As if Gene Chizik’s job wasn’t in jeopardy already, Texas A&M’s 63-point outburst on the Plains Saturday night may have ended any chances of the War Eagles’ leader returning to the sidelines next fall.
It was the most embarrassing loss in a season full of embarrassing losses.
Here’s how bad it has gotten for the 2010 National Champions: If Louisiana-Monroe quarterback Kolton Browning wouldn’t have overthrown an open receiver at Jordan-Hare Stadium in overtime on Sept. 15, Auburn would be 0-8 right now. That’s eight losses in eight games for a program that hovered around the Top 25 to begin the season. Suddenly Clemson’s 26-19 win over Auburn in Atlanta in the season-opening kickoff game doesn’t look so impressive.
Bad snaps, turnovers, a plethora of penalties. All of the above is indicative of bad teams and that’s the case at Auburn. The program’s worst start in 60 years falls on Chizik. A&M’s point total was the most the Tigers have ever given up at home. Ever. By the second quarter, fans were heading for the exits. The ones that stuck around just hoped Johnny Football would play after intermission. On eight possessions led by Manziel, the Aggies scored seven touchdowns. Auburn’s anemic offense was turnover-free, but it couldn’t keep up.
After it was over, A&M accumulated almost 700 yards of offense and picked up 34 first downs. Ouch.
Furthermore, life Without Cam Newton has been depressing for the Tigers. Chizik is 7-15 in the SEC at Auburn without Superman. The chances of him getting another transcendent player like Newton in the next few years is slim to none. Auburn’s recruiting has been solid, but fans and alumni aren’t happy that the Tigers have become a laughing stock in the West. We thought that title belonged to Arkansas this season, but a 24-7 home loss to the Razorbacks ended that.
Patience is thin in America’s top money-making conference and I don’t think Auburn’s football braintrust has any left for the current regime. The loss of offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn in the offseason was huge, but in my opinion, Newton perfected Malzahn’s scheme. Malzahn has tried to hurry-up the pace in his new job but hasn’t necessarily been effective. The Red Wolves would probably beat this year’s Tigers though.
Let’s hear Auburn’s side. War Eagle fans, what do you think? Does a national championship earn you a few more seasons or was Saturday’s loss the final straw for Chizik? It doesn’t look like Auburn will finish any better than 3-9 and that’s counting two wins against New Mexico State and Alabama A&M.