The Gene Chizek Equation

Trying to figure out exactly what Auburn AD Jay Jacobs was thinking when hiring a coach on an impressive run of 10 straight losses is a little puzzling to say the least. The algebra problem from Good Will Hunting seems easier to solve than this mind boggling move. Not to say Gene Chizek couldn’t become a good head coach someday, but after two regressive seasons in Ames, there is no reason to believe this will ever happen. Winning 5 games in two full seasons isn’t the kind of track record that typically gets you a better job. In fact it’s a lot like coming to the office an hour late everyday, looking up porn on the Internet, taking double your allowed vacation and still getting promoted.

Were there better candidates for the job? A certain Auburn alum certainly thinks so. Anyone who has seen Charles Barkley swing a golf club realizes this guy has bigger problems than critiquing a hire in a sport he never played, but he makes some sense here. Like Barkley, I was pulling for Turner Gill to get the job and apparently so was the majority of Auburn fans on the Rivals message board. Barkley made a good point saying, “you can’t compare the two resumes and say (Chizek) deserved the job. Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizek probably had the worst resume.”

Probably had the worst resume? George O’Leary couldn’t lie his way out of the brutal two seasons Chizek had in Ames. Not that Iowa State is an easy place to win, but since 2000 the Cyclones had 7 wins or more in 5 seasons, making a bowl game each time. Chizek somehow managed to never win a road game while losing to powerhouses Kent State, Northern Iowa, and Toledo. Showing zero signs of progress after bombing 10 straight, Chizek demoted BOTH his offensive and defensive coordinators this year.

That’s exactly the type of coaching prowess most ADs look for in a new head coach. All Turner Gill has done in 3 seasons at once lowly Buffalo is take a team that was an underdog in EVERY game for 7 straight seasons and turn them into conference champs while winning 8 games, the same amount of wins the school had in its first 5 seasons in division I-A.

If I were a Cyclones’ fan, I wouldn’t feel too bad. Chizek leaving is kind of like a California homeowner finding their house engulfed in flames after buying in 2004 and finding themselves $200k in the hole. A big problem is off their hands and now they can move on without another highly touted coordinator who couldn’t live up to the hype.

Chizek has more than his fair share of detractors. I think Auburn could have done better, and its football fans deserve to get the most qualified candidate for the job. Barring a major turnaround, these fans could find themselves at the Redstone, Alabama Rehab Center.


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