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Mind-blowing losing streak

  • Either I'm unlucky, tech-dumb or the thought police spiked the thread. So I'll post again: With the loss at Mizzou today, Auburn's collective SEC losing streak in football, men's hoops and women's hoops exceeds 20 games. So the old question is renewed: How does Jay Jacobs continue as Auburn's athletics director? Discuss (if we're allowed).

    P.S. Don't wanna rain on the excitement parade leading to signing day, but I'd argue this is part of our cultural problem -- our exuberance over football sometimes obscures the bigger picture.

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  • It's really getting deal with the arguments that come with this after every loss. The women's basketball team has a first-year coach who replaced a coach Jacobs didn't hire. Barbee was one of the hottest candidates in the country. He also replaced a coach Jacobs didn't hire. Whether Jacobs should or should not go on as AD, basketball is not the reason.

  • Phillip: Those are all reasonable points, particularly when taken in isolation. My question is at what point does the macro view prevail. This is a $100 million enterprise. It's not ONLY about winning. But it's still about winning. And these losses just keep piling and keep piling and keep piling.

    We can't know what women's hoops will do long-term, I know. I think pretty highly of Barbee and appreciate how hard the Auburn job is generally. You've noted that Auburn and UGA seem to be historically the most difficult jobs in SEC men's basketball. I get that. But, frankly, I simply don't trust Jay or think he's earned the right to continue to be the judge of these programs. Sure, he pulled the trigger on Gene in football. But that was obvious. And beyond that, it was self-preservation for Jay. He doesn't get a cookie for that. He's lucky he was even around to hire Gus.

    Beyond the individual sport arguments, at some point it all becomes excuses when the story is the same in all the high-profile sports. Baseball -- the next in the top profile group -- has spent a decade twisting in the wind since Coach Baird retired. You know that line about "the value of the whole exceeds the sum of all parts." Well, in Auburn's case, I'm saying that the depreciation of the whole exceeds the losses of the individual parts. That's on the vice president of the division. In business, there is simply no way a v.p. would survive in any kind of retail, manufacturing, media, tech, legal, medical, consulting or other enterprise with this kind of performance. No analysis of individual circumstances would trump the objective measurables.

    Also, and I think you even noted this sort of thing when writing about how Chizik was done, Phillip, at some point you just pull the plug because of institutional morale. Think about the Philadelphia Eagles. No one who is reasonable really thinks Andy Reid is a bad football coach. Of course he's not. But it just wasn't coming together anymore in Philly, and he had lost the fan base and the lockerroom. Not in an awful, we-hate-you kind of way. But in a way that makes clear it's time for a change.

    Can anyone -- you, Dr. Gogue, Letterman's Club reps, executive committee of the board -- say with any credibility that Jay Jacobs hasn't lost the Auburn alumni and fan base? Of course he has.

    Jay can point to academics and money. Frankly, those are supposed to be in good shape. Those are minimum standards to me, not reasons to pat an athletics director on the back. At the end of the day, the scoreboard still must be considered. I don't want to see coaches or ADs or presidents allowed to slide on egregious conduct just because they are winning. But I also don't think it's appropriate for this guy to continue to make the money he makes when Auburn is losing so big, so consistently, in so many sports.

    As for RagingBull's statement, that's part of the problem. Football sucks up so much of the oxygen at Auburn that we, collectively, don't seem to care about any other scoreboard. Sure, we get excited when basketball or baseball wins. But, deep down, most folks don't care. I care. I care particularly when they are all losing this consistently.

  • Phillip: I should say, I agree with you in general that "basketball is not the reason," though I'd say "main" reason. For the record, I've been saying Jacobs should go since about, oh, the third quarter of the Vanderbilt game. And, frankly, I was miffed (but not surprised) to begin with that he was hired after a search that produced finalists like Radakovich and McGarity and Etheridge. Don't know all the details, but I do know that Jacobs was NOT the recommended hire of the search committee. Was he Richardson's choice? Did Richardson cave under pressure? Don't know, but I know what we're watching now on the scoreboard traces its way back through a lot of dominoes in the Auburn Dysfunction game. That's the real set of reasons I want Jay gone -- and this sorry run of scoreboards backs up the conclusion.

    As an aside, PM: I really appreciate all your work and your insight. I would quibble with one approach you took over the course of the football debacle, though, and it's one you seem to repeat above. You wrote often about how Auburn people were hurting and confused. But there were a handful of columns or lines here and there where you seemed to chide the fan base for a cut-throat mentality (as with tonight's comment that it gets old to listen to this debate after every loss). know I and many other fans can be emotional and knee-jerk, but I'd ask that you realize how your seat differs from ours. Not only do you get to know all these guys personally -- which, like it or not, sometimes makes it hard for you to criticize/critique them -- but you also have a front-row seat for all these stuff that you never have to pay for. In fact, you GET PAID for it. You've noted as much, saying how fortunate you are and how much you like your job. But I'm taking this to a slightly different place: I'm saying that because of your job and your access and your seat, you can't fully understand what it is like for an Auburn alumnus/season-ticket holder to watch all this play out.

    You write about it. I know you can explore it intellectually. But the nature of your job is just so different from the nature of an alumnus or fan. There are times when that means you are positioned to talk us down from our irrationalities. But there are also times when you just step back and try to analyze or assess the collective will and sentiment of the Auburn base, and assume that there is wisdom what we're saying.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by NOLATiger 14 months ago

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