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1.05.2008

News of the day, 1/5

Hey everyone. Judging by the tone of several e-mails I have received during the past 24 hours, it's safe to say a significant sector of the Auburn population is quite unhappy.

Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, the most popular assistant I've covered, has left for the same job at Texas. He'll make less money at Texas. He can't have more coaching autonomy than he had at Auburn. So what happened?

It's something Auburn people will wonder for a while ... until a new defensive coordinator comes along with swell credentials and a commitment to keep the Tigers' defense highly aggressive. Auburn's defense was excellent before Muschamp arrived, was excellent with him here and has a chance to be excellent after his abrupt departure.

I've read a lot of theories. Here are a few:

**Salary. No way. Period. He was going to make $425,000 next season, which is a massive payday for an assistant coach ... particularly one with no head-coaching experience. He knew that. He was totally fine with the financial package Auburn offered.

**Upset with Tony Franklin's spread offense: No way. Period. Muschamp felt strongly that Franklin's ideas were not detrimental to his defense from an overall perspective. Franklin's system, if anything, keeps the offense on the field longer than before. Troy averaged 82 plays per game last season. Auburn ran 90 in the bowl game.

**Upset with Tuberville: I don't think so. Muschamp valued the autonomy Tuberville afforded Muschamp. He was free to run basically anything he wanted and his recruiting opinions carried a lot of weight. Muschamp was happy with that.

**Upset with other elements of the athletic department: That's the most reasonable conclusion. Muschamp is big on being accountable to the people below him in the organizational chain. When kids came to Muschamp for guidance or to make suggestions about their roles on the team, he took each case seriously. He met with players regularly and was surprisingly candid with them about their weaknesses. They appreciated that honesty. Muschamp viewed that as accountability.

Auburn athletics doesn't always operate that way. Suggestions fall on deaf ears at times, though it's impossible to get a true read on how often that happens. Some coaches can brush that stuff aside without a second thought. Some coaches can't. For some coaches, true disgust only comes after serial administrative failures. Others have a much lower threshold.

Muschamp is in the latter group.

Was he mistreated at Auburn? Absolutely not. He liked Auburn. The feeling was mutual. The UT athletics department is a place noted for its massive budget and the sense that everyone is working toward the same goal.

My guess is he found that engaging, novel and worthwhile.

Here is my story from today's editions of the Advertiser:
Auburn coach Muschamp goes to Texas

33 Comments:

Anonymous Auburn Math 101 said...

I just have this feeling that we are getting ready to hire Tony Franklin's evil twin to create the ultimate dynamic duo. The only problem is, I can't figure out who that is. Any ideas?

1:01 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I think the talk of Tenuta makes sense. He's certainly aggressive.

Reggie Herring is a popular guy with a lot of the current Auburn assistants. I don't know how good he is. I'm not saying he's bad; I'm saying that I don't know enough about him.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That makes him sound pretty immature.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the idea of Tenuta. He had Auburn's # the last 2 times we played his D. Is he also in the running for LSU? Is he even intrested?

2:14 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Who is immature? I missed that.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Bo said...

Jon T beat Auburn thrice. He was the DC for UNC in '01.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What types of "serial administrative failures" are you talking about?

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Bo said...

Also, I believe Jon T is in Les Miles' pockets. JT was the guy Herbstreit reportedly said Miles was taking to Meeshgan.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Serial administrative failures ... happen when coaches ask for things (this goes well beyond tickets) and are given the "we'll get back with you later" business rather than at least creating the illusion that everyone (players, coaches, administrators) are on the same page.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same stuff you can experience in your own jobs and you deal with it. Will didn't deal with it. He's that guy that makes you alter your thought process when it comes to putting people off. If you say you're going to do it, make it happen. He's in a position where he can make the decision that he did. Tuberville can't easily do the same thing. Will's stock continues to rise all along the way. He's one of the lucky ones out there. And you have to credit him for being a capitalist in the matter.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spin spin a letter. Search high and low. Spin spin a letter. How many do you know?

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow jay g. i think Will was the best "football" coach on the staff, I really liked him. Percentage wise how much was it Will and how much was it talent for the success of the defense?

I may be blinded but I thought Auburn was in great postion for a big BCS game in 08. Does this hurt them on the field as much as I think it does?

5:38 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Who is spinning?

I agree that things like this, administrative gobbly-gook, is common in the business world. Like I said in the main blog -- some people aren't affected by it and some people are.

Do I think Muschamp's resignation dooms Auburn? Absolutely not. Good defensive coordinators are more plentiful than good offensive coordinators. Tuberville has cash, talent and plenty of exposure to offer Muschamp's successor.

Remember that the defenses run by John Lovett and David Gibbs, whom I believe were less talented than Muschamp, still were very good. It's not like Auburn was terrible until Muschamp arrived; he simply boosted a group that already was playing at a high level.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, so what things was he asking for and who was giving him the runaround?

"Serial administrative failures ... happen when coaches ask for things (this goes well beyond tickets) and are given the "we'll get back with you later" business rather than at least creating the illusion that everyone (players, coaches, administrators) are on the same page."

6:40 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I think that's for you all to decide.

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, for some reason, have yet to try a spinning class. I don't know why. But I will tell you this. I'm tired of boring fitness. You can make it happen at your house, anywhere in your yard. Like that slick dude that invented the Power 90 on the infomercials. Why can't I do that sh*t? I can. I will.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Auburn Math 101 said...

Herring was pretty good at UGA. He played at Auburn. I think he just signed on somewhere else though. Where was it? And can you leave a new place for another new place and still look respectable?

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Auburn Math 101 said...

"Herring ... he played at Auburn" No he didn't. I am wrong. Why did I think that? Has he already coached at AU before?

8:28 PM  
Anonymous auburn math 101 said...

Okay, I have it all figured out now. Reggie Herring coached LBs at AU from 1986-1991.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think that's for you all to decide."

Then, what the heck is the media there for? Just to spout what certain people want the public to hear? This is why Auburn people get so frustrated with the administration and whoever else at Auburn when stuff like this happens. Nobody will just come out and say the whole truth. I see not much has really changed since the whole Terry Bowden thing.

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me say this. You already know enough about the bank mogul. You know he has a puppet in place as AD. It's not hard to figure out what might have happened. The best way to look at it is to realize Will was a short timer any way. Might as well move on.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let it go. Will's gone. He was a short timer any way. He had one year left at Auburn before he landed the big one. It would have happened for him here or there. But it's time to move on with the new guy.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous autr said...

It's not going to be Herring. He went to Texas A&M yesterday. By the way, he was the DC at NC State when they led the nation in defense a few years ago.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous kyle said...

I know this has nothing to do with the coaching situation, but do you know anymore on Patrick Trahan? I heard that he was a lean to Ole Miss, but that Auburn was still recruiting him. I'm just wondering if you've heard anymore about that.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not even talking about the DC position anymore. I agree. I'm sure Tubs will find someone good and the defense will pick right up where it left off. But as an alum, I am more concerned about more sytematic problems within the administration that affect the University. See that's the problem, everyone keeps "letting it go" and "moving on" and no real changes ever get made. This is why we will continue to lose good coaches to lateral moves (see Chizik and Marsh).

8:52 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I don't think Chizik's situation was like Muschamp's. And David Marsh ... he had a rather large ego that no natatorium could hold. Not even a USOC facility. Great coach, though.

*I was just saying that Herring is popular with the assistants. I wasn't trying to say he's officially a candidate.

*I pass along as much factual information as I can. I'm not spinning. I'm not pro- or anti-Auburn. I think I'm right down the middle when it comes to covering Auburn. I try to pass along almost everything I know. Sometimes the reports are incomplete. Life is incomplete.

Ben Roethlisberger, too.

Our Jacksonville Jaguars ... on to the next round!

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Some coaches can brush that stuff aside without a second thought. Some coaches can't. For some coaches, true disgust only comes after serial administrative failures. Others have a much lower threshold.

Muschamp is in the latter group."

That's what sound pretty immature to me.

BTW, during an interview in which they were trying to recruit him, he was impressed with how they were all going in the same direction. Wait till he gives up 45 points against Oklahoma. See if he gets a big raise two games later.

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will's 34 years old. He feels he's bigger than his job. I'll say this until we have a new head coach. Thomas Hawley Tuberville ultimately runs this defense. Will may have had a lot of autonomy. But, Tubs' hands are on that defense year in and year out. You've noticed that the Muschamp brand at AU was a little different than the LSU brand. The AU version was a tad smarter and safer. Also, for someone that's supposed to be a DB specialized coach, our guys just didn't seem to get it when it came to covering ov er the top passes. That's all I have.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous autr said...

I completely agree with the above post. At LSU, Muschamp's defense blizted more and seemed to be more agressive overall. While under Tubs, he was a little more conservative and disciplined. In the end, we will be fine on defense, but I will really miss his enthusiasm.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Tuberville, who calls himself a "riverboat gambler," loves it when people call him conservative.

Also, in a completely unrelated note, when did "conversate" become a verb?

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You saw where Will admitted he never thoroughly read his original contrac, right? He also admitted that Jay said money was no issue, reasonably speaking. But then Will says it was after the fact, meaning after he went to Texas.

Pretty clear he was already talking to Mack Brown because this all happened in Atlanta (the issues with his contract). Will's got alibis, too. I like him. But he's doing what he thinks is best for his career. He was looking for something to make his decision easier. Otherwise he wouldn't have spent time during a bowl game event studying a contract he never read thoroughly in the first place.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

That's a very good point.

It's important to note that Muschamp didn't have an agent until November. I don't think he was paying close attention to the contact once his lawyer OK'd it.

When it came time to consider a restructured Auburn contract, Sexton then identified the difference between what Muschamp thought was in the contract and what actually was in the contract.

I can't say I know my contract word for word.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care how good WM was to Auburn or LSU. He's an inconsiderate AZZ.
The timing of his departure was very UNAccountable to recruits and the players he coached at Auburn.

He signed a 1 year agreement with Texas because he was concerned that he would not get paid if CTT was to leave!? Excuse Me?
With or without the correct VERBAGE in his contract the terms were as good or better than the offer from Texas.

I think Jacobs is way over his head and his conduct and subsequent explaination about WM contract matter is unacceptable. Regardless, CWM burned a bridge with me and I wish him and his family NO LUCK what so ever.

Hell will freeze over before Auburn will offer this idiot a HC down the road.

7:26 PM  

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