Mid-season last year, within a week of the firing of former OC Tony Franklin, somebody sent me a cartoon of Franklin talking to a Rhett Butler-type mustache wearing Tommy Tuberville. The captions had Tony Franklin asking “Where shall I go? What shall I do?” Tuberville’s response was “Franklin my dear, I don’t give a %@~>!” (I’ve been unable to paste the cartoon, or I would have put it here.)
When Franklin came to Auburn, he brought with him one of his recruits, Chris Todd, a former Texas Tech QB who supposedly could run the spread offense. Todd lasted for part of the season before injuries and fan demands put Kodi Burns in the QB spot. Most Auburn fans saw Todd as part of a duo with Franklin. When Franklin left and (then nearly the entire coaching staff followed), many Auburn fans probably thought they’d seen the last of Todd. Technically, people knew Todd was still around. However, they probably held him in lower regard (in terms of football only) than Daniel Cobb.
For those of you that may not remember, Cobb, a senior in 2001, was pushed to the side in favor of a freshman named Jason Campbell. It was one of the first times I could remember where Auburn football, who like the Republican party often chooses its leaders by primogeniture (the oldest guy gets the nod), said the future is now. Though the season ended not the way we would have hoped, Cobb is now etched in Auburn lore as coming off the bench to lead Auburn to an upset win over #1 Florida when Damon Duval’s 44-yard kick into the wind and rain sailed through the uprights at the end of the game.
Back to now. Todd has survived. Last week, he was named the starting QB. Kodi Burns, an incredible athlete who people thought might be the QB, has been practicing with the receivers in a move that gives Auburn a lot of flexibility if it works. (Think Antawn Randal-El.) For Todd, to come back and face his critics and win the QB role, is something that demands respect. It proves his character. Last year, he often played hurt. This shows his character, too.
Am I Todd fan? No. The feeling I had when I heard he’d won the starting QB job is the same I’d had when I’d discovered Chizik got the head coaching job.
But I am an Auburn fan.
And people who can shine through adversity are people who make Auburn better.
We’ve had a week or so to think about this QB news. Now that you’ve had a chance to roll it around in your mind, I want to know what you think about Auburn’s chances with Todd at the helm.