Auburn Whacks OC Tony Franklin

It's pretty rare to see a coordinator get fired halfway through the year. It's even more rare to see a coordinator fired halfway through his first year, but it's happened today. Auburn has called an early end to the Tony Franklin experiment, cutting their offensive coordinator loose after only six games.

It wasn't supposed to be like this, of course. Franklin is one of the spread offense's most renowned gurus, and it was just a few short months ago that AU fans were bidding the price of his book into the ionosphere. Apparently, they just wanted to throw it at him.

Admittedly, if you've seen Auburn's offense this season ... oh, who am I kidding? Nobody's seen Auburn's offense this season, and that's the problem. Besides, it's not like it's completely unprecedented for Auburn to try to get rid of a coach who is still, technically, trying to finish the season.

Even given the legendary impatience of Auburn boosters (well, one in particular), this is a shocking and frankly dumbfounding move on their part. Who's pulling the strings here? Was Tommy Tuberville so convinced that Franklin was taking his team in the wrong direction that he just had to make a change now? Did Auburn's athletic director or president tell Tubby "either Franklin goes, or you do"? Should we round up the usual suspect?

Were they even runningTony Franklin's offense?

And how hard are they laughing in Tuscaloosa right now?

I suppose this is just another example of day-to-day life in America's Toughest Football Conference, but crikey. It's bad enough that coaches don't even get a full recruiting cycle to prove themselves any more. With this move today, Auburn has created a cancer which will only spread throughout the college football universe. All you hustling assistant coaches out there who dream of working your way up the ranks with a coordinator's job at a BCS school, just keep this in mind: You have six games to prove yourself. Auburn says so.

But did they even whack the right person in the first place? FanHouse's Brian Cook says "Not so fast, my friend."

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