It's going to take a whole lot more than a 51-7 win over Alabama A&M for Gene Chizik to keep his job as head coach at Auburn. Even an upset of No. 4 Alabama next week wouldn't be enough to prevent his firing.
After winning a national title in 2010, Auburn experienced a major slump that has lasted over the course of the past two seasons. Chizik's Tigers have gone 10-13, with this season being the worst of all.
Auburn began 2012 with a loss to Clemson in their season opener, and it was all downhill after that. Aside from wins over Louisiana-Monroe, which went to OT, and New Mexico, Auburn has lost every game this season. The win against Alabama A&M this past Saturday was just their third on the season.
What has fueled talk for Chizik being fired even more is the fact that Auburn's losses have been ugly and non-competitive. In the past few weeks, Auburn's fans have been forced to sit through a 63-21 loss to Texas A&M and a 38-0 loss to Georgia.
Not only has the university's fans been displeased with the way the football program has performed, Auburn president Jay Gogue has also seen enough to put Chizik's job on the line at the end of this season.
As reported by the Dothan Eagle, Gogue has decided to hold off on his final say of Chizik's status as head football coach until the end of the season. However, the university president had no problem expressing his feelings in regards to the program's standing this season:
”I’d be foolish if I was happy with it,” Gogue said with a shrug after a board of trustees meeting Friday morning. “We’re not as competitive as we thought we’d would be.”
According to the report, Chizik will be evaluated on a specific set of guidelines at the end of the season:
When it comes to assessing Jacobs’ performance, Gogue said five things will be considered: graduation and academic success, NCAA and SEC rules compliance, game-day experience, financial budgetary matters and competitiveness.
That being said, it seems highly unlikely that Chizik will remain head coach of the Tigers after this season. His team has struggled immensely to build upon their success in 2010, and no improvement has been shown whatsoever.
The way this season has panned out leads to the notion that Auburn is in need of a new direction, and that starts with a new head coach.
At the very least, the Tigers should have been able to come away with a .500 record this season. Their schedule certainly had its share of challenges along the way, but there wasn't enough to result in a 3-8 showing.