By J.M. Comer
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?