David Whitley: Are you smarter than a 5th grader? Do you want to coach at Auburn? Take this test
In the wake of Auburn’s latest employment fiasco, anyone aspiring to become a head football coach in college should be required to take a test.
The questions are similar to those on the TV show “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?”
1. A hexagon has how many sides?
2. What’s the capital of New Hampshire?
3. What should you do if offered the Auburn job?
Correct answers — 1. Six; 2. Concord; 3: Run!
Ask Terry Bowden, Tommy Tuberville, Gene Chizik, Gus Malzahn and now Bryan Harsin. They’ve all been chewed up and spit out at the Most Dysfunctional Village on the Plains.
Power-drunk boosters, administrative weasels and Nick Saban Envy have sabotaged every coaching tenure for 30 years. Harsin was a bad fit from the start, an SEC outsider who apparently has the disposition of a wet cat.
After the Tigers went 6-7 in Harsin’s first year, the subterfuge began. Auburn brass couldn’t find a fireable offense and announced last week Harsin will keep his job. Good luck rebuilding in that atmosphere.
More on the Auburn situation:Bryan Harsin saga winds down, but who is really in charge of Auburn athletics?
Believe it or not
It’s always something with Auburn. Before Harsin, all the coaches mentioned above either won a national title, played for one, had an unbeaten season. They were all dumped, though the school’s Golden Parachute Department is top-notch.
Harsin would have gotten an $18.3 million buyout. Chizik got almost $8 million when he was fired, while Malzahn pocketed $21.4 million before heading to UCF. Was it worth it?
“I’m not going to get into what’s going on there,” Malzahn told Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel. “I just feel blessed to be here.”
After firing Malzahn, Auburn approached Louisiana’s Billy Napier. Take heart, Florida fans, your new coach passed the Auburn Test and turned down the job.
Harsin will be gone soon enough. It’s safe to assume whoever replaces him will think the capital of New Hampshire is Sacramento. ...
Erin Jackson goes gold at Olympics
Stud of the Week: Erin Jackson. The Ocala native and 2015 UF grad won the 500-meter speed skating gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. Florida now has more speed-skating gold medals than all other SEC schools combined.
Van Jefferson wins Super Bowl, then welcomes baby
Stud II: Van Jefferson. The ex-Gator wide receiver caught four passes to help the Rams win Super Bowl LVI, then went to the hospital and snagged a newborn baby boy.
Very Honorable Mention — Jefferson’s wife, Samaria.
Vernon Hargreaves has a Super Bowl to forget
Dud of the Week: Vernon Hargreaves. The Cincinnati cornerback was inactive with an ankle injury Sunday, but that didn’t keep the former Gator from running to the end zone to celebrate an interception. Florida now has more alumni penalized for a personal foul in the Super Bowl while wearing flip-flops and a hoodie than all other SEC schools combined. ...
The AP reported last week that Major League Baseball has stopped testing players for steroids for the first time in 20 years. It’s a victim of the ongoing labor war between players and owners. In totally unrelated news, Barry Bonds announced he is stepping out of retirement and will bat cleanup for the Giants this season. ...
The SEC says it would distribute a record $778 million in total revenue for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Each school will get a check for about $55 million except for Auburn, which has already taken out a $70-million loan to fund buyouts for its next two football coaches. ...
Boston center Enes Kanter Freedom was traded to Houston and then cut last week. Freedom claims he was bounced from the league due to his criticism of China. In totally unrelated news, the Celtics announced they’d signed Xi Jinping’s 5-foot-8 nephew, Arnie Jinping, to play center for the rest of the season. ...
Heisman odds: Bryce Young, Anthony RIchardson
BetMGM last week posted its first Heisman Trophy odds. Alabama QB Bryce Young is the heavy favorite to repeat at +250 (bet $100 to win $250).
Florida’s Anthony Richardson is tied for fifth at +2000. That’s a bit optimistic considering he might not even start. Then again, JT Daniels is +2500 despite the fact he left Georgia and currently has no school. Barry Bonds is +150 to win the Heisman and hit 63 home runs. ...
At last week’s Oscar nominations program, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it will not mandate proof of vaccination to attend this year's event. Though if Kyrie Irving is chosen to host, he will only be allowed to congratulate every other winner. ...
What school has the most speed skating gold medals? Try Parkland College in Champaign, Ill., home of eight-time gold medal winner Bonnie Blair. Thanks to the new NIL rules, she has entered the transfer portal and is expected to sign with Alabama. ...
That’s about all the space we have for this week’s Whitley’s Believe It or Not. I’ll be back next week unless Auburn sees my fifth-grade report card and offers me its head coaching job.
David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at email@example.com. And follow him on Twitter: @DavidEWhitley