Tuberville Grasping at Straws on the Plains
In a word: no.
As my cohorts adequately covered yesterday, this is blatant scapegoating. The Auburn faithful are upset, and rightfully so, at the Tigers' sputtering, inept offense, but was Franklin really the problem?
It wasn't long ago that the spread was thought to be a talent equalizer. You could compete against superior talent by using "scheme" to neutralize your opponents talented players. Could Franklin have been hired to try to shore up the fact that Tuberville is falling farther and farther behind on the recruiting trail?
The problem, though, is that scapegoating Franklin right now isn't even a good idea.
What is the off-shoot of Tuberville giving Franklin his walking papers? Tuberville (or someone else on staff) has to call the plays. But ask yourself this: as head coach, wasn't that something that could have been accomplished just by ordering it, rather than by firing Franklin? Same with starting or playing Kodi Burns more or running an actual spread rather than some impotent bastardization of it.
If you are going to throw Franklin under the bus, now isn't even the best time to do it. At this point, nobody really expects Auburn to do much. Getting to 8 wins would probably be seen as success and improvement. It seems the smarter thing to do would be to let the season play out and then, if things still aren't going well, Tuberville could take a page out of Fulmer's playbook: sacrifice an offensive coordinator to save your own hide.
From the outside looking in, Franklin's firing accomplishes nothing and comes with a host of nasty side-effects like giving pause to anyone who might have wanted to fill the vacant position and making the Tigers look a mite desperate.
There has to be something more going on here.
Did someone higher up the food chain give Tuberville an ultimatum? Is it possible that Tuberville is so close to being fired that this was the last thing that could keep him employed through the season? Did someone realize that something has to change right now if the Tigers want to make a bowl game? Was there a blow-up Wednesday morning wherein Franklin said something like "Let me run my offense or find a new O.C.!"
Or maybe Franklin was working on a new book?
One way or another, there's a lot more story to tell here. Even Major Applewhite got a full season to run an offense into the ground, surely Franklin deserved at least as much benefit of the doubt as he does.