Shane: Who’s in charge?

The Aura Of Suspicion
By Shane from Centerpoint

Let me take you back to last fall. It was a typical Monday on the Paul Finebaum Radio Network, with most of the discussion focused on the preceding week’s football games. Five o’clock rolled around and former Auburn head coach Pat Dye made his usual appearance for his normal mindless chat session with the host Finebaum. However, on this day Dye seemed especially hyped. He proceeded to give a clinic to Paul and the audience about the virtues of the “Spread” offense. He seemed convinced that this offense was the key to Auburn’s future success. Low and behold, at the end of the season, the Tiger’s offensive coordinator, Al Borges was sent packing and along comes Tony Franklin – “King of the Spread”.

Regardless of the truth, you have to admit that coach Dye got his wish. If you want to question my thought process here, go ahead, but I’ll mention several good indicators in the following paragraphs. I’ll let you determine if I could be on to something here.

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I don’t buy the sudden, wholesale, philosophical change by Tommy Tuberville. He is a coach cut from the mold of Stallings, defensive-minded and moderately conservative on offense. “Big Al” was considered a radical move when Tuberville hired him to run the wide-open “West Coast” offense. After watching Tubby choke Al down for the last two years, I can’t believe Tommy is now ready to toss the rock sixty times a game.

That said, maybe that embarrassing duck hunting trip last year—coupled with constant rumors of his blatant flirtations with other jobs while he was getting his tail kicked in recruiting by Nick Saban—put him on the bottom of the totem pole down on the Plains.

Anyway, Patrick Fain Dye and Troy University head coach, Larry “keep it down home cuz” Blakeney, have known each other longer than most people have been alive. By the way, Tony Franklin was the offensive guru for the Trojans last season.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where the new Auburn “Spread” comes from – does it? Do you think Dye and Blakeney would actually discuss football philosophy? I should also mention that Larry was a former offensive coach for Pat at Auburn. He appeared to take the fall for the Family when the NCAA cleaned Auburn’s clock, and in essence ended the Dye era.

I’ve read commentary and listened to Tuberville’s assistants on the airwaves for years. They are personable, but basically stick to the party line, never veering far off center. This new guy Franklin speaks with the authority of a head coach. When you listen to him you almost get the impression he alone makes all the offensive decisions. He doesn’t sound like he answers to Tuberville. That said maybe Tommy is letting Tony tie his own rope?

When it comes to hiring assistant coaches Tommy Tuberville has typically reached across great distances to find very good coaches. Who led him a few miles across the State to the Troy Trojans? Besides, we could all name several top-notch young “Spread” coordinators across the country that can call plays and run an offense better than Franklin.

I think Tommy Tuberville knows he can get a better coach. I hate to sound harsh, but the man was coaching at Troy. Franklin apparently couldn’t get a better job, either due to his failure to impress coaches of the major schools or the sour NCAA deal at Kentucky. Tuberville has said nothing to convince me this is his man or the type of individual he would select as a coach. I wonder if Tony duck hunts?

Judging by the speed of Auburn’s conversion to the “Spread” and the fact that it followed the exact philosophy of Pat Dye’s lecture on that late evening chat session with Paul Finebaum, I think it is reasonable to assume that Dye’s fingerprints are all over this move and that his saddle is mounted squarely upon Tuberville’s back. At least there is one happy coach at Auburn. I don’t know about Tommy, but coach Dye is probably happier than a pig rolling in the mud.

You can reach Shane via email at

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Add Yours
  1. 1

    Really, this has to be the most absurd thing you have written thus far. First, Al Borges wasn’t considered a radical move because of his offense, but rather because few people in Alabama had heard of him. Second, is it not more probable that growing interest in the spread offense around the COUNTRY may have resulted in the timing of both Pat Dye and Tubberville showing interest. Third, I am not sure you have any ground to stand on to make an argument that Tubberville is in any way influence by Saban. Great year recruiting Saban, now once you have a winning record vs. Tuberville, maybe that will be something. Finally, you suggesting that Tubberville could have gotten a better spread guy than Franklin is really just narrow minded. Don’t you think his relationship with families in Alabama and other southeaster areas (e.g., Texas) might have contributed to that decision. As appears that many high school players have been using Franklin’s system for quite some time, so I imagine they will be a draw for them when choosing a school. Really, I have disagreed with a lot of the things you have written, but generally found it entertaining on some level. This is just ridiculous.

  2. 2

    Oops,… perhaps I should proof read before clicking on the “Submit Comment” button. Go ahead and blast the grammer instead of the content.

  3. 3

    Hey, I never blast grammar because I know I suck at it. If it weren’t for spell check, I’d never have gotten out of college…or probably high school. 😉

  4. 4

    4 and counting,is not Bammer having a A-day game or something.Maybe you could write about a full back playing linebacker or the no names at receiver or the little bity tailbacks or the lack of a right tackle or 90,000 watching a practice game.Something from the capstone, dang.

  5. 6

    You’re commenting about Frankling coming from Troy, but how Bama hired it’s latest OC from Fresno State. How many Bama fans can find Fresno on a map??

  6. 7

    All I want to know is how long it will take before this guy is kicked off this site just like he was kicked off

  7. 9

    Uh?….riiight! DumbASS.
    Al was gone because his offense ranked 78th and 100th plus the last two seasons. It does not take a sharp mind to see a change had to be made at OC. But you are Shane the magnificent. He’s the one who can pull outrageous speculation from his ASS with his own teeth.

    Since you are talking about Auburn…again.. let me share a few things that might be of great concern to the redneck nation.
    This new offense will average two TDs per game more than the last two. Auburn’s defense will once again rank in the top ten in scoring defense. This spells BAD NEWs for the SEC.
    Also, CTT is soooo concerned with the Saban Process that he will hand Alabama its WORST IB beating in 50 years.
    Count on it.

  8. 10

    Shane’s Crimson coloured glasses again lead him to an absurd conclusion. One of the biggest themes of the past few seasons is that the spread with a running QB has had a high degree of success. See Florida, West Virginia, Applachian State (against Michigan), and Oregon for evidence.

    The first ever Soph. player to win the Heisman was a QB running the spread. There is a talented QB from Mobile in Morgantown right now making every coach who did not want him for a QB look stupid. Both of these QBs came close to the national championship game this year.

    Shane’s idiotic yet interesting conspiracy theory aside, it is clear from moves across the nation that the most compelling reason why Tony Franklin is at Auburn is because the spread is being adopted in more places every year. From Gainesville to Ann Arbor to Eugene programs that were conventional are moving to the mobile QB-spread attack. Mike Bilotti at Oregon made a similiar move a while ago after many years at the helm and the dividend has been huge.

    This trend started a good while ago but probably picked up steam with Syracuse in ’98 with Donovan McNabb then got national attention in ’99 with Virginia Tech and Michael Vick.

    Tommy Tuberville’s move is in line with this trend. He has a talented young running QB and wants to leverage this with a scheme that will not only put Auburn in a position to win games but also win recruits.

    Shane’s absurd point that Tuberville could have gotten a better spread coordinator is a subjective call at best and dead wrong at worst. I would have loved Shane to have named 2-3 coordinators who coach the spread who may have been available at the time.

    Shane needs to take off the Crimson coloured glasses every once in a while look outside the state of Alabama and see what is going on out in the college football world at large before laying out one of these crazy theories.

  9. 11

    Well, Auburn has won 6 in a row and you have written 6 consecutive articles focused on Auburn. Isn’t this suppose to be a blog about Alabama?

  10. 12
    larry davis

    SHANE, stick to driving the ice truck son.

    your true ua@t colors come out ever time

    you attempt to write. try writing about

    your team for once in your life. do you

    know anything about the criminal tide?

  11. 13
    Ty from T-town

    Shane, our Auburn friends have stumbled ass-backward onto a point. The introduction of a spread offence is most certianly a national trend. The theme seems to be obvious. The success of the spread, hinges on the ability of the Quarterback. There is no denying the imperious play of men like McNabb, Vick, and even Pat White. The only problem is; Auburn does not have one of those. Athlete’s of that caliber are a rarity, and if you intend to throw the ball seventy times a game, you better hope that your quarterback knows what the hell he is doing. Other than that; I think its a great idea.

  12. 14

    First, Auburn will NOT throw the ball 60-70 times per game. The offense will be balanced just like Troy’s offense last season (462 rushing attempts, 517 passing attempts).

    Second, Auburn may just have the perfect qb to run the spread offense in Kodi Burns.

    Thrid, it’s great to see that Shane is still obsessed with the cow college across the state!!!

  13. 15


    You say that hiring Borges was such a radical move for a traditional Stallings-type coach, but 2 years before that he hired Bobby Petrino. I really don’t think Tuberville is a grind it out kind of guy, but I think it is the personnel that he has had to work with. Granted he does the recruiting, but with the power backs that Auburn has had and very streaky QB play for the past few years, you really have to conservative. That being said I think Tubby knows that he has a QB that can be very special in Kodi Burns. Keep in mind Tubby has been there for 10 years and is ultimately a defensive minded coach. I really don’t think that he had handcuffs on Borges, I think that SEC defenses had figured Borges out. The main problem that I saw with Al’s offense the past couple years was very poor play from the WR’s. AU has not been able the stretch the field offensively for the past 2 seasons. Maybe it was because Cox didn’t have the arm. I think he had a good arm, but he didn’t scare anyone. As an AU fan I had gotten very tired watching defenses stack the box with 8-9 guys and Borges not having an answer for it. I am not sure how the spread is going pan out, but I am very excited that maybe Au’s offense will be able to confuse a defense every now and again.

  14. 17

    Wow! The 20-30 Cowgirl fans that Alabama Polytechnic Institute has are invading A-L-A-B-A-M-A boards making feeble attempts to contradict topics in which are basically contradicting the nonsensical garbage you jacked-up truck driving buffoons spit out yourselves (and I’m not talking about Skol) on a frequent basis. Goodness, the API library must be flooded with musty smelling Wire Road trailer trash.

    First and foremost, if you deeply know that each and everything Shane writes is wrong and bogus, then you wouldn’t waste your time posting in an Alabama forum when you could be throwing down at the only thing your backwoods town has going for you: a rodeo.

    Obviously, you stepchildren are counting the days until your lucky streak ends and the big brother picks back up where he left off (8 out of 12 prior to probation) before encountering a severe near-death experience. You took advantage of our weakened state and soon you’ll pay. The sad truth is you know it. Your program is a dying brick and anyone in their right mind could tell you that.

    On another note, seriously people, your school (Alabama Polytechnic Institute located in the magical city known as Aubarn, Alabama) is a joke; rodeos? Cowboys and Cowgirls? no nightlife? jacked up trucks? catfish ponds? cow pastures? chicken houses? Yet you refer to that as a real college town/experience? How pathetic?

    Go milk a cow, barnies.

  15. 18

    Second Fiddle.
    Grow up. You know nothing about Auburn and your comments are very pansy(ish)at best. You probably never travel more than a few hundred feet from your trailor without worrying about getting your little candy ass kicked.
    When you finally graduate the sixth grade maybe you’ll quit repeating everything your redneck daddy says about Auburn.

  16. 19

    The new has is already starting to wear off the spread offense just like it does all other fads and trends. It strikes me as funny that barners attack shane by pointing out how HIGH SCHOOLS run this offense. Thatis his point exactly. Are they recruiting players who need to go bask & work on their GED for high school. My bad…probably they are. I would rather offer recruits the oppotunity to learn an offensive philosophy which will give them a better opportunity to be successful in the NFL. That is what the top caliber athlete coming out of high school want isn’t it?

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