AUBURN, Ala. — Gene Chizik led Auburn to a historic season but couldn't keep the Tigers from descending to their lowest point in decades.
The rapid fall from a national championship to 3-9 and the Southeastern Conference doormat led to Chizik's firing Sunday, the day after a humbling 49-0 loss to No. 2 Alabama that showed just how far the program has fallen.
The Tigers endured the worst slide within two years of winning a national championship of any team since the Associated Press poll started in 1936 and hadn't lost this many games since going 0-10 in 1950. The decision came 17 months after Auburn gave Chizik a contract worth some $3.5 million annually through 2015 with a hefty buyout.
Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said he informed Chizik Sunday morning after President Jay Gogue accepted his recommendation to fire the coach.
I'm extremely disappointed with the way this season turned out and I apologize to the Auburn family and our team for what they have had to endure, Chizik said in a statement released by Auburn. In my 27 years of coaching, I have gained an understanding of the high expectations in this profession. When expectations are not met, I understand changes must be made.
The Tigers went from 14-0 with a perfect SEC record with Cam Newton leading the offense in 2010 to 3-9 and 0-8, losing their final three league games by a combined 150-21. Auburn was blown out by Texas A&M (63-21) and Georgia (38-0) but the finale was even more painful for Tigers fans.
The Crimson Tide cruised to a six-touchdown halftime lead and the second-most lopsided Iron Bowl victory in history, behind only the Tide's 55-0 win in 1948.
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina State has fired football coach Tom O'Brien after six seasons.
Athletic director Debbie Yow made the announcement Sunday, one day after the Wolfpack finished a 7-5 regular season with a win over Boston College.
O'Brien went 40-35 after coming to Raleigh from Boston College following the 2006 season. He took the Wolfpack to three bowl games, but won't coach in a fourth when N.C. State receives its bid next week.
N.C. State says offensive coordinator Dana Bible will be the interim coach for the bowl game.
INDIANAPOLIS — Danny Hope is out as Purdue's football coach.
One day after the Boilermakers retained the Old Oaken Bucket with a 56-35 victory over Indiana and became bowl eligible for the second straight season, athletic director Morgan Burke announced that Hope had been fired. The school has called a 6:30 p.m. news conference to make the official announcement.
After replacing the winningest coach in school history, Hope went 22-27 in four seasons with teams that were ravaged by injuries.
BOSTON — Boston College has fired football coach Frank Spaziani after four years of progressively worse records and two straight seasons without a bowl appearance.
The team made the announcement on Sunday, a day after the Eagles (2-10, 1-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) finished the season with a 27-10 loss at North Carolina State.
Spaziani, 65, spent 12 years on the BC staff, the last 10 as defensive coordinator, before taking over when Jeff Jagodzinski was fired for interviewing for an NFL job. The Eagles won eight games his first season, seven the next and four last year.
A New Jersey native who played for Joe Paterno at Penn State, Spaziani had three years remaining on a contract that paid him $1.1 million per year.