Monday, December 01, 2008

The Works, post mortem-style

It's finally dead, Jim.

Honestly? If there's any silver lining to the washout in Tuscaloosa, it's that this season has finally come to its merciful end and I'll no longer have to wake up on Saturday mornings with a long sigh that I know I'm about to spend three-and-a-half hours of my life watching three-and-outs and linebacking errors by the bushelful. For the team's sake I'm still wishing that they'd held on against Arkansas or Vandy and were on their to Shreveport ... but from my own selfish personal perspective, it's nice to get some kind of closure on the Season of DEATH as quickly as possible.

So on to the OC chatter. And, fortunately, Tubby's saying what I think we all want to hear at this point:
"I want an offensive coordinator to give him the freedom to bring in somebody is (I'm assuming this is supposed to be "if"--ed.) he has someone in mind. He'll probably want to visit with the ones here on the staff, which I would allow him to do."
Visit, I'm fine with. Retain, on the other hand ...unless it's Eddie Gran, I'm not so sure about. When you have the sort of offensive season Auburn's just had, you don't tweak. You smash everything to pieces and rebuild.

I wonder: is Tubby going to get defensive about this, though?
Tuberville said he’s never forced any of his longtime assistants, many of whom have been with him since his time at Ole Miss, on any offensive or defensive coordinators.
Uh ... that's not really the tale Tony Franklin's telling. Or Al Borges, I'd imagine, since he didn't bring any new assistants in either. Why not just admit that he asked the new OCs to work with the current staff? Just because that public perception might dissuade any qualified last-minute applicants for the position?

Actually, that's not a bad reason. Carry on.

Oh, also: as I'm sure you've heard, Paul Rhoads is a candidate for the Utah St. head coaching job. My gut reaction is that moving from a position that's sent two of its last three holders onto head-coaching (or head coach-in-waiting) gigs in the Big 12 would be the better career move than taking on the hopeless task of building a successful D-I program in Ogden, Utah, but who knows? What I do know is that I'd really, really rather Tubby not have to try and hire two coordinators in offseason again, please.

(Oh, I suppose I should state that for the time being, I'm taking Tubby's return as a given It's probably not until there's some kind of official announcement from Gogue, but right now that's the assumption I'm operating under because otherwise, well, all this talk is very silly, indeed.)

Post tag = outstandingness. The contest to write my favorite thing about Auburn's search for an offensive coordinator should just be beginning, and yet it's already over. I'm declaring Huntsville Times Outdoors writer Alan Clemons the winner for this piece entitled "Tuberville should hunt ducks to find a coach," and it brings every bit as much awesome as the title implies:
There's also an NCAA-mandated "dead period" from Dec. 17 to Jan. 1 which would be an excellent time for Tuberville to go duck hunting and recruit ... his next offensive coordinator.

Say what?

... (Y)ou get a feel for someone's personality at a hunting camp, similar to when you're on a golf course. You can tell if their Christian personality is a ruse if they're cussin' this and that. You can tell if their integrity is real when they have a limit of mallards but are presented with a single drake winging into the decoys. When they let their hair down in the evening with a few tumblers of brown water, the real warts may pop out.

Put a guy in a bass boat or a duck blind in the cold and mud, and you'll get an idea of what he's made of. You can see whether he treats a retriever badly when it shakes off cold mud and water in the blind. If a guy mistreats a dog, what might he be like otherwise?

You can tell if the guy's a team player and pitches in to move decoys or pluck feathers or if he constantly bitches about walking through mud against a north wind.
Dude, I don't know how, but I'm sold. Trooper Taylor, get your waders!

Blog reax. Because we've all been wondering where he stood on the issue of Hugh Nall's, Greg Knox's, and Steve Ensminger's continued employment, Will made double-triple-sure we knew this time around:
Nall is a cancer on the program that must be removed; indeed, his removal is five years overdue ... NFL scouts and coaches regularly observe that Auburn receivers have to be completely re-coached once they reach the pros, and that's on the head of long-time assistant coach Greg Knox. Time for him to go, and to be replaced with somebody who can actually do the job ... Ensminger is, by far, the worst coach on the staff, and likely the worst assistant in the entire SEC. He needs to go back to teaching driver's ed in a high school, preferably one far, far away from Auburn University. Unfortunately for the Auburn program, unlike the assistants who accompanied Tuberville from Ole Miss, Ensminger is not yet vested in the Alabama teachers' retirement fund, and for that fact alone, he is apparently expected to be retained. Suffice to say, this is not a valid reason.
I don't usually go in for the fire-and-brimstone off-with-their-heads stuff, but a) nobody makes it more logical or entertaining than Will b) as noted above, Auburn needs a complete overhaul on that side of the ball. I'll cosign.

I didn't find a good place to wedge the same observation into this morning's knee-jerk post, but I'll also cosign Jay's unfortunate assessment of where Alabama stands at the moment:
Rarely does the winner of this game assume complete control of football in the state of Alabama. This year is the exception. This Alabama football team out-played, out-coached and in the end, simply manhandled a much inferior Auburn unit. The contrast between the two teams is startling. Say what you will about Alabama's struggles over the past decade; this program now has everyone in lockstep with one goal and that's to win a national championship.

... This Alabama team and more significantly, this program is very much the real deal. This is sobering news for an Auburn program that has held sway in the state for the better part of ten years.

In simple terms, Nick Saban has out-performed Tommy Tuberville on the field and off for the past two years. He's done it on the recruiting trail, and with the coaches he's hired and the money he's generated for the university. It's naïve for anyone to believe that Tuberville can wave a magic wand and reset the calendar to 2004 anytime soon.
Oh, how I wish that wasn't the truth.

Also worthwhile: TWER joins in the coachbot hate, and the Pigskin Pathos ... well, this doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Iron Bowl, but their breakdown of why young women would wear a cowboy hat edged in folded beer bottlecaps amused me.

Through the cracks. I missed this article in my reader, but fortunately an alert reader passed on the OA-News's neat little story from Nov. 22 about Jackson Timmerman, the walk-on O-lineman who's been doing all that craaaaaaazy sideline signaling this season and got to join the travel team for the first time this year because of it. He's about to graduate and become a neurosurgeon. Godspeed, Jackson Timmerman, Avatar of All Things That Are Right With College Football.

Dude, at least shoot high. You know, like the Clemson ... nevermind. Depending on your desire to see him squirm, it may or may not please you to know that Terry Bowden has ignored the advice offered in this space last year and is still wandering, hat-in-hand, from AD to AD asking for the handout of a head coaching gig. His latest target? San Diego Freaking State:
“I don't know much about San Diego State, but I am receptive to the right opportunity,” said Bowden, who has been working in broadcasting since last coaching in 1998. “I'd be glad to talk to people at San Diego State if they would like to. I really would.”
See, Terry, maybe I don't know much about how the whole football coaching industry works, but it seems to me that people would want to hire someone who takes coaching seriously enough and enjoys it well enough that they'd take a pay/dignity cut to restart their career at the FCS/D-II level (or as an assistant somewhere) rather than sitting around writing Yahoo columns and making TV appearances while waiting for a D-I job that seems less likely by the year. But, again, maybe that's just my naive opinion. (HT: Fanhouse.)

Pour one out. You've no doubt read about this elsewhere, but last Friday's Egg Bowl was the final SEC football broadcast for Raycom nee Lincoln Financial nee Jefferson-Pilot Sports. Can't say I'll miss the group's production "values," but the JCCW has to join with every other SEC fan in saying Vaya con Dios! to Los Tres Davids*.

Sucktasticness: not just for football any more! The Alabama Basketball Blog sums up a nonconference SEC hoops season that thus far looks a lot like the gridiron version:
Let me list the bad losses:

Alabama- Mercer and Oregon
Arkansas- @ Missouri State
Auburn- Mercer (kings of the SEC?) and @ Dayton
Florida- Syracuse (probably not so bad, but were expected to win)
Georgia- Loyola, IL. When you have to add the location of the school you know it's a bad loss.
Kentucky- VMI
Mississippi St- Texas Tech
South Carolina- @ Charleston (probably not so bad being that the Cocks suck, but still)
Vanderbilt- Illinois (a middle of the road Little 11 team)
As for Auburn specifically, I'm not sweating a one-point OT loss to Dayton, and a six-point defeat to a Northern Iowa team that may make a run for the MoVal crown isn't anything to be ashamed about. But that's two chances to take down the sort of potential NCAA tournament team that would lead to Auburn being a sort of potential NCAA Tournament team, and those chances--stop me if if you've heard this one before in the Jeff Lebo era--were lost.

*Accent on the second syllable.

1 comment:

J.M. said...

Coach Tuberville's word usage makes me frown: "somebody" and "someone" could be brought in with the new OC. That doesn't sound like the overhaul that Auburn needs.