With the drama surrounding the Auburn head football coaching job, if it is available, one had to wonder if what happened a few years ago could possibly happen again.
Apparently, representatives of Auburn have reached out to Mike Leach and Bobby Petrino. Petrino declined, saying the window to hire him closed last year (insert your own joke here). Leach, however, indicated interest.
I agree with Paul Westerdawg and others, firing Tubberville would be crazy. Auburn won’t fill that job with anyone better. Leach would be crazy to take the Auburn job when he could go to Washington with the same money, realistic expectations and a much less ambitious and history ladden instate rival. Of course, some of those thing are what drives coaches, so Leach might just be crazy enough to try it. However, while he might be the sexy coach this year, his accomplishments don’t even remotely approach what Tubberville has accomplished in the past 10 years at Auburn.
Look, I get the pitfalls of keeping someone around too long and would probably feel the same way Auburn fans do if Georgia suffered a 5-7 season and lost to everyone of significance on the schedule. The primary difference is that Tubberville MUST step up and say he was grasping at straws the past two years, fire Greg Knox (his recruiting coordinator), but admit he dind’t press the talen issue enought with Know, and find a top flight QB somehow, somewhere. Plus, he has to find an OC that will install an offense that fits the talent or one that is willing to think outside the box enough to fit his scheme to the talent at hand.
If Tubberville is hard headed about admitting mistakes in hiring and signing guys or worse just throws yet another coordinator or two under the bus, he may well be a lame duck, even if he doesn’t know it. He is a good coach, but one that thinks he has Auburn by the short hairs after the debacle in 2003 and the perfect season in 2004. That is the only explanation I have for the past two years. He doesn’t. Phil Fulmer won a national title and played football at Tennessee, but his refusal to seriously address and adapt his management style and coaching to the situation at hand cost him his job (well, that and hiring Clawson and not signing a top QB, but I digress). Tubberville might be in the same situation if he isn’t careful. Or if it isn’t too late.
From the Georgia fan’s perspective, having Tubberville gone is probably a good thing, as they will be hard pressed to find anyone with a proven track record that is better. Will Muschamp ain’t leaving Texas, so give that one up. Plus, he isn’t proven, he is just a wild eyed D coordinator/motivator. That didn’t make Ed Orgeron a good head coach, did it? Brian Kelly is staying at Cincy. I guess you could go after one of the WAC/MWC stars, but again, you aren’t getting a better track record, just a better 2008 season.
The ‘next couple of days’ will be interesting on the Plains. At least they didn’t try to hide flights in the middle of the night this time. Yet.