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Time to Circle the Wagons

By on November 24th, 2012 in Football 27 Comments »

Everyone knew it was coming. Auburn fans had weeks to prepare. Still, witnessing the complete destruction of the Auburn football program at the hands of Alabama was shocking on many levels.

Today’s loss was far worse than anyone could have imagined. The 49-0 score was not a surprise. The fact that Nick Saban could have scored 149 points if he chose was a sobering reality check for all Auburn people.

This football program is beyond broken.

It’s not hyperbole to say that this is Auburn’s darkest hour. This team will not be fixed in a year. The scars are way too deep. A quick look at the numbers show just how big a problem Auburn’s next coach inherits.

They have been outscored by their two biggest rivals 87-0 this season. Add in last season’s games and that number goes to 171-21. In the last 16 quarters against Alabama and Georgia, Auburn has scored just one offensive touchdown. And to think, both teams pulled their starters at the beginning of the third quarter in consecutive years.

So now we wait.

Gene Chizik’s termination window is officially open. He could be released tonight, tomorrow or next week. It doesn’t matter. Auburn is now faced with the biggest decision in the football program’s history.

Does Jay Jacobs remain as athletic director? If so, where does he turn to find a new coach? Who will be involved in the decision making? This will not be a run of the mill hire. Auburn’s new leader will face obstacles never encountered by an Auburn coach.

He’ll be required to right a ship that’s sunk, while at the same time competing against a juggernaut to the north that is threatening to eclipse the accomplishments of Bear Bryant. And he will be expected to perform immediately.

It will be a tall task for Auburn leaders to find the right person; and they must thread the needle on this choice. If they fail, Auburn’s position in the SEC will be threatened. Call me melodramatic, but the stakes are that high.

Regardless of our feelings and opinions, Auburn people must rally around each other and its new coach. We may not all agree on the choice, but we sure as hell better support him.

Auburn football is not life or death, but it can feel damn close.


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

    Damn straight! War Eagle!

    But man, I hope that they get the ‘right’ guy…….David shaw David shaw David shaw……..

    Honestly, anyone (not named Petrino) who would take this job right now is admirable and deserves our support.

    • pushinwithrope says:

      Doubt a coach at his alma mater with ZERO pressure gonna sign up for our cooker that kills careers

  2. pushinwithrope says:

    The firing parts easy because its obvious. The next hire , considering that any coach who doesn’t want to commit career suicide isn’t coming, will be the toughest part of all. If au decision makers have done any looking to tomorrow , they may know that no upgrade available is coming. I have to believe that objective coaches are saying to themselves “auburn not as talent filled as auburn thinks it is”. But my one advice to new guy, RENT your house !

    • tigerpaw75 says:

      There has to be something to the talent thing. You would think that if all the recruiting rankings were correct we’d see a good percentage of our guys breaking through and becoming above average players…but you don’t see that. Our Feb 2010 recruits like Jeffery Whitaker and Ken Carter haven’t improved much at all. Lemonier seems he’s regressed this season.

  3. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    Great article! I am embarassed for the Auburn football program tonight. I see no fight left in Chizik and I think that he will be relieved when he does make his exit. It is obvious that Auburn’s football team will need a complete overhaul after this season.

  4. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    This was the most disgusting performance from an Auburn football team that I have ever witnessed. 49-0. It could have easily been 56-0. It was like bama just lost its taste for our misery. Normally – they would have run it up more. I actually predicted 63-0.

    This wasn’t a game. It was an execution. My only hope it was done quickly. Why you ask?

    The post game interviews tell the tale:

    Chizlips says “there is no excuse”. That’s right pretender… there is no excuse.

    Interestingly… the players say “there is no excuse and that they must learn from this”….

    This team is apathetic. They had no fire. They had no fight. Chizik has ruined this team and its players by allowing them do what they want and make excuses. The players mimic the coaching staff in word and deed. Every coach with the exception of Boulware… should be fired tonight!

    No one is in charge. There is no leadership. Not from the head coach earning $3.5M a year…. not from anyone in the senior class. I attribute this mess directly to Gene Chizik.

    Auburn’s football team will be down for a decade (much like with Doug Barfield). I know before I said that Auburn would be down for five years… but with no leadership from Jay Gouge… I fear the worse. It was funny sort of when I said it a few weeks ago… some of you scoffed at me. Might want to get out your calendars to see when that will be.

    God help Auburn. God help us all.

    This is a black day in Auburn history…


    • Todd92 Todd92 says:

      Auburns football program will be down for how long? Lol, War Eagle, the sun will rise and so will AU football.

  5. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    A rivalry game should be like the one being played right now between Clemson and SC. These two teams are laying it on the line. Does anyone still consider Bama or UGA to be a rival after these recent beatings?

  6. AU6 AU6 says:

    Sad. Now we see who the real Auburn men and women are. We are at the absolute perigee of our trip across the football heavens which means that whatever happens next we will see improvement. Our mother, our Auburn is injured and we must aid her. War Eagle!

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      No, sad is losing to your in-state rival when you actually compete. Disgusting is losing to them 49-0 and then saying that you can tell “who the real Auburn men and women are…”

      I seriously doubt it.


  7. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    I’ve never been more disappointed in an Auburn team in my life. Maybe the fanbase can finally get off the idea that it’s the stars in front of a recruit’s name that make him the best fit for a program. Johnny Manziel was a 3 star. Like Herb Brooks said in the movie Miracle: “I’m not lookin for the best players, I’m lookin for the right ones.” You newbies on the AU bandwagon need to leave coaches like Pat Dye and Tommy Tubberville alone.

  8. Atmore Tiger Atmore says:

    What are the chances we can land someone like Rich Rodriguez?

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      Richie Rod would be a great choice. He knows how to build a team and do a lot with less stars. That would go a long way in the first few years and towards building sustained success.

  9. AU74 says:

    Sonny or Gus….we need an offense to keep up with our awful defense.

    • restless6 says:

      Sonny or Gus?

      I imagine recruits will be lining up to choose AU over UAT, GA, LSU, FLA, etc

      Fixng the offense is but a small

  10. restless6 says:

    plug in a dam with major leaks. The program needs a big personality AKA Bobby Petrino now.

    A mild mannered approach isn’t working.

  11. almightytmc1 says:

    Malzahn. no. His wife is a bit of a Kook.
    Gruden. Probably not.
    Petrino. Hell no.
    Patterson. Possible with a lot of money.
    Dykes. Perhaps. Welcome back Coach Franklin (With the patented, Coach Tony Franklin System.)
    Jeez the list of names is kinda anorexicaly thin.
    1st. Jacobs has to go.
    2nd The new AD has to be hard working and tenacious. And willing to gamble. Mostly he will have to dig hard and spend countless time searching (yes actually searching for the right person and not phoning it in or taking his cue from Pat Dye.)
    3rd. The Right Candidate cannot be an Auburn Man. Sorry, but Auburn Men have loyalties and those loyalties can resort to favoritism. The right candidate has to be someone who is either autonomous, or just doesnt give a s**t about the politics of who’s who in Auburn. Ideally this man needs to be physicallyimposing and kinda scary (like Pat Dye was back in the day.)
    5. Dont get a trendy name. Dont get a visionary, Dont get a politician. Get someone who is a tough sumbitch. and things will get better sooner rather than later .
    Either that or buy Mike Leach and then pay the best defensive coordinator in the country a million a year.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Well. I can name one who is a tough sumbitch. Some say he is the best coach in the land… at this point, I happen to agree.

      Already leading 42-0 in the 4th qtr he was yelling at his second and third teams when they failed to get first downs against the AU defense. Who am I talking about?

      Nick Saban.

      And no, I don’t want him exactly. But I want someone similar to him – that can make a team toe the line. That can explain in a way so they understand their future is at stake. He thinks, eats, drinks, and sleeps on football.

      We don’t need someone like Chizlips who takes the team bowling…. Bowling? Does that somehow transend into football on how to block, tackle and execute plays? I think not. And it showed big time.


  12. almightytmc1 says:

    Atmore has a good idea. But Rich Rod. You have an abundance of spread personel. And then spend a mil a year on the best DC in the country. (Maybe more if necessary. )

  13. almightytmc1 says:

    BTW Jay. Its a great article. I am a fulltime Bama fan. After watching the game today, I would like to suggest another idea. Instead of circling the wagons, run the d*mn things over the coaching staff and then back the wagons up and do it again. I love to win but today was a f*cking abomination for an Iron bowl. Nick Saban for being the jerk some think he is was very very generous today. Why? Because the Auburn coaching staff has spent months doing Jack sh*t for coaching. It is evident that Auburn has talent. You can see the size,speed and intensity(sometimes() They just dont have a coach who is fit to lead them out of the tunnel.

  14. restless6 says:

    AU needs a new strength and conditioning program in the worst way, too.

    AU needs a QB coach that can recruit and develop QBs. One of the biggest problems is the lack of continuity and development of QBs. They are light years behind the rivals.

    They need smarter defensive players. Other teams in the conference play complex defenses. It’s ridiculous that the AU players cannot grasp BVGs scheme.

    WR development and DB development. Another hole. The DBs have sucked for years. They give up big play and underneath routes like a JV team.

    There are a helluva lot more issues than the offense. Then, you have the McWhorter and Dye mafia to contend with.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      I like Boulware.

      But he is the ONLY coach on that team that has consistently performed at his job.

      I would hope he got hired by the new guy IF Dr. Gouge does what needs to be done.

      The rest of them… especially Mike Pelton, need to hit the bricks. I am glad Mike is an Alum. And I am glad he played for AU. But he can’t coach. Our defensive line has stunk all year long. And I hold him responsible.

      Additionally… the new coach is going to come in hard and lay down the law. And he should. Chizik has pacified this team (or in other words ruined them)… like a baby needing a bottle or a blanket. They have forgotten about football and the sacrifice it takes to play the game. My guess is that whoever comes in you can look for over half of this team to transfer.

      My comment? Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

      Five year minimum.

      That is what its going to take to get back to a competitive level.


  15. freddy007 freddy007 says:

    I would agree that we must all rally around the new head coach. But, I will not rally around Jay Jacobs and keeping him is just insane.

  16. restless6 says:

    5 years. I hope not. Brian Kelly turned ND around fairly quickly as did Nick Saban at teabagtown.

    The right coach can do this at Auburn. Notice how the two examples above are take charge, aggressive personalities? That is what Auburn needs. They need an ass kicker not a buddy.

  17. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I think 5 years is way too long, with what we’ve got already on the roster. We need linebackers, but I think McKinzy and Frost have all the talent in the world. I remember in 1993 Wayne Hall put a solid defense out there with true sophomore Anthony Harris on one side, true sophomore Terry Solomon on the other, and sophomore walking Jason Miska in the middle. It can be done. We HAVE to get better D-line play, though.

  18. RivalFan says:

    No program enjoys success every year, but the mark of a great program is that when it hits bottom, it doesn’t stay there. Look at Notre Dame right now. They have one of the most storied traditions in football, but for most of the past two decades they have been totally irrelevant — and now they’re back in the championship picture. The same thing has happened with other great programs — Oklahoma, Texas, U$C, Michigan, LSU, and yes, Alabama. All have been really good, then really bad, then really good again — several times. Well, Auburn also has a great program and good times will return, then bad times again, then good times, just like always. It only FEELS like whatever is happening now will keep happening forever.

    Yes, you have to have a new coach. It’s nice for players to speak up on his behalf, but at some level they can’t believe it. Mike Shula is a nice guy, but he taught players how to lose; he taught them that if a game was in question late, it was hopeless. The same thing happened with Derek Dooley. No matter who the new coach is, he will need a few years just to have a team that no longer remembers going 3-9 and can believe they are bulletproof.

    Gus Malzahn would seem to me to be the obvious choice. The Sun Belt is better than a lot of people realize — at least as good as the rapidly disintegrating Big East — and he’s taken Arkansas State to a share of their championship. Another good choice would be Dan Mullen. Auburn has a more glorious tradition and better facilities than Mississippi State; if he can lead the Bulldogs consistently to winning seasons, he could keep the Tigers consistently in the championship picture. Charlie Strong would work, too, but I hear he’s headed for Arkansas. After those, most options are either of unknown quality or unlikely to take the job.