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Tuberville Out At Auburn: A Brief Postmortem And What It Means For You.

I know, I said that I'd be back with basketball coverage. But that was before our neighbors to the west decided to metaphrically torch The Barn to kill the rats. I've been waiting so long to type that . . .

As has been widely reported across the interwebs, and first reported here at Dawgsports by SG Standard, Tommy Tuberville appears to be out as the Head Football Coach at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute.

After their close loss against us it was looking like Tubs would save his job. It seemed the consensus among Auburn fans (at least those smart enough to manipulate a computer) that Ears deserved the chance to turn things around. After a shellacking soap and water won't wash off at the hands of Alabama, however, it looks like the Auburn administration decided it was time to see other people.

Internet rumor has it that Auburn AD Jay Jacobs may have asked Tuberville to make staff changes that Tuberville, out of loyalty, was not willing to make. This seems a little hard to believe given that in the past he has gladly jettisoned coordinators the way sailors of old would when mired in the horse latitudes. But he has kept some guys around for the duration, such as Georgia alum Hugh Nall. So maybe there is some credence to this one.

Back when Nick Saban was brought onboard at Alabama, I argued that it was fantastic long term news for Georgia fans. My reasoning was that a strong Alabama program hurts Auburn's, and hurting Auburn's football fortunes can never be a bad thing for us. It didn't take Henry Kissinger to see how the geopolitical gridiron battle between Saban and Tuberville was going to turn out. Like something from Mad Max, two men would enter the state of Alabama, and one would definitely leave. I figured it would be Tuberville, I just didn't figure it would be only two years later. That caught me totally by surprise.

Is this the right decision? I say no. Not because I thought Tuberville deserved another year, or that Auburn owed him a chance to turn it around. For better or worse college football is a business, and Tuberville did not produce this year. It was Auburn's perogative to send him shivering into the cold with a paltry $6 million dollars (the blogger typed with jealousy welling up inside).

No, it was the wrong move because I find it hard to believe that anybody else will do better. There's early interest in hiring the dread pirate Leach, who's been making eyes at the University of Washington. I can't imagine that he'd be too interested. He's just trying to wrangle a raise out of Texas Tech and he's enough of a contrarian to look at this job and simply pass on it. Because he doesn't need the drama. The expectations at Auburn are sky high, and Nick Saban isn't going anywhere. Anyone dumb enough to take the Auburn job under these circumstances is simply too dumb to be an SEC coach.***


It's what some would call a call a . . . you know.

Perhaps Jimbo Fisher will get tired of waiting for Bobby Bowden to nod off in his raisin bran. Perhaps they'll hire one of those nice mid-major guys with a resume stuffed with cupcake wins over Grand Valley State and Paducah Tech. Perhaps (the blogger typed gleefully) they'll go full-on mercenary and try to get Rich Rodriguez.

What about (most delicious of all) Bobby Petrino. Can you imagine the flack Auburn would take at this point for hiring the one guy who's probably the best fit for the job? Glorious. Unfortunately, it appears that Petrino's contract with Arkansas contemplates just such a scenario. Sad.

For we Georgia fans, this means that Auburn should be set to wander in the wilderness for a while. If that's what they want, let 'em have it. I suggest you sit back and enjoy it. The debacle probably helps us in recruiting as well. Two prospects in particular, DE Montez Robinson and TE Phillip Lutzenkirchen, appeared set to pick Auburn, but have backpedaled a little given Tubs' situation. Robinson was already planning to take a hard look at Georgia, and this can't hurt at all. I imagine he will look at our roster of defensive ends and see the possibility of immediate playing time. Lutzenkirchen was a solid Auburn commit until all this started, but now seems interested in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and a host of others. We'll almost certainly make a run at him as well, even though it will be tough to get into contention this late.

This firing smells a lot like David Cutcliffe's ouster at Ole Miss to me, and the public relations blowback will probably be similar. If the Auburn faithful aren't completely sold on the idea, you can imagine that convincing the rest of us that this is smart will be just about impossible. Kind of like the odds of Auburn reeling off six in a row against 'Bama again any time soon.

***Another fantastic angle to Auburn angling for Mike Leach? That spread-tastic offense he's running was developed by Leach while he was working under Hal Mumme at Kentucky alongside . . . Tony Franklin. The irony could only be more delicious if you covered it with chocolate chips and gumdrops.