uburn people, re-closet those shotguns; your program is not in shambles.
As if it was the day some lunatic(s) shot the President, or the day this country was attacked on its own soil, Auburn folks act like they will forever remember exactly where they were the moment they found out their school hired Gene Chizik to be its head football coach.
Thar’ I wuz…headin’ back to the camp after my mid-aft’noon hunt. Just come up over thet ridge thar’…you know…whar’ the cell phones start gittin’ service. And my text-a-messages start a-rollin’ in.
Well one-of-um’s from Lenny. And I see tha’ wurdz…but I cayn’t b’lieve ’em. F’in Gene Chizik. You kiddin’ me? I had ta’ put ma’ rifle down right thar’ and smoke a Marl’bur.
I’ll be damn’d if-a I don’t r’member that moment fer’ tha’ resta my life.
That may very well hold true, but maybe for different reasons. He may be a great head coach for Auburn.
The primary outrage among the War Eagle Nation regarding the hire is Chizik’s ghastly head coaching record (5-19 in two seasons at Iowa State). Most AU fans wanted the other defensive coordinator who fled the Plains for Hill Country, Texas. When that deal fell ill, they expected, at the very least, a coach who has won more than he’s lost. Maybe even Turner Gill.
But Chizik was no different than that other defensive coordinator two years ago. Sure, he made a mistake, one that almost decapitated his career, when he accepted the coaching job at Iowa State, which is an awful, awful program. The greatest football coach in ISU history averaged 4.7 wins per year. That coach, Dan McCarney, who led the Cyclones for 12 seasons, did not win more than four games in a season before his sixth year. Six years it took McCarney to post a winning record. SIX YEARS! How crappy is a program that doesn’t fire a guy who wins no more than four games each of his first five years? The answer is pretty damn crappy. Chizik was overhauling the entire program. Sometimes when that happens, it gets worse before it gets better.
Iowa State in the Big 12 is comparable to Vanderbilt in the SEC. But much, much worse. Its athletic budget is the lowest in the conference, and Chizik made a bad career decision to go there.
As an assistant at Auburn, the man engineered some of the most smothering defenses in school history. His final year as the Tigers’ DC, 2004, his unit allowed just over 11 points a game and was a major reason that season was the greatest of all-time for AU. The next year at Texas, in ’05, Chizik’s D had a lot to do with the Longhorns’ national championship.
Of course being a great coordinator does not always lead to being a great head coach. But neither Bear Bryant nor Merlin the Magician could have won more than a few games at ISU. Another main criticism of Auburn’s new head coach is that he is not a powerful recruiter. That contention is yet to be explained.
Iowa State’s recruiting class is currently ranked 76th in the nation, and was 60th and 62nd in Chizik’s first two recruiting seasons there, according to Rivals.com. Pretty good considering the abhorrent Cyclone program (see above). A turd sandwich with tomatoes, pickles, and ranch dressing is still a turd sandwich.
And it’s doubtful Chizik had nothing to do with the stellar defensive talent that signed with Auburn from ’02-’04 and with Texas from ’05-’07
So the Auburn nation needs to settle down and thank God it has a head football coach this holiday season. Considering the shattered lightbulbs running the show in Lee County these days, they should be thankful they have an athletic program at all.
As for those who can’t get over Tuberville…get over him. He’s gone…and won’t be fooling around with the program down the street…at least for another year.