Auburn fires Gene Chizik two years after national title
The rapid fall from a national championship to 3-9 and becoming 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 slipped.
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 about $3.5 million annually through 2015 with a hefty buyout.
Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs said he informed Chizik on Saturday night that he would recommend to President Jay Gogue the next morning that Chizik not be retained.
He said he had concerns with lopsided losses in 2011 but grew "very concerned in our fundamental approach to the game" after the Arkansas game.
"I had hoped our team would show some improvement this season," Jacobs said. "Unfortunately, it didn't. The competition in our league is fierce. I decided we could not risk falling further behind by waiting for another year and hoping for improvement."
Jon Embree is out as head coach at Colorado after only two seasons and four wins in 25 games.
Embree told the Associated Press he was heading into a meeting with his players Sunday night and didn't want to comment on his firing other than to confirm he'd been let go by Athletic Director Mike Bohn earlier in the day.
Embree, who had three years left on his contract, said he would talk at a news conference Monday.
North Carolina State fired Coach Tom O'Brien after six seasons, four of which were good enough to get the Wolfpack into a bowl but none that could get them to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
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. During a news conference, Yow said she met with O'Brien on Friday to discuss the future of the program, then notified him of her decision Sunday before meeting with the coaching staff and players.
O'Brien was 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 North Carolina State receives its bid next week. Yow said O'Brien's buyout would be $1.2 million over four years.
North Carolina State said offensive coordinator Dana Bible will be the interim coach for the bowl game.
Danny Hope is out as Purdue's 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.
Boston College fired Coach Frank Spaziani after four years of progressively worse records and two straight seasons without a bowl appearance.
New Athletic Director Brad Bates made the announcement 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.