Hugh Freeze enjoys two major bulletproof vests that keep his job safe:
1) It's his first year at Ole Miss.
2) He's already won 50 percent more games than Ole Miss did last year.
Gene Chizik has already taken four shots this year:
2) Mississippi State
While the LSU loss doesn't look too bad yet, the season has only just begun to fall apart for the LSU Tigers. At the end of the season, that loss to LSU is going to look pretty rough.
The question everyone will be asking is, "Will Gene Chizik's job be decided by Punxsutawney Phil or Hugh Freeze?"
Not every bad thing that happens to a team is the fault of the head coach. Player development is determined by strength and conditioning coaches, offensive coordinators, defensive coordinators and position coaches as well.
However, winning a national championship in your second season only buys you so much time. Gene Chizik is a great man and can do great things. It's just unclear at this point whether that's going to happen at Auburn or somewhere else.
Either Chizik's staff is holding him back, or he's the problem. That's the problem with being a head coach. Even if the problem is below you, it's harder to prove that without leaving the program. If the program still sucks after you leave, you weren't the problem, but good luck getting your job back.
When Auburn fans booed him when he stepped off the plane, this season is exactly what they were afraid of. The fact that he won a national championship with Nick Fairley and Cam Newton just makes it feel that much worse. It's like eating the carrot that you were dangling in front of the fans. Now everyone knows the carrot is gone.
If he can at least take down Ole Miss, the carrot is still there. Chizik needs the carrot; his job depends on it.