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No Doubt Changes Must be Made…..But How to Go About It?

By on October 17th, 2012 in Member Post 15 Comments »

Most of you are well aware that I have an unlimited ride pass on the ‘Fire Chizik’ bandwagon.  But a lot of recent things I have read both on here and on the rest of the blogosphere have got me thinking.   Is firing Chizik at the end of the year the right thing to do?  As the title reads, there is no doubt that the program is in shambles, and some serious changes have to be made.  But what changes?  How do we go about it?

I agree with most on here that firing Chizik mid-season would be a mistake.  It would kill recruiting and cause even more chaos among a program that is already at DefCon 1.  Chizik can and should finish out the season, no matter how bad it gets.  However, once the clock ticks down to zero after our yearly meeting with the turds, all bets are off. 

Chizik is on thin ice, most media outlets agree.  But a few of the writers on here have made very good points.  If we fire this coach 2 years after a MNC, it would set a dangerous precedent.  Our situation could be reminiscent of the revolving coordinators situation in the waning years of Tuberville’s tenure.  Another example would be the whole Tony Franklin mess, which has been mentioned more than once, although I STILL don’t necessarily blame Franklin for the problems any more than I blame Gus Malzhan for the poor offensive showing last year.  Both situations had one common denomonator:  A defensive background head coach sticking his nose where it didn’t belong.  But I digress….

Back on point.  To me, the one thing that HAS to happen at the end of this year is the firing of Jay Jacobs.  As long as JJ is the athletic director, we will continue to have the same problems.   We can fire Chizik, but if we don’t fire Jacobs, he’ll just make another Chizik-esque hire, and we’ll be right back in the same boat we’re in now.   Jacobs’ tenure as Auburn AD has seen multiple sports programs at Auburn go downhill, from football to swimming to pretty much every program at the University.  His foolish mistakes have caused problems for pretty much every coach on campus, and he has alienated many past university associations that might have been good hires.  (ahem…..Will Muschamp).  It’s not just football, folks.  Jay Jacobs was the guy that screwed up the pool length at the new aquatic center for what was at the time the best swimming program in the country, which resulted in running off the best swimming coach in the country.  The idiotic blunders that this toolbag of an AD has made over his tenure warrented his firing a long time ago, but for some reason he has managed to hold on.  This football season is just the latest example of his monumental ineptness. 

Coach Loeffler is another problem.  It is painfully obvious that he is in completely over his head.  His playcalling is among the worst I have ever seen, (and most agree), and this supposed ‘Quarterback Guru’ has failed to produce anything even remotely resembling results in our QB recruits.  Kiehl Frazier is riding the pine right now, due to his ineffectiveness this year, (although some claim he is injured), but I STILL don’t blame him.  Kiehl Frazier is a kid that is caught in a bad situation.  The coaches, namely Gene Chizik, have failed miserably to put him in a position to be successful with their short-sighted foolishness last year. 

Almost every kid that plays QB in the SEC has to go through some growing pains.  They get into the game, screw up, and learn from it.  You can practice and scrimmage until you are blue in the face, but nothing prepares you for the pressures of a game like experience.  I equate it to golf.  I carry a +1 handicap and play in USGA qualifiers all the time.  You can go out, practice y0ur tail off, play with your buddies and shoot 65 all day long, but until you actually tee it up in competition with other elite level players, you can’t understand what it feels like.  But I can tell you this:  the more you do it, the better you get.  You begin to relax.  You begin to enjoy it more.  Each time the pressure gets to be a little bit less.  Eventually you become hardened to the point to where you can play your best game in those circumstances.  There’s a reason that the top level amateurs go to PGA events and shoot 84, when they are perfectly capable of shooting 68.  It’s the same thing in football.  Nothing could have prepared Kiehl Frazier more for this year than being the man last year.  Because of Chizik’s short-sighted foolishness, he never got that chance, and his play this year is the result. 

Kiehl isn’t done.  He just needs time.  I would bet every nickel I have that he’d be a leader right now had Chizik done what he should have done last year, though.

I’m agreeing with some of the people on here.  Fire Jacobs ASAP.  The rest of this year is written off as development.   Fire or demote Loeffler now, because his failure is apparent.  Hire a new, professional, hard-nosed AD.  Have a meeting with Chizik and set goals.  At the end of next year, either those goals are met, or he’s gone.  Period. 

Do what you can to keep Brian VanGorder.  He is one of the few coaches that has done a good job.  Perhaps even firing Chizik and promoting BVG is an option.  But one thing should be completely clear:  next year there had better be results, or he’s going to be looking on CraigsList for a coaching job.






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

    So Chizik gets a temporary stay from the guillotine? Personally, I appreciate you not only listening to other opinions-but considering them.

    I quibble with having a ‘coach in waiting’ position for BVG. While he helped his alma mater (Wayne State University, 1992-1994) to their first winning season in eons back in the ’90s, he had an abysmal record his one year being head coach at Georgia Southern….so while I’m very happy that he’s our DC and hope that he stays with us for years and years, I am leery of moving him to HC…….

    • CapnVegetto says:

      Not necessarily a coach in waiting position. I was simply implying that if we dump Chizik, BVG might make a good interim guy. I want to keep him around, at least for now.

  2. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    Ok, who are you and what have you done with the Capn. I had to double check to see if this post was written by the Capn we have come to know. I totally agree with this post maybe with the exception of promoting BVG to HC. What I want is an offensive minded HC who actually calls plays. I would throw the keys to the vault to a Chip Kelly type.

    You know you have poor play calling when the OC’s name becomes an adjective. Loefflered again.

    As far as JJ goes, he has done nothing in his tenure to deserve to remain as AD.

    BTW, I envy your +1, I am now an 8, but when you play 8-10 times per year I am kind of like Frazier, not enough reps.

    • CapnVegetto says:

      I’m not against a defensive head coach at all. What we need is a good coach that will do what Chizik did the first two years: hire a great offensive coordinator and leave him the hell alone. The minute Chizik started sticking his nose in Malzhan’s business is the minute the offense went south.

      Offensive head coaches need to stay out of the defense, and vice versa. Interference is almost never a good thing.

  3. Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

    I would have to agree that Jacobs needs to go….post haste. He needs to go first and have the new guy make the decision on Chizik. That obviously doesn’t put Chzik in a comfortable position but he knows he halfway out the door already. I personally don’t think firing Chizik this year is the right thing to do, but if we can make a significant upgrade I’m all for it. I think Chizik is battling the youth and inexperience problem at several key areas (line and QB) and utter incompetence and lack of depth at linebacker.
    Speaking of which, how does Van Gorder get a pass on the rants? How do you let Ole Miss hang FORTY(??!!) on us? Van Gorder hasn’t stopped a spread based attack yet and seems incapable of getting anything but a miserable performance from Jake Holland. Holland has no excuse for playing as poorly as he does, he has as much experience as anybody on defense and he consistently looks like he doesn’t have a clue. How Frost and McKinzy haven’t taken his job is beyond me.The tackling? The soft coverages? If I didn’t know any better I’d swear Roof was still at Auburn. I don’t want to hear about Roof’s poor fundamentals…..these guys got to the SEC….they should already know how to tackle. And if they don’t it shouldn’t take too long to whip them into shape. If we were scoring any points at all I think people would be howling about Van Gorder and not Loeffler, but Loeffler has taken failure to Franklinesque levels so I can see why he looks good in comparison.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      I hear ya. For me it’s a fatigue issue. Once I run down all that sucks about the offense, I just run out of energy for the defense. Plus, I’ve seen some improvement on D…..there needs to be a lot more, but at least I don’t cringe every time they run on the field. My optimism for the offense has been Loefflered.

    • CapnVegetto says:

      I totally agree about JJ. About Chizik I’m beginning to come around, too. If we have a chance to get a bigtime coach, dump him in a second. But if we don’t get a good, big name guy, keep him for 1 more year. Chizik is halfway out the door and he knows it. You simply can’t have this much talent and have this poor a record. It’s that simple.

      BVG is in his first year, and he’s having to uncoach a bunch of terrible crap that wasn’t entirely Roof’s fault. The defense still looks soft because of Chizik’s influence. I said last year that our defense will always be bad as long as Chizik is in charge. Roof is at Penn State this year, and he has them at 4-2, in the top third in the country in both pass and rush defense. (38th and 36th respectively). Not bad for a team whose last defensive coordinator was a disgusting pedophile and will be dealing with the consequences for a long time now.

      I don’t think that BVG is the problem, I still say Chizik is the problem. I honestly think we’d have been more successful with Roof had Chizik stayed the hell out of his way and let him blitz like he wanted to. (Look at Roof’s M.O. at UCF and Minnesota).

      Bottom line, the problem is Chizik. He’s the boss, and the buck stops with him. If he gets another year he is incredibly lucky. The only reason I’d even consider keeping him another year is for continuity and recruiting, in addition to giving us a chance to dump Jay Jacobs. Chizik is a terrible coach. The results of the last few years and the case and point of that. No doubt it’s time to dump him, the only question is how to go about it.

      • Greytornado says:

        I have to agree that Chizik must have a hand in both the defense and offense. At times this year I’ve thought how in the crap can Van Gorder be doing that? BVG has done a decent job at times but even with lacking LB’s, our D-Line was supposed to dominate and be deep. Like others have said we’ve recruited well also. On the other hand I have to think that Malzahn was throttled even in the National Championship year. Watch what he does at Arkansas State.

  4. kjl131313 says:

    My only question is who would wan to come in to be OC for maybe just a year. No one good.

    • CapnVegetto says:

      Nobody. LOL. But pretty much anybody would be better the Loefller. Hell, let me call plays.

      I guess we could give Luper a shot, but I cringe as I have flashbacks of the Hugh Nall debacle.

  5. tylerj19 says:

    I absolutely agree about Jacobs… I’m undecided about Chizik…. As I stated before the blog moved, I’m an Auburn grad who happens to be a Bama fan. As such, I’m pulling for Auburn in every game but one, so I have interest in them succeeding. I remember the days when Auburn and Alabama were both in the regionals every year in baseball, and miss those sincerely. While I realize that football is the cash cow in this state, Jacobs is responsible for every sport, and I feel he has utterly failed in his job.

  6. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Foster to freeze out Auburn? Speaking of de-commitments, I don’t think Reuben Foster is close to doing so with Auburn just yet, but anyone who thinks a tattoo is going to keep him in the fold is delusional. Tattoos can be erased or altered and I think Foster’s will be if Auburn fires Gene Chizik. The nation’s No. 2 player just took a visit to LSU and the spin on it was that he was there to see a former teammate, but there’s no way he wasn’t impressed with what he saw from the Tigers. The more Auburn loses and the hotter the seat becomes for Chizik, the more Foster will be taking visits.

    Read more:

    NEXT comment on why leaving Chizik is going to HELP AU??


    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Well, it begins. We lost our first recruit. TE Arshad Jackson. is reporting this.

      Ok. Here we go.

      Why do we want to keep him again?

      I mean the recruits he has gotten have proven to be a bust. It’s either that or he has FAILED to coach them up. Take your pick.

      I love how some folks seem to think that Chizik must stay this year so we get our haul. Like Rueben Foster is a guy that will even play a down at Auburn.

      Sometimes you gotta fold and start from scratch. Thinking you can salvage something might mean it cost more than doing it the right way from the start. AU must make a decision and soon!


      • CapnVegetto says:

        Problem is, a case could be made that Chizik’s uncertain future might be a reason that recruits are decommitting.

        Of course, they’re high school kids, so you can hardly blame them for changing their mind. I was the biggest idiot on the planet when I was in high school. Now I’m just the biggest idiot in the state.

        Point is, Chizik may be a crappy coach, but he is a master at fostering relationships with recruits and getting them to commit to HIM, not just Auburn. Sure, we have lost some, but Chizik has done a fantastic job with recruiting because of his ability to make kids like and trust him. Only problem is, once he gets them, he can’t coach them.

        Root problem is still there. Jay Jacobs has to go. As far a Chizik, we have to wait until the end of the year. The cries will get much louder if we lose to Vandy tomorrow, though.