Willis hire spurs passionate reaction

How bad are things on the Plains? An assistant coach bails on the 5-19 failure known as Gene Chizik after about four weeks into working for the Iowa State washout. Could you get a clearer vote of no confidence in the Auburn program’s leadership?

And how are Auburn fans taking it? Not good. Every hope of the Tiger family is pinned on recruiting because 5-19 doesn’t inspire confidence in Chizik’s coaching ability. Willis was considered an important cog in the recruiting machine being assembled on the Plains. Columnist Ben Cook called the Willis hire a “home run” for Chizik. It looks more like a called third strike now.

To say Auburn fans are upset wouldn’t cover it. Over on one of the more popular Auburn message boards, the reaction has ranged from terming Willis a “Benedict Arnold” to the more dramatic “Judas.”

We’ll be waiting on the Photoshop of The Last Supper to crop up with Willis in the role of Judas tightly clutching the moneybag as he prepares to betray Auburn’s savior—Chizik. Or wait, would Gus Malzahn be cast in the role of savior?

Whatever. The reaction is bad. Here is a brief sampling from some Auburn fans on message boards and blogs.

From JCCW: “Look, you want to spin about how wonderful Saban is and how it’s a good move for you for a professional and/or development standpoint, fine. But don’t feed us that line of horse pucky about their “history” and “tradition” being a huge attraction when you’ve spent the last 20 of years of your life, no doubt, feeling and saying that that history and tradition adds up (or should add up) to–pardon my French–precisely d*ck.”

Other message board reaction:

Saban can do whatever he wants to and we can’t stop it…


Greed and Arrogance = James Willis

Is it me…or does Saban play a different game?

A sign that Saban is starting to fear Auburn?


Add Yours
  1. 1
    WarBloggle is an Idiot

    This is deliciously evil.

    Just two short days ago, Aubarners were laughing it up about the Lance Thompson fiasco and the departure of Kevin Steele. All we could hear is “Saban is a tyrant and he runs his coaches off.”

    Whether deliberate or not, Coach Saban has just snuck in the backdoor of the Barn Party and slit Auburn’s collective throat. Or, to steal a line from a former radio announcer,,, Coach Saban just “stepped on Auburn’s face and broke their nose!”

    Coach Saban dealt with coaching staff defections by lessening his in-state opponent. We just took Auburn’s best recruiter and to my knowledge their only recruiter in Mobile. I make no apologies to Eddie Gran for that statement. Auburn never really recruited well during the last ten years.

    And the funniest thing about his coming to UA is that Coach Willis was gushing about the opportunity to work at THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA. DID YOU HEAR THAT YOU COW COLLEGE ALUMNI? YOU JUST GOT CHICKEN KICKED BY ONE OF YOUR OWN!

    Has there ever been a more appropriate example for the world to see that Coach Saban was not kidding when he announced at his initial press conference that “we have an opponent in this state that we will work everyday to dominate.”

    I sincerely hope this becomes a pattern for Coach Saban to deal with internal problems. We all know that the Barn used Alabama as its whipping boy to put lipstick on their pig of a program. Now the shoe is on the other foot.

    Never question Coach Saban, Aubarn. And, you’d better get used to being dominated.

  2. 2
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    You wont get what your looking for hear. Fish away…….You wont get a bite. You will have to look pretty hard to find people ragging Willis. Im sure they are out there but it will not be as appearant as the backlash that Bammers put up on the leaving of thier assistants. The one thing I dont get is the fact that hes an alumni/former player. But then I thought about it. Hes a coach. Thats his profesion. Its his job. All emotion aside. He left for a big raise. And did what he thought was best for him and his family. You cant hold that against him. And give The Saban some credit.That was a pretty dang shrewd move. Yall got a great coach. You will see that young talented linebacking corp come into its own this year. Wait and see.

  3. 3

    Unlike you bammers who did everything you could to spin the departure of Thompson and Steele (including dragging Thompson’s divorce through the public eye with no consideration of the pain and humiliation it caused his children), I will be honest. Willis leaving for Bama stings like a bitch. Oh, it’s not the end of the world for Auburn as you bammers would like to believe. No more so than it is for Bama with Thompson leaving. It could hurt some, as Willis is a great recruiter. We’ll have to see who replaces him now. The thing that stings is that he is an Auburn man, and he left for Bama. You bammers remember the same feeling when Brother Oliver came to Auburn under Bowden. (Well, that probably stung a little more. Auburn fans really liked Wilis, but he certainly didn’t have the cult hero status that Oliver did after the 92 season). The ridiculous thing is how Auburn, including Chizik, handled Willis. First he was fired, then he was re-hired. 740 AM in Montgomery is saying that Willis was given a check for his severance pay during the week he was gone, and then it was demanded that he repay it with no guarantee of a raise when he was re-hired. Meanwhile, all these other assts were getting hired with public reports that their salaries would be double that of Willis. No suprise that the guy was mad as a hornet. Saban wisely picked up on that and scooped him up. Congrats bammers. You picked up a heck of a coach.

  4. 4

    Ballplay, where did you hear he left for a big raise? I heard the raise was just to go to a better school.

    Julio, I take no pleasure in your pain for getting Willis, I mean that. I DO NOT WANT ANYTHING AUBURN HAS, end of story.

  5. 5

    There is no such thing as loyalty in college coaching anymore. From the way Bama fired Shula, to Brother Oliver going to Auburn, to Lance Thompson going to TN. There have been many coaches that left Bama to go to Auburn, but I can’t recall how many have left Auburn to coach at Bama though. But it is all a business now. I don’t know much about Willis, but most Auburn people regarded him as the better recruiter than Gran. I think Saban wanted to hire someone with experience to recruit the Mobile area. The fact that he was at Auburn is just a bonus. 😉

  6. 6
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Brando, your exactly right. We even go so far as to think that the players are somehow mezmerised by having played for a CFB team. Most that I know have a very lackluster view of football after having played. I know that sounds cruel about the sport we love, but its true. Its all about performance. End of story. There is no favoritism in athletics at that level, and no sense ofloyalty.

    And then you get to the coaching …..Oh my gosh. Talk about cutthroat.And Saban is the captain of that piraate ship.

  7. 7

    Ballplay, keep in mind Willis contacted Saban not vice versa and Aub holds the record in the sec for going thru assistants over the last ten years.

  8. 8

    this is absolutely hilarious. War Barner just took one right up the poop chute, and I am loving every greasy second.

    so much for auburn laughing over our losses in the coaching department. saban just came into your house and slapped your family around while eating the mac & cheese your mom made for dinner. he upgraded our coaching whileleaving a 3-coil steamer on 5-19 cheezits desk over on war polytechnic’s smelly campus.

    the 1 area where Auburn had NE kind of hope on defense was that linebacker group. and its gone, DONE.

    defend it, barners. try to make up excuses. tell us how it’s no big deal. auburn is on its way back to mediocrity and there ain’t gonna be a happy ending.

  9. 9
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    A 3 coil steamer ? I never heard a turd called that before. funny.

    That is the only thing of any substance that I got from your post. Three coil steamer. hmmmmmmmmmmm.

  10. 10

    No matter how you try and spin it, You guys gave more shit about Thompson than Auburn did! Period You guys disgraced Him,uat and all of you bummers by running this guys divorce thru you lips as if any of you sissy bitches had the room to talk! I hope would rather see Thompson and Tenn. Shove it up your DOOKY CHUTE than win the IB next year.And I mean that… It was classless and FINEBUM was the worst. He had it plastered on his show because his beloved Nick lost another ASST. Its a bussiness and ONE DAY guess what? ICK will be GOne!


  11. 11

    Oh yea watch the Senior Bowl and listen to the BOOs that will come out of Mobile when JPW hits the field I promise you wont wanna miss it. It will be on Sports Center to I ll bet. Its @least 500 or so that will be booing!


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