Can Auburn learn from Alabama?

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Bragging Rights Shirt: Auburn got their seventh loss

It is from their foes, not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls.—Aristophanes, The Birds

What cannot be learned through discussion is usually learned through disaster.

Alabama 36 Auburn 0.

Iron Bowl decimation. Recruiting in disarray. Coaching chaos.

There were clues this disaster was nigh. However, most Auburn fans chose to ignore it. (Kind of like how many Alabama fans ignored the signs of disaster looming under Mike Shula.)

But 36-0 has a way of clearing the mind in a way only unmitigated disaster can.

In simple terms, Nick Saban has out-performed Tommy Tuberville on the field and off for the past two years. He’s done it on the recruiting trail, and with the coaches he’s hired and the money he’s generated for the university. It’s naïve for anyone to believe that Tuberville can wave a magic wand and reset the calendar to 2004 anytime soon.—TrackEmTigers

Some Auburn fans refuse to see the light. One demagogue attacked Alabama and Nick Saban.

But I would rather lose every game we played, then win a single game, let alone a championship, under that man.

Alabama fans, we loathe you. We hate the sin, and we hate the sinner.

And the reason we hate you, is because you see that shite, and you cheer.

You see that kind of icing, and you justify it. Smart coach, smart.

(One of you just found this blog by Googling ‘Nick Saban’s Secret of Success.’ Good Lord… )

You hear the sideline reporter tell of little Nicky begging his team to run up the score, not for the fun of it, not even for themselves, but because ‘don’t you know how much I f—–g hate these guys?’ … and you’re cool with it. —The War Eagle Reader

Predictable, but hardly helpful.

Worrying about someone running the score up on you is the sign you’ve lost all pride. Impuissance is about your team, not your opponent. It says more about Auburn than Alabama.

Instead of being angry with Nick Saban, you should learn from him. Like the poet said, wise men learn from their foes; cities didn’t learn to build walls from their friends, but from the cruel teachings of war.

Nick Saban’s secret of success is to work hard and hold people accountable.

Does that make him a bastard? Only in the mind of slackers who don’t want to work. You can pass all the Saban Rules you want, it won’t stop him from working harder than you. Why rant about that? Learn the lessons and use it for your edification.

Some fans have taken the traditional fan’s tack by demanding changes to the coaching staff.

As things stand today, Tuberville is most likely going to survive for another year. If he still wants to be around in 2010, when the buyout in that ill-advised “lifetime contract” will be a few million dollars lower, he’s going to have to make major changes, and that starts with the right hire at offensive coordinator. It’s also time to end any excuse-making out of Auburn. We heard a lot of opining this season about how Auburn couldn’t run a “spread” offense with players recruited for a West Coast set, but as Paul Johnson ably demonstrated this year at Georgia Tech, it’s entirely possible to be successful in a completely different offense if the right coaching is there.—From the Bleachers

Fixing Auburn isn’t about forcing staff changes on Tuberville. I’ve said it before, and will say it again, the question is not can you tolerate Tuberville with staff changes, but do you trust him to run the program? Auburn fans are now asking that very question.

This is not a one year job. This week’s discussion should not be about giving Tuberville another season, but rather do they have faith he can rebuild the program over the next couple of years. With the team in its current state, it’s hard to see things getting significantly better next season.—TrackEmTigers

If you trust Tuberville then let him worry about the staff. He has won big games in the SEC. He knows what to do. Or should.

If you don’t trust Tuberville then fire him now.

What you shouldn’t do is mimic Alabama fans handling of Mike Shula, which is the course JCCW advocates.

Yes, I still support Tubby’s return. But I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m past the point of genuinely expecting him to accomplish much with it. It’s more a matter of hope. And while hope is always, always a good thing and never, ever regretted, hope didn’t do a whole lot for us in 2008.—JCCW

If you don’t trust he can do the job, why retain him? Hope? Sound judgment, not hope should guide your decision. When Mike Shula was fired, a majority of Alabama fans were hoping he could do the job too. But even the most biased Auburn fan would have to admit that Alabama is better off today than it was under Shula.

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  1. 3

    Cappy, I largely agree with many of the points in the article, but I think it goes too far to make Shula comparisons. I still believe that Tubs can turn this around, and I certainly don’t say that based upon “hope” or delusion blinded by orange and blue colored glasses. I say that based upon one thing and one thing only: Tubs’ record. Oh, it’s fun to talk smack and say that Tub’s success has been based solely upon Bama’s mediocrity over the past several years, but rational people know that’s not true. Tubs has beaten a hell of a lot of other teams besides Bama over the last 7 years. Before this season, Auburn was tied with LSU for the most SEC wins since 2000. That didn’t happen just by beating Bama. He was also beating Fla, UGA, Tenn, LSU, So. Car., Ark., etc.

    I also think it would be foolish for Auburn to panic about Saban and 36-0. I’m not taking anything away from what Saban has done this year, it’s been incredible. But Saban and Tubs have traded a$$ whippings before (see 02 & 03 with identical 31-7 scores) and it didn’t mean that either one was officially dominant over the other one.

    P.S. Does anybody think it’s strange that no one in the media noted that this was the 1st time that Bama ever beat Auburn in Tuscaloosa?

  2. 4

    Julio, I agree with you that there are GOOD reasons to keep Tuberville. His record against Top 5 teams. He’s a good solid coach—who has exceeded expectations over his career.

    I clumsily forgot to include that there are good reasons to keep Tuberville in my column. What I was trying to urge Auburn fans to think about is what underlines their belief in Tuberville. If it is reasonable—then fight to keep him and support him. If it is just “hope” like that one blogger wrote, then it would be better to get rid of the guy.

  3. 6

    I saw the chop block clip that was posted at and I was disgusted.
    I am so sick of Aubbos talking thier supposed intellectual and moral superiority when shit like this just keeps happening. Auburn is quickly becoming hated all around the league, and it isnt for thier “winning team” as some deluded Aubbos might think.
    How can ANYONE say that Tubbs runs a clean program when every other game they try to end someone’s playing career?

  4. 7

    Julio, you are a prick, you act like we have played all of our home games in T-town, spin it how you want, you are a sore loser that will soon get used to yearly ass whippings from Bama at our house and yours.

  5. 8

    It is not the past record or hope for renewal that is keeping Tubberville’s job. It is simply fear. The fear of keeping or hiring the right or wrong coach. With BAMA so far ahead in all facets of the game, how much farther would uburn fall behind by hiring a new wrong coach, or keeping the same wrong coach. The powers at uburn have found themselves on familiar ground. They do not know what can be done to compete with BAMA. It is a different decade, but it is the same old problem.

    The BAMA program had been lost since Coach Stallings resigned. While we were lost, we still managed one SEC Championship. While uburn thought they had found themselves, they managed one SEC Championship, but now that BAMA is back to being BAMA, what can uburn do? If you think it was messy in Tuscaloosa, watch the powers at uburn do what they have always done.

    Best hope for uburn,

    Tubberville hires a great offensive coordinator. I am speaking of the kind that most likely does not exist. If he did, he would not come to uburn. Uburn loses their first 4 games and fires Tubberville. The OC steps in and they manage a winning record. He remains head coach and receives a 2 million dollar contract because BAMA the reigning national champion and current No.1 team in the nation only puts up 43 points.

    This is what they face and they know it to well.

    36 to nothing (almost 3)

    36 times better and just getting started

  6. 9
    Legion Field

    Tuberville is deceptive and relies on the stupidity of the Auburn fanbase to weasel out of bad situations. He reminds me so much of George W. Bush.

    Bush relied on the ignorance and stupidity of the average american citizen, to wage a war that threw us into a depression.

    Lets examine Tubbs and his team. Looking at that Auburn team…they were absolutely awful, really. The bottom line is this: No matter what offensive scheme Auburn would have ran…they still would have ended up with a horrible record. Why?…because there is no talent on that team…which is a result of his lazy recruiting.

    So ole Tubbs threw out a red herring called “the spread”…and it didn’t work. So he threw Franklin under the bus and told Auburn fans…”You see, Franklins system was crap.”…..BUT, Franklin was gone after the 4th week…and the offense actually got progressively worse after that. Why? No talent. Lets be real here..Kodi Burns is their best player…and he probably wouldn’t start for 90% of Division 1 teams.

    All of this is a direct result of Tubbs lack of work ethic when it comes to recruiting. He became complacent when Bama was going through the dark years. Now Bama is back and he is scrambling for an answer. So, he just keeps telling the Auburn faithful to “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtains”…”the Great Wizard of Barn will save the day”

  7. 11
    Suzanne Tuberville

    I am sure that Nick Saban could teach Tommy a trick or two.
    I dont expect Tommy to deliver a stellar performance, (or run up the score,) but it would be nice if he could try a little harder. I mean go in there hard and fast and with a sense of urgency!
    Its like…..Tommy has completely forgotten how to penetrate hard when he is in scoring position.
    He needs to follow what he is always yelling at the players about hitting it HARDER AND FASTER AND WITH A SENSE OF URGENCY!!!THATS RIGHT PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT! GET IN THERE AND DRIVE IT HOME!!!! SHOW SOME INTENSITY GOD DAMNIT! SHOW SOME MANHOOD! ….er…. sorry… I got a little carried away there.

    This week confirms what I have been saying for years. Tommy cant split the uprights when it really counts! I would be happy if he could break the plane.

  8. 12

    Julio, you are dreaming if you think Tubbs will get the upper hand now that Saban is competing with him in the same state. Auburn is at least a year behind Alabama now in development of his team. I am not saying Tubby can’t beat Bama ever again, just that it will be a lot more difficult than it used to be. Can’t you see the difference that 2 years (soon to be 3 years) of recruiting has made between Alabama and Auburn? Saban is better at recruiting, and more importantly, developing talent. It is just a matter of time before Auburn is forced to make a change. Bama has a huge advantage at the coaching position as long as Tubby stays. And wasn’t it you that said Bama won’t be back unless they beat Auburn? Well, I guess Bama is back. I don’t ever remember Auburn beating Alabama as bad as Auburn got beat on Saturday. Worse loss of the year for Auburn, that is for sure. One of Tubbys worse losses ever.

  9. 13

    Brando, there’s no doubt that it will be a lot more difficult to copete with Bama while Sban is the coach. I’ve never said otherwise. But I know Tubs can hang right there with Saban, because he’s alreay done it over the course of 7 years. (Spare me any argument that Saban will be harder to compete with at Bama than he was at LSU. Louisiana has some of the best high school fb in the country, and LSU has zero competition in state for recruiting. Furthermore, LSU’s facilities, resources, and fan base are second to none, including Bama.)

    Finally, it’s funny how both sides forget that neither side has really “squashed” the other in this rivalry since Bear left, even when it looked like one side would. AU had just finished it’s 3rd consecutive SEC title and 4th in a row over Bama after 1989. Bama had just brought in a new coach in 1990 that started 0-3. All Bama did then was start a 3 game streak over AU, win 23 out of 24 games in 91 and 92, and win the SEC and NC in 92. Fast forward to 93, where Auburn had just finished 2 consecutive losing seasons and brought in an unheard of coach. All AU did then was win 20 consecutive games and beat Bama 2 out of the next 3 games. Look at 97 to 98. Look at 99 to 00. The truth is that both of these programs are solid enough so that neither side should ever really “own” the other one as long as there is a solid coaching staff in place. That’s why Bama was so stupid over the last 6 years, for hiring idiots like Dumbose and Shula.

  10. 14

    “Furthermore, LSU’s facilities, resources, and fan base are second to none, including Bama.)”


    Have you ever been to Baton Rogue, Louisiana? How many of that great fan base left the stadium during the Troy game? Lsuwho has scattered fans just like yourself on bordering states. Lswho is not second to none. Lsuwho is second to most in more ways than not.

    Tubberville will not compete with Saban. Saban had to start from scratch at LSU. This is the main reason Tubbs has his winning record. Why do you think Saban hates uburn? He hates Tubbs not uburn, but he will learn to hate uburn as most rational citizens of the state do.

    When you realize Alabama is the most prestigious college football team the SEC has, which now has the best head coach in college football today, you will understand why the competition will be as one sided as Saturday night for both Saban’s and Tubberville’s tenure.

    If Tubberville stays, your new coach will start from scratch in 2010. How good will BAMA be at that time? How bad could the situation be for your new coach. The future of uburn is an empty stadium with TV coverage during the Iron Bowl only.

    You will not learn, but you will learn to lose often as long as you pull for uburn. It is your past and future. Uburn is an underdog for a reason.

    Uburn will beat BAMA on the day Saban becomes complacent. That day will not happen. Therefore, enjoy your place in college football history.

    Rammer Jammer live Saturday Night from the Georgia Dome

  11. 15

    Julio, you really like to dig around in the past for an Auburn fan. I didn’t think you guys liked to talk about the past much. I am talking about the current situation. Tubby is going to have to go head to head with Saban on more recruits now than he did while Saban was at LSU. Last year, Auburn offered schollies to 15 in state kids, which all chose Alabama over Auburn. If you listen to Tubbs he says maybe 4-5 kids. He stretches the truth like you do. As far as I am concerned Tubs and Saban are 1-1. It is not unreasonable to think Bama could put a streak on Auburn. Auburn is a year behind Bama right now. Say that Tubby stays. He has to start over from scratch again next year. If they struggle and lose to Bama badly again, Tubby will be gone. Two years behind. Then you will start over again. That is not such a far fetched possibility, and you are in denial if you don’t think this could likely happen.

  12. 16

    Brando, as far as my discussion of the past goes I noted times where BOTH teams were able to one up each other at times when all seemed lost. I’m talking about the recent past which included schol. limits and recuiting limitations.

    I’m glad that “as far as your concerned” Tubs and Saban are 1-1. Hell, if you’re gonna ignore reality, why not go ahead and say Saban is 16-0 against Tubs while you’re at it?? But as far as people who are grounded in reality “are concerned”, Tubs if 4-3 against Saban.

    There’s no doubt that Saban is going to bring much stiffer competition to the in-state recruiting table. But don’t forget that Bama has almost always done better in state than Auburn, even when Shula was there. (Remember, Saban didn’t sign the majority of your starters, includng guys like JPW, Andre, Caldwell, Cofee, etc.) Auburn has always relied on having a large portion (if not most) of its recuiting coming from Ga, Fla, and Miss. I’ll be the first to admit that Auburn will probably have to rely on those areas even heavier now, but that’s ok. The NFL is loaded right now with with former Auburn players from Ga, Fla, and Miss. Can’t really say the same thing about former Bama players from Alabama.

    Finally, you’re in denial if you say Tubs (or whoever will be coaching Auburn next year) has to start from scratch next year. The defense will be loaded up (and hopefully healthy by then), and Auburn has a solid offensive line. What Auburn needs is a coordinator that can give them an identity rather than this back yard football they’ve been playing since Franklin left. They also BADLY need a receiver or two to step up and be a playmaker. Hopefully, one of these “midgets” that they’re signing this year will step up.

    P.S. You think 36-0 means Tubs is wiped out?? Saban beat Tubs 31-7 in BR in 2003 on the way to the NC. Tubs nearly lost his job. All he did the next year was beat Saban in Auburn on the way to a perfect season. That’s how I know he can do it.

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