Kiehl Frazier's abysmal performance thus far has dug the Auburn Tigers into a hole they won't likely get out of before December, and it has many wondering, "What if Barrett Trotter had stayed?"
Today on the Cole Cubelic Show on 97.7 FM (transcripts are not available on the website) in Huntsville, Alabama, Cole Cubelic (the former Auburn starting center) unearthed something incredible.
The show often has former Auburn quarterback Barrett Trotter on the line to discuss some Tiger football among other things. Today, Cubelic finally asked what many had been wondering: Why did Trotter call it quits after his junior year?
Was it an unknown injury, some unseen drama or was he just tired of football?
There is no transcript available for the show, but the general feel of what Trotter said was quite unexpected.
He was professional throughout the segment and didn't directly say anything bad about the team or the coaches, but he did make it clear that he felt the coaches had made their decision long before the 2012 season.
That unofficial decision, according to Trotter, was made in January 2012 (when Trotter declared he would not return) or earlier. The choice was that Kiehl Frazier would be the starter in 2012.
The Auburn coaches, including Gene Chizik, wanted to win and they wanted Kiehl Frazier at quarterback.
Would Auburn be better off if Barrett Trotter returned?
Trotter uttered some words that will very likely and quite notoriously describe Auburn's 2012 campaign.
"They got who they wanted, just not what they wanted".
Trotter himself didn't have the best first season as a starter in 2011, but he performed well with such youth around him, something that cannot be said of Frazier thus far.
Trotter struggled at times last year, but many quickly forgot his performance against Utah State that picked up the slack for an atrocious defense. He completed 73.9 percent of his passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns with no picks.
Against Mississippi State, he played a good game when everyone had Auburn pegged to lose. He completed 69.6 percent of his passes for 146 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
That same Mississippi State defense held the future national champions, Alabama, to 24 points and their second lowest total of the regular season. They also forced the Tide to run Heisman finalist Trent Richardson 32 times, the highest of his career, and held him to a measly 3.97 yards per carry.
When 'Bama quarterback AJ McCarron faced the Bulldogs that same year, he only completed 58.3 percent of his passes for 163 yards with no touchdowns and one pick. McCarron had a hell of a lot more talent around him in 2011 than Trotter did.
Cubelic and his co-hosts were dead set in the belief that if Trotter had been the starter Week 1, the Tigers would be 2-0 as opposed to 0-2.
I am inclined to agree.
It's all heresay and speculation, but I firmly believe that Gene Chizik unwittingly chased off a player who really could have delivered for them this season by allegedly telling him he would not have a chance to start.
Frazier may be the future for the Tigers, but it's starting to look like they will have to burn a season on him to "get there," and that's assuming he ever does.
I can't help but wonder if the means justify the end. Is it really okay to hamstring your program like this just to get one guy on the field?
Just for the record, I have been a supporter of Clint Moseley over Kiehl Frazier since Trotter announced he would not return.
Many have disagreed, saying such things as "This is Frazier's team, now." Yes, it is Frazier's team, and his team is 0-2.
As a realistic critic, I recognize what Gene Chizik did in 2010 (or rather what Cam Newton did), but other than that one season, Chizik has been mired in mediocrity despite many highly prized recruits.
Is he really the right man for the job? That question refers to both Chizik and Frazier alike.
All I know is that the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks have the Tigers' number and they are coming.
Be wary, Auburn.