Per Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports, Auburn has dismissed head coach Gene Chizik.
Gene Chizik has been told that he is out at Auburn as the Tigers head coach a source just told me.
— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) November 25, 2012
Auburn completed its first winless SEC season since 1980 with an embarrassing 49-0 loss to rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl on Saturday. AU finished 3-9 overall.
Speculation on Chizik’s future persisted through much of the season, and reached a fever pitch when the Tigers were routed 38-0 against Georgia. All three of the Tigers’ win this season came against non-automatic qualifying or FCS competition.
Chizik coached Auburn to the BCS championship just two seasons ago, and an 8-5 record last season. However, the Tigers’ 4-4 SEC finish a year ago was punctuated with poor defensive play. Chizik replaced defensive coordinator Ted Roof with Brian VanGroder, but AU still allowed 28.3 points per game. That figure was 28.9 in 2011.
Architect of the explosive offense that powered Auburn’s 2010 national championship run, Gus Malzahn, left for the head coaching vacancy at Arkansas State. Malzahn kept the RedWolves to the top of the Sun Belt this season, scoring 35.6 points per game. Auburn, on the other hand, averaged all of 18.7.
The Tigers’ offensive woes began before they every played a game in 2012, with the departure of 1000-plus yard running back Michael Dyer amid myriad off-field troubles. Chizik and new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler played musical chairs at quarterback, a problem that plagued the 2011 Tigers.
Auburn is the fourth SEC head coaching position to come open this season. Kentucky fired Joker Phillips, Tennessee relieved Derek Dooley, and Arkansas’s John L. Smith replaced Bobby Petrino on an interim basis. The bevy of vacancies should make for a fascinating off-season in SEC country.