Auburn head coach Gene Chizik has been fired with two years remaining on his contract.
In four years as head coach of the Tigers, Chizik was 33-19 with a 15-17 record in the SEC and directed the 2010 team to the BCS National Championship with Heisman-winning quarterback Cam Newton.
However, Chizik was winless in the SEC this season and the breaking point was Saturday’s 49-0 shellacking at the hands of their in-state rival Alabama that saw the Tigers finish with a 3-9 record.
Over the last two years without Newton, Auburn is a woeful 4-12 in the nation’s preeminent conference and has struggled finding a competent quarterback to lead the offense.
Auburn used three different quarterbacks this season with little success among the trio. Kiehl Frazier, Clint Moseley and Jonathan Wallace have combined to throw a paltry eight touchdowns in 12 games while throwing 13 interceptions.
The anemic offense ultimately was the downfall for Chizik, whose program is under investigation by the NCAA, and averaged less than 21 points per game which has them as the No. 109 scoring offense in the FBS.
The passing offense was even worse ranking No. 115 with less than 165 yards per game.
Auburn currently has the seventh ranked recruiting class according to ESPN, so the next coach will have some prospects to work with–provided they stick with their commitment to the school.
Chizik will receive a $7.5 million buyout because his contract runs through the 2015 season, and with that much money owed to a coach who won’t be on the sidelines next fall, you can guess that Auburn will be looking to fill the void with a top coordinator or coach from a small school.
Nevertheless, the school likely will look to find an offensive-minded coach to take over the program that is only two years removed from a national title, but must feel like decades for Auburn fans considering the precipitous fall from grace since they hoisted the crystal ball trophy.
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Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and an avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com airing live on Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.