Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Works says Hooray, %$#@!

I mean this with every bit of sincerity I can muster: Enjoy your raise.

Hooray, %$#@!
Good news and bad news from the coaching search front this a.m., as Goldberg reports that
Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson is also now in the mix to replace Tommy Tuberville
before adding that
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach approached Auburn during the day Friday, but found no interest, according to people familiar with the situation.
I suppose nothing's really kaput with Leach until he signs the extension Tech's dropped in front of him, but the little stock arrow on Leach's chances are definitely pointing down, apparently because Auburn thinks Leach "doesn't fit well in the SEC." You know what I think about that notion, and you know what I think about Auburn buying into it.

But if Auburn's going to get serious about Johnson, maybe I can forgive them for it.

Further quality reading on the subject of Leach: available at Grotus Acorn, where he remains unconvinced Auburn would be willing to rally 'round the captain's flag.

Going in for the Gill. Like the rest of you, last night I watched Buffalo gladly accept the bevy of gifts Brady Hoke's Ball St. team offered the Bulls and win the MAC. And like the rest of you, I thought "Hmmmmm."

Of course, plenty of Auburn fans were already been on the Gill bandwagon, and for good reason: he's taken the single worst program in I-A, at a school with possibly the worst I-A recruiting base east of the Mississippi (seriously: upstate New York?!?), and made it legit in only three years. Aside from maybe Brian Kelly, no coach in the country has been more impressive over that three-year span. As the Good Doctor said, someone's going to drive a dump truck full of money up to his house soon. Should it be Auburn?

TWER offered their endorsement in typically clever fashion and Evan Woodberry cranked out a surprisingly in-depth (and persuasive) blog post on Gill's potential candidacy, but the JCCW's official position is one of caution. Gill could be the bedrock of a resurgent Auburn football program for years to come. He could also be Steve Kragthorpe. Not that Auburn shouldn't do their due diligence with every candidate, but with Gill, his record isn't enough--it's an incredible rebuilding job, no doubt but it's a much easier path from the basement to the top of the MAC than it is from even the middle floors to the top of the SEC. How well he interviews and how clear a plan he can lay out for his staff and Auburn's recruiting are of vital importance. Let's be clear: if the Bulls don't complete this Hail Mary at the end of the Temple game, last night never happens, and he's probably just another mid-major coach in the "Maybe we'll get to those guys, but probably not" pool.

That said? There's no doubt what he's done with the Bulls is flat amazing and only little doubt that, after watching his post-game interview last night, he's a guy on his way to some great things. I think it's fair to move him to the front of the mid-major pack--I'd be more excited about him than I would be Patterson (somehow I don't think Auburntron views that prediction with an optimistic bent), that's for damned sure--but I just don't think he's as much a sure thing as some of the other coaches on the shortlist. If his name continues to pick up steam, though, we'll give him the full Coachapalooza treatment in a couple of days.

Recruiting? Going as well as expected. At least, to their credit, the Auburn position coaches are doing their best to stop the bleeding.

The real developments in that post from Bitter, though? First, that someone's already hired Hugh Nall (that was fast) and that Don Dunn rather candidly expresses his thoughts that Sen'Derrick Marks didn't have the kind of year he's capable of having. We all agree, Sen'Derrick! You'll need to prove to us all what you can do by coming back for another season! Please!

What's it like guiding virtual Auburn to the championship season their real-life equivalents feel just that wee bit short of? JRS says:
(S)ometimes destroying another team through a video game makes you feel a little bit better for about 10 minutes...but not really.
That kind of season, folks.


PowerOfDixieland said...

Why would we not be interested in him? Even a little bit? Just meet with him and talk to him. He obviously is interested in us. Dear God, we're run more poorly than Iraq.

Jerry Hinnen said...

Because Auburn's administration is afraid of Leach's eccentricity and weirdo offense, I guess. Also fire. And they're totally unsold on this newfangled "wheel" thing.

PowerOfDixieland said...

I was just starting to get warmed up to the idea of saying "Make [opposing coach] walk the plank!"

Philip Arnold said...

"Yarr! The Pirates of the Plains are up a score and eight against the infernal Tide!"

How can we not have fun with that?

mark said...

Leach would put the "ARRRRRR"