Embattled Auburn coach Gene Chizik said he understands the anger of fans over this season, but has also heard from some who are more supportive.
Chizik said Tuesday that he thinks both perspectives are fair given that the Tigers are 2-8 and will be winless in Southeastern Conference play if Auburn loses at No. 4 Alabama on Nov. 24.
“Fans are exactly what they are, they are fanatical,” Chizik said. “And I think that’s a good thing. I don’t think you can throw an umbrella over every fan, and not just at Auburn but anywhere and say, ‘This is the way they all are.’ I’ve got hundreds of emails from a lot of great fans who are very supportive and understand that when you go through struggles, you continue on the path and you don’t deviate off the path in terms of being who you are and pressing through those things.
“Then you have the other fans who are caught up in the winning and losing so much it’s hard for them to see it that way. You know what? Both of those are fair. It depends on who you are. It depends on how you see things from a general perspective.”
Auburn president Jay Gogue issued a statement on Oct. 25 saying he shares fans’ concerns about the football program and that it will be evaluated after the season.
KLEIN ON COVER
Just in case 10-0 Kansas State needed more attention than climbing to the top of the Bowl Championship Series standings provided, Sports Illustrated shined a bright light on the program by putting Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein on the cover of its latest issue.
Under the headline “27 things you need to know about the best player on the nation’s best team,” is a picture of Klein, considered a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, preparing to throw a pass.
Digital copies of the cover were shared across the Internet on Tuesday, causing some fans to rejoice. Others seemed annoyed, worrying that K-State will fall victim to the dreaded SI cover jinx.
As for the cover boy himself, well, his emotions were no different than usual.
“Oh, it’s pretty cool,” Klein said. “You always see that kind of stuff growing up and what have you, but at the same time I’m just trying to take care of my and our business here and take one more step.”
Klein looked rusty in Saturday’s 23-10 win over TCU, throwing for 145 yards, rushing for 50 yards and two touchdowns but tossing his first interception since Big 12 play began. Klein suffered an undisclosed injury – reportedly a mild concussion – the week before against Oklahoma State.
“No one likes to get hurt, but that is part of the game and part of the deal. I’m just glad that I’m back,” he said.
Klein married former Wildcats basketball player Shalin Spani in July. She is the granddaughter of former Pacific Lutheran football coach Frosty Westering.
Former University of Washington and Texas coach Darrell Royal was remembered at his service as a humble champion who built a powerhouse football program and a Longhorn brand known around the world.
About 1,500 people attended the service in Austin, Texas, for the coach who led Texas to national championships in 1963 and 1969 and a share of a third in 1970. Royal, who coached the Huskies to a 5-5 record in 1956 before going to Texas, also revolutionized college football when he introduced the wishbone offense in 1968.
Royal died in Austin on Nov. 7 at the age of 88.
Among those attending were former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles, former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer and ex-Longhorns star running back Earl Campbell.
“It didn’t matter if you were a starter or on the fifth team, he loved you,” said James Street, quarterback of Texas’ 1969 national championship team and father of San Diego Padres reliever Huston Street.
Willie Nelson, a longtime friend of Royal’s, sang “Healing Hands of Time.” Nelson sang the same song for Royal and his wife, Edith, in their home after their daughter Marian died in 1973.
California coach Jeff Tedford said he expects to meet next week with athletic director Sandy Barbour to discuss his future after the 3-8 Golden Bears finish their worst season during Tedford’s tenure. … The Sun Belt Conference reprimanded two of its replay officials after they failed to properly review calls in two games. The conference did not identify the officials, who are removed from consideration to work in a bowl game. … Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead, who has missed five games with a sprained left knee, said he’s “pretty close” to being able to play, possibly against Minnesota on Saturday. … Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., fired coach Mike Aldrich and offensive coordinator Steve Olinger.