There are low points in a season… and there’s the current state of the Auburn football program.
Already 1-3 heading into Saturday’s game with Arkansas — with the lone win coming in overtime against Sun Belt Conference member Louisiana-Monroe — Gene Chizik‘s Tigers did the unthinkable: they lost. At home. To one of the worst FBS through the first five weeks of the 2012 season.
And, just like that, AU tumbles to 1-4 on the year. And the temperature on the head coach’s seat, already warm entering 2012, will likely rise considerably in the coming days.
The embarrassing 24-7 loss to the Razorbacks was a microcosm of the first five games — really, the past 18 — especially as it pertains to the offense in general. Auburn came into the game as the 118th-ranked team in the country in total offense (297.7 yards per game) and the 116th-ranked scoring offense (17.5 points per game). That trend continued as the Tigers could muster just 306 yards of offense and a meager seven points.
While the defense played, five turnovers on the part of the offense — three picks, two lost fumbles — were too much to overcome.
We’ve pounded home this point time and time again, and will do so now: Chizik has done nothing at the collegiate level without Cam Newton as his quarterback. In 2010, Newton’s lone season at the school, the Heisman winner led AU to a perfect 14-0 season that ended with a BcS title. In three non-Newton seasons at his current school, Chizik’s 17-14, including a lowly 7-12 mark in SEC play. Add in his time at Iowa State, and the AU head coach sports a laughable 22-33 record.
In the hyper-competitive SEC, a sub-.400 conference winning percentage will get you canned at most schools, especially at one like Auburn.
The game was called “A Season on the Brink” heading into this weekend, intimating that change would be in the wind with a loss. Unfortunately for everyone associated with the school — and Chizik’s long-term viability with the Tigers — the program has officially careened out of control and off the cliff, landing in a fiery heap right where they currently reside in the SEC West: at the bottom.