Auburn Football: Tigers on Collision Course with Historic Mediocrity

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IOctober 17, 2012

STARKVILLE, MS - SEPTEMBER 8:  Coach Gene Chizik paces the sidelines late in the fourth quarter against Mississippi State in a NCAA college football game on September 8, 2012 at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Butch Dill/Getty Images

If Auburn loses to Vanderbilt on Saturday in Nashville, it will set up what would be a historic letdown for the Tigers.

Auburn is on pace to have its first winless season against SEC competition since 1980. According to ESPN Stats & Info, this has happened only six times in the program's history.

Auburn (1-5, 0-4 SEC) has lost to Mississippi State, LSU, Arkansas and Ole Miss by a combined score of 105-57 this season. 

The passing game has clearly struggled after Cam Newton left following the 2010 championship season. Auburn is averaging 6.8 yards per pass attempt (82nd in the nation) while totaling just four passing touchdowns to 11 interceptions.

Junior Clint Moseley took over for Kiehl Frazier under center this past week and proceeded to average 6.2 yards per pass attempt while tossing an interception in the 41-20 blowout loss to Ole Miss.

That's not the only problem, though.

The running game could do some damage on Saturday against a Vanderbilt defense allowing 5.0 yards per carry and 12 rushing touchdowns this season. However, the Tigers have allowed 26.5 points per game this season (66th in the nation) while allowing 4.7 yards per carry and eight rushing touchdowns themselves.

Nothing seems to be working for Auburn this season. The worst part for Tigers fans is that it could actually get worse. If the Tigers lose to Vanderbilt, their remaining SEC opponents include No. 18 Texas A&M, No. 11 Georgia and No. 1 Alabama to close out the season.

At this point, simply not getting blown out by those teams would be an accomplishment for Auburn.

What it amounts to is what could become a very embarrassing season for a program just two years removed from a national title. It's safe to say the Tigers are in rebuilding mode, reminiscing about 2010 and saddled with two underwhelming quarterbacks in place of Cam Newton.

How quickly things change.

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