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College football roundup: Auburn fires Chizik

The SportsXchange

Just two years after winning the national title, Auburn fired coach Gene Chizik.

The school made the announcement Sunday, a day after the Tigers were blanked 49-0 by Alabama. It was the most lopsided Iron Bowl game since 1948 and second-worst ever.

Auburn finished the year 3-9 and failed to win an SEC game. It was the Tigers' worst season in terms of number of losses since 1950 when they finished 0-10.

Auburn was outscored 150-21 in their final three SEC games.

The Tigers went 33-19, including 15-17 in SEC games, under Chizik.

"I'm extremely disappointed with the way this season turned out and I apologize to the Auburn family and our team for what they have had to endure," Chizik said in a statement.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said a search committee that includes alumni Mac Crawford, Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson will assist in finding a new coach.

Chizik will be paid $3.5 million annually for the next three years when he contract ends.

---North Carolina State announced Sunday that it fired coach Tom O'Brien.

The firing happened a day after the Wolfpack beat his former team, Boston College, 27-10.

Under O'Brien, the Wolfpack compiled a 40-35 record, 22-26 in the ACC.

O'Brien will be paid at least $1.2 million for the next three years before his contract expires.

Offensive coordinator Dana Bible will coach the Wolfpack (7-5) in its bowl game.

---Danny Hope has been dismissed as the Purdue's head football coach after four seasons, the school announced on Sunday, one day after Purdue beat Indiana 56-35 in its final regular-season game to become bowl-eligible.

Wide receivers coach Patrick Higgins will serve as interim head coach for the Boilermakers' bowl game.

Hope will receive a $600,000 buyout. Purdue had a 23-27 overall record under Hoper, including 13-19 in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers are 6-6 this season, including 3-5 in the conference.

---Alabama will be without wide receiver Kenny Bell when it plays for the SEC championship and a spot in the BCS title game Saturday against Georgia.

Coach Nick Saban said after the Crimson Tide's 49-0 shutout over Auburn that Bell sustained a broken leg during the game.

Bell, Alabama's top deep threat, will have a rod inserted into the tibia and will not be able to start running again for five to six weeks, according to NBC Sports' College Football Talk.

If Alabama advances to the Jan. 7 championship, Bell's availability is in doubt.

Bell averages 26.3 yards per reception.

---The top three teams stayed in their spots by both major polls, which were released Sunday.

Notre Dame, Alabama and Georgia are still atop the AP media poll and USA Today coaches poll.

The Fighting Irish (12-0) received all 60 first place votes by the AP but 56 of 59 in the coaches poll. No. 2 Alabama got two first place votes and No. 3 Georgia received one.

Notre Dame will play the winner of the SEC championship game between Alabama and Georgia for the national championship Jan. 7.

Ohio State, also 12-0, is fourth in the media poll but is ineligible to be ranked in the coaches poll and is banned from the postseason because of NCAA sanctions.

---Ralph Montalvo, a reserve quarterback on Navy's football team, is in critical condition as a result of injuries suffered in a car accident, according to the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md.

Montalvo was a passenger in a one-car accident while at home in Miami over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the report. He is listed in critical condition with unspecified injuries and was placed in a medically-induced coma.

Montalvo is a true freshman who was the team's third-string quarterback at end of the regular season.
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