You only have to look at Auburn's games against ranked opponents this season to know there will be no light at the end of the long, harrowing tunnel in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.
Auburn (3-8, 0-7 SEC) has fallen on hard times since winning the national championship in the 2010-2011 season. The Tigers have lost all four of their games against ranked opponents this season and have only beaten Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State and FCS opponent Alabama A&M.
The last time the Tigers faced a ranked opponent (Georgia on Nov. 10), they lost 38-0.
No. 2 Alabama, on the other hand, has beaten LSU, Mississippi State and Michigan this season. The Crimson Tide rank first in the nation in points allowed per game (10.1) and 18th in points per game (38.1). It took the favorite for the Heisman Trophy, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, to beat them this season.
About that loss to Texas A&M...
That loss could have knocked Alabama out of the BCS Championship Game. Kansas State and Oregon's letdowns last week saved the Crimson Tide in that regard.
Don't think Alabama has forgotten that loss to the Aggies.
Will Auburn make it a close game vs. Alabama?
There will be no letdown game for Alabama this week. Led by quarterback A.J. McCarron, a rushing attack consisting of junior Eddie Lacy and sophomore T.J. Yeldon and a dominant defense, the Crimson Tide may rival Georgia's pasting of Auburn on Saturday.
Auburn is the last team that stands in Alabama's path to the BCS Championship Game. Expect the Tigers to get steamrolled by the Crimson Tide.
Coupled with the NCAA investigation surrounding the Tigers, there will be no joy resonating from the Auburn football program as its season concludes on Saturday.
Only memories of Cam Newton will remain as Gene Chizik reminisces about the glory days.