AUBURN - As I sit here high above Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium, I still find it difficult to grasp what I just witnessed.
I attended a football game at Jordan-Hare Stadium for the first time in 1960 when Auburn played Chattanooga. I was 10 years old. I've seen great performances and bad ones, big wins and mind-numbing losses.
I have never seen anything like what I witnessed Saturday night.
Surely, fourth-year head coach Gene Chizik knew as he watched it unfold what it meant. His time at Auburn is near its end. Sometime, probably shortly after the Iron Bowl, it will be official that Chizik's fourth season was his last.
You don't go 1-7 at Auburn. You don't lose 63-21 on your home field - or any other field, for that matter - at Auburn. Your team doesn't play with no fire, no passion and, for most of the night, not much effort. You don't get blown out nine times in less than two seasons.
It's over for Chizik. Nobody has told me that, but I don't have to ask.
Questions about his future clearly made Chizik angry after the game. He insisted a 1-7 record does not reflect the direction of the program. He said the things he always says - that his team fought to the end, that it is his job to guide them through times, that they would go back to work Sunday.
Those words ring hollow in wake of what was on display Saturday night and what has been on display this season.
Somewhere along the way, somehow, this team tuned Chizik out. It has too much talent to have been 1-6 going into Saturday night's game and certainly too much talent to play like a directional school coming to pick up a paycheck.
Freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace sparked the offense the last quarter and a half. The offense even had some fun, made some yards and scored some points. That's a good thing, but it meant nothing in the context of the game.
The game was a blowout of historic proportions. If A&M coach Kevin Sumlin had wanted to keep scoring, he could have kept scoring.
If there was a highlight for Auburn, it was Wallace. He surely earned more playing time, maybe even a starting role down the stretch. But the reality of 2012 for Auburn is no longer deniable. Two years after winning the national championship, a team with enough players to be good has reached historic lows week after week, game after game. Eight games into the season, it has only an overtime victory over Louisiana-Monroe. All the rest are losses, most of them ugly.
That's not acceptable. Not at Auburn.
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