Earlier today, Auburn head coach Gene Chizik seemed to be holding out hope that senior defensive linemen Michael Goggans and Mike Blanc -- neither a starter, but both regular rotation members at defensive end and tackle, respectively -- could somehow avoid the SEC -mandated half-game suspension for their ejections at the end of the Tigers' win over Georgia .
The league office has wasted no time, however, in letting Chizik know he should probably go ahead and hope for something more likely , like a pogo stick:
SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom said Monday there is no appeal, and, such, Blanc and Goggans will not be available in the first half of the Nov. 26 game [against Alabama] ...Whatever Auburn's defense was, what it is now is down two players who might have helped Auburn keep in check an Alabama offense that (despite the occasional sputter this season) remains loaded with talent and may be fully back on track after unloading 452 total yards and 30 points on a good Mississippi State defense.
Chizik said he was "embarrassed" by the actions of Blanc and Goggans after the game.
"That's not who we are,'' he said.
The Tigers have made a habit this season of falling behind early and dominating late, but on the road against a team with the Tide's combination of offensive explosiveness and defensive coaching acumen, another slow start could prove fatal to their BCS championship hopes. Goggans' and Blanc's absences don't guarantee yet another start like that, but they certainly won't help Auburn avoid one, either.