We aren’t Afraid Doyle

Feed’em fish heads

Some of you may or may not have seen the article posted by Gregg Doyle  of CBS Sports, basically saying that no one can compete against demi-god short stuff located in Northern Alabama. We tend to disagree, in fact one of our members decided to break down Mr. Doyles, most recent article on Auburns head coaching search.

Anyone offered Auburn job at this time, place would be a fool to take it
Gregg Doyel
By Gregg Doyel | National Columnist
Nov. 26, 2012 9:30 AM ET

I usually like Gregg Doyel, but he pushed me over the edge on this one.  Maybe it’s because I usually like the guy that this one has boiled my blood.

Auburn has the trickiest coaching vacancy to fill, maybe the trickiest college football vacancy of my lifetime. There’s not much to offer Auburn in the way of advice, other than this:

Any candidate willing to take this job should be crossed off the list. Because he must be a moron.

So was said when Nick Saban took on Alabama at the end of the 2006 season.

On probation.  Years since 1992 occurred.  Dennis Franchione thought Texas A&M was a more prominent job.  Mike Price had soiled any bit of credibility left with the Alabama administration.  Mike Shula had a chair pulled out from under him by his starting quarterback in a media press conference.  Auburn was a few years removed from an undefeated season and in 2007 had completed their overall best recruiting class in Tuberville’s tenure (nevermind that later Kodi Burns and many others turned out to bust or leave, but at the time, it was a sick class).  LSU was still highly competitive with Les Miles.  Urban Meyer was well on his way to building a dynasty with one NC already achieved and more being built behind superstar freshman Tim Tebow.

Alabama had a trickier situation that Auburn if you ask me.  Alabama wanted guaranteed championship runs every year.  They got it.

They got what they wanted.  We’re not asking for a Nick Saban type of dynasty.  We just want consistent, competitive football that qualifies for the SECCG every few years. We aren’t asking too much.

And I say that, Auburn people, with affection. I’m not anti-Auburn, not now and not even in 2010, when being anti-Auburn was all the rage. That was a magical season on the Plains, and all of Auburn — Newton, the school, the fans — deserved better than it got from the bloodthirsty media.

Which is why this article makes zero sense.

That said …

Hiring a football coach now? Now? This could be the most difficult hire I’ve ever seen, and it has nothing to do with the NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations. That won’t scare away any candidate worth a damn, because Auburn is a great football program with tradition and facilities and fans, and a job like this doesn’t come open very often. When it does, a coach jumps at it and figures he’s good enough — and this job is good enough — to overcome whatever the NCAA administers.

You defended us in 2010, but now suddenly the Joe Schads, Sheridans, and Fordes are accurate in their reporting?  Ease up on the NCAA hammer, bro.  Unless something is uncovered that no one knows about or has been reported, we’ve committed at worst, secondary violations.

Nor does the difficulty of this coaching search relate to the openings elsewhere in college football, the South, even the SEC. That Tennessee job is no joke. Neither is the one at Arkansas. North Carolina State and California also are attractive positions. But none has the cache of Auburn, a school that has won two national titles and three Heisman trophies and in time will win more of each. Football is too important at Auburn. The facilities, the support, the salary — they’ll always be right.

Right here.  Right here is where you should have closed the laptop and thought, “Man, I really need to think of a better article topic because I just debunked my entire point.  But alas…

But the timing? It’s all wrong.

It’s the worst timing possible, actually. Maybe the worst timing in the history of college football. Certainly it’s the worst timing in my lifetime, as I rack my brain — and the Internet — for similar examples and come up empty.

Redundant.  Get to the point.  Stalling?  Like reasking the question to an interviewer?  Like saying, “Am I sexually attracted to underage boys” after being asked if you’re attracted to underage boys?  That means something, and it’s not good for your article.

 This is Nick Saban’s fault, of course. He has that thing rolling at Alabama. Two national titles in three years, with a shot at a third title in four years? That’s absurd. And that’s the challenge awaiting whomever replaces Gene Chizik, which is why this hire will be so hard to get right.

Ease up, pal.  Nick Saban has (count em) ONE SEC championship.  He backed into the NC last year after some shoddy voting.  The media even admited prior to the last weekend in college football that if Oklahoma State could somehow blow out arch-rival Oklahoma, they would be impressive enough to get the #1 nod.  They did.  Alabama still went, and in a rematch game of two equal teams, of course Alabama had a chance to win.  LSU won the first round and received nothing from the BCS for it.  That’s a title that taints the reputation and sanctity of college football.

He hasn’t won anything this year.  Not one thing.  Has he been dominant?  Yes.  He runs college football right now from recruiting to hype to media attention to NFL talent.  But does he have it in a firm grasp?  No.  No he doesn’t.  Let’s move on…

Not that Chizik should have been retained. Nice as he is, Chizik had to go. The fall from the perfection of 2010 to the abomination of 2012 was swift, with no reason to believe the future would be better. Chizik didn’t win at Iowa State, then didn’t win at Auburn without Cam Newton. Maybe he’s just not that good, although that’s hard to say because, again, the Nick Saban factor.

Gag me with a spoon, you pestilent maggot.  He’s not that good.  Nick Saban had nothing to do with Ole Miss beating Auburn 41-20 or Georgia scoring 38 unanswered points or the abomination that occurred in numerous games in 2011.

Saban is that good. No way to compare one college football coach to another, not at the level we’re talking about here, but Saban has to be among the greatest ever — a list that includes Bear Bryant, Barry Switzer, Tom Osborne, Jimmy Johnson, Bobby Bowden, Pete Carroll and (yes) Urban Meyer.

So let’s get back to it. Is Saban good?  Yes.  He’s very good.  One of the best if not the best in the country.  But let’s not act like he’s invincible.

If Nick Saban was invincible and truly deleterious to the future of Auburn football, he wouldn’t have lost to Utah.  Or needed to rely on an injury to Colt McCoy to beat Texas (wasn’t looking good for Alabama up until that point.  If you’re using fanciful arguments, I get to say that Texas would have won that game.  But I don’t think I will.)

If he were invincible and a god, he wouldn’t have lost three times in 2010.  He wouldn’t have lost after being up 24-0 at home and led by four first round draft picks.  Or is it nine?  Nine if you include the starters that played and were drafted in 2012.

If he were invincible, which he’s not, he wouldn’t have needed a last minute heroic drive to beat LSU.  He wouldn’t have lost to Texas A&M.

He wouldn’t have been sitting on his couch hoping for Kansas State and Oregon to lose.

He would have been controlling his own destiny every year.  But he hasn’t.  He’s lost.  He’s failed.  He’s relied on luck to get him through.  He has one complete season in his six year tenure.  Lots of success, sure.  But enough to warrant this drivel?  No.

Taking a job opposite Saban? That’s career suicide. In six years at Alabama he has run off two coaches at Auburn (Tommy Tuberville resigned, or something, in 2008) and helped run off three at Tennessee. Saban could even be the reason Meyer left Florida. That’s not a sure thing — who knows what Meyer was thinking in 2009, and then 2010? — but it has to be considered. Sharing a conference with Nick Saban is like sharing a steak with a lion. Only one of you wins that battle. And it’s not you.

No.  He did not run off coaches.  They failed at their job.  The only coach you could maybe make the argument for is Urban Meyer because he was at his peak, lost to Saban, and ran away.  However, as you admit, it’s not a sure thing, and it definitely wouldn’t fly in court.  Tuberville, Fulmer, Kiffin, Dooley – they all made their own bed.

So did Chizik.  So will the next head coach at Auburn.

Now imagine sharing a state with Saban — and not just any state, but this one. A state with no NFL team, no NBA team, no MLB team. No real passion for college basketball, and no other BCS school, either. Just Alabama and Auburn. Just you two. Staring at each other from 160 miles away, fans of both schools expecting to beat the other. Beating the other means competing for SEC and national titles, but that’s just an added benefit. The most important thing in the state, if you’re an Alabama fan, is to beat Auburn. And if you’re an Auburn fan, it’s beating Alabama.

Yes, and for the last 30 years, Auburn owns the series.  Auburn had six straight.  Alabama has two right now.  Auburn has three undefeated seasons since 1990.  Alabama has two.  Alabama had their first Heisman winner in their history.  Auburn added its third.
We know what this state is like and what it takes to compete with them.

But how are you going to do that? Saban recruits like John Calipari at Kentucky — looking at the menu and picking whatever he wants.

Yes, we know.  We tried to alert you of this with the obvious evidence from T-Town Menswear and the strange recruitment of Brent Calloway and the laptop with Jerrell Harris and the fishing trip with Julio Jones and the new house in Alabama for Trent Richardson’s mother and the last second turning of TJ Yeldon.

But you gave us nothing in return, so buzz off with his recruiting prowess.

At running back alone, Saban has gone from Heisman winner Mark Ingram to No. 3 overall NFL draft pick Trent Richardson to junior Eddie Lacy (1,001 yards this season) and freshman T.J. Yeldon (847 yards). And for next season Alabama has signed the most prolific rusher in U.S. high school history, Derrick Henry. It’s terrifying what’s going on at Alabama, and Auburn has never been in this hiring position — not even when Bear Bryant was doing something similar in Tuscaloosa.

We were in this hiring position in 2008.  Won a national championship in two years.  Did Chizik suck in the long term?  Yes.  But that was because of Gene Chizik.  It was not because of Nick Saban.

In fact, in Nick Saban’s fourth year, he lost to Gene Chizik while Auburn went undefeated and received a nice crystal trophy.  Nick Saban and his stable of running backs didn’t have any control over Auburn.  Which is my point.  He has none.  But you keep writing this hackneyed bullshit that we’ve already read over and over again in our state newspapers.

See, Auburn already had legendary coach Shug Jordan when Alabama hired Bear in 1958, and Jordan stayed until 1975. Auburn promoted offensive coordinator Doug Barfield to head coach, but he couldn’t survive Bear. Pat Dye was hired in 1981, but by then Bear Bryant was 68 years old and fading. He retired the next year.

What does this have to do with anything?

Auburn has embarked on a national search for a coach to compete with Nick Saban, the new Bear — and he’s not fading. He’s holding steady at an elite level, and at age 61 he’s not going anywhere. He already tried the NFL and didn’t like it. Odds are he’ll retire from coaching when he retires from Alabama, and it’s hard to imagine him retiring any time soon.

Should we embark on a worldwide search?  Would that help?  Or are you part of small business weekend, and want us to search locally?  Maybe Josh Nesbitt?  Hoover’s good.  We should get their coach.

This is the buzz saw awaiting the next Auburn coach. Les Miles has survived and even thrived at LSU, but he’s merely sharing the SEC West with Saban — not the same state. Regardless, bully for Les Miles. Whatever he’s earning, he should walk into his boss’ office and say, “Double it.”

I’m not very apt to name logical fallacies, but I do believe this is a red herring.  Doesn’t matter what it actually is.  Les Miles isn’t part of this conversation other than being able to say that it is possible to compete with Nick Saban.

LSU would have to give it to him, because the alternative is even scarier: Doing what Auburn is doing right now. Trying to find a coach smart enough to compete with Nick Saban — without finding a coach dumb enough to think he actually can.

I imagine that your perfect choice for Auburn would be a eunuch.

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