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Commentary: It's about timing

Much has been made of the current plight of the Auburn football program. The Tigers finished the season at 3-9. Alabama is gunning for its third national title in four seasons. The national media has everyone believing the NCAA hammer is about to drop (even though most people in the know around Auburn aren’t concerned).

Terry Bowden won his first 20 games as Aubun head coach

Auburn just fired Gene Chizik. Alabama has the nation’s best coach. National columnists claim there’s little hope for Auburn.

CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel wrote, “It's the worst timing possible, actually. Maybe the worst timing in the history of college football.”

Doyel says, “Any candidate willing to take this job should be crossed off the list because he must be a moron.”

Is he right?

Look around the SEC West. Alabama is dominant. LSU is averaging 10 wins a season. Arkansas is willing to pay its next coach more than $5 million per season. Texas A&M has a rising star at head coach and likely the first freshman winner of the Heisman Trophy behind center.

Football is cyclical. It’s all about timing.

Let’s rewind back to 1981. Alabama had won nine of the previous 11 SEC titles. It had also won three national titles during that same span. The Tide owned an eight-game winning streak over Auburn.

Who in their right mind wanted the Auburn job? Pat Dye.

Dye took over a 5-6 football team that hadn’t been to a bowl game since the 1974 season. Two seasons later he beat Alabama to end a nine year slide. He won an SEC title in his third season and added three more before he was done.

By 1992, the program was in shambles. The Eric Ramsey scandal and shaken the program to its foundations. Auburn was featured on “60 Minutes” and was slammed with NCAA sanctions. Alabama, on the other hand, was basking in the glow of a national title.

Who in their right mind want the Auburn job? Terry Bowden.

Bowden went undefeated in 1993. He won his first 20 games. In his six year tenure, he won 74 percent of his games. By 1998, Auburn had fallen on hard times again. The Tigers finished with a 3-8 record. Bowden’s fast start was a distant memory. Alabama was on the rise and Florida dominated the SEC.

Who in their right mind want the Auburn job? Tommy Tuberville.

By Tuberville’s second season, he had the Tigers back in the SEC Championship Game. He won 68 percent of his games in 10 seasons. By 2008, Alabama had hired Nick Saban and was back in the SEC Championship Game. Florida was again dominant and Auburn was 5-7. Saban owned recruiting in the state and Tommy Tuberville was out of a job

Who in their right mind want the Auburn job? Gene Chizik.

Auburn hired a coach who was 5-19 at his previous stop. He won the national title two seasons later.

Now, Auburn is again at a crossroads.

The Tigers finished the season at 3-9. Alabama is gunning for its third national title in four seasons. Auburn just fired Gene Chizik. Alabama has the nation’s best coach.

Who in their right mind want the Auburn job?

History shows the Auburn people and the Auburn football program are resilient. Every coach over the past 30 years has had very high highs and very low lows.

Auburn football is down. Auburn people are divided. But it won’t last.

Football is cyclical. It’s all about timing.

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