The Auburn Tigers haven't just lost seven games this season; they've been embarrassed.
Part of those failures fall on the shoulders of the players on the field. After all, they are the ones who play the game. But much of the blame can be laid squarely on head coach Gene Chizik.
Chizik is hard-nosed. He's a blue-collar guy who demands the most from his players, but he's not getting results. Aside from his Cam Newton-led 2010 BCS National Championship, he hasn't gotten them in the past, either.
Now, more than ever, it's time for Chizik to go.
One season shouldn't stamp a coach's walking papers most of the time, but the 2012 season has featured unwatchable football. The Tigers are barely competing, winning only two games over unworthy opponents.
Beating Louisiana-Monroe (in overtime) and New Mexico State shouldn't really count for anything. Wins are always wins, but getting beaten handily in almost every other game makes those victories afterthoughts.
Sure, Kiehl Frazier has struggled mightily behind center. Winning games with a quarterback who has thrown two touchdowns all season isn't easy, but Chizik has done nothing to change it.
Tre Mason and Onterio McCalebb have run the ball well, yet Frazier has made no progress. Maybe he lacks talent, but Chizik's inability to develop talent is more likely.
The Tigers offense ranks 112th in the nation in scoring. Add in a defense that allows over 27 points per game, and struggles are going to come. Wait until Saturday, when Auburn plays Georgia—it's only going to get worse.
Great coaches rise to the occasion.
Chizik hasn't been dealt the easiest hand, but Auburn has been dealt too many crushing losses this season. Any self-respecting program would make the necessary change and take the team in a different direction.
Chizik will probably find a job elsewhere, but it's clear that he's stopped reaching this team. No progress has been made, and that falls on more than just the players. It's a coach's job to right the ship, and he's failed to do so.