by WCT, The Ship of Fools
“Calling You Out!” is a periodic segment where WCT takes people to task for irresponsible journalism, foolhardy activities, or just general douchebaggery. Nothing is sacred, no one is spared, watch your ass mister! You could be next!
Today: Another horrible college football coaching decision
Last week, I chuckled when I saw that Auburn stupidly forced a coach out who owned their arch rival (best winning percentage in the history of the Iron Bowl) and won nearly 70% of his games over 10 years. Apparently in the plains of Alabama, one stupid decision deserves another.
Auburn replaced Tommy Tuberville, the former AP National Collegiate Coach of the Year, with the guy who lost more games over the past two seasons than anyone else in his conference.
Gene Chizik, the Head Coach at Iowa State in '07 and '08, was named the new Coach at Auburn over the weekend. Iowa State - who finished last in the Big 12 each of Chizik's 2 seasons there - was probably happy to see him go. The Cyclones finished the 2008 campaign 0-8 in conference, which on the surface is horrific. Nevertheless, it gets even worse when you look even closer. ISU plays in the laughable Big 12 North Division, and did not face Texas, Texas Tech, or Oklahoma in their conference schedule. So they played in the easier half of the league, did not face any of the heavyweights, and still were unable to muster a conference victory.
I honestly don't even know where to begin with this one. The sheer stupidity of forcing out arguably the best coach your program has had in a quarter-century is bad enough. To replace him with a guy who is arguably the worst coach in the Big 12 borders on lunacy. In all likelihood, had Gene Chizik stayed in Ames, he would have began the 2009 season on the hot seat after his first two pathetic years there. Instead, he benefits from his disastrous tenure by getting the head coaching gig at Auburn. Tiger fans are already up in arms over the hire, and the ink isn't even dry on his contract. Cyclone fans, on the other hand, were so ecstatic they did everything but offer to help Chizik pack and drive him to the airport. I cannot remember a more puzzling combination of questionable firing and bizarre hiring at any level of major sport.
This is not second-guessing, because I'm saying it ahead of time: Auburn has made a huge mistake (well, 2 actually). The same mistakes that Nebraska made a few years ago when they fired Frank Solich and hired Bill Callahan (how'd that work out?), and the same mistakes that the Kentucky basketball program made when they fired Tubby Smith and hired Billy Gillespie (how's that working out?). These programs all lost sight of who they were and what they had become. They failed to realize that they should be happy with the results that they were getting. Auburn isn't Alabama. They don't have the history of Alabama, they don't have the same prestige as Alabama, and to be frank, they don't have the caliber of football program that Alabama has. If they are able to get their hands on a coach who can regularly compete with Alabama, let alone go 7-3 over the Tide as Tuberville did, they should cling to him and let him coach there as long as he wants. They certainly shouldn't force him out in favor of a newbie head coach who led a team to consecutive last-place finishes at a 3rd (4th?) tier program.
by WCT, The Ship of Fools