Auburn’s latest hail mary to try and keep up with big brother involves the hiring of former Florida head coach, Will Muschamp. Nobody wins a press conference like the Tigers, throwing dollars at the name of the week in order to appease the AU cult. How’s that Bruce Pearl hire working out?
Muschamp, who struggled as a head coach at Florida, replaces the fired Ellis Johnson, who struggled as a head coach at Southern Mississippi. After just two seasons, Johnson was shown the door following a 55-point free-for-all at the hands of the Tide. But if Auburn had won the Iron Bowl, would Johnson still be on Gustav’s staff? I’ll answer that for you…wait for it…
But the fact is, Johnson was the fall guy for Gustav’s inability to score in the red zone against Alabama. All we hear is that Gussy’s dipsy-doo, trickeroo offense is built to outscore its opponents, but when his pants were pulled down in prime time against the program by which Auburn measures itself 24-7, 365, something had to be done. And since OctaGussy couldn’t fire himself over five field goals, Johnson took the fall.
And I’ll call it right now. The hire will be a disaster. Muschamp will remain in Auburn exactly two seasons before bolting, being let go, or being fired along with Malzahn’s other staff over sub-performance. The knock on Gus’ brand of junior high offensive football by defensive coordinators is that it doesn’t compliment defenses very well. Auburn, once known as a defensive stalwart, hasn’t had a good defense since Tommy Tuberville roamed the sidelines. “But Muschamp was D.C. in 2006-2007 at Auburn and their defenses were good.” No, in reality those units were nothing special, earning Auburn exactly nothing. No hardware to show, unless you count the FOY Sportsmanship Trophy, which at the time winning over Bama was like taking candy from a blind baby.
When Gene Chizik won Auburn’s only national title post the 1960’s, nobody was crying over the defense. And that Auburn defense was horrific. “We just outscore everybody!” is what you heard from koolaid slurping aubies. Kentucky scored 34 on them that year. Ole Miss got 31 (and not the good Ole Miss of today). Yet, because Gus’ offensive was clicking, all was well.
But an Iron Bowl loss, where you can’t get first downs or touchdowns when they matter, will upset the apple cart. So here we are.
The coach who legend has it doesn’t allow profanity on his practice field (*chortle, tsk, gufaw) just hired the biggest potty mouth this side of Louis CK. Muschamp uses cuss words like adjectives. There are some marriages that just don’t work, and again this one won’t, and not because of all the bad words about to be volleyed on the practice field, sidelines, in cafeterias, in church, and at children’s birthday parties and family gatherings.
It won’t work because Muschamp has worked for the best, and Gustav is far from the best. His candy apple, high school way of doing things will not be a home run with Muschamp, who will not gel with Gus and his staff. There’s no coaching history between the two. Rather, the hire reeks of a PR stunt by someone Malzahn answers to, a move to soothe the wounds left by Bama playing for its fourth national title in six years. I would’ve been less surprised if little brother had named Matthew McConaughey as the new D.C. Again, nobody wins a presser like the Tiggers.
But good for Will for cashing in. Still earning his $6+ Million buyout from Florida, numbers tossed around have been as high as $1.5 Million a year for his services in Lee County. This for a guy whose defenses were as bad as his offenses while in Gainesville. Alabama has hung 42, 38 and 37 on his defenses the last three times they’ve faced him. And recruiting? The reason Florida was so bad was because they didn’t have any players. But at least krazy Kristy will soon have a new shopping buddy, collagen Carol.
The hire and dollars involved just scream of desperation, and admittedly Auburn could’ve done a lot worse. But it will be enough to nurse the fears of the Auburn faithful who yet again have to see big bad Alabama set up as the golden standard in the college football world. At least until next season when Gus’ offense again can’t score in the redzone against the Tide.