Friday night, my son Nathan told me that his friend at school said Auburn was better than Alabama because Auburn “played as a family.”
Last night, an otherwise brilliant friend of mine tweeted “Auburn is a special place. The Auburn people are family. 2010 national champs or 2012 (1-6), it doesn’t change who we are.
Auburn folks, two things:
- Believe it or not, you don’t love Auburn any more than I love Alabama, or any more than (insert fan base here) loves (insert school here). There are lots of cool little things about Auburn, and there’s a kinship, and there’s a vibe. Believe it or not, there are lots of little things, and a kinship, and a vibe about (insert school here). Auburn is special—just like everywhere else.
- “Family” or “all in” is no inoculation against a terrible football team. And you have a terrible football team in 2012. The shame is in not saying so.
Listen, Auburn. Chizik is done.
I have known dysfunction. I have seen Alabama overvalue connections to Coach Bryant, culminating in a ride on the DuBose Kamikaze Express straight into 3-8 in 2000. I have known right-spirited but horribly wrong-headed decisions like hiring Mike Shula, putting a guy with 100% of the heart but not 20% of the ability in control of the premier football program in the country.
I have also known the efficacy of piling up the cash for a superstar, and handing him the keys to the football program when he arrives.
And that’s exactly what you need to do now. You need a clean break with the past, and with the old way of doing things. You need to find the money for that perhaps-persuadable tier one guy, or that high-tier two guy looking for an upgrade. When he gets there, you need to stay out of his way.
I love Alabama pounding you, but it’s not as much fun when you’re truly rotten. Raise your game, please.
We’re trying to have a state here.