TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Auburn coach Gene Chizik wasn’t interested in publicly making his own case to keep the job — especially after what happened on the field.
The Tigers didn’t make much of a statement in falling 49-0 to No. 2 Alabama on Saturday in the most lopsided Iron Bowl in 64 years.
“I don’t have to make the case,” Chizik said after the game. “Y’all saw what you saw out there tonight. I’m just very disappointed for our fans. We’ve been through tough times before, we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to get back. It just kind of spiraled out.”
AJ McCarron passed for four touchdowns and Eddie Lacy rushed for 131 yards and two scores.
The Crimson Tide (10-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) clinched the Western Division title outright and a spot in the conference title game against No. 3 Georgia with the winner likely getting a BCS national championship shot.
“To me, in all those games that I’ve been a part of, they are about as good as any game in the country other than the national championship game,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said of the SEC title matchup.
Auburn (3-9, 0-8) completed the worst season for any team within two years of winning an Associated Press national title in what might have been the last game for Chizik.
University President Jay Gogue has only said he’ll evaluate the program at season’s end.
“I’m not going to go into all of the job situation with any questions,” he said. “This isn’t about me. I’ve got a locker room of guys that are here that are very disappointed. That’s my focus, I’m not going to entertain any of those questions. My focus is to be back in there with them.”
But, he added, “I am the head football coach at Auburn, and there’s no question in my mind that I believe we can get this thing turned around and back on the right track.”
Most Auburn fans haven’t seen a game like this one — and that’s not good. The biggest Iron Bowl margin was Alabama’s 55-0 victory in 1948, the most lopsided in a rivalry that captivates a state.
This one could have topped that but Saban played subs for much of the second half. The Tide lost a fumble inside Auburn’s 10 and then ran out the final seconds after getting to the 5.
Alabama outgained the Tigers 483-163 and had 25 first downs to Auburn’s seven.
“We didn’t take our foot off the gas,” Lacy said. “We kept playing in the fourth quarter.”