Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/25/12
AUBURN, Ala. — Gene Chizik led Auburn to perhaps the greatest season in the program’s history, and two years later to maybe its worst. The rapid fall from a national championship to 3-9 and the Southeastern Conference doormat led to Chizik’s firing Sunday, the day after a humbling 49-0 loss to No. 2 Alabama that showed just how far the program has slipped. The Tigers endured the worst slide within two years of winning a national championship of any team since the Associated Press poll started in 1936 and hadn’t lost this many games since going 0-10 in 1950. The decision came 17 months after Auburn gave Chizik a contract worth some $3.5 million annually through 2015, with a hefty buyout. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said he informed Chizik Saturday night that he would recommend to President Jay Gogue that Chizik not be retained. He said he had concerns with lopsided losses in 2011 but grew “very concerned in our fundamental approach to the game” after the Arkansas game. “I had hoped our team would show some improvement this season,” Jacobs said. “Unfortunately it didn’t. The competition in our league is fierce. I decided we could not risk falling further behind by waiting for another year and hoping for improvement.” The players were informed in a team meeting Sunday.
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