Tag Archives: Al Borges

Graveyard for Offensive Dreams?

By J.M. Comer

Pinehill Cemetery in Auburn.
Pinehill Cemetery in Auburn.

While it seems that since the days of Coach Pat Day, Auburn University has been a great springboard for defensive-minded coaches to further their career, the exact opposite can be said for the coaches with experience on the offensive side of the ball.

And after what happened yesterday (Tiger Jack on Auburn.nu called the scene of Tony Franklin loading up his SUV after this dismissal in front of the cameras “Spread Man Walking,” which is brilliant) I don’t see the decline of offensive brain trust at Auburn changing soon. Who in their right mind would accept the job, knowing that a band of jackals (or worse yet, complete dumbasses) possibly lay in wait, ready to sabotage their best efforts to change things, rattle the ol’ cage a bit and bring in some fresh air to the offensive side of the ball? A fool would accept this job under the current terms.

Al Borges, God bless him, could have probably grabbed a good job elsewhere after the 2004 season if he struck while the iron was hot. But the guy probably thought that the money was right, Auburn was a great place to live and raise a family, the future was bright and there was unfinished business on the Plains.

But just take a look at the list of offensive-minded coaches and what happened after they were let go at Auburn University. Some escape with their careers intact. Some are not so lucky, seeing their coaching stock drop considerably:

Head Coach Terry Bowden — Fired at Auburn 10 years ago after 6 games into the 1998 season and is no longer coaching. According to Wikipedia: “Bowden is the expert analyst for Westwood One Radio’s College Football National Game of Week, co-hosts “The Coaches Show” on Sirius Satellite Radio with Jack Arute, is the exclusive college football columnist for Yahoo! Sports, and works several times a month as a motivational speaker.”

Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone — Head Coach Tommy Tuberville cuts Mazzone loose in 2001 and replaces him with Bobby Petrino. Mazzone came over with Tuberville from Ole Miss in 1999. Mazzone grabs a job in 2002 with Oregon State. According to Wikipedia again: “In 2006, Mazzone finally moved to the NFL, becoming receivers coach for New York Jets.”

Offensive Coordinator Bobby Petrino — The exception to the rule. Leaves Auburn in 2002 on his own terms for head coaching job at University of Louisville. Almost takes over Auburn’s program in 2003 with Jetgate coup. Currently head coach of Arkansas University.

Al Borges — Currently unemployed after “resignation” in 2007. Lives in Auburn.

Tony Franklin — As of yesterday, unemployed. You know the story.

Next up for the chopping block?

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Filed under Diversions / Investigations, General

Borges Interviews at UCLA

I like the thought of that much more than that of him at Ole Miss (I’m sure he does too) – not only would we not have to face him, he could help us out and everyone else on the side of good by being a genius thorn in the side of Southern Cal.

War Eagle, Al.

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Spread Eagle

By J. Henderson

Tony Franklin, dynamite evangelist of the spread offense, is officially at the helm of the Auburn offense. I’m excited.

With first-day-on-the-job quotes like…

“We’re no-huddle all the time. We haven’t been in a huddle in two years at Troy. Our players wouldn’t know how to get in one if we wanted to. We play fast. We practice fast. We led the nation in the number of snaps per game – 81.5 per game.”

and…

“It’s gives you a huge advantage as far as trying to control the tempo of the ballgame. When you’re on offense, you should control the tempo. The defense should never control anything. They should be defending and you should be attacking. We’re constantly attacking and trying to attack every area of the field. Every week, it’s different. Every team, it’s different. You take the strengths somebody has and you build from those strengths. That’s what we’ll do at Auburn. We’ll find out what people are really good at and we’ll build from there. Then we’ll recruit for the other things we’re not real good at.”

… it’s hard not to be.

And I really am.

It is by now a completely moot point (made all the mooter by the above) to suggest that Al Borges had maybe earned himself another year’s shot at bringing back the magic. However, I do want to point out that the beautiful mark of Al Borges did not, as is being reported (likely for journalistic expedience), end at the conclusion of the 2005 Sugar Bowl.

Lines like “Borges’ career at Auburn reached its pinnacle in just his first year as coordinator in 2004… However, as his career at Auburn progressed, his offenses deteriorated” just do not accurately reflect the reality that so engendered our affection for the ol’ fella…

People seem to have forgotten – probably because even at the time it seemed hard to believe – that Auburn’s 2005 offense was equally as potent as the 2004 version, or almost equally as potent, and in a several ways superior, such as points per game (barely), per play rushing average and number of rushing touchdowns.

Ironically, “pinnacle” is the same word Borges uses (in a now intensely poignant piece by Inside the Auburn Tigers’ Mark Murphy) to describe the state of Auburn’s program at the end of the 2005 regular season – the Tigers lead the SEC that year in total offense.

Again, we’ll miss you, Al. Big time.

But welcome to Auburn, Tony.

War Eagle… War Spread Eagle..

Update: The Premiere Nick Sucker in the State thinks Franklin’s hire might be enough reason for Julio Jones to consider coming to Auburn… SJPW lobbing passes kinda in your general direction or the spread offense under Kodi Burns… let’s talk… 

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War Eagle, Mr. Franklin?

By J. Henderson

There is some buzz going around that Tony Franklin, Troy’s offensive coordinator, is the leading contender to replace Al Borges at Auburn. It should by now be apparent how I feel about buzz. But unlike the ridiculous rumors of lateral-at-best Tuberville moves, this line of thinking has common sense on its side, especially if, as is being reported, Tuberville will introduce a new coordinator tomorrow, and one who will coach Cox and Co. in the Peach Bowl; Google Maps has Troy at 89.2 miles from Auburn, which would mean little Holiday inconvenience for Franklin.

If he is our man, I’m excited. Troy had me scared early in their dismantling of Oklahoma State at the beginning of this season and the stats listed on Franklin’s Troy bio-page are impressive to say the least. And he’s a writer, by the way.

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Missing You Already

 By J. Henderson

borgesandchamp.jpg

I just liked the guy, I really did. The two big reasons why are 2004 and, even more impotently – which I think people forget – 2005. But he would talk to you and he was funny. Great name, too.

Deep down, I thought that our offensive anemia, when it presented, was more symptomatic of talent than anything, or at least performance. Cox struggling, dropped passes, injuries all around. I know, I know… but again, you don’t go from 2003 to 2004 without knowing how to do your job. borges-and-campbell.jpgAnd the thought of a maturing Future Boy under his tutelage and strategy kept me warm even in this season’s coldest corners; if its a matter of being asked to resign, which it sorta looks like, I can’t help thinking that another year’s chance would have been more prudent. But alas, here we are, and I honestly didn’t see it coming. Got a text message from a loyal reader Saturday night that hinted as much. Got online, looked around, didn’t see anything and called him crazy. He wasn’t.

Where does this leave us for the Peach Bowl? Not sure. I only hope that Tuberville’s next hire is as blindingly brilliant as Al was his first two years.

War Eagle, Al. You’ll be missed. Thanks for everything.

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Filed under General, Pre-game Notes