ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

HOOVER, Ala. -- Coach Nick Saban is the unquestioned face of Alabama football.

Gene Chizik is the new football coach at Auburn, but being the face of the program isn't his objective or desire.

"I've got three children and a wife, so I get plenty of attention when I go home," Chizik said Friday as SEC media days drew to a close. "I don't have to go out and try to gather attention for myself, because this isn't about me. This is about Auburn.

"What gets you attention is when you win. It's that simple."

Auburn has won a lot this decade, at least until last season, when the Tigers imploded offensively and finished 5-7. Last year was their first without a bowl game since 1999, and it included the first loss to Vanderbilt in 53 years.

It also included an embarrassing 36-0 loss at Alabama, which ended Auburn's six-game winning streak in the series.

"Last year, as a whole, was flat-out awful," senior tight end Tommy Trott said.

The collapse last season put the pressure back on coach Tommy Tuberville, who opted to resign after amassing 85 victories in 10 seasons. Chizik was brought back to Auburn, where he served as defensive coordinator from 2002 to '04, after two seasons as the Texas defensive coordinator and two as Iowa State's head coach.

Chizik struggled to a 5-19 record with the Cyclones, a far cry from the undefeated seasons he enjoyed at Auburn (2004) and Texas (2005), and inherits a program with significantly less talent than his last time around.

Auburn was picked Friday to finish fifth in the SEC West.

"Our plan is to contend for a championship in everything we do," Chizik said. "We don't think that's out of the realm of possibility. We're going to start the season, and our goal is to win the SEC West. I think that in this league that anything can happen."

When Chizik last was at Auburn, the Tigers went 13-0 with NFL first-round pick Jason Campbell at quarterback. Last year's team struggled with Chris Todd and Kodi Burns, who return to compete along with Neil Caudle, Barrett Trotter and freshman Tyrik Rollison.

Last year's quarterbacks began under offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, who was fired midway through the season. Chizik quickly hired Gus Malzahn, who had success with Arkansas in 2006 and with Tulsa the past two years.

"We would like to get that situation resolved," Chizik said of the quarterbacks. "Obviously the guys who have more experience have probably a little bit of a leg up, but that doesn't always tell the final tale. It's an interesting dynamic, and it's going to take us a little bit of time to figure it out."

Next Article

Back in limelight


Previous Article

Nice-guy Kiffin

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT