Auburn University Should Not Re-Hire Tommy Tuberville
The mammoth roller coaster ride that is college football at Auburn University continues through corkscrew twists and 60 mph turns, championship ups and nosedive season downs that leaves its passengers elated, ready to jump back on and ride again or in the nearby bushes barfing and crying for change. The Auburn football 2015 season with its deceiving 4 – 3 win/loss record has fans wondering where the lowest point on this ride will go before Auburn University athletic director Jay Jacobs, who hired two coaches, with likely lower winning percentages than their predecessor, Tommy Tuberville, cries, “no mas!” again.
The first surprise twist came suddenly in an FCS loop and a season opener that ended in a 20 point tie in regulation time against a paid-to-play Jacksonville State University, turned up and ended in a win. Fans were turned upside down where a win felt like a loss. But the next loop wrapped around an SEC West matchup, and turned an October 24th visit to Fayetteville, Arkansas, hog tied 24 points each until the Razorbacks woo pig sooied the Tigers and dropped them and their stomachs in a quadruple overtime loss leaving Auburn University fans desperately grasping for the Pepto Bismol.
The scariest part of the Gus-coaster ride is how rapidly the jagged bumps are coming. His riders barely recovered from Coach Gene Chizik at the controls of Auburn football heading up for a 2010 BCS National Championship highest peak in the NCAA amusement park, so high passengers could see all the way back to 1957, the last time it happened. But the next cork screw turn, riders screaming and hanging on for dear life takes them down the 60-year lowest swamp dive in 2012, three-win season. Chizik is shown out of the park by Jay Jacobs’ via a “Letter to the Fans” after a 63% winning rating and only one losing season in his fourth and final year at Auburn.
“The competition in our league is fierce and is currently at an all-time high, and we cannot risk falling further behind by waiting another year and hoping for improvement.”
“…we have put together an outstanding search committee to find our next head coach.”
Gotta admit, that one hill was a thrill.
Ride not just over, Ride closed.
Gene Chizik left with as good a final season record at Auburn as he had in either of the two years of his only previous job as a head football coach.
This time, Auburn University Athletic Director Jay Jacobs assigned a committee to hire the head football coach and they didn’t look further than Gene Chizik’s coaching tree.
Climb on board the Gus Malzahn coaster for 2013 put the pieces back together and get the train back on track.
CLICK… CLICK… CLICK…back up the next hill.
A new record speed 100 foot climb – Boom!
Feet dangling, Tigers had one of Auburn’s most memorable seasons in the history of Auburn University football. The legends were not mythical, “The Prayer in Jordan Hare” win over Georgia and “The Kick Six” derailing Alabama’s championship three-peat; Auburn won an SEC Championship and came within 13 seconds of winning a National Championship!
Whoo! What a ride!
Hang on tight!
Right back to the downhill slide – whoosh!
Stop. Stop the ride.
Get off the Ride.
Look up at the roller coaster for a minute.
Is football at Auburn University as good as it was when Tommy Tuberville left?
Tommy Tuberville left in 2008 after ten seasons at Auburn University was 85 – 40 overall, 68%, other than bookending his career with five-win seasons, he always won at least seven games and was bowl eligible.
Looking down the track, if the Gus Coaster facing its biggest loops of the season hits the bottom of the final four SEC games and only hangs on in the Idaho turn, the Gus Ride will have a .66 overall winning percentage.
That’s not as amusing as the Tuberville ride.
How fun was the Tuberville ride at Auburn University?
Tubbs won an SEC Championship after a perfect 2004 season, the SEC West five times and made Alabama fans “fear the thumb.”
The lows weren’t as low and the highs weren’t as high, but it was a nice ride.
Meanwhile Tommy Tuberville in his third turn as a Bearcat is doing roughly the same job at Cincinnati as he did at Auburn University. With his American Athletics Conference Co-Championship in 2014, Tubbs looks like a great hire.
Is Miami looking at Tuberville?
Head Coach Al Golden’s five year ride at Miami only dipped as low as six wins, but did that twice and has a 56% winning percentage. Dumped off the coaster 2015 mid-season, Golden was let go with the same record this season that Gus Malzahn has now.
Should Auburn fire up the jet for a reverse “JetGate” of sorts?
An A.D. searching for a steady head coach and doesn’t mind one who would rather hunt ducks than defensive backs, Tuberville is their man. From the press box at the last Cincinnatti game before he started, Tuberville said it was a place that didn’t expect to win every Saturday. He strutted about how much easier it is to recruit from Cincinnati, Ohio than Lubbock, Texas (Texas Tech.)
“There’s 50 high schools within a 10-mile radius of here (Cincinnati) that we can hang our hat on year in and year out,”
“there is a little bit of a problem recruiting at Tech because you’re so far away. You have to have some salesmen on your staff because you’ve got to go far away to get players.”
Gene Chizik fell off the Tuberville train and Gus Malzahn from the Chizik train, so if this coaster is making another upside down 360 degree turn, it could wind back at re-hiring Tommy Tuberville. The fact that Cincinnati is only 30 miles from Guilford, Indiana, home of Tuberville’s wife, Suzanne, and the odds of Tuberville going anywhere seem unlikely is not the reason that Auburn University should not hire Tommy Tuberville.
Should Auburn University take another look around the amusement park?
A year after Tuberville dropped his Ole Miss cap for an Auburn cap and was introduced as the new head football coach at Auburn University, 1999, LSU was ushering in a new coaching era also with their new head football coach Nick Saban.
Should Auburn have lured Saban away from Sparty the way LSU did?
This year Auburn University hired Florida’s head coach, Will Muschamp, who is re-tooling the coaster as Auburn defensive coordinator, but did Florida also hire Auburn’s head coach?
Auburn hired Gus Malzahn after one year at Arkansas State at the same time Jim McElwain was the head coach at Colorado State.
Now Jim McElwain is the head coach at Florida and already made it through scary whirls through Kentucky, Ole Miss, Missouri and Tennessee and has those Gators ranked in the AP Top 25. The McElwain train was once hitched to the Saban staff at Alabama. They’re heading up the track, CLICK… CLICK… CLICK… but who knows if Florida is not on a roller coaster of its own.
So even though it was a smoother ride on the Tuberville train and things look better at Florida than Auburn right now, hiring Tuberville would not solve anything. And besides, none of the last three Auburn coaches have a winning percentage as high as Terry Bowden or Pat Dye who both won better than 72%.
Click…click…click… the car keeps moving and passengers’ eyes big as saucers looking ahead to four Goliath peaks, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama down the track, the November loop could be the most gut wrenching of them all.
Besides, who really wants to get off the big ride and head to a Sweet Spot Candy Shop or a Midway Boutique?
If you haven’t lost your lunch yet on this ride, it’s only ‘cause your eyes are closed.
The coaster is where the thrill is.
Hold on tight.
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