Chizik has received ‘100s’ of supportive emails

AUBURN, Ala. 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 have fallen to 2-8 and have

only one more chance to avoid a winless Southeastern Conference season

— a visit to No. 4 Alabama following Saturday’s game against FCS

Alabama A&M.

“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.”

Chizik said Sunday he feels confident he can turn this program around. It remains to be seen if he’ll get that chance.

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.

The Tigers are coming off a 38-0 loss

to No. 5 Georgia and also fell 63-21 to No. 9 Texas A&M two weeks

ago, prompting thousands of fans to leave both games early. The only

home sellout was a 12-10 loss to No. 8 LSU.

All that has put plenty of heat from fans on Chizik, who said criticism is part of the job.

“When you get into this business as a

player or a coach, if that hurts your feelings and you can’t handle

that, then you shouldn’t be a player or a coach because that’s what

comes with the territory,” he said. “It’s very simple — it’s all about

winning and losing. There are a lot of other things out there that

really, really matter, but at the end of the day a lot of people see

wins and losses.”

Chizik said the 13 seniors who will be

recognized before their final home game against Alabama A&M deserve

“an outstanding” reception from fans.

That group includes leading tackler

linebacker Daren Bates and top receiver Emory Blake, along with tailback

Onterio McCalebb and injured tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen. They

played on two 8-5 teams and for the 2010 national champions before this

season’s slide.

“After this last game, after we play

Alabama, I believe I’m going to be able to forget about this year and

move on,” McCalebb said. “I have to move on with my life. I’ll be a man

and I’ll be out there in the real world doing the things I want to do.

“I definitely didn’t want to have a

season like this, but you win some and you lose some. Ten years from

now, I’m going to look back and say something a lot of people can’t say:

I won a national championship.”