Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
With the Tigers likely headed for an 0-8 record in SEC play, the university's president issued a message to the Auburn family about the state of the program.
Auburn University president Jay Gogue issued a letter to "the Auburn family" on Thursday morning, promising a postseason evaluation of the program "in an objective, thorough and professional process." The entire letter reads as follows:
October 25, 2012
A Message to the Auburn Family about Auburn Football
The Auburn spirit is part of everything we do - in the classroom and beyond. It includes the spirit we show when we support those who represent us on the playing field.
Later today, Auburn students and the local community will gather to cheer on the football team as they practice. I encourage others to follow their example by coming together and getting behind the young men who wear the orange and blue each fall Saturday.
In the past few weeks, many of you have contacted me, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to share your thoughts about the football program. I know your concerns are sincere and heartfelt, and I share many of them. As we do every year, the football program will be evaluated in an objective, thorough and professional process.
For everything there is a time, and now is the time to support. The young men and women - our students - who make up Auburn University are grateful for the dedication of their extended Auburn Family. So am I.
Though it's not at all spelled out, it's possible that the "evaluation" could mean the end of Tigers head coach Gene Chizik. Since the Tigers' national championship and Cam Newton's departure from Auburn, Chizik's squads have posted a 17-14 record and tumbled from one of the top programs in college football to one of the worst.
Auburn (1-6, 0-5 SEC) have lost four games in a row, and will be heavy underdogs in their final three SEC contests against No. 20 Texas A&M, No. 10 Georgia and No. 1 Alabama as they try to avoid going 0-8 in league play. The Tigers have allowed an SEC-worst 24 sacks this season, and their only win was a 31-28 overtime victory over Louisiana-Monroe in Week 3. It's been an impossibly bad year for Auburn football, and it's not about to get any better.