So a couple of days ago I wrote that the Auburn administration should "interview who (they) want to interview," since taking their time and finding the right guy was more important than worrying about media snark and freaking out the high-strung Auburn fanbase.
Of course, I didn't realize they were going to take me at my word, nor did I realize "who they want want to interview" would be a definition so broad as to encompass names like these:
That's a screencap of AuburnUndercover (you probably figured that out), and yes, I think it's safe to say we've reached the stage where Candidates on Parade is the best name for this search. I stand by my position that Auburn fans shouldn't reach the *head explodes* stage until we actually find out where this long and winding--really, really winding--road is taking us, but man, I don't think we can duck the following truth any longer: This is amateurish. The right hire will forgive it. But whether this is the world's smokiest smokescreen, an honest attempt to scour the entire earth for the one right guy--I hear Wolfgang Wolf, former coach of VfL Wolfsburg, is available--or some sort of strange, misguided attempt at charitably boosting the stock of the entire college football coaching fraternity ("Today, head coach Todd Dodge announced that he would be staying at North Texas after speaking to Auburn about their head coaching vacancy ..."), it's amateurish. When you're talking to Gene Chizik, who has Auburn ties--WHOOPEE!--but has also been an unmitigated failure in his two-year tenure at Iowa St., the search has officially descended into comedy. Caoches on Parade today, and net week we'll give them skates and have Coaches on Ice at the BJCC.
If you'd like an alternate metaphor for Auburn's coaching extravaganza, Blutarsky's referring to it as an open casting call. That certainly works as well. (Also at that link: Producers clip! Those are always quality.)
And oh, for the record:
Grobe: way too old
Chizik: way too unsuccessful
I think that covers it.
Well, there's one positive. By virtually every account, Syracuse has inexplicably decided to pass over Turner Gill in favor of former Orange lineman and current Saints assistant Doug Marrone. So at least the worry from yesterday evening we'd get stuck with Todd Graham isn't as much of a worry anymore.
That said, it's hard to see Gill's prospects for the job as being in good shape at the moment. He was part of the "first wave" of interviews with the likes of Dooley, Hoke, Graham, Nix, Garner, etc.; it seems like Auburn's taking the "second wave" of Patterson and the "guys with SEC coaching experience" maybe a little more seriously, judging by both the later nature of their interviews and the plane ride to Fort Worth. If Gill had really made that much of an impression on the Auburn brass, would we still be in the middle of Coaches on Parade? Stock arrow: down.
It's a shame. You take a look at how he handles the media, and you still can't help but think: this guy is a successful guy. I genuinely hope he's still in the mix, particularly if the likes of Grobe are, too. (HT on the video to the Auburner.)
Silence is golden? Tony Barnhart wrote this morning that he'd spoken to Muschamp and gotten a denial from him, but to me that's not really the interesting part of the post: it's his perfectly reasonable contention that it's time for Paul Johnson to get paid, son. After all, that was supposed to happen sometime this week, probably Tuesday. Then it was going to happen Thursday. Well, it didn't happen Thursday. We don't have any clear word now on when it's going to happen.
It doesn't really mean anything. There's a million reasons Johnson could be stalling: holding out for an even bigger raise, some sort of fringe benefit or two, just keeping his options open to drive up interest from Auburn and raise the overall coaching profile a notch. He also could--could--be holding out because he's got an actual interest in what Auburn could offer him. In any case, no Johnson extension signed is much, much better for Auburn than the alternative. And at this point, I'll take any crumb of hope I can get.
FWIW. One other addendum to that Barnhart post: he seems to think O'Leary will survive the current scandal at UCF, which I'm not so sure about. Maybe if the program didn't just finish 4-8 in what was supposed to be another bowl year. This matters to Auburn how? If O'Leary's dismissed, the early favorite for his replacement is Charlie Strong. I would have thought Coaches on Parade would have gotten around to Strong long, long before now--an I wish it had, as the guy deserves a job more than any other assistant in the SEC--but if he does end up bolting to UCF, it won't matter whether we would have gotten to him or not, I suppose.
Etc. Doug Segrest uselessly calls for patience, with the caveat that Auburn can't take too long ... TWER brings you a new, awesome autiger96 video ... Auburntron says Auburn will be getting even more than we bargained for with Muschamp.