Personally, I don't have much to add as to why - this has been more effectively detailed elsewhere in the blAUgosphere. Suffice to say that on the spectrum that ranges from CTF = DEATH to CTF = Bobby Fischer I'm somewhere in the middle.
So your guess is as good as mine, although I'm inclined to agree with my dad when he says there must be something more going on than mere offensive stagnation. I mean really now - it's beyond unreasonable to hire a system guy, nerf his system, and then penalize him for the failure of a crippled strategy. It's like challenging Gary Kasparov to a game of chess, but insisting that by "chess" you meant Dance Dance Revolution.
But for whatever hidden, stupid, or stupid and hidden reason, life imitates the message boards and Tony Franklin is teh f1r3d. The only sure thing is that we'll never know what the Spread Eagle was truly capable of.
Tony Franklin... hmm... oh yeah, isn't he some author?
I really sympathize with the guy who took a gigantic hit to be truthful about systemic corruption, clawed his way out of unemployment with innovative offensive concepts and a nose for marketing, earned a great job at a mid-major and succeeded mightily at an amazing offensive turnaround from the preceding season, and then landed an OC job at a major SEC power... at the single institution* least likely to implement any of the offense on which he built and staked his entire career. I'm inclined to say that if he dishes to Finebaum about whatever drove him out of the Loveliest Village, it serves us right. Franklin, it seems, was ready to stand tall against the blitz and sell out to make the throw but, like a certain quarterback who need not be named, found himself on the receiving end of poor administrative decisions that limited the expression of the talent for which he was recruited.
When are we going to be Auburn again?
But the issue for Auburn is ultimately bigger than Tony Franklin. Auburn fans and bloggers, I implore you. I'm begging you to please, someone, anyone explain how the following scenario makes any kind of sense, whatsoever:
- We fire our offensive coordinator late in the season and hire a new offensive who teaches a totally unfamiliar spread system.
- We adjust recruiting strategies to fill needs for the spread, but we do not allow our new OC to run that system as it needs to be run.
- Then we fire him - second mid-season OC firing in less than a year, mind you - for not running the offense all that good.
- Having fired the only man who knows how to run the spread, right down to the basic receiver routes, we claim that we already understand the spread and insist that we will keep running it.
I can't help but look at this - let's be honest - panicked decision and think back to Burns' redshirt lying in ashes for zero gain, two years and counting. Kodi cum Brandon of 2007, meet Franklin cum Nallsminger 2.0 of 2008.
Whatever happened to "War Eagle, fearless and true"?
Update: yes, Mr. Sensible, CLEARLY:
*...outside of Wisconsin