By now, all college football fans know the saga of Auburn, and the hiring of Gene Chizik. What some may have missed is while Auburn has been taking fire for hiring a coach who has amassed just a 5-19 record while coaching for the Iowa State Cyclones when it appeared there were more qualified candidates out there, Iowa State's Athletic Director was firing shots across the bow of Gene Chizik himself.
Jamie Pollard made news early last week when he aired his dislike for the way that Chizik handled the situation, claiming that Chizik told Pollard he wasn't going anywhere one day, and announcing he had taken the Auburn head job the next. Pollard made it clear that isn't how he would treat his employer had the situations been reversed.
Today Pollard was able to take a measure of revenge as he hired away the man who would most likely have been Chizik's defensive coordinator in Paul Rhodes to be the Cyclones new head coach.
The parallels between Rhoads and Chizik go deeper than just sharing current and former schools. In 2000, then Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville offered then Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads the same job at his school. Rhoads, who was in just his second season as a coordinator turned Tuberville down, and Auburn hired Gene Chizik instead.
Chizik soon left for the Cyclones head job, and when his replacement, Will Muschamp left Auburn to become the defensive coordinator, and "head-coach-in-waiting" at Texas, Tuberville was successful in his second bid to lure Rhoads to the Tigers.
This is a homecoming of sorts for Rhoads. While he played football at Missouri Western, he was born in Akeny, Iowa and coached the inside linebackers for Iowa State from 1995-1999.
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