Well it’s About (War Damn) Time
Hero to goat – somehow, someway the transformation is complete. Gene Chizik has burned through his National Championship equity faster than any other head coach ever and the debt is now mounting quickly. $7.5 million worth to be exact. Earlier this week Chizik announced that freshman Jonathan Wallace would be the the starting quarterback for Auburn’s homecoming game against New Mexico State, but it’s too little too late to get too excited about this move.
Gene Chizik has lost his Belichick-esque cerebral perception and has traded that in for one more similar to “Baghdad Bob.” I am disappointed that I feel that way, but it is a perception that he has earned ten-fold. The old adage, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” is one Chizik and his staff seem to live by. The only problem for them apparently is figuring out what is broken. The Tigers struggle in the same areas week in and week out and adjustments are few and far between. I hear all of the right things, but I see all of the wrong ones on the field the very next week.
The Auburn Family has been reduced to looking for positives in the most miniscule of areas from the football team. Just under 2 years ago we were hailing our coaching staff and salivating at the thought of going after another crystal football, and now we are openly debating whether or not Auburn should hire…wait for it…Bobby Petrino. Were the Auburn fans that think this is a good idea even familiar with this football team during our run in 2010? The media attached itself to the Cam Newton story like a leech preparing itself for Thanksgiving dinner. If Auburn got remotely close to hiring Petrino we would be under fire immediately. I can’t think of a better way to make a bad situation worse.
Bumping into fellow Auburn fans in public has become some kind of cruel inside joke. You see someone wearing an Auburn hat or shirt, you make eye contact, and in that moment the both of you share all of the frustration you’ve got built up. The two of you don’t even have to speak to one another to know what the other is thinking. We’re like the walking dead of college football fans – just going through the motions until (hopefully) someone can save us from the nose dive we find ourselves in.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game against New Mexico State, I am truly happy and excited for Jonathan Wallace. He will provide a much needed spark and give us a glimpse of his potential. This is a clear-cut example of a young man with his head in the right place. He has not been overwhelmed by the stage and that is encouraging. I think he is due some freshman mistakes, but he has looked the most comfortable in the pocket of all the quarterbacks thus far. I can’t help but think that is in part (no matter how big or small) due to the coaches having spent the least amount of time with him.
I hope that our fans continue to support the players in every way possible. We have a ton of talent on this team that will be here for a few years and they will play a huge part in getting the program turned around. The Auburn Family has always been a classy bunch, and considering the circumstances, I think we’ve handled 2012 well. It is important to remember that no one at Auburn University wants to continue being a bottom-feeder in the SEC. The changes that need to be made will be made, and I am confident (still) that Auburn football and Auburn athletics in general have very bright days ahead. Whether he’s gone in a month or stays here for 10 more years, one great thing Gene Chizik brought Auburn was a culture change. The 2010 BCS National Championship permanently raised the bar at Auburn, and it is a standard that will be strictly upheld.