You know what's weird? If Auburn ends up hiring Turner Gill, we're going to look back at a poorly-attended Friday night MAC contest in Detroit as a pivotal point in Auburn football history.
Because since that point, the groundswell has been pretty remarkable: fan polls all over the place indicate Gill is the current Auburn people's choice, someone's worked up a sweet "Gill '09" election button you can check out over at Jay G. Tate's place, and TWER's worked up a second tribute in a manner of days:
This would all seem like so much fanboy gushing over the new hot kid on the block if not for the little fact that, well, the Auburn powers-that-be appear to be doing some, uh, gushing themselves: as you've no doubt heard, Auburn asked for permission to speak to Gill, got it, and will make him the first confirmed interviewee. For now, for whatever it's worth, Gill has to be seen as your front-runner.
I'm hoping to have a Coachapalooza post up on Gill sometime soon in line with his new status, but for now, I'll say this: I think Gill is very, very likely to become a successful major college football coach and if Auburn hires him, I certainly won't complain. The man inspires confidence like whoah, no doubt about that, and I'd be confident. But the bottom line is if we're going to hire someone for winning the MAC with a previously downtrodden program, I'd rather hire the guy who's done that and won D-II national titles and the Big East at freaking Cincinnati. Gill's a good candidate. But my personal opinion is that there's better candidates who we all but know will become a successful major college football coach (or are already) rather than one we think will be.*
Further quality reading on Gill here.
Fisher. As Tate accurately points out, Fisher saying "I'm very happy at Florida State" is absolutely not the same thing as saying "I'm going to stay at Florida State." However: Florida St.'s AD angrily throwing around the "momma" talk and barking about how much cash Auburn's got lying around is a pretty solid indication that the 'Noles are not going to passively sit by and let Auburn poach Fisher away. Fisher likelihood stock arrow: like Leach's, down.
Win. Speaking of Mr. Tate, the JCCW hasn't been especially generous in recent weeks regarding his coverage of the Season of DEATH, but his skepticism and honesty are going to be welcome tonics during the coaching search while the more high-strung among us--like yours truly--are losing their heads over every fool rumor that comes down the pipe. Tate's off to a great start, too, highlighted by this post in which he argues convincingly that the Auburn powers-that-be's track record is that they already have their man, and that it's no one we're necessarily expecting. I am hoping he is right and I am taking it to mean I can continue to cling to Brian Kelly as a serious candidate without shame. Which'll be nice.
Leach, still. The Wiz conveniently, succinctly details how Leach and the Tech AD are pretty much splitsville at this point, which would explain why Leach seems so unaccountably desperate to flee Lubbock. Not that it matters at this stage, I suppose.
One other Leach-related matter: several commenters (including a number of Auburn fans) have opined that Auburn should not hire Leach based on his loss to Mike Shula in 2006. This is perfectly sound logic. Another coach Auburn should not hire: Urban Meyer.
Johnson. As you've seen, he may be getting a raise on our behalf. But it's not over until he signs the extension--maybe not even then, depending on how much cash Auburn could throw at him--and "I'm intending n being here" is not the same as "I'm going to be here." This isn't over, either.
Nevermind. That HOT RUMOR that Chris Petersen was on his way to Starkville is well and truly kaput. The guy who started it? Nonapologetic. See, my Michigan pals tell me about what tools "Sparty" fans can be, and I try to chalk it up to natural fan-driven those-guys-suckism, and then there's something like this and I can't help but think "Wow, those guys really are the tools I've been told they are."
It's only fair. Marquis Johnson is a junior nickelback for the Tide, a key part of what could arguably be the nation's best defense and unequivocally one of the best secondaries in the country. He didn't have an especially good game against Florida, though. So if you ask a Tide fan, it only makes sense to a Tide fan that he should be stripped of his scholarship and kicked off the team. What's fair is fair.