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Proof that final grades are never, final

January 8, 2010

I could have also titled this one, “Be careful what you wish for.” Our recent post grading the 2009 Auburn Tigers coaching staff appeared destined for Auburn blog anonymity like so many of our others. Read, browsed and curiously passed through the consciousness of most Auburn fans out looking for nuggets on their favorite of pastimes. Unlike other blogs, Joe Auburn has enjoyed a nice click through rate over the past 2 years without many of the comments, and yes praise, other bloggers receive. We stared out our window at the Auburn landscape sighing and wishing for a thought here or there.

And then we decided to grade the coaches using a half-baked, but well-intentioned formula of our own creation. Well, we did have some help from long time friend, Sam Adams. Sam and I decided to try to strip out the emotion that accompanies our love of all things Auburn and well, makes for articles laced with irrational exuberance.

We did get our comments, all two of them and they both made us wince. The emails were even better.

….I’ve always read your blog because you didn’t puff it up with stats like you were trying out for ESPN or try and blow sunshine up our skirts. But this one made me mad. How can you dismiss all Coach Chizik has done using math that remains behind a curtain?

Ouch.

Good lord, i thought only bammers used numbers to their liking. you may as well go join them if your going to try and say our coaches did nothing all year because we didnt stack up to your liking in teh sec.

Not really what I was trying to do, and “bammer” comment aside, I do see a point here.

….if you’re going to use a formula to grade and then similarly rationale not having a failing grade since Auburn finished above .500, how can you then give Coach Chizik a “F”?

Excellent point. I blame Sam for this.

This makes zero sense and you should be ashamed. On one hand you give Chizik credit for intangibles in spades and then grade him out as a failure? ARe you going to flunk the team on A-Day if Auburn doens’t win?

Seriously folks, I understand how exciting starting 5-0 was; how fun following recruiting has been for the first time in, forever; how much we all enjoyed seeing towels waving, coaches showing genuine emotion and Tiger Walk losing some of the sterility it had gathered; but, last year was last year. Grading this year’s team based on last year’s debacle doesn’t make much sense either. At least not to me.

The truth is, we did finish with most of the SEC in the middle. If you displayed the conference on a bell curve, Auburn would be at the tail end. Meaning, Alabama, Florida and LSU distinguished themselves on one end and Mississippi State and Vanderbilt on the other. Six teams, SIX teams in the conference finished 7-5 pre-bowl game, including Auburn. Auburn’s record against those teams? One win, three loses. We did beat out the 8-4 Ole Miss squad which was somewhere up near the LSU band of our “curve.”

Simple plot: woeful story

So, the end of this tale is simple: redo the formula without the assistance of Sam Adams and since we’re creating a fictitious formula anyway, add categories for off-field intangibles, potential and for coordinators and the head coach, game planning/schemes.

Final grades, revisited below without commentary since we’re all probably sick of that anyway.

Trooper Taylor:  B+

Gus Malzahn, Jeff Grimes and Curtis Luper:  B

Ted Roof and Tommy Thigpen:  C

Tracy Rocker and Phillip Lolley:  C-

Jay Boulware: C- (again helped mostly by FG and PAT performance)

Head Coach Gene Chizik: C (76.9%)

At least now we know who the [expletive deleted] was who greeted Gene Chizik when he got off the plane last year.

My personal favorite….

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