Well, let’s give Gene Chizik credit for this: If Saturday’s 38-0 loss to Georgia proved anything, it’s that if the Auburn coach was going down, he was going down in style. Like they have most of the year, the Tigers were overwhelmed from start to finish, as the Tigers got beat down in most unceremonious way possible.
For Georgia, the victory was just about as easy as they come, as the Dawgs quickly turned the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” into a one-way beat down. Aaron Murray played quite possibly the best game of his season finishing with 208 yards and three touchdowns and freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall each rushed for over 100 yards and scored a touchdown for Georgia. The victory improved the ‘Dawgs to 9-1 on the year.
Speaking of the victory, the win also sealed Georgia’s second straight SEC East Championship, and a trip to play Alabama in the SEC Championship Game December 1. To their credit, Georgia could’ve laid down after an embarrassing loss to South Carolina on October 6, but instead bounced back with four straight victories including a signature one against Florida and a definitive one Saturday against Auburn. Right now, Georgia is playing as well as any one-loss team in college football and depending on how things shake out, they could be a BCS title contender because of it.
But while the story on the Plains Saturday was about Georgia winning the East, the story behind the story was the embarrassing loss for Auburn in a season filled with them. On the year, the Tigers are now just 2-8 overall and 0-7 in the SEC, with their only victories coming against UL-Monroe (in overtime) and New Mexico State. Yikes! They’ve got remaining games with Alabama A&M, and a trip to Alabama, on Thanksgiving weekend. Given the way Alabama lost on Saturday, you’ve got to think they’re salivating at the chance to take on their rivals.
Of course with the loss, it also brings us one day, and one game closer to the end of the Gene Chizik era at Auburn. The simple truth is that the coach has been skating on thin ice for weeks, and it has been presumed since probably a loss to Arkansas back on October 6 that Chizik would be out at the end of the season. We heard rumors this week that Auburn officials are already making plans to axe him after the season, and frankly, the timing makes sense. The buyout in Chizik’s contract comes down a few hundred thousand dollars every month, and will be at a nice round $7.5 million come December 1. If it weren’t for that buyout, Chizik might be unemployed already.
And when he does get fired, it really will bring to a close one of the most unique coaching careers of anyone we’ve seen in the sport.
Look, we already know how much Cam Newton altered the trajectory of Chizik’s path at Auburn, but let’s also not forget that this team won eight games as recently as a year ago, and also won eight games in his first season on the Plains back in 2009 as well.
That’s also why it would’ve taken a truly pathetic effort this year from Auburn this year for Chizik’s name to even be associated with the hot seat this year, only that’s exactly what we’ve gotten. Auburn has been pathetic offensively basically since opening night against Clemson, and were equally pathetic on the other side of the ball Saturday as well. Chizik was once known as a “defensive mastermind,” only this was now the third time in four SEC games which his defense has allowed at least 38 points.
It was also the final nail in Chizik’s coffin.
He might not get fired for another few weeks, but if he hasn’t already started to update his resume, it might be time.
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