Adams: Auburn, UT have followed similar paths

DESTIN, Fla. - This Auburn-Tennessee thing is starting to get a little too weird for me. I realized that while listening to new Auburn coach Gene Chizik discuss his offensive concerns at the SEC spring meetings.

He hasn't decided on a No. 1 quarterback. His offensive line suffers from a lack of depth. And of course, he needs more playmakers.

Sound familiar?

Chizik talking about Auburn didn't sound any different than Lane Kiffin talking about Tennessee. But that's just the tip of the offensive iceberg.

UT and Auburn football have been marching in step for about a year now. In fact, they might as well have been wearing the same shoes.

Don't take my word for it. Just check out the second-half videotape of last year's UT-Auburn game.

The teams were so similar you could have sworn you were watching a spring game. They could have played right on through until the following Saturday and wouldn't have managed 10 first downs between them. Both punters would have had leg cramps by then.

But they were in sync before they were in competition.

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville and UT coach Phillip Fulmer hired new offensive coordinators after the 2007 regular season. Based on how the two teams responded, you might have assumed the coordinators came from the same distant galaxy.

Both offenses couldn't get out of their own way. Both teams went 5-7 and made Alabama very happy. Both coaches got fired.

And then, both programs went their separate ways, right?

Not exactly.

Auburn hired a coach who had two losing seasons at Iowa State. UT hired a coach who was fired before he could have two losing seasons with the Oakland Raiders.

Kiffin then assembled one of the best coaching staff in the country. And Chizik's staff might not be far behind.

One of Kiffin's hires was former Auburn running backs coach Eddie Gran. One of Chizik's hires was former UT running backs coach Trooper Taylor.

Both programs made recruiting noise - Auburn with its stretch Hummer cruising across Alabama; UT with the Lane Train swerving through the SEC one potshot at a time.

Kiffin and Chizik are new to the SEC but not to each other. They were as close as Xs and Os in one of the greatest college games ever played (Kiffin as the offensive coordinator for Southern California and Chizik as the defensive coordinator for Texas in the game that decided the 2005 national championship in the Longhorns' favor).

Chizik has another Kiffin connection - with Lane's father and defensive coordinator, Monte. When Chizik was an assistant coach at Central Florida in Orlando, he often visited the Tampa Bay Bucs, where Monte was the defensive coordinator. Chizik later installed a version of Kiffin's defense at Auburn, when he was the defensive coordinator.

In a best-case scenario for the two programs, they will continue to follow a similar path the next few years.

They fell together. Maybe they can rise together as well.

But with Florida well established as the conference power and Alabama on the ascent, how high and how fast can UT and Auburn go?

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 55

teampenny#658108 writes:

Interesting piece. Nice to get some details that many of us did not know. Go Vols

panties4tebow writes:

Did LIL-meyer (pee wee herman) apologize to the Auburn coaches?

DHW writes:

in response to gatorz5:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Didn't know you could count that high...

SEAL_9821 writes:

I read the first of many pre-season college football magazines today and it amazes me of how much negativity our program recieved. It really makes me sick to read that junk. All the media and the college football analyst can seem to focus on is Lane's comments to Spurrier and Meyer. It's such a joke. I think this will be fuel to the fire and only make the team more hungry come this fall.

FWBVol writes:

in response to smokeydog:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Chizik was head coach at Iowa State the last two years. He was DC at Texas before being hired by Iowa State. He went from Auburn DC to Texas DC.

cincivol writes:

in response to gatorz5:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Gay-torz5 is gay and sits down when she pees!!! That about the only thing i think of when you look for attention.

bowlinggreenvol writes:

Gene Chizik is definitely not new to the SEC John Adams! Not only was he Auburn's DC as above mentioned, he played for and graduated from the University of Florida. He's new to the SEC this year if that's what you mean?

DrJCrown_theMagicMan writes:

Auburn should have kept Tuberville and Tenn should have still fired The video buff Fulmer.

Watching that Tenn vs Auburn game last year was one of the worst games I have ever seen.
I wondered is anybody even calling the plays?
I think Tenn had the ball around the 50 yard line like 10 times and couldn't even get a field goal.
God what a nightmare of a game.
Thank GOD Fulmer is gone!

kiffownsfla writes:

Now we understand why auburns coach was such a def mind hmm learned from mk lol this is going to be fun lol didn't he have a gr8 year in was it 02 when they went what 13 an 0 he will do good also in a few years.

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to SEAL_9821:

I read the first of many pre-season college football magazines today and it amazes me of how much negativity our program recieved. It really makes me sick to read that junk. All the media and the college football analyst can seem to focus on is Lane's comments to Spurrier and Meyer. It's such a joke. I think this will be fuel to the fire and only make the team more hungry come this fall.

Your right seal I think its funny that everyone is scared to death of a 5-7 team and I dont care what they say they are. but you all go ahead and laugh and bash all you wont but this time next year ill bet 2/3rds of you couldn't be paid to be here lol .

dvhill100 writes:

I would not be surprised if the TN-AU score is 10-7.

TENECSTUD writes:

WHAT ARE THE CHANCE'S THAT ANY ONE ON HERE REALLY COMPREHEND'S THE MAGNITUDE OF WHO LANE KIFFIN IS? EVIDENTLY SOME OF YOU PEOPLE JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT THE VOL'S ARE GOING TO RE-WRITE THE WAY FOOTBALL IS PLAYED IN THE B.C.S. S.E.C , AND WHERE EVER THE PIG-SKIN IS KICK'ED OFF, SECOND-TO-NONE IS THE NEW STANDARD ACCEPTED BY TN. AND THAT ONLY, SO ALL YOU TROLLING JA---SS'S , IF YOUR SCARE'ED , SAY YOUR SCARE'ED , AND GO IN YOUR OWN JACKYARD AND BACK-OFF , SEE IF WE SHIVE-A-GET!!!

panties4tebow writes:

What was spurrier's record as washington redskins coach?

I forgot, I know the answer to that (12-20)

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to bowlinggreenvol:

Gene Chizik is definitely not new to the SEC John Adams! Not only was he Auburn's DC as above mentioned, he played for and graduated from the University of Florida. He's new to the SEC this year if that's what you mean?

Any other SEC schools that have two alumni as head coaches in SEC? Go Vols

dshawn13#224876 writes:

204 days and counting

panties4tebow writes:

What was the record of the washington redskins under spurrier?

Answer 12-20

dshawn13#224876 writes:

sorry Gatorz5, it 204 dyas before your beloved hc is at south bend

boro_vol writes:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Kiffin has only four minor NCAA recruiting infractions-right?

1. Mock news conference
2. fog machine
3. said Bryce Brown's name on radio
4. JC Copeland's name posted on Twitter

boro_vol writes:

The call to the SC player was not a violation. He has one SEC reprimand for accusing Meyer of cheating, but no violations.

dvols writes:

the most boring interview ever...jimmy hyams annd tuberville....anybody hear that boring phooey?

im just sayin

boro_vol writes:

The call to Alshon Jeffrey was not a recruiting violation because the call was made the evening before signing day. He was not yet committed to SC, hence it was not a violation. I believe there are only 4 minor violations, not eight. Please provide a link that reports a NCAA violation for the SC call.

boro_vol writes:

Link reporting this as an NCAA violation please?

volpreacher writes:

in response to gatorz5:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Before throwing stones, you might want to look in the mirror. 15-17 violations every year? Read it Vol fans.

http://www.alligator.org/articles/200...

volpreacher writes:

I'm sorry, I mistyped. 15-20 violations per year for the Mighty Gators. Read it Gatorhead. In a Gator paper nonetheless.

http://www.alligator.org/articles/200...

one4black writes:

For the umpteenth time - there has not been 8 violations. Just because you say something is a violation doesn't mean it is. What is your source for this other than your own skewed opinion. I see to remember you think google is a research tool, which is absurd, so give us an actual link that says that. And at the same time, find us the number of secondary violations for SEC schools over the past two years. When you do, you will see that you are wrong on the actual number of Kiffin SECONDARY violations, and likely shocked by the number of other schools with many more recently. I completely agree Kiffin has screwed up some, but there is no need for exaggeration or to throw rocks in from your glass swamp. But hey ... why speak logically to someone who seems to LIVE on their opponents message board, which is truly sad. I live in Florida, maybe I should log on to a UF site with a silly vol name. Oh wait, I have a life. Sorry to the vol fans for even responding to you, as they are right - just leave you alone and let you get your joys from your silly remarks.

one4black writes:

Gatorz5 (as my last message was for you too) - SEC reprimands for Kiffin, which I do think total three either, do not count as NCAA violations. Why would you exaggerate when you can comfortably rely on the truth and not Kiffin has done some questionable things. Oh wait ... I forgot ... there is no sense in speaking logically. As someone who has never been a Gator hater, always appreciated Spurrier, and generally respect the fine University of Florida - people like you make it really difficult to have an intense and fun rivalry. You must have been one of the piss and bottle throwing UF fans from back in the 90s when the SEC changed the rules where students sit because of UF fans.

one4black writes:

Gatorz5 (as my last message was for you too) - SEC reprimands for Kiffin, which I do think total three either, do not count as NCAA violations. Why would you exaggerate when you can comfortably rely on the truth as Kiffin has done some questionable things. Oh wait ... I forgot ... there is no sense in speaking logically. As someone who has never been a Gator hater, always appreciated Spurrier, and generally respect the fine University of Florida - people like you make it really difficult to have an intense and fun rivalry. You must have been one of the piss and bottle throwing UF fans from back in the 90s when the SEC changed the rules where students sit because of UF fans.

tennezz writes:

in response to MagicMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kiffin is here to stay, Get over it!!!

secsecsec writes:

And the media shots keep on coming... CLK should be ecstatic that the word Tennessee is being promoted so heavily- even though he himself is being portrayed as an arrogant jerk in many of the articles:

"Tennessee's Lane Kiffin has the biggest names in coaching all cranked up. Urban Meyer is unhappy with Kiffin. Steve Spurrier is unhappy with Kiffin.

Chances are Mother Teresa would have been tempted to slap Kiffin.

Kiffin has shot off his mouth so much that I can't wait to watch every Tennessee game this season. Every matchup has a "Vince McMahon-feel" to it.

I never gave the Vols a second thought in June when Phil Fulmer coached at Tennessee.

Slive talked real tough with his coaches at the SEC meetings. He wants the barbs to end.

Is he nuts?

He should give them bonuses.

The Yankees can't sell all their seats. The Bucs may be staring at TV blackouts. Every pro sport is crying poor because of the economy.

Yet, business is good in the SEC.

It may be tougher than ever to get SEC football ticket.

September 19, are you going to be more interested in baseball's pennant races, Week Two of the NFL season or the Florida-Tennessee showdown?

I rest my case.

When Tennessee entertains South Carolina on Halloween, I'll tune in before I even think about the World Series.

Guys, keep up the WWE stuff." http://www.abcactionnews.com/content/...

ibvolman writes:

Funny how so many are quick to think UT is doomed to be a 5-7 team forever under Kiff. Wake up call to all the idoits at hand...5-7 was the product of Fulmer, and the result of an 8 year decline in recruiting and coaching. Do I think we will win 10+ games this year? No! 8 wins is reasonable, but even if there are less than 8, I will not be overly dissapointed. Even Satan himself only won 6 his first year at Alabubba.

I have enough sanity about me to understand the principle of rebuilding. It took years to decline to the level of last season. It will take a couple of years to make the way back up to where we should be. With this coaching staff capturing a top 10 class in recruiting within 3 months, it shouldn't be hard for them to achieve a top 5 class this next recruiting season. It will take more than one or 2 good classes to get back to power-house status, and offset the last 8 years of mediocrity.

Deep down, the lopers and trolls have to know that UT, while they may not exactly be a powerhouse this coming season, will be back to a serious contender status before long. Kiff himself said it would take time. I believed it would take time before Kiff said that it would. But, it is coming, and the trolls know it, even though the refuse to adnit it.

hotrodvol writes:

in response to MagicMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is this Butchisback or Fulmer's secretary(sp).

CrankE writes:

Adams, Finebaum have followed similar paths.

hotrodvol writes:

in response to CrankE:

Adams, Finebaum have followed similar paths.

Adams, Finebaum, and Higgins, rub a dub dub three men in a tub.
Hey check this link out very funny.

http://ncaafootball.fanhouse.com/2009...

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Unfortunately Randy they are similar. Both former coaches had 13 and 0 records in the past and both former coaches forgot how to evaluate talent. Your play calling during the 2005 season dind't help, so we appreciate your contribution to UT's downfall.

volnbig11land writes:

in response to NO_DIGGITY:

Unfortunately Randy they are similar. Both former coaches had 13 and 0 records in the past and both former coaches forgot how to evaluate talent. Your play calling during the 2005 season dind't help, so we appreciate your contribution to UT's downfall.

hahaha, nice!

mattfriedman58#226364 writes:

in response to secsecsec:

And the media shots keep on coming... CLK should be ecstatic that the word Tennessee is being promoted so heavily- even though he himself is being portrayed as an arrogant jerk in many of the articles:

"Tennessee's Lane Kiffin has the biggest names in coaching all cranked up. Urban Meyer is unhappy with Kiffin. Steve Spurrier is unhappy with Kiffin.

Chances are Mother Teresa would have been tempted to slap Kiffin.

Kiffin has shot off his mouth so much that I can't wait to watch every Tennessee game this season. Every matchup has a "Vince McMahon-feel" to it.

I never gave the Vols a second thought in June when Phil Fulmer coached at Tennessee.

Slive talked real tough with his coaches at the SEC meetings. He wants the barbs to end.

Is he nuts?

He should give them bonuses.

The Yankees can't sell all their seats. The Bucs may be staring at TV blackouts. Every pro sport is crying poor because of the economy.

Yet, business is good in the SEC.

It may be tougher than ever to get SEC football ticket.

September 19, are you going to be more interested in baseball's pennant races, Week Two of the NFL season or the Florida-Tennessee showdown?

I rest my case.

When Tennessee entertains South Carolina on Halloween, I'll tune in before I even think about the World Series.

Guys, keep up the WWE stuff." http://www.abcactionnews.com/content/...

I have to admit… you have some great points here. Kiffin may be ruffling lots of feathers, and doing so before he’s even coached a game. But it’s creating a new level of hype and reviving rivalries that have been stagnant the past several years. Coaches are butting heads, fans are butting heads, and this will all lead to some great, exciting football in a conference that has already dominated all others. I can’t wait for the season to start!! Go Vols!

dvhill100 writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

Adams, Finebaum, and Higgins, rub a dub dub three men in a tub.
Hey check this link out very funny.

http://ncaafootball.fanhouse.com/2009...

Good link. It was funny, especially the fresh meat in the headset for the eagle. I used to handle Smokey and at a game there got to pet the Eagle. Impressive raptor.

one4black writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And what was the UT streak against Auburn before that?

TommyJack writes:

in response to APPLEJAX555:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I forgive you for that.

99gator writes:

in response to APPLEJAX555:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

and the 1991 game in gainesville was rowdy because in 1990......

tennessee fans made chants of derision regarding the murder of florida students earlier in the year in 1990.

brad culpepper, student body VP, made sure everyone on campus knew about what tennessee fans had done in 1990.

so, come 1991, gainesville was not a friendly place to be.

all of this kind of stuff is pointless.

most every incident regarding bad fan behavior involves alcohol.

some people are stupid. no way around it.

hotrodvol writes:

in response to dvhill100:

Good link. It was funny, especially the fresh meat in the headset for the eagle. I used to handle Smokey and at a game there got to pet the Eagle. Impressive raptor.

Dang Dave, that's cool! Must have been some good times.

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to 99gator:

and the 1991 game in gainesville was rowdy because in 1990......

tennessee fans made chants of derision regarding the murder of florida students earlier in the year in 1990.

brad culpepper, student body VP, made sure everyone on campus knew about what tennessee fans had done in 1990.

so, come 1991, gainesville was not a friendly place to be.

all of this kind of stuff is pointless.

most every incident regarding bad fan behavior involves alcohol.

some people are stupid. no way around it.

Unfortunately 99 the fan base of both teams have a little growing up to do. A perfect example is what this site has turned in to. It used to be a good site and people used to actually talk about football. I tune in every few weeks to see if there is any talk about recruting, but instead it is the same mindless dribble between a 60 year old ex marine (Gatorz) and his tribe vs some of the UT fan base. Every once in a while you or MarcAsh or Invisible Kid ect will post something worthwhile and I will read it. Good post again 99.

dvhill100 writes:

in response to 99gator:

and the 1991 game in gainesville was rowdy because in 1990......

tennessee fans made chants of derision regarding the murder of florida students earlier in the year in 1990.

brad culpepper, student body VP, made sure everyone on campus knew about what tennessee fans had done in 1990.

so, come 1991, gainesville was not a friendly place to be.

all of this kind of stuff is pointless.

most every incident regarding bad fan behavior involves alcohol.

some people are stupid. no way around it.

Yep, never seen a smart drunk. I have seen plenty of ridiculous behavior from fans of all schools, and if memory serves, 90% of the time alcohol was involved. Just like bashing each other for players on the blotter, it's pointless. EVERY school, including TN has its share of idiots.

volnbig11land writes:

in response to NO_DIGGITY:

Unfortunately 99 the fan base of both teams have a little growing up to do. A perfect example is what this site has turned in to. It used to be a good site and people used to actually talk about football. I tune in every few weeks to see if there is any talk about recruting, but instead it is the same mindless dribble between a 60 year old ex marine (Gatorz) and his tribe vs some of the UT fan base. Every once in a while you or MarcAsh or Invisible Kid ect will post something worthwhile and I will read it. Good post again 99.

Agree!

dvhill100 writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

Dang Dave, that's cool! Must have been some good times.

It was fun. Got to see some neat stuff on the sidelines. I was at Vandy and the dam dog took a dump in front of the Vandy cheerleaders. The TN fans thought it was great, but Vandy was less than impressed.

hotrodvol writes:

Here is another good read about EB.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/18...

DrJCrown_theMagicMan writes:

in response to MagicMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Fulmer you stole my name.
Fulmer,your record vs the SEC over the last 5-7 years was if I am not mistaken like 13-30 not including kentucky and vanderbilt.

Also playing in the SEC Champ game is not good enough.For me personally you have to win a few of those you talked about being in for it to be "brought up"

Do I have to even talk about your record "Fulmer" against better coaches such as Spurrier,Miles,Satan,and The pelican pee wee herman ultimate faggie himself "Cryer"....heck even Richt has your number.

If you think you are the MagicMAN then I am going to change my name to GOD!

dbc5361 writes:

in response to secsecsec:

And the media shots keep on coming... CLK should be ecstatic that the word Tennessee is being promoted so heavily- even though he himself is being portrayed as an arrogant jerk in many of the articles:

"Tennessee's Lane Kiffin has the biggest names in coaching all cranked up. Urban Meyer is unhappy with Kiffin. Steve Spurrier is unhappy with Kiffin.

Chances are Mother Teresa would have been tempted to slap Kiffin.

Kiffin has shot off his mouth so much that I can't wait to watch every Tennessee game this season. Every matchup has a "Vince McMahon-feel" to it.

I never gave the Vols a second thought in June when Phil Fulmer coached at Tennessee.

Slive talked real tough with his coaches at the SEC meetings. He wants the barbs to end.

Is he nuts?

He should give them bonuses.

The Yankees can't sell all their seats. The Bucs may be staring at TV blackouts. Every pro sport is crying poor because of the economy.

Yet, business is good in the SEC.

It may be tougher than ever to get SEC football ticket.

September 19, are you going to be more interested in baseball's pennant races, Week Two of the NFL season or the Florida-Tennessee showdown?

I rest my case.

When Tennessee entertains South Carolina on Halloween, I'll tune in before I even think about the World Series.

Guys, keep up the WWE stuff." http://www.abcactionnews.com/content/...

For those that won't click the link on the bottom of your post you might want to tell them these are the words of a Alabama TV News guy Al Keck(Who?)

Also, quickly name the MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA teams in Alabama?

Of course this tool is more excited in SEC football, he's still living in the 20th Century.

As for me on Sept 19, instead of worrying about a Sword Fight between two NCAA coaches and a game with a probable 20 point spread I will be fishing or playing golf early then heading out to LP Field to watch the AFC South Champs on Sunday. Let me know Mr. Bama reporter when the Titans have empty seats like the 2008 Vols did their final 4 games.

Stark_Vol writes:

in response to cincivol:

Gay-torz5 is gay and sits down when she pees!!! That about the only thing i think of when you look for attention.

haha thats good stuff... but why do we have to hate? FLA is doing their thing; we're trying to do ours. I think it's possible to coexist without creating the collegiate apocalypse

murrayvol writes:

in response to dvhill100:

I would not be surprised if the TN-AU score is 10-7.

If it's 10-7 UT, I'll be happy.

"Nothing is quite as exciting as winning" - Bud Grant Minnesota Vikings.

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