AUBURN — With a chance to review the debacle which was Saturday night’s 63-21 loss to Texas A&M, Auburn coach Gene Chizik recognized his squad had a historically bad performance. The Aggies racked up 671 yards — the most every allowed by Auburn — en route to scoring the most points against the Tigers since 1917.
Chizik was not aware just how bad it Saturday’s loss was in historical context.
“I haven’t studied the record books exactly, but when you play in a game like that and are involved in a game like that you have to know historically it’s somewhere at the very bottom,” said Chizik, who fell to 36-36 as a head coach including 31-17 at Auburn. “Whether that’s at the very bottom or somewhere close you know that’s where you’re at. I think that’s pretty obvious to everybody that was involved in the game.”
The worst season since 1952 for Auburn (1-7, 0-6 SEC) reached a new low Saturday, as the Tigers were officially eliminated from bowl eligibility for the first time since going 5-7 in 2008, and were never competitive against the Aggies. History does not bode well for Chizik’s future as Auburn fired then-coaches Tommy Tuberville after 2008 and Doug Barfield after going 5-6 including 0-6 in the SEC in 1980.
Asked again Sunday about his reaction to Auburn President Jay Gogue’s statement Thursday which said “the football program will be evaluated in an objective, thorough and professional process,” Chizik would not respond.
“I’ve got one focus and that’s for our young guys to go out there and win, and that’s it,” said Chizik, who on Saturday night said he had not heard or seen Gogue’s statement. “I’m not going down that path. I answered that last night, and I have not changed on that.”
Gogue made no mention of Chizik or Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs in his statement. Several requests by the Advertiser to speak with Jacobs have been unmet.
Chizik is under contract through 2015 with an annual salary of $3.5 million. He has a buy-out in his contract which began at $10 million and will depreciate to $7.5 on Dec. 1.
Saturday night, Chizik would not respond to inquiries about his job security or that of members of his staff. Auburn ranks among the worst teams in the country in multiple offensive categories, including 120 of 120 non-reclassified teams in total offense (284 yards/game).
Chizik went 5-19 while at Iowa State, including 2-10 with 10 straight losses in 2008 before he left for Auburn. However, he said he had not experienced anything quite like what Auburn is going through this year.
“Probably not like this, no,” Chizik said. “I mean, you know, it’s hard to ever prepare yourself for something that’s been this difficult, but when you do this long enough, at some point in time or another, you know, you may have a chance to come to these valleys. We’re in it, and we’re going to continue to try to work to get over it.”
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