Brian Harsin survived the Auburn University investigation in February. He could not stand what happened on the field in September and October.
Harsin is knocked out as Auburn coach after just eight games into his second season on the sidelines for the Tigers, and no one should be surprised. Having only had a drama at Auburn this winter, Harsin needed an exceptionally strong start to turn the heat down and give himself a sobering chance in his third year. It didn’t help him when in late August the school split from athletic director Allen Green. , who employed Harsin as an outsider from the Pacific Northwest. (Sources told ESPN’s Pete Tamil that Mark Cohen, Mississippi, was finalizing a deal on Monday to replace Greene at Auburn.)
The team did not deliver either. After two lukewarm wins to start the season, Auburn was flattened by Penn State at home on September 17, and was very fortunate to beat Missouri in overtime. A 17-0 lead blows home in a loss to LSU He started a four-game loss streak that culminated with a 41-27 loss to Arkansas this weekend. Then Auburn pulled the plug on the Harsin era, which some felt was doomed from the start. He finished 9-12 at Auburn.
A strange sleeper on the Plains, Harsin lacked SEC experience and spent all but four years of his career in his hometown of Boise, Iowa, where he played quarterback for Boise State. Although Auburn has chewed and spit out all manner of coaches since Hall of Famer Pat Dye, the program is a little more lenient toward its own. Green acted independently on Harsin’s appointment, and both eventually did not last.
This time around, Auburn’s top reinforcements will likely have a bigger role in hiring. A former SEC assistant described Auburn this way: “The worst good job in the country.” Despite all the dysfunction around the show, Auburn has the potential to win big. The Tigers won a national title in 2010, played for another team in 2013 and won the SEC West Division in 2017. Despite sharing a state with Alabama and coach Nick Saban, Auburn is in a strong position for recruits and boasts a large and passionate fan base. After Harsin-Greene exits, it is widely expected that Auburn will hire someone more closely associated with the program and/or the SEC.
Here’s a look at who Auburn could think of to replace Harsin, from several strong candidates to a few long shots. There may be a crossover with the Georgia Tech candidate, who got a slight start looking for an internship.
“Student. Incurable problem solver. Amateur baconaholic. Introvert. Infuriatingly humble music fanatic.”