In the one-plus seasons since winning the 2010 BcS title, Gene Chizik‘s Auburn Tigers have gone just 9-8 in the post-Cam Newton era, including a subpar 4-6 mark in SEC.
The 1-3 to the start of the 2012 season, with the lone win against Louisiana-Monroe in overtime and two of the losses coming in conference play, has led to the temperature on Chizik’s seat rising a few degrees. The fourth-year coach, though, still has at least one supporter.
One very passionate — and some would say delusional — supporter.
Speaking at the Montgomery Quarterback Club Tuesday night, former Tigers head coach Pat Dye continued his very public defense of Chizik with, well, this:
“Don’t question the guy we got leading the program,” Dye said according to the Montgomery Advertiser. “I wouldn’t swap him for 10 Sabans.”
Saban, of course, is Nick Saban, the current head coach at No. 1 Alabama and winner of three BcS titles at two different SEC schools with three different starting quarterbacks. Chizik’s lone title came courtesy of the one-year rental that was the Heisman-winning Newton.
Dye, though, wasn’t referring to Chizik, the coach, or the amount of wins and titles he has as compared to the Tide coach.
“Saban is the best coach in the country — I’ll grant him that,” Dye, who predicted UA will win the title for the 2012 season, said, before adding, “[b]ut he ain’t a better man than Gene Chizik.”
Dye went on to laud how hard Chizik’s Tigers have played, particularly in the loss to then-No. 2 LSU Saturday.
“I’ve been saying that they played as hard as any football team I ever coached at Auburn, and I coached some pretty damn good ones,” Dye said during the appearance.
In major college football in general and the SEC specifically, no trophies are given out for how hard one plays. Wins, especially in the SEC, are the only currency that matters for a head coach, and Chizik’s account has been in short supply since the departure of Newton.
(Tip O’ the Cap: al.com)