B ack on April 11 of this year, I laid out a scenario that would bring ex-Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino to Auburn. You can read this scenario here.
Now, with allegations of cheating in Memphis on Chizik’s watch, and with Petrino’s mea culpa on ESPN this week, the first pieces of that scenario are coming to be.
If you don’t think the situation in Memphis is serious for Auburn, you’re delusional. Grade changing is serious, especially for an athlete with aspirations of playing college football. Before you bury your head in the sand, the question is, why THAT athlete going to THAT university…a university where a faculty member accompanied him on a visit?
There are still questions surrounding other Auburn recruiting ventures, including Rueben Foster’s mysterious move to Auburn from his home in Lagrange, where ironically he became teammates with the sons of two current Auburn coaches. Just how did mommy get that job in Auburn?
If these and other situations the NCAA is aware of continue to materialize, Petrino’s move to Auburn begins to take shape as Auburn cans Chizik, making him the scapegoat. Ironic, since the man really isn’t running the program.
Next, Auburn is going to suck this season. It’s going to be another year of 5-6 losses. As I predicted on April 11, another mediocre year will further expose how 2010′s 14-0 mark was a complete joke…a combination of the perfect home/away schedule and a once-in-a-lifetime athlete in the perfect system for him.
The Chiz will be seen for what he is: Mike Dubose in Auburn. It’s much harder to be a contender year in and year out (like what Nick Saban’s Alabama is doing) than have one flash-in-the-pan great season every so often. Yearly consistency takes ability. Occasional success takes a great deal of luck, and cash.
So after another season of beatdowns, near wins and moral victories, the Auburn cronies pulling the strings will see the writing on the wall, realizing there is a real coach out there in Petrino who’s looking for a place to land.
Next, this week Petrino’s interview on ESPN went much better than expected. I predicted his first appearance on TV would be in 2013, but he beat me by a year. The sincerity of this interview was a home run in the court of public opinion, giving him a foothold into the hearts and minds of fanbases everywhere…especially if they’re pondering a coaching change.
It’s this seed of opportunity that could be the Chiz’s undoing. Because not only is Petrino available, he’ll be available for cheap. Something that could come in handy should Auburn have to pay a hefty sum to Chizik for showing him the door.
Another reason why Petrino could (and probably will) be Auburn’s next coach is, Tennessee will be in the running for a new head man after this season as well. Another crappy season that includes a sixth loss in a row to the Tide will sting the Vol nation, who haven’t been unified behind Dooley from the start.
So if the NCAA clouds get darker for Chizik, and if this season goes as I expect it will, the throttling Auburn will take at the hands of Alabama (again) this November will be his last game.
We shall see. But right now, what I predicted last April can clearly be seen on the horizon.