AU briefing: What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? More than you think.

When you start hearing names for a potential coaching search and the season isn’t close to over, it carries enormous meaning. It can mean the boosters of a school are planning a Dennis Franchione-type move and are already talking behind the scenes.

Or in the case of Auburn, you have name dropping carried out to undermine and build confidence. Big names undermine Tuberville’s popularity with the masses. Who wants Tuberville when you could have (insert Super Bowl/BCS National/Conference champion name here.) And it builds fan confidence that a coaching change would be a positive thing.

When you hear fans chattering about Butch Davis, there’s more to it than just wishful thinking. Fans are having a conversation with themselves trying to justify the firing of Tommy Tuberville.

We all know the background of Tuberville’s feud with Auburn’s leadership. Tuberville’s job was saved during Jetgate by public opinion. And we have to watch public opinion closely to gauge what is happening now.

Advertisement: Story continues below



The two names bounced around over the last two weeks are highly suggestive of what’s happening inside the Auburn family.

Last weekend Davis name was being dropped by Auburn fans. The name was filled with red meat for Auburn fans. Davis had success rebuilding the Miami Hurricanes and coached in the NFL. Davis also spurned Alabama.

You can’t underestimate the psychological importance of that to the Auburn fan base worried about Nick Saban.

One Auburn fan told me Butch Davis was the one name Nick Saban feared.

(Anyone who believes that doesn’t understand Nick Saban—Saban isn’t obsessed with what others do. He’s obsessed with what he does—what he can control.) But it says a great deal about what Auburn fans want in a coaching hire.

This weekend a new name du jour surfaced—Will Muschamp.

On the brightest college football stage, Muschamp helped the Texas Longhorns upset top ranked Oklahoma.

Muschamp is highly respected, and while not an Auburn man has done an impressive job. He brings intensity. I doubt he’d go duck hunting during recruiting season.

The common theme of these names? They provide things Tuberville doesn’t. In Davis, fans would respond to Nick Saban. With Muschamp, fans would get an answer to Tuberville’s complacency.

It’ll be fun to watch the coming weeks for what new names surface.

The last days of Tommy Tuberville are unfolding on the Plains. Rightly or wrongly, (and I happen to think at this moment wrongly) the momentum for a coaching change is rolling like a snowball down a hill—can Tuberville do anything to stop it?

Watch the names. They’ll tell us all we need to know.

Advertisement: Story continues below

30 Comments

Add Yours
  1. 2
    Berman

    but i thought tubs was their man??? i thought tubs was the greatest coach on the planet??? what went wrong??? why would they want to fire the greatest coach in the history of football as a whole??? why why why??

    Count this as my signature:

  2. 3
    OMNIPRESENT

    We are ONE fukd up AUburn Nation this day! I for one am glad I opted to NOT PPV the game and at this juncture I dont know what I want, talk about TUbbs all ya want he may not have won 20 NC or 10 SECC
    But DAMMIT HE DID WIN!! AND I WAS ONE PULLING FOR HIM OVER PATRINO BUT IM JUST NOT SURE…. I know I dont wanna change my NN to 4and7 🙂 But damn we couldnt beat THE WORST SEC team! Good nite and Good Luck BUT do we really need a HC change????

    WAR POLYTECH BABY!!!

  3. 4
    AUTiger

    Well, at least there is NO POSSIBLE WAY we can loose to UAT based on THEIR LOGIC the last 6 years. That is, given our current turmoil on coaching problems, any UAT win against us is nullified.

  4. 5
    Floridan Blogger

    PolytechnicTiger, can you explain to me the precise definition of karma? Now you’re getting a taste of everything you refused to admit was the key to your most successful period in the history of The Polytechnic Institute (of Opelika).

    You have a lot of gall to show up here the day after the worst team in the SEC spanked your beloved The Polytechnic Institute Moo-Cows. Speak highly on the streak* as much as you can, because it’s currently in the waning hours of its existence and it’s only a matter of time before each of our teams are returned to their rightful place among the college football world.

    Barnies like you are bound to lock yourself up in your Wire Road suite until this newly developed disastrous era is over.

  5. 6
    educator1

    Where is ballplayinjun? It sure is funny that when the lights come on the cockroaches run to their nests. He’s been on here critiquing Bama’s legitimate wins while building up the barn’s mediocre wins. The barn is going back to their usual pecking order since Bama is back at full strength. They’re middle of the pack SEC. That’s where they’ve always been, except for our NCAA misgivings, and it’s where they’ll always be.

    Bama is back and the barners are little sisters again. RTR

  6. 7
    finebammer

    the funny thing is neither butch davis OR will muschamp will give auburn a sniff.

    why would davis make a lateral move?? he’s building a program where he is and he’s not leaving there for a backwater program with meddling boosters.

    ditto muschamp. you think he’s going to come to the land of the monstrous buyout and get stuck like tuberville did???

    and that’s the thing. whoever you get, you’re going to have to tie him down with a buyout.

    without that, tuberville would have been gone long ago.

  7. 8
    IhateGeorgeW.

    If they fire Tubby, they’re as good as done. The more logical solution would be to retain him and force him to clean house with the offensive staff at the year’s end.

    And to the inferior AUtard who made the typical stepchild remark, how great is it to be a Bama-Tech Tigger now?

  8. 10
    BamaBrando

    Poor Auburn fans. They have folded their flags and put them in the closet. The t-shirts and hats have been washed and put away, for use another time. Heads are hung low this Monday, waking up hoping that it has been just a bad dream. ‘We sposed to beat Bama’ they think, can’t figure out what happened. Firing Franklin was supposed to be the solution. Things should have been better now.

    Arkansas was supposed to be the worst team in the SEC. Well, not today. The day Auburn football died. Let the firing and speculation begin! What goes around, comes around Aubbies! Remember laughing at Bama a while back? Listening to the media dog Bama and proclaim them to be done? You guys thought it couldn’t happen to you. Not with Tubby at the helm. Not with 6 in a row. Ya’ll said you wasn’t worried about Saban. Tubbs owns Saban. Saban is overrated and overpaid. Who is laughing today? Not me, I feel sorry for you guys, but you guys deserve everything you get this year. I hope you lose the rest of them too. Roll Tide!

  9. 11
    OMNIPRESENT

    Ahhhhh FUK OFF ROOKIES I aint folded up nothing and IM WEARING MY COLORS WITH PRIDE and i aint taking no drunk bamma ricacule from noone either so for all of riding high remember where ya come from and how easy it was to get there.

    WAR POLYTECH BITCHES!!!

  10. 12
    BamaBrando

    well, Omni, if you keep coming to a BAMA site, you are gonna have to put up with it. Glad I could make your day! ROLL TIDE! AUBREN SUCKS!

  11. 13
    julio

    I think it’s crazy to think about firing Tubs right now. Auburn has the 2nd most SEC wins in the conference since he’s been there. He took a gamble on the spread offense, and right now it’s come up snake eyes. He says he wants to stick with it, and I think he’s probably being truthful. I do think he’s going to hire a coordinator for next year that runs more of a hybrid, similar to what Oklahoma runs.

    I say go ahead and play Barret Trotter for the rest of the season. Why not? It’s impossible for him to do worse, and you can go ahead and get him some valuable experience for next year and beyond.

    I think you will see some shakeup on the offensive staff next year. Greg Knox is gone, and I think Hugh Nall will be as well. Also Ensminger. Hard to see Eddie gran getting sacked as good as AU has been at running back since he’s been there. This staff just can’t coach a spread offense.

  12. 14
    BamaBrando

    Julio: That was the most reasonable post I have seen from you! At least you are still sane after what has happened. I think if Tubs wants to hire a quality OC, he will have to unload some of his assistant coaches. What is the deal with Neal Caudle? Do you think maybe they try him before Trotter? I agree that Trotter is probably going to be the future for Auburn. I know coming from a Bama fan this don’t mean much, but Auburn should ditch the spread, and go back to traditional Auburn football.

  13. 15
    julio

    Tubs said yesterday that he will look at both Caudle and Trotter. Don’t know what to tell you about Caudle. He’s been back there for a couple of years now, and he’s never impressed the coaches enough to even be considered second string. That doesn’t say anything good about him. Trotter is supposed to have a great knowledge of the offense, but then again so was Chris Todd. It’s a lot to ask of a true freshman, but I think you give Trotter a really long leash and let him know that you’re really getting him ready for next year.

    Tubs ain’t goin back to the old offense. He may run some more of the Ace formation this season, but he’s gonna stick with the spread.

  14. 16
    Ballplay Indian.

    julio, face it buddy. Our quarterbacks coach couldnt develope a young Joe Montana. They suck. Esminger is a huge part of the problem with our quarterbacks, and offense in general. We always recruit highly ranked, good quarterbacks, only to see them plunge into mediocriity or flat out suckiness. Jason Campbell stunk until Borges arrived….Now we all see what potential he had. Its a shame he only had it one year at Auburn. We will never have a good quarterback at Auburn till we get someone who might actually teach and develope them.

    Weve gotten away with average quarterback play over the years because with the type of football we played, average was good enough to win a LOT of games. The one year we had a great quarterback, we ran the table. Enter the spread………..Without an outstanding quarterback you can NOT run the spread. PERIOD…..I guess Tommy might should have thought about that. Dont you ?

  15. 17
    julio

    Ballplay, I agree. I think Tubs thought that Kodi was going to like Omar Haugabook at Troy, and that obviously didn’t work. It’s a shame, because you can see flashes where Kodi looks great. The long pass over the middle to Trott was an example. The long pass to Hawthorne was pathetic. If Kodi could have even come close to hitting him in stride Hawthorne would have walked into the end zone. The bottom line is that if you want to have a good offense running out if the power I (as Auburn has done for the last 10 years), then you better have a stud running back. If you want to have a good offense running the spread, you better have a stud qb.

  16. 18
    Bamaman

    Ballplay, Julio, there is this one little problem with your great QB plan, you see I know because we have been there before, if all Tubs had to worry about was putting Trotter in over Todd, no problem, but you see he has to put him in over Kodi who just happens to be black, and Kodi’s mommy and daddy will be on Tub’s ass and division will continue on the team, you know it, I know it, mark it down!

  17. 19
    BamaBrando

    Well, I think all the dissension on the Auburn team this year is all Tubbs. He had to see this brewing. It doesn’t get this bad overnight. The fighting in two-a-days and DeRon Furr transferring was really the first signal that there were problems, and Tubbs blew it off. He even said this team had more chemistry than any team he had seen in a while. Lie. Then he closed practice, and try to convince everyone that this offense was smacking around the defense. Another lie. I wouldn’t believe another thing coming from him this year.

    I would bet that to save his job, he gets rid of everyone but Rhodes and Gran. Probably will have another ‘rebuilding’ year next year. He can’t afford to fall behind Saban at all. If he slips behind Alabama now, Auburn will have no choice but to get rid of him.

  18. 20
    julio

    That’s nice, bamaman. There’s that same baseless b.s. about racial division based upon nothing but the fact that Kodi Burns happens to be black. I assure you that every kid on Auburn’s team is worried about winning above all else. They don’t care if the qb is white, black, purple, or green as long as he is the one that does the most to help them win. Kodi has been given plenty of playing time this year, and he hasn’t done anything. Are you telling me that if Barret Trotter came in to the WVa game and threw for 250 yds with a 70% comp. per. and a victory that the black players would be mad at Tubs because Trotter is white???? If so, you’re a freakin’ idiot.

  19. 21
    BamaBrando

    Julio: How much of the fighting before the season was divided on race? Wasn’t Ziemba involved? Wasn’t the player that transferred black? There is division on this team, don’t know exactly what it is, but I wouldn’t count race out at this point. It has happened before at Auburn and Alabama. But this Auburn team is not united.

  20. 22
    julio

    Brando, fights break out at nearly every practice during two a days. That’s with every team. If you don’t understand that, then all you’re showing is that you’ve never been to watch practice during summer training. Given the law of averages, it’s an inescapable fact that those fights will sometimes occur between black and white players. It’s got nothing to do with race. It’s got everything to do with the fact that it’s 98 degrees, two 300 lb linemen are slamming into each other repeatedly over and over again (no doubt talking smack in the process), and coaches are screaming in their ear the entire time. Kind of gets me pissed off even thinking about. Furthermore, there is no doubt that Ziemba is one mean and nasty SOB. Just about every lineman on the team, off and def, says that Ziemba doesn’t have any friends when he steps on the field. Ziemba is an equal opportunity SOB. He hates everybody, no matter what their race is.

  21. 23
    BamaBrando

    Julio: I know football practice is rough. But I have never seen fights cause a player to transfer. But there were numerous fights that blew up beyond normal. Cover it up all you want, there was dissension on this team since the spring. There were fights then, too. One player got hurt in a fight and missed the rest of spring. I didn’t say it was divided on race, only that it is a possibility. More than likely, it was coaches disagreeing and the players followed suit. Ziemba may be mean, but he has hurt this team this year, running his mouth in the papers, and jumping offsides and missing blocks. He may be mean, be he sure seems stupid. Looks like much of the offense hasn’t been coached up smart anyways. Being mean doesn’t always translate to being more physical. Heck, maybe Ziemba is the one causing all of the trouble down there.

  22. 24
    julio

    Brando, you’re merging 2 different fights to make the point about racism. The fight surrounding Furr was between him and Zac Etheridge, who is also black. The fight involving a white and black player was Ziemba and Coleman. They are both still there, and both are starters.

    I don’t doubt that getting smacked around was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Furr leaving, but I don’t think any rational person would believe that Furr wasn’t already thinking about leaving before that. He wanted to play qb, and it was becoming obvious that he wasn’t going to get that chance with Burns being a sophomore, and Barret Trotter and Raymond Cotton waiting in the wings. (On second thought, he might have been a little rash in thinking that way. He might be the starting qb right now if he would have stayed.)

    I don’t really disagree with you on Ziemba. Half the false starts Auburn has been called for have been on him. Hasn’t excatly been busting any holes wide open, either.

  23. 25
    BamaBrando

    Julio: Keep on listening to Tuberville, but I aint buying what he is selling. He had to have seen the signs before the season started. The fights are directly realted to the split on the team. They weren’t fighting much last year like this were they? The Auburn people that were watching practice that broke the story even said it was out of hand. And Ziemba was in on the Furr fight, at least he tried to jump in on it. But I didn’t say it was racism. I said it was possible, especially with Ziemba. He is a loose cannon anyway. Wasn’t he raised in Arkansas? 🙂

  24. 26
    BamaBrando

    Julio: Keep on listening to Tuberville, but I aint buying what he is selling. He had to have seen the signs before the season started. The fights are directly related to the split on the team. They weren’t fighting much last year like this were they? The Auburn people that were watching practice that broke the story even said it was out of hand. And Ziemba was in on the Furr fight, at least he tried to jump in on it. But I didn’t say it was racism. I said it was possible, especially with Ziemba. He is a loose cannon anyway. Wasn’t he raised in Arkansas? 🙂

  25. 28
    Bamaman

    Julio, Do you think Kodi’s mommy and daddy give a fat rat’s ass what the underclassman white boy might do? They are more concerned about Tubs keeping his promises made to them during recruiting about their boy’s playing time than they are about Trotter’s stats. It really don’t matter because that ridiculous hypathetical about Trotter’s numbers wouldn’t happen anyway, that is just more delusional dreaming, and if you don’t believe that, you are a freakin idiot!

  26. 29
    julio

    Bamaman…what the hell do Kodi’s parents have to do with a “racial discord” on the team???? Are half the players on Auburn’s team driving to Arkansas a few nights a week to meet with Mr. and Mrs. Burns??? Speaking of “delusional” and “ridiculous hypotheticals”, upon what do you base your statement that Tubs made promises to Kodi’s parents about playing time? Is this the same source that intheknow used for “scooping” that Fran missed team meetings and practices all week during the Iron Bowl in 2002?

Comments are closed.