Pigskin Punditry No. 9: Time To Get Serious

David SingletonCorrespondent IOctober 10, 2008

It's a little bit funny how this week, I wrote an article that called for the firing of a head coach in order to put him and his team out of their collective misery.

Well, a firing did take place this week. It just occurred from the opposite corner of the country.

After publicly backing him on Monday, Auburn University Head Coach Tommy Tuberville fired Offensive Coordinator Tony Franklin on Wednesday before practice. Franklin cleaned out his office and drove away Wednesday evening.

Besides the obvious indignity of watching Franklin carry all of his personal effects to his car (apparently, no interns were around to help the coach out,) it is also a shame that things had to end this way.

Tuberville dumped Al Borges before the Tigers' bowl game last season and hired Franklin away from Troy University to install his patented "Tony Franklin" offensive system. Tuberville wanted to shake up the offense.

Well, the offense wasn't really shaken up as much as it was pureed.

Granted, I've watched all or part of four of Auburn's six games this season.

The offense they were running was NOT the Tony Franklin system.

It appeared to be some bizarre hybrid of the spread that, frankly, looked clueless.

The only time that Auburn appeared to be in some kind of an offense rhythm this season was the first quarter of the game against Vanderbilt University last week.

They were running old fashioned Auburn power football in that game.

Now, it's already become popular to try and psychoanalyze what caused Tuberville to react this way.

Firing an offensive coordinator halfway through a season is not a prudent course of action. Paying two different offensive coordinators to not coordinate your offense is not a prudent thing to do—especially in these tough economic times.

But the big question in my mind is this: How much of this decision was driven by the offense's performance?

And how much of it was driven by the fact that Alabama is 6-0 this season?

It makes you wonder.

This week's picks will be given in brief:

The Oklahoma Sooners over the Texas Longhorns in the Red River Rivalry game, 44-24. Oklahoma is too good, and Texas's secondary is too green. Texas QB Colt McCoy will have his hands full.

The Missouri Tigers over the Oklahoma State Cowboys, 45-31. A pretty close game between two evenly matched teams with regards to talent. Missouri just has a bit more talent and a slightly better defense. Look for a special teams touchdown by Missouri and a defensive touchdown to be the difference in this game.

The LSU Tigers over the Florida Gators, 27-21. Yes, the Gators are at home, and yes, the Florida offense finally looked like it was starting to come around last week. But I've started to learn that I shouldn't bet against Les Miles and the Bayou Bengals in big games.

Every time I'm ready to bury them, they manage to surprise me.

The Penn State Nitany Lions over the Wisconsin Badgers, 24-14. The Spread HD offense of Penn State will get a true road test against Wisconsin, who should be pretty desperate coming into this game after losing the last two weeks.

They will be hungry and frenzied, but it won't be enough. Penn State will control the ball enough on offense and will rattle Badgers QB Allan Evridge and force him into two critical mistakes late in the game.