Alabama, Auburn on different paths

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Talk about a pair of rival programs on opposite ends of the football planet right now.

It’s anything but your normal Iron Bowl.

A shot at a third national championship in the past four years could be in Alabama’s immediate future if the No. 2 Crimson Tide win Saturday against Auburn.

For Auburn, this is likely Gene Chizik’s last game as coach unless the Tigers can pull off a stunning upset and avoid their first 0-8 season in the SEC in school history.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs wouldn’t get into specifics Saturday before the game, but conceded that a decision, one way or the other, would be made quickly.

“We need to know which way we’re going in the next few days and then move on from there,” Jacobs said.

The Tigers have lost their past nine SEC games going back to last season, and went into Saturday’s game as nearly a five-touchdown underdog.