The Spread Eagle Falls On His Sword

This is what it’s come to in college football. Coordinators don’t even get one damned year now.  Such is the case with Auburn O-coordinator Tony Franklin, whose attempts to put in the spread offense there gave us such moments of unintentional comedic brilliance like losing to Vanderbilt and their back-up QB Mackenzi Adams by a point, giving up a lead to LSU and Les Miles’ gigantic balls at home, and most memorably, an epic 3-2 game in which Auburn United “scored” all 5 points in the game at FC Croom State in Starkville on a field goal and a safety.

Most reasonable observers had an idea that Auburn wasn’t a majorly serious contender in the SEC this year (if you are replacing both coordinators and a QB, you’re not gonna win your conference), and Franklin’s efforts were in equal amounts competency and willy-nilly awkwardness, usually directly proportional to how often Chris Todd was on the field rather than Kodi Burns — not that Burns was particularly accurate as a passer, but at least he could employ the threat of running once in a while, which appears crucial to Franklin’s version; this isn’t Mike Leach’s pass-50-times-a-game variant.

But the blame falls squarely on head coach Tommy Tuberville — for apparently being too impatient regarding the offense and the personnel needed to run it. If Auburn wanted to install a brand new system with athletes who may not be suited to run it, expectations were probably better set at the level of Michigan, going through a complete overhaul with Rich Rodriguez running hte spread offense with players not completely suited for it.  Franklin was at the whim of ureaslistic expectations (such is life in the SEC) and Tuberville’s need to deflect responsibility.

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