Oh, how far the mighty have fallen at Auburn University after the insider information that Iowa State's Gene Chizik will be the Tigers' next head football coach. Gene Chizik? You've gotta be kidding me!!!!
This is Auburn University, not Slippery Rock or Farleigh Dickinson. How in the world is a football program like Auburn settling for a coach who posted a 5-19 record over the past two seasons at Iowa State?
Alabama fans are salivating all over the state at this news! If Auburn does indeed hire Chizik, next season's recruits will be de-pledging quicker than a barefoot kid running across a summer blacktop parking lot.
Potential replacements for departed Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville were solid coaches who had successful track records. Jim Grobe at Wake Forest, check. Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech, ditto. Turner Gill at Buffalo, check. Gene Chizik at Iowa State...hold on a corn field minute!
Chizik may be a great guy. He may have been a great defensive coordinator in 2004 at Auburn and then after that at Texas. But, to keep Auburn fans happy, and to keep arch rival Alabama from kicking you into football oblivion for many years to come, you don't hire a guy who could only win five games in two seasons at Iowa State.
Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs should have tried for Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables or Alabama defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. Either of those coaches would have been better hires than Chizik.
I am not an Auburn fan (and I wouldn't admit it now if I was!). I did, however, spend 35 years living in Alabama. With no professional sports of any significance in that state, the University of Alabama and Auburn University garner attention 365 days a year.
The hiring of Chizik is going to make for a long 2009 for Auburn fans everywhere. Auburn is going to lose season ticket holders left and right. Fans are going to be livid at the fact that their proud institution settled for a coach with an abysmal record.
Why did Auburn settle for Chizik? Because of these reasons:
- Booster Bobby Lowder runs the show on The Plains and he didn't want Gill
- The Tigers didn't want to take the public rejection of storied and more desirable coaches like Steve Spurrier, Bobby Petrino, Mike Leach, etc. They wanted to get a coach in the fold as quickly as possible, and who better than a guy like Chizik who would have been run out of Ames, Iowa by next season anyway?
- Chizik has ties to Auburn's last run of glory in 2004.
An Auburn fan's comments on one of the state's biggest newspaper websites summed up the situation best: "I think I just Chiziked in my mouth a little after hearing who our next football coach is going to be."
Hang in there, Auburn fans. At least baseball season will be here soon.