Scott Loeffler New Auburn Offensive Coordinator; Lackluster Hire Fits Scheme

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2012

If I run that way I won't have to pass the ball.
If I run that way I won't have to pass the ball.Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Auburn hired offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler away from the Temple Owls.

My previous article preached about how it had become crunch time for Gene Chizik to hire an offensive coordinator. I wrote about the fact that it wasn't going to come from one of the last NFL playoff teams. Those OCs were taken. 

I couldn't have guessed it would be Temple's first year OC. Who did?

Here is the rundown. Scott has been a quarterbacks coach since 2000. He played the position at Michigan from 1993-96 and then worked as a graduate assistant at Michigan, along with coaching stints at Central Michigan, Florida in 2009 and the Detroit Lions, per his Temple bio.

Even though his bio reads as though he was instrumental in such development as Chad Henne, Tom Brady, Brian Griese, Jon Navarre, Drew Henson and Tim Tebow for the NFL, you can tell Temple was trying to give credible credence to the hire. Specifically, Loeffler was not the quarterbacks coach during the Brian Griese and Tom Brady Michigan era, he was a graduate student and assistant, respectively.

As the Temple Owls offensive coordinator in 2011, Loeffler guided the offense to a 9-4 season and 63rd ranking in total offense. The previous year the Owls were 89th and 8-4, being shunned from the postseason bowl picks.

Increasing the team's scoring average, he decreased the passing numbers while riding several players, including utilizing three quarterbacks, during the season to rack up a seventh-ranked rushing attack. They dropped to the 116th passing squad, which was last in the division.

Somebody tap Kiehl Frazier on the shoulder.

For a quarterbacks coach who purportedly mentored the aforementioned names, he sure didn't do much to increase the passing game. Instead, much like Auburn and Gus Malzahn in the 2010 season, Loeffler relied on the run to win the game. Well, the Owls defense was actually pretty good, so therein lies some of the glory.

Nonetheless, so much for the big splash. So much for hiring an offensive coordinator with years of experience. So much for grabbing a man who has a known and established offensive identity.

This seems like a last-minute, desperation hire. Get the best of the least. All I heard when Malzahn was hired is that he was an offensive genius. Well, if Malzahn is an offensive genius, what does that make Scott Loeffler?

The wilderness just got a little bit bigger for Auburn. And the walk just got a little bit farther. But I'm sure the clearing is just past the next thicket...or four.