There’s never been too much to expect from Auburn in basketball, especially when you compare it to the success the football program has had over the years. And still, it’s quite rare when a school completely fails in its two flag sports, as the Tigers finished 14th in the SEC in both the recent College Basketball season and the football year.
Maybe there’s still hope for the Tigers in the SEC basketball tournament, but it’s hard to see it happening. There’s a reason Auburn haven’t made it to the NCAA tournament in a decade and only three times in the last 25 years. For Tony Barbee, just finishing his third season at Auburn, it seems to have been getting worst as times go by – 4-12 on his first season, 5-11 on the second and a terrible 3-15 in 2012-2013.
Auburn opened conference play with two consecutive wins over South Carolina and LSU, but ended up losing 15 of their next 16 games, including their last nine games. Some losses were extremely painful, like being crushed by Ole Miss 88-55 or losing by 31 points to Florida at home.
But no matter how bad it’s been for the Tigers in basketball, football is the bloodline for the University when it comes to sports, and after winning the national championship in 2010 under Gene Chizik and as it becomes clearer and clearer, mostly thanks to Cam Newton, Auburn completely imploded in 2012, finishing with a 3-9 record, including 0-8 in the SEC.
Chizik was a huge surprise, being chosen to take over the team in 2009 after a 5-19 two year tenure with Iowa State. Still, an 8-5 season to begin his career wasn’t the worst way to start off, and no one will ever forget his 14-0 season in 2010, as Auburn went on to win the national championship with Cam Newton leading the way. Did they pay him to play? Anyone out of Auburn thinks so, or most do. It doesn’t really matter now. Chizik had another 8-5 season in 2011, but things couldn’t have gone worse for him in 2012, getting himself fired after a disastrous season.
A few months later, and the road towards rock bottom is complete – Auburn is the worst sports program in the two major sports of the SEC, and it’s going to take a while climbing out of the bottom.