Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

The middle of February is not exactly a busy time for college football news, but based on my email traffic, I guess I should post a couple of things.

First, if it weren't already pretty obvious, FTB tends to be dormant during the off-season. Believe it or not, I do try to not write here (or elsewhere) if I don't actually have anything to say, and since recruiting just doesn't interest me (having gone to the same high school as Alan Evans and Charlie Dare--two of the biggest flops in recruiting history--pretty much cured me of that malady), I really don't have a whole lot pertinent to note about Auburn or SEC football in general right now. I do plan to go to A-Day in April, and assuming it rises above the standard bore-fest, I'll probably post something about it--but no promises.

Second, a lot of people are apparently curious as to whether I'm still as down on Gene Chizik as I was the day he was hired. The short answer is, ask me again in October, because it won't be until then that anybody has anything approximating a good idea about how the Chizik regime is going to work out.

The longer answer is, we'll see. I am encouraged by the new coaching staff. I like pretty much everybody Chizik has hired, and more importantly, people who know a lot more about X's and O's than I do are very impressed by these assistants. Given the likelihood that with a merely mediocre offense, Auburn would have won at least eight games and played on New Year's Day last year, and the near certainty that the incoming offensive staff is light-years more competent than the one most recently departed, there are reasons for optimism.

As I just noted, I'm about as far from a "recruitnik" as you can get, but I do think Chizik and his staff did as well as could reasonably be expected this year, given that they only had six weeks on the job. Once again, people with more knowledge (and frankly, interest) in the subject than I possess like what they've seen, and that's likely a good thing.

All that understood, the jury is obviously still out until Chizik has several games under his belt as Auburn's head coach. I'm not going to go all sunshine-pumpery here and declare that I was nuts to think hiring a guy with a 10-game losing streak was a bad idea. To be perfectly honest, the reports out of Iowa regarding chaos on the sidelines and poor game planning still scare me to death. As an alumnus and life-long fan, I'm quite happy to be supportive of the team , but the coaches have to earn it, especially a coach who comes in with a less-than-stellar (let's be honest here--really awful) track record.

So, like I said, ask me again in October.