Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gene Chizik to Auburn; Good news for the Cyclone football program

Gene Chizik appears to be a good, young head football coach. In two years at Iowa State University, he finished 5-19 overall record (2-14 Big 12).

Of course, Mr. Chizik was 3-9 overall in year one (2-6 Big 12) for the Cyclones. This year, with a several weaknesses and lack of experience in various areas, the Cyclones compiled a 2-10 overall record (0-8 Big 12). While many in the Cyclone fan base were looking for signs of improvement in '08; talent was lacking, especially on defense. Of course, Chizik's background in on the defensive side of the ball.

Scanning his coaching staff, he looked like he was in the Sun Belt conference, not in Ames, Iowa, coaching a Big 12 team. From my vantage point, it appeared that Gene Chizik isn't the right fit for a program north of the Mason-Dixon Line. His heart is clearly in the South. As ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard pointed out.

"Auburn's interest in Gene speaks to his (Chizik's) reputation,"
Pollard said. "We saw that same potential in Gene two years ago. He is an
outstanding football coach, tremendous recruiter and inspiring leader. When your
organization has talented staff members, other schools express interest in their
Stepping up to Auburn, in the SEC, does appear to be a tall order for a guy who has finished 5-19 in two years of head coaching at Iowa State. As a defensive coordinator, Chizik helped build undefeated programs at Texas (2005) and at Auburn (2004).

A dream job came true for Gene Chizik this weekend. But, for Iowa State, they get rid of a poor fit. Hindsight is always 20/20. For the ISU Cyclones, like Bump Elliott, during the 1970s at the University of Iowa; AD Pollard will have an opportunity to make the right choice this time.

It will be interesting to see, if AD Pollard jumps out of the box? After serving as an assistant at the University of Wisconsin as an athletic administrator, Jamie Pollard became athletic director at Iowa State. Of the four head football coaches that Pollard's experience would likely draw from, all are from the defensive side of the football, being DC before being hired as head coaches.

Barry Alvarez (his former boss at UW)
Bret Bielema (current HC at UW)
Dan McCarney (who Pollard let go at ISU)
Gene Chizik (DC at Texas when hired)
Will Jamie Pollard consider an offensive minded coach to replace Gene Chizik? After the accomplishments of Dan McCarney at ISU, the difference may be found in an offensive prospective. Look at the success of Dr. Tom Osborne or Hayden Fry. Both offensive minded, even, Bill Snyder at Kansas State was a former OC.

Further, ties to the State of Iowa or old Big Eight schools may wise to apply for the job. Look for someone who clearly will be a better fit north of the Mason-Dixon Line Mr. Pollard!


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