Maybe the old Riverboat Gambler should steal the catch-phrase of the Obama campaign.

Auburn surely needs a change, but is it change we can believe in?

The first item of business? By now, you’ve heard it from all angles.

As just about every sports columnist this side of the Mississippi has argued over the last couple days, Auburn and its anemic offense need to pick a quarterback — one and only one quarterback — and run with him, for the rest of the season.

Win or lose. Better or worse. For richer, for poorer.

Or pass with him, whatever — you get what we mean.

And I use that word “we” because for once — and probably the only time ever — everyone agrees. In one voice.

Columnists, fans, random people on the street, non-football fans: Pick a horse and ride it, Tommy.

That even includes Kodi Burns, who — even before the Arkansas debacle — never really was the long-term solution.

So why pick him if he’s not the answer?

Well, if that’s indeed what Tuberville and his buddies do — and I suspect it is — any kind of consistency will go miles in helping Auburn’s players adjust to the spread offense. Because that’s the best guess I have for why it’s failed so miserably.

Loads of people keep saying Auburn doesn’t have the personnel needed for the spread. But if so, why didn’t the Tigers have any problems with the trusty old troops when they adopted Al Borges’ Gulf Coast offense in 2004.

2004. That was the year Auburn went 13-0, remember?

Which is probably the hardest thing to understand about the Tigers’ miserable season. Just four short years ago, they were kings of the Southeastern Conference, which probably meant they should have had a shot at the national title.

Now? They’d probably have a tough time getting a shot at the Southwestern Conference’s title game.

It’s a heck of a change, and one that probably shouldn’t be dismissed by Tuberville and his supporters.

According to Tuberville, losing seasons just happen. Or — as he said it — if you have a few winning seasons and then a losing one, well then, “so be it.”

That doesn’t really sound like a coach who has a real plan to right the ship.

But what do I know — the old gambler could have another ace up his sleeve, beginning with his taste in quarterbacks.

Maybe it will be Barrett Trotter, the freshman formerly of Briarwood Christian — who Cullman fans will remember well from the Lions’ big win over the Bearcats last year in the 5A semifinals. Maybe it’ll be sophomore Neil Caudle.

Or maybe the change will be more Burns, more of the time.

Whatever “change” he chooses, Tuberville is going to have the task of convincing scores of fans start believing again.

‰ Michael Cummings can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 734-2131, ext. 258.

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