When I go to church, I don’t mind being a few minutes late to the service. For some reason the Methodists insists you shake hands and greet your neighbor. I don’t particularly like that part. Maybe I need a little more Christ in my life but giving out handshakes and having short awkward conversations is something I try to avoid. I also don’t mind missing a few of the songs either. I don’t like to sing and I like the sermons and getting right down to the point.
I do have a few hymnals I like and sing along to, and one of my favorites is “The Solid Rock.” The refrain goes “On Christ, the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
Well, you aren’t reading this post to hear about my taste and preference in worship services or hymns. But when I was thinking on this blog topic, I thought about the refrain of being on solid rock and sinking sand. This applies to the Auburn Tigers.
I mentioned yesterday how their Nick Marshall experiment at quarterback is not going to be successful. I caught the ire of a few Auburn people on Twitter. Guess I struck a nerve.
Just three years ago this program went undefeated and is now coming off a 3 win season and went 0/8 in SEC play.
They built the program on something other than solid rock.
Auburn and Tommy Tuberville went for the flashy new spread offense. That experiment lasted about half a season, and then the Head Coach was soon on his way out too. Then Auburn went after Gene Chizik, who famously went 5-19 at Iowa State. He then proceeds to lead the Auburn Tigers to records of 8-5, 14-0*, 8-5, 3-9.
In the 6 seasons Gene Chizik has been a head coach, 3/6 have had 3 or fewer victories. Let that sink in for a moment for just how incredibly bad that is.
I saw on Twitter the other night, and I can’t remember who Tweeted this, but with Fraizer not being QB this season, Auburn will be starting the season with a new QB for the 7th consecutive season. That is not a recipe for success. No wonder Auburn has had two losing seasons in the last 5 and only managed 8 wins in two others.
If you want to build a successful program, you don’t do a few things.
You don’t cheat to get the best player. Short term gain vs. long term reward.
You don’t go out and hire a complete and utter joke as your head coach, after running off one of the best and most consistent coaches in the country.
You don’t have a different starting quarterback for seven consecutive years.
You don’t go out and hire the most overrated offensive coordinator in all of football as your new head coach and try to implement an overrated offensive scheme.
You don’t put a cornerback, who as a high school quarterback got by on his athletic ability against Class A competition, as your quarterback. Against SEC defenses mind you.
And we have to look no further than Athens to see what happens when you don’t have a solid foundation and how bad things can get and go south in a hurry. Look at what happened a few years back. Why did we get in the mess we were in in 2009 and 2010? Complacent recruiting. No consistency at the quarterback position for three years. No consistency at running back. Building your foundation on gimmicks (missing man formations and uniform changes for fake juice).
Georgia now has a four year starter at quarterback and a lot of consistency on the offensive side of the ball. Will Friend is the junior member of the offensive coaching staff, and he is in his third season. The coaching staff overall is nearly intact. We’ve abandoned the gimmicks.
Look at what Alabama has done up in Tuscaloosa.
Good recruiting without relying stupid gimmicks**.
Auburn has no solid rock as their foundation, and they will just continue to sink until they address the sand beneath their feet.
*I think you know why there is an asterisk here
**Gimmicks are OK every now and then. The 2007 Blackout games were fine. The 2008 Alabama one was fake juice. You don’t need to rely solely on fake juice.