Chizik called it a "sad performance," and said the Auburn fans and alumni didn’t "deserve" such a poor performance in a game that means so much to so many people in this state. As for what his message would be to the fans in terms of making a case for why Auburn should bring him back next season, Chizik said only, "I don’t have to make a case. Y’all saw what you saw out there." What everybody saw were the charred remains of a program that crashed and burned this season. The Tigers (3-9, 0-8) are just two years removed from winning a national championship, but it might as well be 32 years after a season like this. It was Auburn’s first winless season in the SEC since 1980 and the first time in school history that Auburn finished with an 0-8 record in league play. The Tigers will head into next season on a 10-game SEC losing streak, the longest in the league. Five of their eight SEC losses this season were by at least 17 points. "Any time you’re 3-9 in a season, it’s hard to stand up here and say there were a lot of positives," said Chizik, who would be owed a $7.5 million buyout. "We’ve got to coach better, and we’ve got to play better."
"He’s one of the reasons that my career has been successful as it’s been," Grantham said after Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech. "A lot of the things that I believe in philosophically come from him. A lot of the things we do defensively come from him. Defensively we’re very similar in what we do." Grantham called Saban a friend, and said the two have spoken "periodically" over the past few years. But not since this season began. "He’s really good at what he does, there’s a system in place. They’ve got good players, they’ve got good scheme, they’ve got good coaches," Grantham said. "But we’re gonna be ready too."
This team is playing with an edge it hasn’t for years. It has beaten its last four opponents (Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia Southern, Tech) by scores of 37-10, 38-0, 45-14 and 42-10. That’s a composite dismembering of 162-34, give or take a limb. Please, don’t come back with: "But look who they’re playing?" Georgia has seldom stepped on opponents like this, certainly not in November when everybody, fans and pollsters, are watching. With the score 42-3 Saturday, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo still could be seen and heard screaming in the coach’s box when things didn’t go well, at one point yelling into his headset, "Get your [bleep] off the field!" after the offense went three-and-out and players walked (not ran) to the sideline. "Yeah, my dad texted me," Bobo said later, somewhat sheepishly. "I guess he heard it on radio or TV. But you’re playing in Sanford Stadium. You should at least run off the field." Does this seem like the same Georgia team to you?
"We’re fixing to go out there next week and play the game of our life," said Georgia senior safety Bacarri Rambo, referring to next Saturday’s SEC title game in the Georgia Dome. "Because that is going to determine who makes it to the national championship, which was our goal for the season." "Definitely, that’s what the goal was at the beginning of the season. We had the road-to-Miami slogan and everything," said freshman tailback Keith Marshall, referring to the site of the BCS title game Jan. 7. "It’s good that we can almost taste it, but we’ve got to stay focused and worry about the SEC Championship game."
Toward the end, the Tide was driving for a touchdown that would've set the scoring margin record, but on fourth-and-goal at the Auburn 5, Alabama had backup quarterback Blake Sims intentionally take a knee and hand over the ball. A moment of mercy, perhaps?