn, considering he knows nothing about defense?
My inclination is that we will see the same outcome. Why? Because there are other decisions that are taking place right now, and soon moving vans are going to be swarming over the Plains. Other members of the staff are in play and potentially leaving Auburn as the dog-eat-dog business of hiring new staff takes place.
Travaris Robinson, affectionately known as T Rob, will probably be leaving as well. He is the defensive back coach who came from Florida with Muschamp. Robinson is a former Auburn player. It is unclear if he will go with Muschamp or if he will take defensive coordinator job that was already offered at University of Maryland. It is being reported that Malzahn was considering him to take over the defensive coordinator job at Auburn and asked him to delay his decision pending Muschamp’s decision.
Also, Lance Thompson, Auburn’s linebacker coach, is reportedly in the mix to leave with Muschamp. All that is speculation of course. He is a difficult man to read.
And then there is the change that needs to take place on the offensive side of the ball, which we all knew needs to happen. I had speculated that we would see Rhett Lashlee leave for another job. But now, with all the movement and instability going on… I don’t know. Malzahn will probably cling to Lashlee like he is the only life preserver in the boat. That’s not good for Auburn.
And what about J.B. Grimes? The offensive line coach is about as tough as they come, and he has been an excellent influence during his time here on the Plains. Yet, he had cancer surgery back in October 2015 and is now cancer free. But his health is something that is tenuous. He is sixty years old, and this is a young man’s game.
And let’s not forget Tim Horton, the running backs coach. He recently was interviewed for the North Texas head coaching position and wasn’t selected. It is just a matter of time before he too will be leaving the Plains.
We can objectively say that the dream team that Malzahn put together is dead. For those that get overly enamored with such things, keep in mind that it didn’t work well in 2015, anyway. Perhaps this will give Malzahn the ability to put together a new staff that can get things going again?
Remember, football is a game of tempo. And right now Auburn doesn’t have any. And when there is instability at coaching… that means recruiting will also likely take a hit. That’s unfortunate because recently Auburn had recently shrugged off the effects of the 2015 season and had climbed from twenty-seventh back to eleventh in the country. Here is some more karma… with UGA firing Richt, some were speculating that Auburn would steal some of the recruits from Georgia’s cupboards. Now, with Kirby Smart being hired at Georgia… and Muschamp at South Carolina… the exact opposite might occur.
Whatever Jacobs and Malzahn do, they better do it in a hurry!
It’s funny when you think about it. A few days ago we were all concerned about whether AU would go to a bowl because the team “needed the practices”. I was screaming that we needed to focus on recruiting. Now both are in danger!
For Auburn’s sake… I hope that Jacobs and Malzahn are successful. Because if they aren’t… the results will be like *whispering* reliving the ‘Doug Barfield’ era. The next few days will be critical to Auburn’s football future and what they can legitimately hope to accomplish for the next 2 – 5 years.
Considering some of the decisions that were made on the field this season… perhaps there is still time to get season tickets to see Auburn basketball?
Comments are closed.