Georgia did its part on rivalry Saturday, easily taking care of business in dropping in-state rival Georgia Tech. A few hours later, Alabama easily did the same.
And, in all likelihood, put the final nail in the coffin of their in-state rival for good measure.
Entering the game as anywhere between 31- and 35-point favorites, the Tide did the expected, rolling to a 42-0 halftime lead over the hapless and helpless Tigers en route to 49-0 woodshedding for the ages. It was the worst margin of defeat for either side since Alabama dropped 55 on Auburn while shutting out the Tigers way back in 1948.
And it could’ve been an even more of an historical shellacking had the Tide kept its foot on the Tigers’ throat. In jumping out to that 42-point lead after two quarters, Alabama had outgained Auburn 338-99 in total offense, with the dogs — or elephants as the case may be — being called off in the second half.
The Tide’s evisceration also officially sets up a winner-take-all SEC championship game next weekend in Atlanta.
Alabama, No. 2 in the latest set of BcS rankings, clinched the SEC West with the win and will face Georgia, BcS No. 3, in the Georgia Dome Saturday. Barring the near-impossible transpiring next Sunday night when the final regular season rankings are released, the winner of the conference title game will fill one of the two spots in the BcS championship game Jan. 7 in Miami, giving the SEC the opportunity to extend its streak of BcS titles to seven. If Notre Dame can handle USC later tonight, it would set up an Irish-Bulldogs/Tide matchup for all the crystal footballs.
Looking ahead to the upcoming conference title game, the Tide and Bulldogs did not face each other in 2012. In fact, the two haven’t squared off since 2008, a 41-30 Alabama win over then-No. 3 UGA in Athens in Nick Saban‘s second season as UA’s head coach.
As for Chizik’s fate on The Plains? The combination of yet another NCAA investigation (somewhat) and miserable on-field performances the past two years (mainly) has the fourth-year coach ticketed for the unemployment line in short order.
The Tigers have lost 10 straight SEC games, with their last win coming Oct. 29 of last year against Ole Miss. Since winning the BcS championship last season, AU’s 11-14 overall and 4-12 in SEC play, hitting rock bottom in 2012 with a 3-9 record and its first winless conference slate since 1980. Doug Barfield was fired as head coach following that season, replaced by Pat Dye. Coincidentally enough, Dye has become one of Chizik’s staunchest supporters.
Whether that support can keep Chizik from being Barfield’d remains to be seen, although there’s even been erosion on the Dye front of late.
Regardless of whether an ex-coach does or doesn’t have the current coach’s back, it’s expected Chizik will be fired as early as Sunday. The embarrassing loss to Alabama won’t be the determining in Chizik’s fate, though; it’ll merely serve as the icing on a cake that’s gone stale sans a dash of Cam and a pinch of eye of Newton.