Tuberville's Dismissal of Franklin Stunning

Throughout Tommy Tuberville's tenure with the Auburn Tigers there have been two absolutely constant factors. Auburn always has an aggressive, talented defense and a revolving door to the offensive coordinator's office.

Well Tuberville took it to another level on Wednesday when he dismissed Tony Franklin just six games into his tenure of installing a spread offense on the plains. Franklin had just joined the Auburn program from Troy where he directed a potent offense.

Certainly Auburn's offense has been rather awful this season. The Tigers' two biggest wins this year were a 3-2 verdict over Mississippi State and a 14-12 shootout against Tennessee. Then last week the Tigers had an early 13-nothing lead but never scored again in a 14-13 loss to Vanderbilt that apparently sealed Franklin's fate.

In four SEC games Franklin's offense managed just five touchdowns as the Tigers struggled to figure out the scheme. Auburn is tied for the worst team in the nation in terms of negative offensive plays. They have lost yardage 57 times in just six games. The other numbers on Franklin's offense are similarly dismal. Auburn is 103rd in scoring (18.7) and 104th in total offense (309.2). Quarterback Chris Todd has thrown just five TD passes with an equal number of interceptions. He's throws the ball well, but backup Kodi Burns is better suited to this scheme. Yet Burns has completed just 39 percent of his throws.

Still there were at least some signs the offense had potential. Auburn scored 21 points and passed for 250 yards against a very good LSU defense. They did score 34 points against Louisiana-Monroe and 27 on Southern Miss, two pretty decent non-conference opponents.

Franklin was the fifth offensive coordinator in Tuberville's ten seasons at Auburn with number six on the way at some point. While it's hard to argue with his record at Auburn – 84-35 SEC West Champs twice with three more seasons of sharing the division title – but this is a strange move. Dumping a first year coordinator is not exactly a fair assessment of his ability to install a system and make it work. That's particularly galling when you think about the track record of the man who fired him.

Tommy Tuberville went 5-6 in his first year at Auburn and lost six of his eight SEC games. If he had been working for Tommy Tuberville his butt would have been fired back in 1999. Keep this situation in mind the next time you hear a coach (or media pundit) whine about not getting enough time to get the job done.


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