Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Works, he said-he said-style

Like tug-of-war, kind of. But without the smiles.

Who do you believe? Chris Low:
So couch it any way you want. The only way to accurately couch it is that Tuberville was fired, which is why he was left to twist in the wind for the last three days.

There was no direction in his talks with Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs and university president Jay Gogue, no sense that he was the guy they wanted to continue leading their football program.

That became painfully obvious to both sides.
Or Jay Jacobs:
--Had Tuberville not resigned, would he have been the coach next season: "Absolutely."

-- Atmosphere at the final meeting: "I was a little shocked. After three times of asking him if he'd change his mind, he convinced me that" this was the best thing for Auburn.
Why so many Auburn fans seem to be so quick to believe Low, I don't know. If you believe Low, you believe both Jay Jacobs and the Auburn trustees are lying to our faces. That when Jacobs says he asked him to change his mind, that that's just a lie. That when Paul Spins says that Suzanne Tuberville wanted her husband to leave, that's just a lie. Hell, that when Tubby--who, supremely classy as he is, has not exactly acted the part of someone who was desperate to have the chance to prove himself who had that chance snatched away by an unfeeling jury of trustees and administrators--says it was "totally a business decision, what's best for Auburn," he's lying too?

Granted, even I don't buy that Jacobs and the Board decided to just give Tubby $5.1 million out of the kindness of their heart. But what's the most likely scenario here? That Tubby walked in Monday determined to keep his job, was immediately told it wasn't happening, dithered for two days for no particular reason, accepted a $900,000 reduction in his buyout out of the kindness of his heart, then put on a happy face as he announced his resignation? Or that he and Jacobs got together Monday, make some kind of progress--remember when he said Auburn would remain "under (Tubby's) leadership" and the assistants felt it OK to leave?--before over the next couple of days that progress falls apart, and that after some more discussion he and Tubby are forced to reach an amicable compromise as to how to end things?

Accepting that the administration isn't blameless here and that we still don't know the whole story--specifically, whether the conditions for Tubby's return was simply that he let his assistants go, or possibly something more onerous--right now the most likely scenario is the second one. And in any case, I don't see the evidence yet to justify the venom directed at the administration. The situation sucks, that Tubby's gone sucks, Lowder most certainly does suck, everything sucks. But it doesn't mean we have to start taking the likes of Low at their word over Auburn people who were right there at the heart of it.

Based on the comments I’ve seen, there were a lot of fans who were tired of Tuberville and just wanted something new. They want to get excited again with a fresh face who will give them hope. Auburn will hire a good coach and he’ll have a great press conference and those fans will be wringing their hands in anticipation of what is to come.

That was the way Nebraska fans felt in 2004 when Bill Callahan was hired as head coach. Frank Solich had averaged over nine wins in six seasons and had played for the national championship in 2001. But he just wasn’t sexy enough when compared to Mack Brown (Texas) and Bob Stoops (Oklahoma). Callahan, an NFL guy, was a fish out of water and went 27-22 and put the program into a severe hole.
A) You have a curious sense of what the majority of Auburn fans wanted for Tuberville, Tony Barnhart.

B) Frank Solich went 9-3 his final year. Nebraska at that time was not in significant decline. Auburn just went 5-7. Auburn is in a significant decline. The situations are not analogous.

Significant decline, visualized. Dr. Saturday says some kind words about yours truly's take on the situation and more importantly takes the per-play stuff I've been using and turns it into a handy graph:

If plotted against the rest of the SEC the decline would probably look a bit steeper, but you get the idea: things have not gone well. If you're looking for more reax from one of the pillars of the blogosphere, Orson's got some worthwhile thoughts over at the Sporting News.

FWIW. Speaking of DocSat, he gets the hat tip on this one: Paul Rhoads will not be the new Utah St. coach. This is better news than ever: if a new offensive-minded coach can convince Rhoads to hang around, Auburn could pull out of our swan dive even earlier than we're ... well, I'm expecting.

The dumbest thing I've read about the entire situation yet, and I've read through parts of a few comment threads. No, anonymous Romeo Crennel fan, Romeo Crennel is not a match for Auburn.

Also no. Forgot to mention Butch Davis--though Mike Herndon doesn't--in the rundown of "not really a candidate" candidates from earlier today. Mainly because it's awful hard to see Davis as a candidate--I don't know what Auburn could offer him that Tennessee couldn't. My guess is that he's waiting for a megajob (USC's if Carroll bolts for the NFL?) to open up before leaving Chapel Hill. Besides: if we're talking about hot ACC coaches, I'd rather talk about the guy who took one year to vault Davis's second team in the standings.

And finally, I really, really wish I could argue. But ... I think Wire Road and Shug is right.


Joe Blow said...

Hmmm, Low or Jacobs, Low or Jacobs.

Well, at least one of those guys was present at the meetings. I'll believe him.

CapstoneReport said...

The analysis ignores a valuable source of information the O-A News story filed last night reporting the situation at the Tuberville home.

When Tuberville's mother says he was fired, you should probably believe what she says. She doesn't have a reason to play nice. Tuberville does—he looks better to posterity and future employers to behave graciously and with dignity. The way he behaves now cements his legacy in a good way.

Furthermore, Tuberville didn't accept a reduction in the buyout—it was prorated based on the months completed this year. The $5.1 million means nothing other than Auburn is paying what it would be obligated to pay him if it terminated him.

When you take two pieces of evidence, a statement from Tuberville's family and the fact Auburn is paying him—it isn't a leap of faith to say the AD lied today.