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Upon Further Review: You’ve Been Gus’d

By on September 18th, 2018 in Football 54 Comments »

The home Tigers were a two-score favorite, a national contender, had a 13-game home winning streak and were hosting an LSU team that had looked shaky in all the right places. The national perception was that this was a Granada game for Auburn.

Although LSU was the No. 12 team in the nation, pundits saw it as an almost an unwinnable game for LSU as the Bayou Bengals were 10.5 point underdogs. After all, Gus Malzahn was a lot more respected than coach Ed Orgeron, Jarrett Stidham was perceived as a top-tier talent at quarterback, and CBS sportscaster Brad Nessler said, “I’m not trying to put Joe Burrow down, but when I watch film of LSU, I see Danny Etling with a different number. It’s just another Ohio State transfer that can kind of manage the game.” LSU had no Leonard Fournette or Derrius Guice, just some upperclassman who had waited around long enough. LSU 22, Auburn 21. And LSU pulled it off because Gus Malzahn was being Gus Malzahn. He Gus’d it. Again. 

There has been a lot piling on of the refs.

They sure earned it. The referees single-handedly kept LSU in the game, late, against Auburn. By now, almost everyone in the country has heard the diatribe laid down by Auburn’s own Rod Bramblett and Stan White. Hearing Stan White be a homer isn’t something new as Stan is quick to live up to his job as the color commentator. However, what was new was to hear Bramblett share in the referee bashing that extended for around two minutes leading into and past the game-winning kick and survived a media timeout.

Rod is one of the finest and most professional play-by-play analysts in the college sports and not just because of his ability to call games but to be extremely even-handed at doing so. Rod doesn’t do a lot of bashing, but he did Saturday as the LSU Tigers came into Jordan-Hare and beat the Auburn Tigers. 

Rod and Stan weren’t out of line. The calls were bad. There were over 200 yards of penalties in this contest, and even though it is easy to point to the last penalty of the game against Jamel Dean and then recount how LSU had a total of six third down conversions by Auburn penalties, LSU had just as many penalties (9) as Auburn, with just a little less yardage (91 to 111).

Auburn fans can’t really blame the refs for all the penalties or truly blame them for the Auburn loss, although the last penalty was certainly out of line and set up the field goal. The refs dictated the game on both sides. It just happened that the timing of the last penalty will be remembered. 

But, refs didn’t give the game away.

Gus Malzahn did. There is a saying that I have stolen, or adopted, or maybe I just made up for my travel softball teams: You can out-hit bad defense, but you can’t out-defense bad hitting. Follow me here, because I know I just crossed multiple sports. The gist of that saying is that you can outscore your bad defense, but your defense can’t outscore your bad offense. See Saturday’s latest example. But wait. Isn’t offense a Gus Malzahn thing? Isn’t he an “offensive guru?” It sure didn’t look like it Saturday. 

Here is the top-level view.

The 49-million-dollar man has lost a game in September every year and has six total wins against LSU, Georgia, and Alabama. Six. He is in his sixth year. That’s right. He is getting just one win a year against the three main Auburn rivals, although I realize he hasn’t played UGA and Bama this year. His two wins against LSU have been at home, so this loss is a new low for this series that somehow feels worse than last year’s debacle that saw Auburn lay an egg in the second half against LSU in Baton Rouge after putting up a 20–0 lead in the first half. This year Auburn held a shaky 14–10 lead at half before almost immediately putting up another touchdown to take a 21–13 lead into the fourth quarter. It was another second half meltdown that is becoming the norm for Auburn, just as beating bad SEC teams by a lot of points has become the norm for Malzahn. Under Gus, the Auburn offense has been completely inept the second half in games when Auburn had the lead going into the second half. A tailgating friend of mine said some of the truest words I’ve ever heard, as it pertains to Malzahn: “I’d rather be down three touchdowns at half than be up three touchdowns with Gus.”

Let’s look at some specifics. 

There isn’t a fan of football that doesn’t know “you take points in the first half.” Instead, Auburn lined up for 4th-and-one on the LSU 17 in the first quarter where Boobee Whitlow was stuffed for a two-yard loss. It wasn’t even close. The LSU defensive line blew through Auburn’s offensive line. “Everyone just relaxed,” Tega Wanogho said. “When you’re playing a good football team, you can’t do that. That’s on us. At the end of the day, that’s on us.” Think about this quote from a veteran. How is this even possible? 

Auburn’s offensive line didn’t look the part of a contender,  especially in the second half. LSU brought more than four rushers just one time all game and somehow owned the line. Center Kaleb Kim wasn’t just dominated, he compounded whiffing on his blocks by dragging down the defender twice. The pieces along the offensive line will continue to move as they have every year under Malzahn.

Kam Martin entered the season as the number-one back. He took the lion’s share of work in the spring and the fall and was named as the bell cow multiple times by Malzahn. Yet, anyone that had watched Martin play knew his strengths and his weaknesses. Being a 20+ carry bell cow was not one of those strengths. Martin had two carries for four yards against LSU. Again, another trend under Malzahn is going a quarter of the year while not featuring the better power back. Shaun Shivers began the season buried on the depth chart. He was the clear-cut number-two back by game four. 

Joe Burrow didn’t exactly light it up on the scoreboard, and his completion percentage was pretty putrid. Yet, the transfer from Ohio State looked more like a top draft pick than Jarrett Stidham did. Burrow didn’t turn the ball over, and he was flawless when it mattered, no more so than the 4th-and-seven strike he fired to move the chains in LSU’s last possession. His touchdown toss to Derrick Dillon was inches from being picked off, except that it wasn’t, and it turned the tide for the Tigers in yellow and purple.

Stidham opened the game with a second play interception that set up LSU’s first score. He gave another one away in the third quarter. After three games, he has just three touchdown passes and two interceptions. For comparison, Sean White started out 2016 with 510 yards, three TD’s and one interception. Stidham currently has a 584–3–2 line. Certainly play calling and protection were an issue, but Stidham hasn’t looked like a first-round NFL pick. 

Receivers haven’t helped Stidham much.

The dropsies showed up again Saturday with even Ryan Davis, the unquestioned leader of the receivers, dropping passes. Auburn has a receiver corps full of upperclassmen, but true freshmen Anthony Schwartz and Seth Williams are No. 2 and No. 5 in total catches. Their performances have opened far more eyes than the veterans. It makes fans wonder what Kodi Burns is doing with these guys if the better performers are those fresh out of high school. 

It would be easy to say that most of this is overreaction to a loss, which happens to every fan base after a disheartening loss. Still, the conversation is the same one Auburn fans have had since 2013: Auburn fans got Gus’d. 

54 Comments

  1. meathead530 says:

    Great read. You hit the nail on the head.

    I’m trying to figure out what Gus did to get his signature wins. I can think of 3 or 4. 2013 TAMU, 2013 Iron Bowl, 2017 Georgia, and 2017 Iron Bowl. What do they all share?

  2. neonbets says:

    OK, fine. Let’s vent, then.

    Of course the LSU game was a crappy way to spend the day. But the constant use of Malzahn as a repository for AU Football frustrations is tedious.

    Have you ever stopped to consider blaming all of Auburn’s woes on one Gus Malzahn is unwarranted and just plain lazy? I don’t think you have…because if you did it might stop you from making the same same silly mistakes over and over and over.

    Think about it for a moment:

    *The same guys railing on Malzahn week in and week out are the same ones who hated the Chizik hire. Then they loved it. And then ended up hating it all over again.

    *You’re the same guys who wanted Charlie Strong, Tom Herman and Taggert. You would have whored out the institution for Bobby Petrino’s scumbaggery or Art Briles’ lawlessness.

    *You needed a paper bag to hyper-ventilate over the loss of Dameyune Craig, saying our WR depth and recruiting prowess were going to get crushed.

    *You thought the hiring of Muschump was going to save the defense–only it didn’t. Then, when Muschump left after a year, you said it was a real blow for the program. You scorned the Kevin Steele hire, only to forget your contempt now that the defense is strong again.

    *You derided Chip Lindsey, and scoffed at Kodi Burns saying he was way too inexperienced for the SEC.

    *But all isn’t negative–you loved the JB Grimes hiring. ‘Grimes is gonna make the O-line tough again’, you said. Never mind that there’s no discernible difference in this year’s O-Line and last year’s. Never mind that the Herb Hand (whom is loathed by this Auburn Expert Coaching Committee) is off to a fine start at Texas.

    [BTW: I don’t understand the JB Grimes Fan Club. Grimes seems like a good enough coach. But the Grimes Fan Club cannot overstate the awesomeness of JB Grimes. I guess it’s one of those uncontestable football statements that makes the speaker look more knowledgeable than he really is. I mean, if you’re just a casual fan listening to someone opine on the intricacies of O-Line Theory, you can’t participate in such a serious CFB conversation. You’re going to shut-up, listen and hopefully you’ll absorb all this CFB wisdom. At least that’s how the members of the JB Grimes Fan Club sees it.]

    *You yearn for Tommy Tuberville and his brand of mediocre recruiting mediocrity.

    Maybe you guys just don’t know as much as you think.

    For example, if Malzahn is so bad, why is the the program performing exactly as it has under every other Auburn coach for the last 40-50 years? You guys never seem to address that issue.

    For some reason everything would be different if only the Auburn Trustees would listen to you more.

    You guys act like Auburn hired Malzahn when Saban, Sweeney or Kirby Smart were chomping at the bit to come to The Plains. They weren’t. [Not only that, but Auburn was rejected several times by less accomplished coaches after hiring both Chizik and Malzahn.] If Auburn was so amazing, why was it rejected by so many other promising coaches?

    Maybe there’s some deeper problem with Auburn. Why have several coaches rejected Auburn in the last 10-15 years? Is it a Trustee/Alumni issue? Maybe it’s an unrealistic, and whiny fan-base.

    Or, maybe there’s an even better explanation.

    Maybe Auburn actually is doing great. Maybe Auburn–based on it’s resources, or institutional reputation– is performing quite well relative to other schools. Compare, for example, Auburn’s overall resources with University of Michigan, Texas, Florida, etc. and you’ll find that Auburn kicks ass.

    OK, but what about Clemson?

    Fair enough…but go ahead and swap out the South Carolina Gamecocks with Saban’s Alabama dominance. Then swap out perennial Clemson opponents like NC State and North Carolina with LSU and Georgia….then get back to me.

    Take a break. LSU is a good team. The refs were awful. Auburn has a brutal schedule. It’s going to be tough. I’m not advocating mediocrity, but enough with the one-dimensional whining that everything is Malzahn’s fault.

  3. Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

    That’s a whole lot of “you’s” and “you’res” for a post deriding people for being lazy with their angst. I dont agree with virtually any of the sentiment.

    Interestingly enough, in that diatribe, you didnt address any of the legitimate complaints I raised although you did at least mention JB Grimes, which you may recall I didnt agree with the hire to begin with.

    Auburn is paying money for a top ten coach. Auburn has lost a game in September every year and has ended every single season, save two, with at least 2 consecutive losses. One of those years still ended in a loss and the other was a losing streak ended by beating Memphis.

    Refute that.

    • zotus zotus says:

      Bingo, Zach! Bingo!!!

      Gus Malzahn is out of his depth in this league, pure and simple.

      We all know what we’re going to get with Gus Malzahn. What’s that they say about insanity?

      Can’t blame ol’ Gus for going through the motions on Saturdays if there are people who are foolish enough to pay him the big bucks to do it.

      He gets all that dough. He gets the financial security that most folks could only dream of. He gets to drive around town in that $140,000 BMW. And, when he gets one of those — very few and far between wins against one of Auburn’s big-3 SEC foes — ol’ Gus gets to drive the Beemer down to Waffle House for a mid-night celebration with the little lady.

      Let’s face it, ol’ Gus has won the lottery. What a country! He was the the right place at the right time. Right for Gus. Wrong for Auburn.

      When the University of Florida’s Deputy AD, Mr. Jay Jacobs, was at Auburn he, Mr. Jacobs, had the opportunity to make the job offer to Kirby Smart to become the Head Football Coach at Auburn. He, Mr. Jacobs, chose not to do so, He chose to make the job offer to Gus Malzahn instead. Folks can speculate all they want about the future. But, when you’re talking about the past, there is a pesky record of reality to deal with. Look at the facts, folks. Facts is facts. Facts don’t care about your feelings. Facts is facts.

      The facts of the matter include these: Mr. Jacobs, had the opportunity to offer the Auburn HC job to Kirby Smart. He, Mr. Jacobs chose not to do so. He chose to make the job offer to Gus Malzahn instead. The rest is history.

      STRIKE ONE, Mr. Jacobs.

      And then, there’s those (ahem) pesky facts about the seven-year $49Mil contract.

      STRIKE TWO, Mr. Jacobs.

      Yes indeed, we all know what we’re going to get with Gus Malzahn.

      Maybe, Mr. Jacobs did too. It is there for all the world to see.

      Could it be that, Mr. Jacobs was too busy thinking about what was best for Mr. Jacobs’ future, instead of what was best for Auburn’s future?

      Sure looks that way. Mr. Jacobs spent the last 3-4 years at Auburn trying to prop up his (questionable-at-the-time) decision to offer the Auburn HC job to Gus Malzahn instead of Kirby Smart. And, of course, all at the same time, Mr. Jacobs was orchestrating and negotiating his own sweetheart exit strategy to take millions from Auburn and head for Gainesville. Can you say, “Double-talking-double-dealing-double-dipping-public-servant?”

      STRIKE THREE, Mr. Jacobs.

      So long, Mr. Jacobs. Good luck in Gainesville, Mr. Jacobs.
      ========================================================================

      P.S. It will take years for Auburn to repair the damage that Mr. Jacobs’ decisions have done to the Auburn Football Program.

      Nobody can un-ring that bell. But, Auburn needs to move on from Gus Malzahn. Gus Malzahn is out of his depth in this league.

      As my grandpappy used to say, “It’s past time to fish or cut bait.”

      ========================================================================

      P.P.S. If you want to turn back the clock to 2012, here are some links:

      https://www.seccountry.com/auburn/report-kirby-smart-hired-auburn-instead-gus-malzahn-wouldve-brought-mike-bobo

      here’s an excerpt:

      “But there was a time when Smart could’ve been Auburn’s coach, as weird as that sounds to Auburn, Georgia and Alabama fans. According to Kevin Scarbinsky of AL.com, Smart did interview for the Auburn job back in 2012, which ultimately went to Malzahn.”

      “Scarbinsky also detailed some of the reasons Auburn didn’t end up hiring Smart. First, Smart wanted total control over the hiring of his football staff, something Auburn wasn’t willing to sign off on. Another interesting nugget was that if Auburn hired Smart, he was going to bring Mike Bobo, then Georgia’s offensive coordinator and the now-coach at Colorado State, on as his offensive coordinator. Auburn reportedly had concerns about his play calling ability (it’s worth mentioning that Georgia averaged 32.0 points per game in 2011 and 37.8 in 2012).”

      ========================================================================

      P.P.P.S.

      If you want to read more about “to be Malzahn or to be Smart, that is the question” — check it out:

      https://www.google.com/search?q=did+kirby+smart+want+the+Auburn+coaching+job+when+he+interviewed+for+it%3F&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

      ========================================================================
      P.P.P.P.S. Zach, I’m damned tired of getting Gus’d. Every Auburn person I know is too. Thanks for writing this article. WDE!

  4. Rebel Yell says:

    What Neon fails to realize, or admit, is that the University is paying Gus $7.00MM/year!

    For that kind of money, you CANNOT lose a 1 point game, to a hated rival, at your home Stadium EVER!

    Gus is now 2-4 against lsu, 2-4 against ga, and 2-3 (soon to be 2-4) against Alabama.

    Losing records against your 3 biggest rivals, and a $7.0MM/yr salary don’t mix!
    Gus has done less with more, and been paid more for his efforts, than any other coach in America!

    • sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

      “For that kind of money, you CANNOT lose a 1 point game, to a hated rival, at your home Stadium EVER!”

      Really? So what is Nick’s excuse?
      http://www.auburn.edu/communications_marketing/ironbowl10.html

      • Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

        You don’t need excuses with five national championships.

        • sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

          Is that the bar, then? Because that limits you to just four active coaches – Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Dabo Swinney or Jimbo Fisher, three of whom left their schools and fan bases under similar types of criticism and disappointment over conference losses in the past.

          And before you say ‘yes’ consider that Nick left LSU in 2004 after losses to Georgia (45-16) and Auburn (10-9). His OC that year? Jimbo Fisher.

          Winnable, close losses are always tough, I get it. But to expect absolute perfection for a given price? That’s not going to happen at ANY program.

          • Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

            I’d start with winning a meaningful bowl game …..

          • sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

            For nine years – 1967 to 1974 – that was the fan’s knock on Bear Bryant, that he couldn’t win a meaningful bowl game. He was 0-7-1 in that post season stretch.

          • fasttimes says:

            we aren’t talking about losing a 1 point game to bama. we are talking about losing to a team that im willing to bet only beats arky and maybe, MAYBE ole miss in the remaining sec sched. and losing it when we had an 11 point lead. which is only slightly worse than last years 20 point lead.

            again, context is important.

          • Tiger4Life says:

            Bear Bryants teams from 71-74 went 11-1 3 times and would have been 11-1 a 4th time except for the epic punt bama punt game which made them 10-2.
            Gus really isn’t similar though he has brought us 1 of two national championship appearances– and I am grateful for that.

      • fasttimes says:

        if gus lost only one game once every 3 years to bama, i don’t think you’d see any of anybody get too upset.

        so of you folks have zero ability to understand context.

      • Tiger4Life says:

        If LSU had beaten us by 1 with Cam Newton as their quarterback– I’d be OK with that…
        And Nick has much hardware…

  5. You and I are eye-to-eye. Gus’d is the norm and it ain’t worth $40+ million.

  6. audad says:

    Love the passion here on TET this morning. And as always, at least it’s pretty civil–no name calling or childish insults. Just think, if the offensive line had played with that kind of passion on Saturday and hadn’t “just relaxed” when they needed a critical yard in the first qtr and had TWO plays to make it, then maybe we would all be much happier this week and sitting at 3-0.

  7. uglyjoe says:

    These kinds of of threads are why I pay good money to be a member of this site.

  8. fasttimes says:

    Zach, great article. wish you did have to write it…….again…..so early in season……again.

  9. fasttimes says:

    honest question regarding one point of the OP.

    did anyone here watch the first two games and think anyone other than Whitlow should be the main running back?

  10. Derrick Roberts Derrick Roberts says:

    I just don’t understand how the pattern of deficiencies I’ve seen don’t bother or give more Auburn fans pause as they are well documented. Seven million dollars creates a lot of room for valid complaints and concerns whether you believe it to or not.

  11. Rebel Yell says:

    Prince’s comments (about going for it on 4th down) demonstrate, to me, a terrible lack of leadership on Stidham’s part. He had to have felt, in the huddle, that something was not right. He should have grabbed Prince’s face mask and shook him like a rag doll!

    Among Stidham’s many shortcomings, we can now add another – lack of leadership!

    And at least some of that lack of leadership can be traced back to poor coaching!

  12. ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

    I just don't feel like posting in a negative manner right now. Sure, I think Auburn should have won the game; I think going for 4th down was still the correct call; $7MM is truly a lot of money but very little of that money has ever actually been in our pockets.
    We donate 5 figures every year just for tickets and parking plus other expenses such as gasoline, travel (some of this involves flights), hotels, tailgate gear, etc. We also donate to the band each year and we helped with the new performing arts center. So, yes, we have some monetary stake in Auburn and I truly and fully understand those commenters stating that Auburn isn't getting its money's worth.
    Yes, Auburn lost a game I feel they should have and could have won regardless of the horrible officiating but this is a new week; a lovely entire day of tailgating; and what should be a good game against Arkansas. I just wish it was Bert again.
    But, continue to keep it civil and air your frustrations out!
    I'm just not in a "Grumpy Grant" mood today.

    WAR EAGLE!!

  13. fasttimes says:

    “For nine years – 1967 to 1974 – that was the fan’s knock on Bear Bryant, that he couldn’t win a meaningful bowl game. He was 0-7-1 in that post season stretch.”

    Bryant also won 3 NCs before that time and two after (and claim 1973, but we know how they like to claim titles). not to mention 4 straight sec championships from 71-75. surely you aren’t comparing gus’s record and coaching prowess to Bear Bryant.

  14. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I did not get what I wanted last Saturday, either. Made for a bummer of a weekend, but hey. It was a work weekend, anyway. Saturday night, Sunday and Monday, I put in 42 hours, AND got some brief grades posted. I really hated looking at that DVR of the game… I’ll be off for Arkansas. We have 9 more Auburn football Saturdays left, this year! I plan to enjoy them!

    ……I should be able to live blog most games, this season, despite having to work every other Saturday night. If the game is at night, I’ll miss it. The only 2 left that are in doubt are Tennessee, and Georgia. I’m on vacation for the Iron Bowl/Thanksgiving week.

  15. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    Gus would lose two games a year with Bama’s roster. There, I said it, LOL. Carry on…

  16. Tigerpharm says:

    I don't usually comment on negative 'Auburn put down post.' But, I can not sit by any longer and see our coach and especially our players bashed as you continue to do Zach. Auburn played poorly Saturday and the fans feel bad about such a frustrating loss. I get it. But what I don't get is the way you want to nick pick and besmirch the coaches and especially the players after a disheartening loss.

    For example Jarrett Stidham had a bad game. It happens. From what I see, he's
    a great leader who already has a 3,000-yard passing season and wins over two No. 1 teams. Burrow on the other hand only completed 14 of 34 passes. He threw a TD pass to a wide-open receiver on a busted coverage that was nearly intercepted. So you say that made him look like a top NFL Draft pick? It's just mind blowing to me how you want to take a shot at Stidham for one bad game.

    And I'm sick of hearing about $7 mil a year. Those type salaries come about because of all the huge TV money flowing into colleges. When you gripe about that, it makes me wonder how much money came out of your pocket? Did you graduate from Auburn? Do you donate to the school? Do you even have season tickets? My question is how much have you invested in Auburn? I can tell you I have on all three accounts. And my money goes to my alma mater because I love it not because I expect them to make me feel good by winning athletic contest.

    I wonder how many coaches in America could have done better in the last 5 years in the west division, the same state with Alabama, and playing Georgia every year? He’s also led the Tigers to five consecutive bowl games, a Southeastern Conference Championship, two SEC West Division titles and an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game. But you want to sit at your computer and postulate how much better Auburn should be by cherry picking any bad stats you can come up with.

    I honestly don't know if you do these kind of ‘attack the coaches and players post’ because you are an Eeyore or you just want to stir up the fan base to get a higher number of comments on your articles? Either way it's not appreciated by a lot of us and you can bet this will be the LAST time you see me add to your comment totals because I will not be reading anymore articles with your name in the by line!

    • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

      You make some very good points Tigerpharm and Auburn has probably played the toughest schedule in the nation during Gus’ tenure.

    • WarSamEagle WarSamEagle says:

      Hear, hear!

    • ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

      It isn't difficult to see, by my post above, that I totally agree.
      Yes, I graduated from Auburn; Yes, have had season tickets since 1981; Yes, we donate to the University in and above Football and other sports and we travel to every away game we possibly can.
      Forbes just released their Top Lists of Colleges and Universities and their annual revenue/profit – and, Auburn finished in the Top 10 even ahead of Georgia.
      Texas A&M took the top spot away from the Texas Longhorns and look what they are paying/paid to lure Jimbo Fisher away from Florida State. Our friends across the State of Alabama come in at Number 4 followed in the SEC by Auburn at Number 8. Yes, ahead of LSU, Georgia, well, everyone not named Texas A&M and Alabama as it relates to the SEC.
      $112MM in Revenue and $61MM in Profit. That is for ONE year.
      And here are folks literally worried/frustrated/angry about $7MM/Year because the "Coach" isn't winning enough when, to date, he has literally lost one game this year.
      Seriously, the other $54MM/Year had to go somewhere – why is nothing being mentioned about that? Is only the $7MM/Year being wasted? The other money is totally legit and all operations, costs, salaries, marketing, etc. are perfectly fine; only the $7MM/Year for a football coach causes concern? Baseball, Softball, and Baseball have come really close the past few years but I've heard and/or seen, literally, no one get this upset over a loss from those teams. Sure, I agree, the money isn't the same. These coaches are not making $7MM/Year so, I guess, the fact they are making less means they are allowed to lose more.

      The $7MM means a lot more to some of you than it does to me because you are using that number to set expectations that are simply not truly realistic. Going unbeaten in the SEC is a monumental task; geez, going unbeaten in the SEC Western Division is no cake walk.
      I get it – Auburn lost a game they should not have lost.
      Georgia and Alabama – at the time they each played Auburn last year – were ranked in the Number One spot in all of college football and, yet, both lost to Auburn.
      Following that debacle, seems that both coaches, being well overpaid as they are, should have been fired; both of those teams should have been placed in the ESPN Bottom Ten for those respective weeks, and it just goes on.
      Good gosh, it really just is football. If losing a game really and truly affects your life to this level then maybe you should take up marbles or something. I would have suggested dodge-ball but that is now apparently too rough.
      And, how many football fans in the Carolina's would trade a loss by their respective football team in exchange for being able to keep their house, livelihood, etc.?

      Perspective, folks… Be upset, be frustrated, even be angry but all "we" lost was a football game.

    • AUwaterboy AUwaterboy says:

      Good post Tigerpharm and I Agree 100%

  17. audad says:

    Tigerpharm, great post. Hard to argue with you, especially when considering that it’s only a sport and a million people are displaced in the Carolinas right now and several lost their lives. Keeping it just in a sports perspective though, I also see why Zach gets so frustrated. Gus is currently the fifth highest paid coach in college football. He’s produced one top 5 finish in his years here as head coach, and that was the year he lost in the NC game to FSU. And that game in itself is enigmatic of why fans I think are hard on him. AU dominates for half the game, rolls up an 18 pt lead, and then gets completely outplayed and outcoached in the 2nd half resulting in a last second heart breaking loss. Winning that game would have given Gus many mulligans for years to come. Not enough to go winless in the SEC like Chizik did and expect to keep his job, but quite a few nevertheless. The 2nd half in Baton Rouge last year was like watching that loss to FSU all over again. Dominate, big lead, other team makes adjustments that leave us clueless, and a heartbreaking loss. Sound familiar? I won’t call the loss to UCF in the bowl game last year an embarrassment to the program, but Auburn had no business losing that one either. If they weren’t prepared for it or not up for it because they were not a bigger name opponent, then shame on the players and the coaches.

    As I posted on another column this week, I like to see some of the passion on these threads. Both ways. The positive, the negative, and fortunately without the name calling and petty crap that goes on if you look at some other blogs.

  18. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I’m not big on the name-calling, either. I haven’t seen much of it lately, because a lot of the sites I visit now have things set up where you actually have to click to see the poisonous commentary, and I’m usually too lazy to do it!

  19. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..As to the financials, it makes for interesting reading when athletic departments put out those annual reports. There's a LOT of debt at most schools, and a good bit of the budget goes towards debt service. Smaller schools struggle to just pay the bank, some years. Of note also is the overall budget of the University across the state. Their overall debt is $225 million due over the next 27 years. It's enough of a crisis that Alabama has doubled their enrollment in recent years.

  20. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    I held and fed my 5 week old red headed grand daughter twice during the dad gum LSU game. Everyone around us was jumping and screaming. I hated we lost, but holding and feeding a new born gives me a fresh perspective. All I can now say is WAR DAMN EAGLE !!!

    BEAT THE HOGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. […] out on a limb and say that, especially with the 50-plus comments that were added at the bottom of my article the week before. That post was met with stark criticism that sparked a lot of talk. Most of it was […]

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