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Let’s All Just Chill A Bit Before We Make Chizik Zod

All hail, Chizik!

Kevin Scarbinsky of The Birmingham News suggests today that Florida should make a run at Auburn’s Gene Chizik. He wonders how Steve Spurrier — and not Chizik — could have possibly been named the SEC’s Coach of the Year.

Down on The Plains, Mike Szvetitz of The Opelika-Auburn News writes that Chizik is both a leader and a winner. “Chizik took over a team that finished 5-7 and was about as fractured as a team with that record could be and made them champions in just two years.  He also fused together a just-as-fractured fanbase in the same time frame.”

Fair enough on Scarbinsky’s points.  True enough on Szvetitz’s.

But isn’t it just a wee bit early to be etching Chizik’s face onto Mt. Rushmore?

I get the feeling someone’s going to ask me to do this…

… to Chizik before the season ends.

(Come on, those 10 of you who got that laughed.)

Chizik has done a great job this season at Auburn.  He has the Tigers headed to the BCS Championship Game.  A quarterback that he recruited and signed has won every award known to man.  The offensive coordinator he hired reportedly has a $3 million offer to become a head coach.  He kept his team cool in the face of adversity all season.  Down 24-7 at Alabama in the Iron Bowl, the Tigers simply turned their dials up to 11 to complete a stunning second-half comeback.  Most impressively, Chizik even kept Auburn perfect during a full month of controversy, allegations, rumors and innuendo.

But that’s one season’s worth of work.  With one of the best players in college football history at his disposal.

This is still the man whose hiring was booed.  The same man who struggled for two seasons at Iowa State.  The same man who lost five out of his last six SEC games last season as defensive coordinators began to adjust to Gus Malzahn’s Newton-less system.

I’m not saying Chizik didn’t do an A job this season.  I’m just suggesting we wait a while before we turn into Ralphie Parker’s teacher and give him an A+++++++++ for his body of work and his overall coaching acumen.

Next year it’s likely that Auburn will be without its two brightest stars — Newton and defensive tackle Nick Fairley.  Both are likely to turn pro early.  Question: How would the Tigers have done this year without those two?

It’s also possible that Auburn will lose Malzahn.  And it’s a definite that AU will lose at least four starting offensive linemen.

Next year figures to be a rebuilding year on The Plains.  If Auburn takes a tumble — as most teams would under those circumstances — there will be plenty of folks claiming that Chizik was a one-year wonder in 2010 and that Newton was the real wizard behind the curtain.

And we’ll be here to say, “Patience.”  Just as we’re preaching patience now… as the see-saw of public opinion teeters toward adulation and deification.

A coach should be judged on his body of work, not just his most recent high or his most recent low.

Chizik has done a great job in 2010.  But no one should be kneeling before him just yet.

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