So this is basically old news now, Gene Chizik is now the new Auburn Tigers head coach we have all been waiting on now for about 2 weeks. I almost felt obligated to post something about the new head coach living here in Auburn, after all, how often do we welcome a new head coach for the football program (that was a rhetorical question only). It didn’t even take a rumor from ESPN to start the endless grumblings and he even had people how up at the airport for his arrival, and not in the same way Nick Saban was greeted by Alabama fans (though he really does seem popular with the players and coaches). I was totally willing to give the guy a chance and let him actually land in Auburn before nailing him to a cross. He was the defensive coordinator for Auburn (and a popular one), was part of the undefeated team, won a national championship at Texas, then… Iowa.
How hot was and is this topic. Well according to Google, “volcanic“, and this was on a night that was competing with the Heisman Trophy of all things. Several times within the 12 hours before and after he hit the #1 search term on google (and I am not sure how much higher you can go on google as far as hot topics than volcano), and after a full 24 hours of the news he is still sitting at #7. To bad google hot topic trends doesn’t count in the BCS rankings. Of course, that really tells me that a whole bunch of people had never heard of Chizik and had no idea who Auburn had just named to be the next head coach.
I really hope he doesn’t read a lot of blogs and online media. I started looking around at the usual suspects and the overall negative tone was deafening. Really my only question is if Chizik is the person to lead Auburn football back to a National Championship (it has been over 50 years of course). Auburn football should be up in the top-tier of NCAA football teams right up there with Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Penn State, and of course Alabama. So why did we not go get the biggest name that money could buy?
Maybe money really doesn’t buy happiness, or 12 wins and a National Championship (just ask Alabama, they came real close). Auburn had to pay about $750,000 to buy Chizik out of Iowa State, and apparently Iowa State is basically thanking Auburn for taking him off their hands. Now really, I know he didn’t win a game in the big 12 but what kind of recruits can you get in Iowa State when you have to compete with Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Iowa, and the big Nebraska? Still, he has landed in Auburn and he will be the next head coach. If Auburn wins football games next year everyone will sing Jay Jacobs praises, but the Auburn fan base expects wins, and not just five.
I am willing to trust the higher-ups at Auburn and give Chizik the chance Auburn is willing to take. He apparently visited our church when he was living here as the defensive coordinator, so maybe he will come join us for worship again. I know he will be welcomed the same as anyone else on Sunday mornings. We can all have an opinion but no one at Auburn wants to win football games more than the kids, the coaches, and the University itself. I have to think that somehow, they think this will be the way to do it come the fall of 2009. Hopefully he and his family can withstand the pressure until that first kickoff game in 2009, it is a long way off.