Auburn University President Jay Gogue addressed the football team's struggles in a letter posted on the Auburn website Friday, saying "the football program will be evaluated in the offseason."
With Auburn sitting at 1-6 overall and 0-5 in SEC play, many Tiger fans would like that evaluation to result in the firing of head coach Gene Chizik. After winning the BCS Championship in 2010, Chizik's record as head coach is 9-11, not exactly outstanding.
The Tigers have been abysmal this season, ranking last in the SEC in scoring (15.7 points per game) and total offense (276.7 yards per game). The defensive side of the ball hasn't been much better, as Auburn has allowed 25.1 points (ninth in the SEC) and 411.7 yards per game (11th). To be fair, the defense has improved as the year has dragged on.
What may be worse for Chizik is the spreading perception that 2010 was a fluke, and that he can't take Auburn to that level again. Aside from the championship season, The Tigers are 0-7 against their three biggest rivals -- Alabama, Georgia and LSU -- under Chizik. With Georgia and Alabama still on the schedule this year, that record is likely to fall to 0-9.
The complete letter from Gogue is as follows:
October 25, 2012
A Message to the Auburn Family about Auburn Football
The Auburn spirit is part of everything we do - in the classroom and beyond. It includes the spirit we show when we support those who represent us on the playing field.
Later today, Auburn students and the local community will gather to cheer on the football team as they practice. I encourage others to follow their example by coming together and getting behind the young men who wear the orange and blue each fall Saturday.
In the past few weeks, many of you have contacted me, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to share your thoughts about the football program. I know your concerns are sincere and heartfelt, and I share many of them. As we do every year, the football program will be evaluated in an objective, thorough and professional process.
For everything there is a time, and now is the time to support. The young men and women - our students - who make up Auburn University are grateful for the dedication of their extended Auburn Family. So am I.