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Pat Dye Says Gene Chizik Will Return In 2013 Even If He Doesn't Win Again This Year


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http://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2012/10/pat_dye_says_gene_chizik_will.html#incart_river

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Gene Chizik will not be fired this season.

Chizik will be the football coach at Auburn in 2013.

Chizik will keep his job even if he doesn’t win another game this season, which would include losing to woeful Arkansas this weekend in Auburn and finishing 1-11.

Says who? Pat Dye, that’s who.

The former Auburn coach, the man whose name is on the field in Jordan-Hare Stadium, made those strong and unequivocal statements about Chizik’s future during a Wednesday radio interview on Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly in Arkansas.

During that interview, Dye sounded a lot like the shadow general manager of the Auburn program he’s often accused of being.

Mattingly asked if Chizik could survive this season if things don’t improve after the worst September in the program’s history.

“Listen,” Dye said. “He wouldn’t be in trouble if he didn’t win another game.”

So Chizik will return no matter what?

“Absolutely,” Dye said.

So there’s no need to talk about whether Auburn might fire Chizik and hire the currently unemployed Bobby Petrino?

“Bobby Petrino would never get hired at Auburn,” Dye said. “Ever. Ever.”

Would anyone in the SEC hire Petrino after his crash from grace at Arkansas?

“Maybe, you know, if somebody was desperate they might,” Dye said. “Who would you say is going to hire him? I know Auburn ain’t gonna hire him.”

Wow. Consider those two distinct and definitive statements. Dye said that Chizik is coming back next season no matter what happens the rest of this season, and he said that Auburn will never hire Petrino.

Those didn’t sound like opinions. They sounded like declarations from the ultimate insider.

The natural follow-up question: How does Dye know? The obvious answer: Despite all of his protests to the contrary, Dye is in the know about the thinking of Auburn’s decision-makers, or at least thinks he is. That, or he actually helps shape Auburn’s decisions.

If Dye’s right about Chizik, that he’s guaranteed to return next year, it’s an incredible vote of confidence in the middle of an uncertain rebuilding phase of Chizik’s tenure. Auburn just lost three games in September for the first time. Auburn’s only win to date has been at home in overtime against Louisiana-Monroe.

There are tangible reasons to believe things are about to get better for the Tigers. The schedule softens, starting with Arkansas. The defense took a step forward in the 12-10 loss to LSU. Kiehl Frazier has four games in his data bank as a starter, and if he’s the player Auburn and programs like Notre Dame believed him to be when recruiting him, he’ll be better in October than he was in September.

But what if there’s improvement in performance but not on the scoreboard? What if this season goes terribly wrong from here? What if Auburn wins the games that appear to be gimmes – New Mexico State and Alabama A&M – and contributes to Arkansas’s continuing collapse but loses the rest to finish 4-8?

Does Chizik deserve next season no matter how this year plays out? Dye said Auburn’s decision-makers think so.

If he’s right, is it enough for Dye to say it on an Arkansas radio show, or should athletics director Jay Jacobs stand by his coach and make that statement himself?

Maybe that’s unnecessary. A lot of people seem to think, when Dye speaks about Chizik, he says what Jacobs thinks.

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I don't care that he won a national championship recently. If he somehow did not win another game this year, he should be fired immediately. As a side note, I believe Red Sox management said Bobby V wouldn't be fired this year and look what happened. So, who knows if he is telling the truth.

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Dye told Finebaum he'd take Gene Chizik over every coach in the country, "including the one in Tuscaloosa."

While I understand why he might have felt that he needed to say that, I really wish he wouldn't have said that.

I don't care that he won a national championship recently. If he somehow did not win another game this year, he should be fired immediately. As a side note, I believe Red Sox management said Bobby V wouldn't be fired this year and look what happened. So, who knows if he is telling the truth.

I don't buy that Dye has the kind of influence over this team that some claim. If Chizik finishes 4-8, he might he done. They might give him one more year. First year QB, 2 new coordinators, not the RB's we imagined going into the season, Chiz might get a pass for that.

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