According to a report in a recent edition of The Birmingham News, Auburn "rewarded" its football coaching staff with raises following a "successful" season.
Really? 8-5 overall and 3-5 in the conference is "successful" now?
At the end of 2008, Auburn football was about as low as it could go. A 5-7 season record, an offense completely in shambles after replacing a coordinator mid-season, and the ten-year tenure of Tommy Tuberville was at its end too. Then, there was the firestorm that followed the hiring of Gene Chizik.
The 2009 campaign started strong – Auburn jumped to 5-0 record – but quickly derailed and the Tigers struggled down the stretch winning only three times and none over the chief rivals of LSU, Georgia, and Alabama. Three times in the season, Auburn blew 14 point leads. Auburn was awarded a bid to the Outback Bowl, a rarity for a 7-5 team, and proceeded to surrender 600+ yards of offense to Northwestern before finally winning in overtime.
Impressed yet? Didn't think so.
In one of the biggest surprises of the recruiting season, Auburn and the very visible, vocal staff hauled in a top 10 recruiting class according to the various reporting services.
Is that's a sign of progress? Well, sort of, but judging recruiting classes before they hit the field is sophomoric at best.
Head coach Gene Chizik was quoted saying, "It's really important that there was a vote of confidence there in our administration in the importance of continuity in the coaching staff. When you have very talented guys as assistant coaches, a lot of people are going to be interested in hiring them."
Who seriously wants to hire the defensive staff from Auburn? Do they watch football? And while Auburn's offensive numbers improved from 2008 to 2009, who out there thinks this offense "works" against conventionally strong defenses?
Supporters will say that Auburn's move is no different than what other schools around the conference and country are doing. That still doesn't make it right.
I realize this doesn't come from state-appropriated monies to the university. College football is a big business and business is mostly good. However, attendance slipped around the country last year even though the SEC still led all conferences in average attendance. Auburn sold out one – ONE – home game last season and that was against the chief rival Alabama (Anybody watch that game? Notice all that red in the stands?). Auburn went to a bowl game with a big payout.
The money is there, but is it justified? No, it is not. It sends a message to the fanbase that mediocrity – and that's what 8-5 is – will be not only acceptable at Auburn, but rewarded.
I understand now what Trev Alberts meant when he said, "It's just Auburn being Auburn."Powered by Sidelines