Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Cynic: auBURN, BABY, auBURN

It seems like everybody else has an opinion on the Auburn coaching situation, so I thought I might as well weigh in, too.

Let's get this out of the way first: I don't know if there were any racial motives behind Auburn passing over Turner Gill in favor of Gene Chizik for their head coaching job. Charles Barkley says there were. And ESPN's Mark Schlabach claims that two other SEC coaches told him Gill wouldn't get the job because his wife is white. Look, I'm not naive enough to say that racism doesn't still exist in America (and before you post a comment saying "skin color doesn't matter", I strongly encourage you to pull your head out of the sand) or that interracial relationships aren't still considered taboo in many circles. But I can also say that my only experiences with Auburn consist of (a) driving through Alabama in the middle of the night on a road trip from Dallas to Miami and (b) seeing Auburn play in the Cotton Bowl a couple of years ago. So I'm not going to venture too far down the path of publicly questioning their motives.

I really hope for Auburn's sake there wasn't any racist sentiment in the hire, because karma is a bitch.

That said, regardless of the reason, can we all agree this was a really, really dumb move? Any time someone hires a coordinator for a head coaching job, the knock is always, "Well, can he succeed at the next level?" And it's a valid concern--good coordinators do not always make good head coaches. In Gene Chizik's case however, we already know the answer! Chizik took over Iowa State at a time when the Big 12 North was at its lowest point ever and he still couldn't win a game. We know exactly what Chizik can do as a head coach: 5-19 in a weak ass division.

Iowa, Colorado, Kansas State, South Dakota State and Kent State. Those are the only teams Gene Chizik has beaten in two years as head coach. Do you see anyone the caliber of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, etc. on that list? Oh, and did I mention that, during his time, he's also managed to lose to Kent State, Northern Iowa, Toledo, UNLV and the worst Nebraska team in 40+ years? Admittedly, Iowa State isn't exactly prime real estate in the college football neighborhood. But what has Chizik done to show that he's suddenly an SEC-quality coach?

Auburn's Athletic Director and President meet to discuss the future of AU football.

I'm not criticizing the fact that Auburn didn't hire Turner Gill. I'm criticizing the fact that they did hire Gene Chizik.

So was it racism? Or stupidity? Or further proof of Nick Saban's unholy pact with the Devil? You be the judge.

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