Abuurn's head coach search committee
Doc Saturday pretty much covers every aspect of reaction to Auburn's perplexing hiring of Gene Chizik as head coach. So I don't have much to add there other than the fact my favorite reaction is Al Del Greco's "no comment" when asked to expound upon the hiring of Chizik, as if some sort of crime had been committed. Clearly, he's not the only one on the Plains that feels that way.
I just don't understand how a president and athletic director can be so shortsighted and idiotic as to allow the following scenario to play out:
(Note: I can absolutely see how egomaniacal dumbass boosters could be so shortsighted and idiotic as to allow this to happen.)
1. You have a solid, well respected coach that made some mistakes in recent years. Your in-state rival has a significantly better season than you for the first time in a decade. Worst case scenario, your program is possibly on the decline. Changes need to be made, most likely with assistants.
2. You decide you need to fire your head coach. Of all the coaches likely to be available, the best option is a master of the offense (that worked with your fired OC) that just failed miserably for you this season. No other strong or obvious candidates seem available.
3. You decide to move forward with the firing anyway, interviewing former Auburn assistants whose best credentials come as coordinators under the coach you just fired. You also attempt to interview every mid-major coach under the sun.
4. Rather than hire a coach who has had success on a smaller stage, you hire a coach that just completed one of the worst seasons in Big 12 history while facing a schedule that could best be described as "easy as shit."
I mean...that is just lunacy defined. Auburn obviously should never have fired Tuberville, but what's done is done. The way I see it they had two legitimate options:
1. Give Butch Davis a blank check, bringing one of the nation's best coaches and master recruiters to Auburn. Overpay for his ass...kind of EXACTLY LIKE ALABAMA DID FOR SABAN TWO YEARS AGO! Remember when Saban said he was staying with the Dolphins and Rich Rodriguez turned down the Tide job? The Alabama situation looked equally as hopeless, and the best remaining candidate was...Mike Leach (irony alert). Bama's brass realized they couldn't go down that road and NEEDED to land an elite coach. They then did everything in their power to bring Saban to Tuscaloosa, and look where they are now.
2. Take a flyer on Turner Gill, whose credentials certainly beat the hell out of anything on Chizik's resume. A young, successful, black coach that was a member of one of the greatest teams of all-time in the early 80's Nebraska (that parents of recruits could certainly remember and relate to) would have been a solid hire as well, and at the very least would have signified a change in direction from the Tuberville area and business-as-usual mentality down on the Plains. Unfortunately, some of your boosters are apparently racist assholes, as Chuck Oliver mentioned on 680 The Fan this morning; and the Gill option was shot down due in part to the racial component. Unbelievable.
Expectations are so low right now that if Chizik can at least go to a bowl game his first couple of years, it would be a pleasant surprise. And he may not be as bad as some are predicting. But regardless of how he does, everyone involved in this joke of a process, from the University administrators to the Athletic Department to the boosters should be absolutely ashamed and embarrassed with how this situation played out.