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I'm 32 and I am curious to know what type of coach Doug Barfield was. I know he had a subpar record at AU and just wanted to know was it due to the fact that the Bear got all the good players back then, or that he just wasn't a good coach. Please school me in this subject..
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Thank you all for giving me a helpful insight on the Barfield era..
“they ain't got nothing but people...Alabama mystique...Georgia mystique...they’ve done it with people. Hell, we’ve got people, too.”Pat Dye
I alway heard Coach Lorendo was bitter because he was not named HC and because there were so many holdovers from Coach Jordan's staff that Barfield had staff issues. Don't know ,but that was he scuttlebutt of he day.
Most folks don't realize that the coach-in-waiting idea isn't recent - Barfield was essentially the coach-in-waiting for Shug's final season in 1975 and it was a disaster. It was obvious from the first game that the team didn't know who was in charge, and a bad Baylor team came to town and jumped to a big lead and held on to beat us. The previous team had been 10-2, and we returned the QB and a lot of other players, but won only 3 games.
As noted above, the deck was stacked against him worse than any AU coach in my lifetime. The probation he inherited really hurt, but his teams steadily improved, going 6-4-1 in 78 and 8-3 in 79. As someone already said, the 42-0 loss to TN probably sealed his fate, but I still supported keeping him until the way he handled the QBs the rest of that season. Joe Sullivan clearly won the QB job on the field, but Barfield wouldn't give him the job. If he had played Joe, they probably would have won a couple of SEC games and gone to a minor bowl and he would have kept his job. I was ready for him to go by the end of the season.
And then Dye did the same thing the next season and wouldn't give Joe the job, even though he produced on the field better than anyone we had. He finally realized about mid-season that the QB he and Barfield used was not gonna get it done and moved him to db and started over. It was too late to produce a winning season.
Dye said Joe just wasn't athletic enough to be his QB, so he settled on Randy Campbell the next year and Joe didn't come back for his last season. Guess you can tell I'm still mad about the way he was treated by 2 Auburn coaches. He certainly wasn't a great QB, but for 2 seasons he was the best we had and they wouldn't give him the job he earned. If he had been a 3 year starter, Barfield might have lasted a lot longer.
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