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Updated: Auburn headed for SEC West basement after loss to MSU?

Auburn v Mississippi State Getty Images

In our 2012 SEC projections, we stated the winner of the Auburn-Mississippi State game would come with the honor of being named the SEC West’s fourth-best team.

We’re not right often around here, but Mississippi State’s 28-10 win over the Tigers certainly makes it look like there’s a noticeable gap between the top and lower groups of the SEC West.

The first half yielded practically no offense and Auburn QB Kiehl Frazier had just one completion — one — for -2 yards during that span. Things didn’t get much better in the second half, either. Frazier tossed three interceptions in all.

Now, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen has his first SEC West win against an opponent not named Ole Miss. You’d think that would be the big story coming away from this game. Instead, it was how awful Auburn looked on both sides of the ball. Yes, it’s a long season, but the Tigers’ conference slate has one win that, today, you could pencil in.

It’s astonishing, frankly, considering this program won a national title in 2010. Immediately, the talk is going to be about Gene Chizik being on the hot seat. Not sure it’s worth going that far, but it is worth pointing out that he’s 16-12 without Cam Newton and things won’t get easier as the season goes on.

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7 Responses to “Updated: Auburn headed for SEC West basement after loss to MSU?”
  1. tigersgeaux says: Sep 8, 2012 1:46 PM

    If Auburn can start playing “smash mouth” football, they will win. Apparently, the coach for Mississippi State does like other teams which play against him to play “smash mouth” football as he remarked against LSU last season, but I would recommend Auburn to do this, which they probably will do in the second half anyway.

  2. fitz66 says: Sep 8, 2012 2:01 PM

    It still beats the 3-2 barn burner they had a few years back.

  3. barbeaux says: Sep 8, 2012 2:04 PM

    Time for boosters to start making some ATM withdrawals for the future.

  4. rickrock6661982 says: Sep 8, 2012 3:44 PM

    This just in…

    Much like Urban Meyer, Gene Chizik is only as good as the players he inherited

  5. deucez2 says: Sep 8, 2012 4:22 PM

    Chizik better include Cam in his will. That national title bought him a few years until he eventually gets fired for being exposed as a terrible coach. His teams were a dumpster fire at Iowa St. Now Paul Rhodes has Iowa St playing well.

  6. dcroz says: Sep 8, 2012 6:15 PM

    Chizik’s job is not in jeopardy this season unless the program implodes the way it did for Mike Dubose at ‘Bama in 2000. Auburn fans are still breathing the intoxicating vapors of the 2010 National Championship and–even more important to them–the comeback from 24-0 down to the Tide in the Iron Bowl that year to win 28-27.

    They are also listening to their patriarch, former coach Pat Dye, who is still the power behind the throne some twenty years after retiring. Dye routinely blames Chizik’s predecesor, current Texas Tech coach Tommy Tubberville, for the Auburn program being in the state it currently is. Nevemind that the 2010 team was loaded with juniors and seniors that had been recruited by Tubs and were the ones who led the team to its improbable title behind Chizik recruit Cam Newton, Dye absolutely could not stand him because he could not control him, and now he is using him as a scapegoat to protect the guy he picked himself as the new HC.

    But Dye cannot disguise the fact that Chizik is still in possession of a “young” team (as Dye has called them since time immemorial) despite having three straight top-5 rated recruiting classes. So many of Chizik’s top-notch recruits do not remain on campus or even play a down before leaving because of character or academic issues. The question then becomes whether Auburn has been taking “shortcuts” in its recruiting by ignoring red flags that some prospects were better left alone, instead just hoping that things turn out for the best for these guys and pumping up their class standings in the recruiting service rankings.

    But the real problem for Chizik is the school across the state. Probably no team in college football measures its success–both real and perceived–by how it does in relation to its biggest rival. It’s bad enough that Auburn has seen its long-desired national title bookended by a pair for Alabama; it’s even worse that the Tigers are 0-2 while the Tide is the #1-ranked team in the country and a threat to win their third BCS title in four years. Last year Auburn was crushed at home in the Iron Bowl, 42-14; if Alabama delivers another woodshed trip this year (which is looking like a real possibility) then the pressure on Chizik will be severe; if the Tide raises the crystal yet again at the end of this season–and will be a favorite once more in 2013 as this is the youngest team Saban has had in Tuscaloosa–then the pressure becomes incredible. Of course, all he has to do to gain complete forgiveness is to beat Alabama this year…which ain’t exactly something you’d want to hang your hat on right now.

    If this had been ten years ago and Alabama were still struggling mightily just to be mediocre, then we probably would not be having this conversation, as Auburn would still be the superior program. But as long as the Tide is riding at the top of the polls and getting the better of the Tigers in the rivalry, Chizik is going to be walking on a tightrope. That national title will quickly become a distant memory if he is unable to at least appear to be catching back up to his T-Town rivals…and soon.

  7. kozbee says: Sep 8, 2012 9:24 PM

    Frazier is a joke for a QB and i bet now Chizik sure hates booting Pike.Alot of teams have problems with drinking but Auburn losing Pike has comeback to haunt them big time.After the showing from Frazier vs Clemson seems Auburn would of started anyone but Frazier this game.After losing the first two it will be almost impossible to even get into a bowl this season.Alburn better wake up and bench Frazier before they end up in the Cellar with Vandy.Frazier will never see the NFL.

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