Has Tuberville already pulled the spread offense?
I got in a cab early yesterday morning in Boston and the driver asked if I was excited about the playoff series between the Red Sox and Angels. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I thought baseball ended when college football kicked off.
I explained that the center of the college football world this week is Nashville, Tennessee and that Auburn is facing this elitist school called Vanderbilt. I promised they were no relation to Gloria. He looked at me strangely. I went on to explain that as crazy as the week has been already, the weirdest stuff may be yet to come.
I told him Auburn hasn't lost to the Harvard of the South since Dwight Eisenhower was president and that I didn't have a good feeling about Saturday. If Wachovia, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers can disappear in a matter of days, then it's certainly possible for Auburn to fall in a matter of four quarters. He just looked at me through the rear view mirror. I thought to myself how lucky he is not to have to deal with this anguish. I then remembered where I was and realized he'd been through much worse with the Red Sox.
Driving home from the airport in Atlanta I listened to The Buck and Kinkade Show, a popular sports talk radio program in the big city. Buck Belue was questioning whether Auburn might scrap the spread offense completely before the year is out.
Now we know the former Georgia quarterback wants nothing more than to stir controversy among Auburn people. But it did force me to stop and give pause to the idea. On Tuesday, Tuberville hedged his bet by saying they were no longer running Tony Franklin's system, but rather a hybrid offense that incorporates more of the traditional running sets that Auburn fans have been raised on.
Talking to reporters this week, Tuberville said, "One day we'll have the talent that we can say, 'Well, we'll run 100 percent of what Tony likes to run.' Right now, we don't have that talent in some areas.
"We don't run Tony Franklin's spread offense. This is Auburn's offense. It's like our defense. We're going to run what works and what we're going to match up better with the other team. Everybody has to do that. You can't put a square peg in a round hole. Why would you do that?"
That's the question fans have been asking for weeks. Why would you pick a drop back passer to run the spread offense? Enquiring minds want to know. This season is reminiscent of the Terry Bowden years when he tried to run his daddy's offense with the players he recruited. It just doesn't work. Who says history doesn't repeat itself?
If Tuberville doesn't believe Auburn has the athletes to run this offense, then how long will it take to get them? Two years? Four years? Say it ain't so Tommy. This could become more painful than watching CNBC late in the afternoon after the markets close.
The crazy thing in all of this is that Auburn stands an excellent chance of being 9-1 when Georgia comes calling. The Tigers may rank 112th in the country in total offense, but it could very well be in the top five come November 15th. Has this world turned upside down or what?