Unfortunately for Chizik, much of the credit for his national title will always be given to quarterback Cam Newton -- himself a one-year flash on the SEC scene -- and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. It was Malzahn who replaced Chizik, of course, and he led the Tigers to a BCS title game of his own last year, before losing to Florida State. Included in AU's SEC championship run was a shocking, last-play-of-the-game win over arch-rival Alabama at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Speaking on XM/Sirius satellite radio yesterday, Auburn's last football coach predicted his successor will finish 10-2 in 2014 with a pair of losses. One will come at home to a "loaded" South Carolina team. "I think South Carolina will get them," Chizik said. The other will come at the hands of Nick Saban and Bama. In such a heated rivalry, picking the Tide over the Tigers is likely to lead to charges of treason being aimed at the ex-Auburn man. But his rationale is sound:
"That's almost one of those 50/50 deals. If the game was at Auburn, I would pick Auburn."
Knowing how the Iron Bowl can bring on a case of the crazies in some folks -- example: Harvey Updyke -- Chizik's comment is still liable to earn him a nasty email or two.
(CORRECTION -- An earlier version of this story said Auburn will play at South Carolina. South Carolina will actually play at Auburn.)