Shane: Saban takes AU’s best recruiter

By Shane from Centerpoint
I remember the moment vividly (it occurred during a recent appearance on the Paul Finebaum Radio network) – former Auburn head coach Pat Dye was in the middle of a sermon, using his airtime as a bully pulpit to rant about something Alabama was supposedly doing to harm his program up in Memphis, Tennessee (the worst place Dye could possibly associate with Alabama). Pat leaned into the microphone, using a low growl designed to emphasized the serious nature of his message and said that they (Alabama?) are screwing with our “family”. Then he mumbled something about how nobody screws with the Auburn “family”.

Do you folks out there think that Nick Saban’s hiring away Auburn’s best recruiter and linebacker coach, James Willis, constitutes “messing with the Auburn family”?

Quite frankly, I think that the glove’s been removed and the slap has been administered. Actually, Coach Willis was Auburn’s last man standing on the highly contested south Alabama front, a premium zone that is crucial to successful recruiting for both universities.

Adding Coach Willis to the Tide staff only enhances Alabama’s newly found dominance in the Mobile, Alabama area. Losing Willis could possibly spell doom for Gene Chizik and his Tigers, because Saban and Willis will combine to lock down that territory in the future. Additionally, Willis knows the region’s high school coaches far too well for any new Auburn assistant to actually stand a fighting chance.

I predict that Coach Willis – backed by the best closer in the game – will have tremendous success in his efforts to land the top-rated players from that area.

James became a good linebacker coach while under Tommy Tuberville. I have no doubt that he will be even better after he spends time with Nick Saban. He apparently feels the same way Will Muschamp and Gene Chizik (Auburn’s current coach) felt when considering their chances to land a head-coaching job – the idea that Mac Brown and now Nick Saban provide a better chance to reach the top than anything Auburn could ever offer.

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I’m sure the part of James’ departure that is hard to accept for the “family” is the fact that he was an “Auburn man”. Yes, he played for the Tigers and it’s true that Willis was given his first major coaching job by Auburn. However, after hearing the details of his treatment by Chizik and certain individuals who pay his salary, I believe Coach Willis made the right move.

Auburn fans must face the fact that coach James Willis is now the linebacker and associate head coach at the University of Alabama. By the way, the Crimson Empire seems to be thrilled to have a man of his caliber join the Tide staff.

Alabama’s linebackers are in good hands. Willis has great knowledge of the game from years spent learning from the best. Think about his background: he played for coach Dye, spent years in the NFL, and was tutored by defensive “guru” Tommy Tuberville. Next season he will be in charge of the Tide’s linebackers, guided by one of the best defensive specialists in the business.

I bet James can’t wipe the smile from his face. The situation could not have worked out any better for him. He is truly blessed. Think about it – he was stuck at the bottom of the totem pole down at Auburn. Suddenly, Alabama loses its linebacker coach, who also happened to recruit south Alabama, and the wheels begin to turn.

People often say that fate controls their direction in life. The idea that Coach Willis perfectly fit Coach Saban’s needs (as a position coach and recruiter) really put the handwriting on the wall. Coupled with the fact that Saban’s good friend Tommy Tuberville gave Willis the highest recommendation, the move makes both Nick and James appear brilliant.

Meanwhile, Auburn – who had been enjoying an upswing in perception lately, after being a national joke for hiring Gene Chizik in the first place – is right back where they started. Pat Dye must be furious. Many Tiger fans have been claiming that Willis committed (football) treason by jumping to the enemy. I wonder if Dye feels the same, considering he spent his first nine years coaching under “Bear” Bryant at Alabama, and then ended up declaring war on the Tide when he arrived down on the Plains as their new head coach.

A wise man once told me that angry words will always come back to haunt the man who speaks them. In the case of Patrick Fain Dye, the bad karma came quickly. His stern warning to all who would hear – that nobody better screw with his “family” – evidently didn’t mean anything to Nick Saban. Truthfully, why would it? Nothing else has so far.

Allowing Coach Willis to be lured away by Saban is a horrendous blunder by somebody involved in the Auburn management system. Heads should roll for letting it happen.

On the flip side, Coach Saban’s hiring of Willis is definitely another notch in his belt. By doing so, he continues to advance the mission that he started the day he arrived on campus – working 365 days a year toward dominating his in-state rival. I guess his latest move is just another step in the “process”.

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Add Yours
  1. 5

    Not quite shane….don’t forget about Luper, Taylor and Malzahn. 3 coaches with notoriety and the proven ability to recruit. Ya’ll talk about the “process.” At Auburn, the buzzword now is “fit.” Apparently, Willis did not jive with the coaches overall goals, or they would have at least fought to retain him. Willis showed questionable character in the move, maybe even a traitor to the team who put him in his position. Come to think of it, I think he will fit in quite nicely at bama.

  2. 6

    As more and more information comes out it looks like auburn dropped the ball. They wanted Willis to return his severance pay after JJ stated money would be “no object”. They screwed up in the first place by firing Willis, then rehired him when they saw recruits jumping ship. As for Luper and Taylor, ask Ok St how happy they are to be rid of them. T Boone Pickens, he of the $100 million donation to the Ok St Athl Dept, could have outbid au or anyone else if he wanted to to keep them. But he didn’t. And lastly, I leave you with 2 numbers: 5-19 and 36-0. Roll Tide!

  3. 7

    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHH WIllis was that 3am Booty call. SHane you ignorant bummer
    You can have him! We arer gonna spend 7 months talking about whats gonna happen
    come Sept. remember that! And bamafuk howabout this number 100…. The collective IQ you and Shane share!


  4. 9

    Omni, better quit while you’re behind, you’re embarrassing yourself. Funny how you didn’t address one single point Shane or I made. You’re the auburn person Charles Barkley was referencing when he talked about being ashamed of auburn university.

  5. 11

    Bamafuk, your first mistake was to confuse your OPINION for a point, neither of you made a point nor an opinion worthy of addressing! I also stated an opinion, If the man would have been worth selling the farm for or beggin to stay then they would have and he would have stayed! And remember, this is the same LB coach YOU HUNG 36 on! ANd just for Giggles what POINT did either of you make and I will address it? So you know Charles Barkley is an embarrasment to Himself,His Wife and Family and Auburn PERIOD Hes like Mike Price telling me where to find a good hooker! Stupis as YOU and Your BOYTOY ShaneBooty!

  6. 12
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO! Oh, YOU BARNIES! Why can’t you admit that this is EGG on YOUR FACES! The situation was probably like this; Chizik cleans house. Chizik realizes the screw-up he committed. He rehires Willis and Willis accepts the job knowing that he WILL be THROWN UNDER THE BUS when its convenient. Someone at AU wants the severence package back. Willis is well within his rights to keep the package because he was FIRED. More later.

  7. 13

    piss on pat dye. he is a moron and a leader of morons. nobody likes his old retarded ass. and nobody of consequence gives a shit what he has to say.

    OMNIPISSPOT, Are you still trying to man up? the area for broomstick cowboys is over there on the auburn blogs.
    whats next?
    Are you going to tell us how you killed a deer but daddy was the one who shot it?
    you are a joke.

  8. 14

    Shane, you say “he continues to advance the mission that he started the day he arrived on campus – working 365 days a year toward dominating his in-state rival.”

    No, bud. That is your mission. Saban’s mission is much deeper than worrying about Auburn’s situation. Please stop disgracing this University with your pointless diatribes. I don’t know why you have such an inferiority complex with Auburn where you have to slam or mention them in almost every post and conversation. It’s so trite. Get new material and don’t confuse Saban with your ill intentions.

  9. 15
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO! Back again, please pardon the interruption. As I said earlier, EGG on SOME FACES! Willis knew that IF the 2009 season went awry (specifically the defense) HE would be ousted. Saban had a spot open, he probably made some phone calls, talked to James Willis and offered him the job! NOW, certain people down in the village are PISSED! We hear TRAITOR THIS and TRAITOR THAT, not from all the Aubies because I have heard some say they didn’t blame Willis. We have to remember that COACHING IS A BUSINESS. Obviously, James Willis wants to be a head coach someday. Leaving aside the hard feelings that are there this is a big opportunity for him. Not only does he have a job, he has a TITLE. Give the guy some credit. With this said, I have to agree with Brandon. While one of Nick Saban’s goals IS to out-recruit ‘Bama’s arch-rival, I’m sure one of the least of his concerns is how mad certain people in the Village are; they will get over it. Coach Saban’s main concern is getting the Tide in a position to compete year-in and year-out on a NATIONAL LEVEL, and I must say that after 2 years of “The Process” I HAVE to believe that THE BEST IS YET TO COME! Later!

  10. 16

    The fooking Barn & coach Gene Shitabrick can’t even handle their HR situations without screwing it all up:

    You’re fired! Here’s a check! Wait, Mr. Lowder says I don’t have that authority… uh, can I have that check back? I’ll show that Fat Cat by hiring you back DIRT CHEAP… what’s what? You’re heading to Alabama for a raise? and lots of inside information on our team?

    The Barners don’t have the guts to admit that Saban just tore them two new ones.

    Bye bye, Mobile recruiting. Bye bye, highly qualified LB coach.

  11. 17


    You sorry excuse for a BLOGGER,
    1st I dont kill animals (ITS NOT A SPORT)
    2nd I ll bet your MOM has killed the biggest buck in your family(your granddad)
    3rd I hate cowboys (im an Indian Kinda guy)
    4th DUDE YOU WOULD rather sand paper a bears ass than step to me(I would split your wig open asswhipe!)
    And Finally dont be a KeyBoard bully(it will get you hurt SON!)


  12. 18

    Couple of questions, who is a better coach Thompson or Willis… The better recruiter? Look you have to admit that Willis was not getting the job done… Auburn demoted him, took his severance… Auburn basically was begging for him to leave… So who knows Willis better, the folks at Auburn or Nick… Willis will be used up at Bama in a year or two… he will then be spit out…

  13. 19

    Wasn’t getting the job done? Isn’t Auburn’s linebacker group the one true strength of this team? And begging for him to leave? Is that why they came crawling back and RE-HIRED him?

    You fuckin barners are a joke.

  14. 20

    Saban was very smart in one regard. He understands there are people in the profession who would rather have the bling bling than anything else. Dangle “Associate head coach” and you can get some assistants to do just about anything. Kind of like dangling a gold- foiled wrapped piece of candy under a kid’s nose.
    Auburn could stand to learn that psychology.

  15. 21
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Shane, you are a few days late on this bud……….I now suppose that Willis is the BEST coach in the SEC short of The Saban (no pun intended)……….Do I want Willis to leave ? No……..Am I pissed cause he did ? No…………

  16. 23
    Blue Auburn Fan

    It’s a sad time down on the Plains. Shane spends most of his by-lines talking about the Auburn program, beating us up about past coaches (Dye) and the misfortunes of THE Auburn family, ridiculing us just like we have done the Bama Nation over the past 8 or 10 years. It hurts. It’s scary that Lou Saban gets his motivation over the things that Pat Dye says on the Paul Finebaum show! I can only hope Mr. Saban IS foolish enough to make decisions based on Pat Dye’s statements on a local sports talk radio show. Maybe there is a ray of Hope for THE Family.

    Times are tough for the Auburn Family indeed. I find myself morphing into the Bama Fan of the late nineties up to the first part of this past, you know, embracing futile excuses for why we (THE Auburn Family)shouldn’t be down. Hey the women’s basketball team is really good! But that’s like Bama embracing the women’s gymnastics team (except better, at least women’s basketball gets some TV exposure).

    All the pundits are down on Auburn, it’s not just Shane. I am sooooooo blue. Shane just happens to be the puppet for Finebaum. I have seen the predictions Shane’s made over the years…I know how accurate they can be. I am sooooo blue.

    James Willis is no trader. He was treated as badly as the GREAT Tommy Tubberville. He to, I’m sure was blue. He probably reads Shane Sez as well!

    Please, please all you wise and football savvy bloggers, please enlighten me as to how in the world THE Auburn Family can survive this mess and begin to at least see some light at the end of the Mighty Saban Tunnel. My hopes were for the Notre Dame coach to leave so the Fighting Irish would offer even more money to Mr. Saban because you know he would take it in a heart beat. But I’m sure Urabn Meyer would jump on it first…after all it is his dream job. Maybe our new president, Mr O’Bama will offer him a position in the cabinet as Secretary of NCAA Football, it would give him the power he thrives on, but come up way short in the pay check. I suppose I’m just grasping at straws.

    Perhaps I need to just sit back and wait to see how the new coach…what’s his name…Gene Chizic(?)… will do. I mean look at his record and all. I’m soooooooo blue. Doubtful though, I’ve not heard of him spewing hatred toward the other team like Saban does on the sidelines like Hitler did to the masses…I guess he’s a bit too soft.

    I am sooooo blue!


  17. 24
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    The Saban is a little reminesque of Ol’ Adolph , isnt he ? If The Saban would grow one of those dorky little mustaches it would be a spot on match. Maybe even get a horse whip and some of those pants with the poofy legs ? The only problem I could see is that it would be a step down in the intimidation factor. After all , The Saban IS the most intimidating person in the history of the planet. The Saban would eat Adolphs lunch in a shouting contest. Plus If The Saban were in charge instead of Hitler, the Germans would have won WW2……………

    Thoughts ?

  18. 27
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO, BLUE AUBURN FAN! Were you the guy we could hear on the news yelling at Jay Jacobs “WE WANT A WINNER, NOT A LOSER”?

  19. 29

    What’s awesome is that the Barners have resorted to attacking Saban since they know they can’t defend coach Shitabrick’s bungling of the whole scenario, nor can they accept that one of their own was shat upon and is taking his skills and insider knowledge to Tuscaloosa.

    That alone proves that we’ve got the Barn pegged right on the button.

    Willis was THE ONLY GUY asked to come back, and yet, somehow, since he left that train wreck down in the most delusional village on the plains, he has transformed into a talentless slob.

    Face it, barners. The future looks like the wrong end of a mule, and I’m not talking about julio’s momma.

  20. 32
    Blue Auburn Fan

    Wasn’t me St. Claire. That guy was hired by Nick Saban to do that. In fact, I didn’t really ever see the guy screaming the evil words, I guess he was doing the filming too. Now that I think about it it did have a certain Hitleresque tone to it. Maybe little Nicky “Adolf” Saban was actually there!

    PS: SHANE, shame Gottfreid got fired. Must have been the “Lebo” Effect. What do you think? I thought you would have posted your thoughts on the situation by now. It was what, 20 minutes after Tommy’s departure at Auburn that you commented on that.

    I heard Bama was going after the coach at Duke (don’t ask me to even try and spell his name). Is it true Shane? You seem to know the movers and the shakers. Please don’t tell me it’s true, it would make so very, very blue!

  21. 33
    Blue Auburn Fan

    St. Claire, I’m sorry. I did some checking. It wasn’t Nicky “Adolf” Saban screaming those evil works at Mr. Jacobs. The guy taping the event was standing next to a guy that covered sports in Miami during Nicky “Adolf” Saban’s tenture (even though short lived) at the Dolphins. The guy from Miami accidentally hit the “play” button on his audio recorder. The voice we heard on the tape of Mr. Jacobs return to Auburn was actually old audio of a disgruntled Dolphins fan yelling at Saban upon his return from a humiliating Dolphins road game.

    Sorry for the earlier error.

  22. 34

    You’re gonna have to do better than that, blue.

    Where are all of the Barners at? Still looking over that list of 3-stars with a glimmer of hope?

  23. 35
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Superlaxitive……….Your name is quite fitting , as misinformation flows from your mouth like feces from Harrys rectum after injesting way too much turbo-lax (see dumb and dumber)…..

    I think that Blue is on to something……..The Lebo effect. Never thought of it that way before.

    We slam on The Saban because he is head of the Mullett Nation. Nothing more , nothing less. It would not matter if the man in charge of said Mullett Nation went 0-12 or 14-0. He will catch flak only because he is head of afore mentioned Mullett Nation.

    As far as the whole Willis fiasco goes……….You guys are really wanting the Auburn people to bitch and moan. The less we bitch and moan, the more you people act like we are bitching and moaning. Frankly, I wish the man didnt leave, but he is the one who has to carry his lunch box to work every day, not us…………….Leave it be. Let it go. etc…….In short. Nobody really cares.

    Except you.

  24. 36
    Blue Auburn Fan

    Good point Formerly! Superlaxitive is fitting!

    I’m feeling much less blue now. Perhaps Mr Gottfreid left because of all the loud, obnoxious yelling, cursing, screaming and hate mongering going on down the hall from Mr. Nicky “Adolf” Saban’s office. Perhaps he wasn’t able to focus or concentrate with all that evil spewing out of the mouth of the Nano Hitler. Naaaa, it was the Lebo Effect I’m sure. How many losses did the Lebo Leapers put on him in the last few years. I know it was quite a few even though Mr. Finebaum failed to address that in his recent opinionated commentary. But then again what does he know. Remember his commentary a day or 2 before Mr. Tommy Tubberville (the most successful coach to ever dominate the Tide over a decade or so not to mention the thrashing he gave Urban Meyer). It was titled “Tubberville likely to return to Auburn, but”. At least he was smart enough to throw “but” in there. Speaking of Butts, it’s almost sad, but it seems Shane has better sources than Finebaum now. Sorry to ramble, now i feel blue again. Oh wait, I just remembered the 2 straight games Bama lost, I’m feeling better!

  25. 37

    Losing willis sure has hurt AU in recruiting this weekend. Willis wasn’t wanted and was pushed on chizik. then chizik hires a quality DC who is also a LB coach.Writing is on the wall there. You will be demoted but keep your job. By the way, just a month or two ago all I could hear was how thompson was destroying willis in mobile now he was the best recruiter on our staff( Trooper Taylor, Tracy Rocker, and Luper are all proven, better recruiters). Shane, I’m not sure if you are dumb, or just blinded by ur love for bama, or hatred for AU. Kind of sad

  26. 38

    I love how we go from “we don’t care, nor should you” to “Saban is hitler” by the next Barner. Y’all are more obsessed with him than the most devoted Crimson fan.

    You got a taste of success with your main rival down and out, and now it’s all about to go down the crapper again. So, I understand the defensiveness and attempts to downplay just how crappy things are looking down there.

    Enjoy your 4-8 record next year! I’m off to the islands!

  27. 39
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    We will impove our record…..Bamas record will not improve ……In fact , it will be at around 8-4 or 9-3 regular season.

  28. 40

    Shane, what a red-neck, mullet head, wife- beatin’, brick layin’ loser you are. Tell me, did you finish middle school or did you have to get a job to support your mullet head absent Bud-pounding father. No way you attended any college…much less the alleged UAT. The only (harhar) success was this stupid blog. This is my first and last entry here but your life is pathetic and you know nothing about football, much less the class that Auburn Tigers have.

    Bammers will be left holding the bag when Satan leaves…as he always does after about three yrs… and you bammers (oh, that’s right, you aren’t actually a bammer…) will once again talk about diggin’ up the bear and leanin’ him against the goal post for another picture. Your kind is very sad to the rest of the modern day world. Have I mentioned mullet head? You make me laugh!

  29. 41
    Ty from T-Town

    Shane, disregarding the ranking abilities of the experts. There is a distinct possibility that Coach Saban’s 09 recruiting class, will be his best yet. That’s including that group of studs that he left down at LSU.
    Coach Saban was not just stepping on toes at the AU Family Reunion.
    He crassly ran a bulldozer through the ballroom.

    The incapacious people at Auburn should not take this wrong.
    Its just business.

    Coach Willis, was obviously caught between a rock and a hard-place.
    That cheese-plug down at Auburn, must have done or said something pretty damn stupid to make a good man like Willis leave. Unfortunately, many dysfunctional families tend to despise the ones that they love.
    If it makes anyone feel better, I now personally hate Utah.

  30. 42
    Blue Auburn Fan

    Ouch! Now i am blue again…so blue. Ty just called me incapacious. Damn, that really hurt!

    Mr. Finebaum, don’t judge Lane Kiffen too soon. You are beginning to sound more and more like Mr. Sez.

    Before you judge people on thier professionalism…listen to your own show one day!

  31. 44
    Blue Auburn Fan

    Please,please take it easy on us poor old Auburn faithful. We, at least I, am so down and blue with everything Auburn.

    As you know, and as so many of the Bama Blogers on this wonderful, insightful and accurate site have said, Auburn and the “family” want and have tried so hard to emulate the glory and humility of the Bama Nation. Now that we have reached the same apex that Bama has wollered in for the past 10 or so years, you should at least appreciate that we have accomplished the same horrid level of nonsense that Bama has been in for over a decade. Please give us the credit we deserve!

    Or just go foock yourself.

    Sorry, my emotions got the best of me. Don’t go foock yourself, just post a list of the drugs, legal and non-legal, that you guys used over the last decde or better to get you through the misery. It would be apprecaited.

  32. 45
    Hey Blueshit Auburn Fan

    How does it feel to be irrelevant again? Let’s hope ol’ Gene Shitabrick doesn’t break any rules while he scrambles for bodies. I sure would hate for the Barn to keep adding to that probation rap sheet! Stay classy, barners!

  33. 47
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO! Not a lot, but its been fun checking out what our new barnie “BLUE AUBURN FAN” has been posting. HEY, “BLUE;” what kind of prediction do you have for your 2009 Tigers?

  34. 48
    Blue Auburn Fan

    Well, I’m not sure. Tigers, being a protected species, are hoping for a comeback. I heard rumor, a rumor mind you, that a couple of white tigers at Busch Gardens had conceived (that means got knocked-up Shane) while watching a U-Tube video of Mr. Finebaum performing “orally” on Mr. Saban (I think Mr. Sez was running the camera). Hopefully the the birth of the rare white tiger(s) will go okay. So, I’d say the outlook on 2009 for the tigers is looking good. Thank you for asking.

    Oh, do you think “orally” meant they were just talking? I’ll leave that answer for Mr. Clinton. He’ll know. Mrs. Clinton wouldn’t have a clue!

    I’m not sure if that “irrelevant” question from Mr.Hey Blueshit Auburn Fan was directed at me or not, but I’ll try to answer.

    I’m not sure, it’s been sooooo long since I’ve experienced that feeling. Perhaps you can tell me what it feels like to be irrelevant since Bama has been there for quite some time. I know that ended somewhat by blundering into #1 this year and all but I’m sure the feeling came right back after losing those last two games. Ouch, now I’m blue for you.

  35. 49

    Hey Shane,
    Looks like we just got another 5 star, but I forgot these stars dont matter if they go to Auburn.

    How about all of these redneck Alabama, never set foot in a university class, trailer living, inbred, toilet paper wearing idiots think about the following numbers:
    12-2 that is right 2.
    Outcoached twice and outmaned twice. I thought according to Shane Bama would hit Florida in the mouth?

    Florida 20-31
    Utah (heh heh) 31-17 and they could have run the score up on Furline Saban.

    Remember these two things as well. Saban has never done well after a winning season and he has never had an undefeated team. Get used to that.

    Nicky will run like a cheap hooker to a Johns car when the NFL or Notre Dame comes calling. Remember Notre Dame, the team with the most national championships?


  36. 50

    One more thing,
    Willis you got, he is a great recruiter, however, we will get another great recruiter and linebacker coach as well as secondary coach and great recruiter.

    Bye Lance Thompson, I guess you couldnt stand the little Furor Nicky. Nobody really likes to work with the guy. Why not talk about how good Lance Thompson was and how TN pulled him out of your program? Why does it have to be all about AU. I think secretly, you are an AU fan. I mean you go on and on and on about AU and never talk about your own team. I guess after being beaten down for 6 years in a row, it is like you just got out of an insane asylum and that is all you have to talk about.

    They got our running back coach Eddie Gran who has a lot of connections at some Florida high school programs. He is a great recruiter too. You dont see TN people strutting around about that…like all you idiot BAMERS.

    31-17 Utah. You know Shane, Utah was the only team I was pulling for that was playing an SEC team. It wasnt cause I hate AL, I actually like the team and the tradition. I hate the fans.


  37. 51

    I forgot about Kevin Steele too. What’s up, I mean he would rather go to Clemson than stay at the Almighty Ramer Jamer? Is it that he cant stand Nicky, the furor?

    How about lets talk about all the coaches that left Alabama recently, not Muschamp two years ago. I mean come on, get a life. Anything to make AU look bad. We will see Shane how next year looks on the football field. We may not win, but we wont be beaten 36-0.


  38. 53

    Let me throw my two cents in:

    Willis is a good recruiter, not great. Yes, it’s still a slap in the face to Auburn no matter how you measure it, *but* I need to see how well he coaches the kids after the fact.

    Yes, losing Lance Thompson isn’t good for us, but let’s not forget that Saban pulled that guy out of obscurity in Florida and helped him be what he is today.

    Our class isn’t going to drop 10 spots just because of that guy, and I think Willis will either step up and do better than ever, or he’ll fail, in which case Saban will simply do what he always does, and plug another guy in.

    If Thompson did pledge to leave Alabama’s recruits alone, and in fact went back on his word, then I have nothing but contempt for the guy. If no such agreement was in place, well, them’s the breaks. We’ll get by.

    We can’t judge Chizik until this time next year. He didn’t have a lot of time to work, something like four more weeks than Saban did when he came on board with two weeks to get some kinsd into Crimson. That’s just not enough time to make necessary plans. I like his hiring of Malzhan, though I’d be looking over my shoulder if I were him. Anyway, to my original point, it’s going to be a while before we can gauge just how well or how poorly Chizik is doing his job.

  39. 54

    How many times has a new coach stepped into a fundamentally sound football program in the SEC, and produced astronomical results their first or second year?? Miles, Nutt, Meyer, Saban twice, remember Terry Bowden?, Tuberville, Richt, the list goes on. I know it has happened just opposite many times as well, but sometimes a program just needs that missing spark. We’ll see. 7 months and counting.

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