Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Works, the worst day since ... yesterday-style

Your theme music for the day is ...

... "The Worst Day Since Yesterday." Correlation to Auburn coaching search: obvs.

Ray Melick, voice of something approaching reason? Hey, I'm as surprised as you are. But here we go:
People who are in the business of college sports are surprised at the very-public nature of Auburn's search. After talking to people who have conducted coaching searches, what surprises professionals in the business are how many names have been confirmed as having been interviewed by Auburn.

That causes most of the professionals I spoke with to wonder if these names we're hearing are a smokescreen, misdirection to cover the real search that is going on somewhere else.

The interviews of Garner and Nix, two current assistants who played at Auburn, are viewed as a nice gesture on the part of Auburn to say, "We know we have former players out there that need to be recognized." Jacobs should be commended for that.

Melick wraps up by admitting that Auburn is playing a "dangerous game" with a search like this and that he doesn't expect them to "win" the introductory press conference--but also adds that, yes, Auburn will ultimately be judged on the field. What a concept!

It is to laugh? Following up on this morning's post, Tony Barnhart thinks I shouldn't have taken the Spurrier rumor as seriously as I (sort of) did:
Now comes the most delicious rumor of the silly season: that Steve Spurrier could be in the mix. I started getting calls on this a couple of days ago and it is all over the various chat rooms. And these people are SERIOUS!

Yes, I know. It’s hard not to laugh.
Yes, I ... I guess it is hard. Ha ... ha? Ha ha ha? Ha?

This is the problem with having people in charge you have absolutely no faith in whatsoever. Your gut reaction to a rumor like Spurrier-to-Auburn is "that's ridiculous," but then you start thinking "Wait a minute ... they could be that dumb. Spurrier's a big, flashy name and that could totally confuse them, like a rabbit who accidentally wanders into the city! It's true! We'll be ruined! RUN FOR THE HILLS!" and that's when you need someone outside the situation like Barnhart to come along and remind you: no, this really is ridiculous.

LOLZ. In a quickie profile of Todd Graham--who, like Orson, I think is basically untouchable for ethical, he'll-stab-us-in-the-back-too-somehow reasons--Luke Brietzke accidentally sums up the Auburn coaching search-to-date:
Like many of the reported and confirmed interviewees, experience is not one of Graham’s strengths.
I believe Auburn's making inroads with other candidates we're not hearing about, but from what we've had confirmed, that's about the long and short of it, yeah.

Corroboration? Hugh Nall's testimony about the day of Tubby's departure offers some strongly-worded support for Olive Tuberville's version of events, but I think he accidentally offers some evidence in favor of Jacobs' narrative as well:
Prior to boarding, Nall called Andy Lutz (Tuberville's right-hand man) and asked if he needed to hang back or get on the plane.

"A gut feeling told me to call into the office and see what was going on," Nall said. "Tubs told Andy that I needed to go; that it looks like this thing is going to work out" ...

"What gets me is this: When I got on that plane, Tuberville was going to stay. I get off the plane an hour and 40 minutes later and it's over. What happened? There's a good story in there."
Man, I bet there is. But in the absence of that story, doesn't this seem to back up the "Tubby changed his mind" theory more than the "he never had a chance" theory? Why would Jacobs' position on Monday give Tubby enough confidence to send Nall and the other coaches out on their recruiting trips, then change so drastically on Tuesday as to constitute a "firing" of Tubby? Not that this isn't a position I haven't already stated, but: if even Nall doesn't know the answer to that, sorry, but I find it presumptuous of the rest of us Auburn fans to assume we do.

Of course, some of us Auburn fans would disagree. Like Jay, apparently, to the point that he's willing to quote Paul Finebaum approvingly. Jay's a hell of a blogger, but that alone should give you a pretty good idea about how I feel about this particular post. I might respond, but a Fanposter and, notably, Will already have it covered pretty thoroughly.

The one thing I would ask is this: at the end of next season, when we finally know whether this coaching search has been a success or not--and bear in mind we're not going to know until then, unless of course they hire Spurrier or Nix or some equivalent--Auburn fans and bloggers should come back and take stock of the statements they're making now. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe Jacobs and the Board are wholly untrustworthy fools who are poised to send Auburn football careening into the abyss of mediocrity, and anger and panic are in fact the proper response. Or maybe this will work out in the end, and Jacobs will find the right man, and Auburn will move forward as always. And the fans who have been so eager to treat Jacobs--Auburn University, class of '85 and '88--and this administration like pinatas for the beating for the last week will owe him some form of apology. I don't know which of these two scenarios will happen. I think the former is, probably, more likely. But we'll have to wait and see.

Sort of. This unattributed piece on isn't exactly on the money--Auburn '04 and 'Bama '08 aren't as analogous as the writer makes them out to be, since Auburn '04 was undefeated and had an SEC title to its name, two pretty big differences from 'Bama '08--but it's worth a read and right in saying that the longheld "the reason Auburn didn't get their shot was because they're Auburn, har har" meme amongst 'Bama fans is way, way off-target. The fault is and was the system's, always the system's.

Etc. Wire Road and Shug's Gabe Harris makes the case for Turner Gill, particularly the case that Auburn won't find a coach of higher character ... Auburntron busts out a quality anti-BCS satire, one including the immortal phrase "Nutrisystem® Low-Carb Meatloaf Bowl, hosted by the Golic Brothers." Sweet.


A united method said...

What really stings in this whole thing (to me) is that Auburn fans are sounding like Alabama fans.

Well...the alabama fans I always point at and laugh at and say "wow, I'm glad I'm not like that."

You know the type? The Alabama fans that boo their team. The Alabama fans that swear if it isn't like they want it, they'll never pull for Alabama again, the fans that complain so much about their team you feel sorry for them and wonder why they even bother.

Those kind of fans? Auburn haz it.

dbh said...

Back again with an irony I'd like to point out: when Auburn got shut out in '04 (screwed, arguably), the resulting furor may have actually HELPED the SEC in the aftermath. Do either '06 Florida or '07 LSU get their shot without '04 Auburn? I say "maybe." But I'm willing to discuss it.
Obviously, that won't the orange-and-blue fans feel better about what happened in '04 ... but, there it is nonetheless.