Where does Auburn go from here?

As reality sinks in

Auburn announced Friday that it will retain football coach Bryan Harsin, but here’s the part it left unsaid: The embattled coach whose tenure subsists today can be fired more easily nine months from now.

Harsin survived a university inquiry, and that will be celebrated as a victory by those who like to see someone stand up to the establishment and prevail.

But here’s the harsh reality: This is Harsin’s first victory since before Halloween.

Harsin’s triumph over Auburn’s kangaroo court doesn’t change the fact that his program will take a five-game losing streak into this season. It doesn’t change that Auburn lost more than it gained in the transfer portal. It doesn’t change that Harsin must hire a coordinator for the third time since November. And it doesn’t change Auburn’s lack of recruiting momentum.

In fact, this investigation and the public criticism of Harsin’s leadership style by some former players could further hamper recruiting.

‘Ya think?

In effect — and it’s ironic when you consider — Auburn, the school that turned blowing off NCAA investigations into an art form, has managed to self-engineer all the impact of NCAA sanctions without actually being under NCAA investigation.  Neat trick, fellas.

Oh, and the bleeding hasn’t stopped yet.

Add to the mess that the president and AD who hired Harsin in the first place are both on their way out the door and you’ve got one isolated head football coach.

From where I sit, Auburn’s upcoming season goes one of two ways:  either Harsin does one helluva coaching job and manages to rally the remaining troops around an “us against the world” mindset (don’t forget Tater Tot once milked an undefeated season out of doing just that), or the team collapses at the first sign of adversity and Harsin doesn’t make it through the season.

Either way, don’t forget the popcorn.



Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

30 responses to “Where does Auburn go from here?

  1. drunkenmonken

    I have a suggestion as to where they can go.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. biggusrickus

    Tater Tot had a fairly loaded team to rally around him in 2004. Harsin doesn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True, but I’m not expecting Auburn to go undefeated this season, even if they have headwinds behind them.

      Finishing 8-4, considering how the year has started, would be a pretty good feather in Harsin’s cap. And it would probably keep the boosters off his back for another season.

      Liked by 1 person

      • biggusrickus

        It’s such a cluster over there, I’m not sure it would, but 8-4 with their roster and schedule would at least make it a harder decision to fire him. Honestly, I can’t imagine it being anything other than a disaster next year. 4-8 isn’t inconceivable, given what they’re losing off a defense that kept them competitive this past season and little reason to expect the offense to improve.


      • 81Dog

        I’m taking the under on that one. 🙂

        HOW many does he have to win to keep his job? Is there a magic number of Ls that gets him fired in season?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Considering that there’ll probably be a new AD by the time the 2022 season comes to a close, I think Harsin’s probably out unless he manages to pull ten wins out of his ass. Four-loss seasons were what eventually cooked Malzahn, and he’d banked a lot more good will than Harsin has.


    • Gaskilldawg

      Tater Tot didn’t coach Auburn in 2004. Senator Ears coached Auburn in 2004.
      Tater Tot’s undefeated team was 1993, IIRC.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Derek

      1993 was Tot’s first and undefeated season.

      Tubs went undefeated in 2004.

      “Jet Gate” was two days before the 2003 Alabama game. Which Auburn won.


  3. practicaldawg

    They open against 2 cupcakes in a row, then face Penn State, Mizz, LSU, and UGA in a row. That’s probably when the wheels fly off the bus.


    • Harold Miller

      They do have 8 home games and start with 5 in a row. I could see here they could start out winning a few and get the Auburn fools gold going along with some requisite Heisman chatter, and then the other shoe drops.


      • Darin Cochran

        But they play the 2 alpha teams in the country on the road (Bama and UGA). They play Ole Miss on the road as well. TAM, Penn St, LSU and Ark at home. LSU has a boost of adrenelin with their new coach and Ark has the second best QB in the SEC West, maybe the entire conference behind BY. I can easily see another losing season on the horizon with that schedule.


  4. 3rdandGrantham

    Simply put, Auburn could not afford both Gus’ buyout and Harsin’s (to the tune of 40m). The big money boosters there never wanted BH to begin with, so it’s no surprise that they refused to entertain the idea of coughing up money in order to now oust him (and in effect covering up the AD’s mess).

    The Auburn family is a completely dysfunctional one and has been for years. Unfortunately for them, it’s only going to get worse from here.

    Liked by 4 people

    • miltondawg

      Correct. Harsin didn’t survive the inquiry so much as the school and boosters didn’t want to pony up another $18MM to get rid of him right now.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Bulldawg Bill

    All the drama of a soap opera without those annoying commercials!!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. NotMyCrossToBear


    Liked by 1 person

  7. theotherdoug

    So, what top coach is going to take that job after they fire Harsin? I guess they can pay some absolutely crazy $ that is 100% guaranteed, but outside of that it’s going to be Kevin Steele making way more than he’s worth. I and we all know Kevin Steele will be fired in less than 3 years.

    Auburn’s system of bagmen and firing coaches until you get a hot team isn’t working anymore, and these idiots keep doubling down.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ugafidelis

    ‘Good night Brian, sleep well. We’ll most likely fire you in the morning.’

    Liked by 5 people

  9. ben

    Hate it for ’em. Seriously, I’ve wished for a cratering of the Auburn program for years, and these idiots have maybe done it to themselves.


  10. In the spirit of Valentines Day…Harsin is fu-screwed

    But because Cupid is a capricious little imp (really because of Auburn and the boosters’ greed) so is the football program…

    Love and kisses you hillbilly asswipes…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. MGW

    “Come rebuild Auburn! You get to play LSU, Georgia, Alabama, and Texas A&M every year, and if you don’t win, we’ll try to torpedo your marriage to cheat you out of your buyout!”

    Top tier coaches will be falling all over themselves for the job in nine months.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Only one man can fix this.

    Ed Orgeron.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. The Decider

    I think Hugh Freeze is the guy they want and for some reason he was not available right now so they kept Harsin.


    • theotherdoug

      I don’t think they had the money.

      I think they are approaching $30 million to Malzahn, his staff, and Bobo, and there probably wasn’t $18 million for Harsin, a few more million for his staff, and whatever the admin assistant sues for. They were looking at $60 million in a year!

      Harsin is a dead man walking and they will pay him $15 million, but little else in December.

      Liked by 2 people

      • theotherdoug

        Also, stop and think what all of those numbers would look like if they had just kept Malzahn for one more year and then hired Freeze. They’ve blown $40 million.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. sundiatagaines

    It’s really hilarious. Harsin has done some objectively not good things since becoming coach. 6-7 record, bad recruiting, coaches bolting, players transferring and saying not nice things. But despite all that, he ends up looking like the sympathetic one here. Again, hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person