16 December 2008
SEC Rival BlogsThe Garnet and Black Attack (South Carolina) gives Auburn an "F", noting that it "makes Alabama's hiring of Mike Shula look like pure genius." Ouch. Dawg Sports (Georgia) thinks that's too good. The hire gets a "G" because "[g]iving this hire an F would be an insult to those whose failure is of a merely ordinary, rather than grandiose, variety." They follow that with 10 Better Candidates, including Tommy Tuberville. Get the Picture, another excellent Georgia blog, starts the rhetorical question train with "When’s the last time a school paid a buyout to hire a head coach coming off a season in which his team went winless in conference (without facing the three best teams in the conference, to boot)?" That's right, Iowa State is in the Big 12 North, and has missed Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech the last 2 years while amassing a 2-14 record in the Big 12. Team Speed Kills, a blog covering the SEC as a whole, asks "what does it say that Mississippi State hired a more attractive head coaching candidate than Auburn?" The Dead Guy's SEC Site echoes that concern, suggesting possible reasons for the hire, including "Chizik has compromising photographs of Jacobs... possibly something with farm animals or leather." Hey Jenny Slater brings us a new word: "Chizik". Among its varied definitions including "2 to effectively give up or admit defeat by submitting a careless, ill-considered solution -- syn PUNT". Third Saturday in Blogtober covers the hire from the Tennessee perspective, headlining their commentary "In which Jay Jacobs hands the keys to the state of Alabama to Nick Saban". Their photo of the new head coach is captioned "I hope they don't realize until it's too late that they hired the wrong former defensive coordinator." The Red Solo Cup says "Don't expect Auburn to be competitive next season. They'll have coaching that is significantly worse with a roster that's not significantly better." The presciently note that this will open up the Raymond Cotton recruiting - he decommitted from Auburn yesterday(pay link), and lists Ole Miss as his #1. Orange and Blue Hue (Florida) displays shock in the "Ugly" portion of this SEC coaching hires, noting "I guess it’s simple, either no one of any ability actually wanted the job or Gene Chizik promises to be such a Lowder yes man that he was too hard to pass up." Finally, And The Valley Shook (LSU) is the first here to mention race, noting in "Auburn Settles":
And just to throw this out there, I think the Black Coaches Association will and probably should make a big stink over this hire. Not all hirings of white coaches are offensive, but when a retread like Gene Chizik gets a big pay raise after failing at his previous job, while coaches like Turner Gill and Dewayne Walker are passed over, they have every reason to complain.
National ReactionDr. Saturday has a twin bill on the hire, first noting that "24 games in, the Cyclones have made no discernible progress from that ignominious start. Realistically, Chizik was probably another losing season away from being fired. At Iowa State." He follows that with reaction from the internet. Awful Announcing has a succinct and vicious lead:
"EPIC FAIL" does not begin to describe a coaching search that should never have existed, yet ends in the hiring of your school's former defensive coordinator, who has been an absolute joke of a head coach in the red-headed stepchild of a division that is the Big XII NorthFrank Costanza of Scout.com additionally puts it into perspective:
It’s the equivalent of a 53-foot shot in the middle of the first quarter of a basketball game. Even if it goes in, there’s still no excuse for taking this dumb a shot.Deadspin is predictably amused - "So, yeah, Auburn fans are pretty much f#*&%@. How do you make Dan Mullen and Lane Kiffin look like Bear Bryant? You hire Gene Chizik." Then, they visit the accusation that Turner Gill wasn't hired because he has a white wife. This isn't just a reaction from loons who write blogs (and the guys at Deadspin are among our favorite loons who write blogs), but speculation from an ESPN writer (Mark Schlabach) on Outside the Lines.
Local ReactionIt's also the current theory from none other than Charles Barkley.Barkley trashed his alma mater on Monday, nothing that "I think race was the No. 1 factor. You can say it's not about race, but you can't compare the two resumes and say [Chizik] deserved the job. Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizik probably had the worst resume." Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News is incredulous:
One college football insider who knows both the current Alabama boss and the man Auburn has chosen to battle him said Chizik is a good coach - but Nick Saban will eat him for breakfast. No word on whether it'll be before or after his daily Little Debbies.The Joe Cribbs Car Wash is predictable excellent (and predictably sad), wondering if it's Auburn's turn to be terrible:
That's the same part of my brain I tried to drown Saturday night, the part that was worrying that Auburn was about to re-enter the Barfield days and that this time, in this new SEC of Meyerses and Sabans and Richts, we'd never come out, trapped in our horrible Shreveport winters forever.That actually makes me feel bad for them. Briefly.
Iowa State ReactionFinally, for that Auburn friend who's been needling you about the Saban hire for 2 years, Gene Chizik told his current boss twice - once on Saturday - that he wasn't taking the Auburn job. Finally, CycloneReport.com, the Rivals site for Iowa State, has this to say:
Beating Alabama trumps all else at Auburn and Nick Saban will probably floss with Gene Chizik on an annual basis. It's a coaching mismatch of epic proportions. I mean, if Mike Sanford and Tom Amstutz and Doug Martin hand you your lunch with inferior talent, what's Saban going to do with superior talent? When the clock ticks down to 0:00 on future Iron Bowls, there will be nothing left to do but I.D. the Auburn bodies. Good luck, Auburn, you'll need it.That made me giggle a little. And of course, we have to mention our faithful reader Jehremy, who took it upon himself to roll Toomer's Corner in celebration of Auburn's hire. Words just can't properly capture that... so imagine a pair of hands slowly clapping in approval.
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