Auburn fell to rival Georgia on Saturday night in front of the home crowd at Jordan-Hare Stadium by a score of 38-0.
In reality, the Bulldogs could have named their score and would have been able to achieve it. It was over at the end of the first quarter.
It should not have come as a surprise to anyone. These types of games from Auburn in the past two years have become the norm. It will continue to be the norm as long as Gene Chizik is walking on the Auburn sidelines.
He has run a program that is among the 15-winnigest programs in college football history into a downward spiral.
The last two years have forced expectations for Auburn football down to an all-time low. It is not fun or easy to watch Auburn play football anymore.
It’s expected for Auburn to get blown out of games against the top teams in the SEC. In the last two years, Auburn has lost by scores of 38-14, 45-10, 45-7, 42-14, 41-20, 63-21 and now, 38-0.
It’s expected for Auburn to be the weakest team on the field, both mentally and physically. Just ask former Auburn FB Heath Evans, who has worked out with this Auburn team. He tore into the Tigers on Friday.
“Discipline, structure, accountability, and most importantly, mental and physical toughness,” he said. “It’s non-existent. It’s absolutely pathetic, and I know those are harsh words, but see, the thing about mental and physical toughness is, they’re created. They really are. I can show you the man that looks the biggest and the toughest, and most likely, I can put him in some circumstances where he’d crumble. Great coaches know how to make great men, and they’re built. You don’t come out of the womb with great character, great discipline, great emotional and physical fortitude. Those things are created in you by great men. …"
It’s expected for Auburn to be inept at performing fundamentals that are required of any team, even at the high school level of football.
Auburn football has a proud history that has been earned and created by men that gladly accepted an underdog role and thrived on it. They played the game of football the way it was supposed to be played.—with passion and courage.
There were times, not even that long ago, that Auburn fans could count on their team to play with that same passion and courage. It was expected because it was Auburn football. Auburn was at its best when it was counted out.
Those teams were well-coached. The players looked forward to vicious hits and the opportunity to take down a top-ranked opponent.
The Auburn defense from those years played with tenacity and would have never been run all over like the Auburn defense was on Saturday night.
If Auburn lost, it lost by playing hard. Auburn fans appreciated that. This team does not portray that same effort for four quarters, despite what Chizik says.
It must be hard for the players from those teams to look at the product being put on the field with each passing week.
Watch this video from the 1999 Auburn versus Georgia game so you can remember what it looks (and sounds) like. Auburn was 4-5 at this time but it played like it was fighting for a national championship.
Saturday night was a rivalry game. It was the "Deep South's Oldest Rivalry." It was supposed to be a game where you throw the records out of the proverbial window.
Instead, Auburn did not even put up a fight.
As the clock struck zero and the scoreboard read “38-0,” not one Auburn fan was surprised. That's because it was expected.
Expect the same to happen in two weeks, because that is where the expectations are for the Auburn football program. At least in two weeks, Auburn fans can wake up from this nightmare of a season.
The fact that expectations are so low for the Auburn football program is all athletic director Jay Jacobs and Auburn president Jay Gouge need to make a decision about Chizik’s future on the Auburn sideline.
It may serve them well to make that decision sooner rather than later.