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College football: Auburn's Gene Chizik struggling in post-Cam Newton era

by Berry Tramel Published: October 12, 2012

Gene Chizik, Auburn's defensive coordinator during its unbeaten 2004 season, returned as head coach in 2009 and coached the Tigers to the 2010 national title.

But without Cam Newton as his quarterback, Newton is 17-14, including a 7-12 SEC record going into a Saturday game at mediocre Ole Miss. And in this era of Alabama dominance, that doesn't play well with Auburn people.

Auburn is 1-4 this season after a 24-7 home loss to Arkansas, which had been having a train-wreck season. Now some former Auburn players have taken to criticizing Chizik, and some fan clamor for Bobby Petrino, the defrocked Arkansas coach who once was Auburn's offensive coordinator and famously interviewed for the head coaching job when it wasn't even open.

Auburn coaching icon Pat Dye says no way would Petrino ever be hired. But strange things happen in the win-now, win-big world of the SEC.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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