JOHNSON: Gene Chizik: National title in 2010, warm chair in 2012

Published 10:37 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Could it be that after winning a BCS National Chamionship just two short seasons ago, Auburn head coach Gene Chizik could be on the hot seat.

The 2012 season could dictate how many Auburn “family” members jump ship on the former SEC coach of the year. All of this will be gauged, naturally, by the number of phone calls radio show hosts receive or air time ESPN needs to fill.

Chizik caught lightning in a bottle with the 2010 Auburn Tigers. He landed to best athlete in college football, put together an adequate defense and, most importantly, didn’t screw it up.

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How many 8-5’s can he turn in before the standards are raised.

Outside of leading Auburn to an 8-0 conference record in the title season, Chizik is 2-6, 0-8, 3-5, and 4-4 in league games as a head coach at both Iowa State and Auburn. In short, that’s 8-23. Count the perfect season – 16-23.

One winning conference record in five seasons as a head coach and it took Cam Newton to get it.

Am I saying he should be fired? Of course not. What I am saying is numbers don’t lie. Coach Chizik still has some impressing to do.

Unfortunately for coaches, you can’t hang around in the SEC with just one great season under your belt, even if that season put a ring on your finger.

Phillip Fulmer won a championship in 1998, put together nine seasons of ten wins or more at Tennessee and was still axed. You’ve got to win.

Auburn fans may choke when they read this, but aside from having the BCS title – granted, that’s a bid omission – Chizik’s run on “The Plains” looks eerily similar to Mike Dubose’s time at Alabama. Dubose took an SEC championship in 1999 but was fired after the next season.

Dubose finished at Alabama with a conference winning percentage of .500. Take away his one good season and you have mediocrity… same as Chizik.

This is Chizik’s season to prove he can build a team over the course of multiple seasons not just one.