Auburn vs. Alabama: Win in Iron Bowl Can't Save Gene Chizik's Job

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2012

STARKVILLE, MS - SEPTEMBER 08:  Coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers walks off the field in the first quarter of a NCAA college football game against Mississippi State Bulldogs on September 8, 2012 at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Butch Dill/Getty Images

Win or lose, Gene Chizik is a dead man walking.

Some fans and administrators might be able to overlook Auburn's 3-8 record this season if the Tigers can defeat their hated rivals, the Alabama Crimson Tide. The recent news about possible infractions, though, is the final nail in the coffin for Chizik no matter the result of the Iron Bowl.

For those unaware, Auburn is under investigation for their recruitment of Jovon Robinson. His academic transcript has been found to have been forged by a guidance counselor. Then there are rumors of improper benefits being given to Robinson by a teacher at his high school.

The Yahoo! Sports article goes on to say that the NCAA could also be looking into players beyond Robinson. For Chizik it's the exact kind of news he didn't need.

His Tigers have been extremely poor on the field this year. In a conference as competitive as the SEC, one or two bad years can really set you back. Regardless, Chizik is still just a couple of years removed from leading Auburn to the national championship.

The argument could be made that he deserves more time, especially if his team puts in a good performance against Alabama. But with the news of the infractions, it's too much to bear for the school. Even with a $7.5 million buyout, the Tigers' hierarchy is left with no option other than to terminate Chizik's tenure as head coach.

More and more, that national title is looking like the result of a strong defense coupled with the individual brilliance of Cam Newton. Chizik rightfully deserves plaudits for leading the Tigers to their win over Oregon, but he can only carry that season so far in the minds of Auburn fans.

And it has to be said that the school didn't exactly come out smelling like roses in the wake of the investigation into Newton's recruitment. This is now another recruiting scandal at Auburn in the space of a couple seasons.

Auburn is in turmoil both on and off the field. The chances of a win against Alabama are extremely remote. Should pigs fly and the Tigers win, it's still not enough to keep Chizik off the unemployment line.