If the Auburn Tigers hadn't won the 2011 BCS National Championship, Gene Chizik wouldn't have his job right now.
But they did, courtesy of Cam Newton's Heisman Trophy season.
One season's successes shouldn't make up for the Tigers' shortcomings this season, though. With just three wins, the Tigers have been terrible most of the time.
Saturday's game versus the Alabama Crimson Tide gives Chizik's team one last chance to prove itself worthy. If the Tigers can't do it, Chizik shouldn't return next season.
That sounds harsh considering that he's just one year removed from a national championship trophy, but you have to succeed otherwise as well. Really, coaching that Newton-led squad is hardly an accomplishment. Newton's superhuman efforts made that team unbeatable, no matter who was on the sidelines.
Chizik's fiery passion is admirable, but the results must be there. Being blown out by your biggest rival has to be the final straw, capping an incredibly disappointing season.
Firing a coach so fast can be viewed as premature, and in most cases it is, but the Tigers are a proud program. The success has not always been there, but they take their football very seriously. Being shown up by Bama in the Iron Bowl would be embarrassing, marking a common trend in this massive in-state rivalry.
A head coach is supposed to steer the ship. Auburn isn't the most-talented team, but improvement needs to be seen in some way, shape or form. Sure this team isn't losing to the Louisiana-Monroe's of the world anymore, but is that really improvement? It shouldn't be.
Auburn has lost to some teams that are simply better, but aside from Vanderbilt, the losses are extremely lopsided. That's the mark of a team that has lost its direction and Chizik has to be held responsible for that.
Players play the game and coaches coach. Systems take time to implement, and a requisite amount of talent must be on the field, but certain things must still be expected from the men on the sidelines.
Chizik isn't reaching his players and that's a problem. Losing is one thing, but being blown out consistently is another.
If Auburn faces another lopsided loss on Saturday, Chizik needs to be sent packing.
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