Category Archives: Auburn’s Cast of Thousands

New math, Plains style

So, I came across this on a message board…


… and that got me to wondering about Dennis Dodd’s piece on Harsin, where he noted,

If that was the picture of a lifer, it wasn’t a bad one. Harsin comes to The Plains as the ninth-winningest active FBS coach, (with more than one year experience) having won 76% of his games. The issue with that stat is Harsin will now play three coaches annually with better career winning percentages (Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher at 76.8%, Georgia’s Kirby Smart at 78.8% and Saban at 80%).

Hmmm.  Something doesn’t appear to add up.  Aha!  There’s an eighth year.

Screenshot_2021-02-24 Bryan Harsin - Wikipedia

The comparison is ludicrous enough on its face, but to crimp his track record to make the numbers fit is even cringier.  Although I suspect it’ll become a moot point after the 2021 season.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Welcome to the neighborhood

Hey, Auburn’s got to be excited about Bryan Harsin.  After all, having won 76% of his games, he’s the ninth-winningest active FBS coach (with more than one year experience).

There is a catch, though.

The issue with that stat is Harsin will now play three coaches annually with better career winning percentages (Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher at 76.8%, Georgia’s Kirby Smart at 78.8% and Saban at 80%).

I’m sure referring to ‘Bama as the “team up north” will soon fix that, though.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Is the Gus Bus parking in a new garage?

I’m sure some saw this coming as soon as Malzahn’s old Arkansas State boss got a new job.

UCF has offered Gus Malzahn its head football coaching job, a source confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel Sunday night.

Malzahn, 55, spent the past eight seasons as coach at Auburn, where he led the Tigers to a 68-35 overall record and a 39-27 mark in the SEC. He was fired on Dec. 13 following a 6-4 campaign and a third-place finish in the SEC West.

It’s unclear whether Malzahn will accept the UCF offer.

Pat Forde says he expressed interest in the job last weekend, so I’m guessing it’s gonna happen.  Nothing like bringing home the guy who helped bring you your first national championship.  Circle of life, man.

I’m only half joking, but is it possible that Malzahn’s trading up?


UPDATE:  Per Bruce Feldman ($$), Todd Monken was also a target for the UCF job.  For everything you’ve done for UGA, thanks, again, Gus.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

TFW there’s not enough money in college sports

When you can blow $20 million on Gus Malzahn’s buyout, this doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.

Hey, don’t knock it.  If there’s ever a situation when a pilot on an Auburn charter plane goes down mid-flight, all that flight simulator time could come in mighty handy.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

TFW you thought you had your staff settled


Rodney Garner now gets to play UT and Auburn against each other?  Never one to miss an opportunity, I bet that man be smiling today.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, The NFL Is Your Friend.

The state is loaded.

Thought this was interesting enough to share:

Keep in mind that’s not simply reflective of the geographic shift after Malzahn’s hire.  He chose to emphasize Georgia more after Kirby Smart came on board and upped Georgia’s recruiting from where Richt had it.  What does that tell you about the level of talent high schools in this state crank out year after year?

What does that tell you about how lazy a recruiter Paul Johnson was?


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Recruiting

Tuesday morning buffet

All Tennessee, all the time.

  • Dennis Dodd“Yes, the Tennessee job remains attractive, but is it good? Florida, Georgia (in the SEC East) and Alabama are better. Those programs certainly have more dignity.”
  • Lest we forget“… Fulmer himself signed a two-year extension through 2023, which included a six-figure retention bonus. Of all the people in sports administration in America, Phillip Fulmer wasn’t going anywhere. Nobody else would hire him to be an AD. And here was Tennessee giving him retention bonuses for a job he was never suited to have to begin with.”
  • Pete Thamel“Instead of reestablishing glory, Tennessee ended up microwaving rotting salmon. Fulmer was the fish at the SEC poker table from the moment he sat down. And Tennessee officials were the only ones in the league who failed to realize he was under-qualified, overmatched and destined to transition the corpse of Tennessee’s football program from a shallow grave to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. There’s a new batch of administrators now who would dream of the issues the program had under Butch Jones.”
  • Wes Rucker“This is one hell of a mess — even by Tennessee standards.”
  • Ralph Russo3 years later, Tennessee is worse off than it was and looking for exactly what it had.
  • Bruce FeldmanOnce again, the Vols have a coaching search on their hands. Peyton Manning will have a big role in this decision, sources tell me.”
  • John TaltyJeremy Pruitt has told those around him this year if he gets fired, he’ll just go back to Alabama and work for Saban again.
  • After the 2017 college football season, six SEC schools hired head coaches. Four of them have already been fired.
  • Auburn and Tennessee have fired coaches in the same season in 2008, 2012, and now 2020.

If I’m honest, I have to admit with as much pleasure as I took from correctly predicting that Junior would bail on UT at the first opportunity, this is giving me more.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, SEC Football

Columbia West

Will the last coach to leave South Carolina for Auburn cut the lights off on the way out?

I don’t want to say that happened in the dead of night, but it went down so fast Rocker hasn’t even had time to change his Twitter bio yet.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Making moves at Auburn

Well, if I were Bryan Harsin and had never coached a day in my life in the SEC, I would be trying to find a few folks to add to my staff who had.

And according to FootballScoop, that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Sources tell FootballScoop Bryan Harsin is seeking to bring South Carolina offensive coordinator Mike Bobo in for the Auburn offensive coordinator position.

Bobo was retained by new Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer, and just two days ago had a new 2-year deal worth $1.2 million annually approved by the board of trustees, but sources tell FootballScoop that Auburn is seeking to hire Bobo for the offensive coordinator position on Bryan Harsin’s new staff.

Former Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason, who rose to acclaim as defensive coordinator at Stanford, is expected to become Bryan Harsin’s defensive coordinator at Auburn University, multiple sources confirmed Wednesday night to FootballScoop. The hiring, pending background checks and final authorizations, is expected to be complete this week.

From my selfish perspective, I’m okay with both of those.  Sure, it’ll be a little weird seeing Bobo in orange and blue, but it’ll mean that South Carolina, which is apparently on a budget, is going to have to scramble to find another coordinator.  (I reserve my right to change my mind if Bobo can actually coax a decent quarterback out of Bo Nix, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.)

As for Mason, he was gonna go somewhere in the conference.  Better Auburn, where he’ll replace a very good DC in what should be little more than a break even proposition, than, say, Florida (I know) or LSU, where he’d be a major upgrade.


UPDATE:  Will Friend, too.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

TFW reality sets in

Really, this “inside” look at the decision making process involved in hiring Auburn’s replacement for Gus Malzahn is more predictable than anything else, a dash of ass covering, a smidgen of finger pointing at anonymous power brokers and a touch of pumping up the independence of the AD and president (yeah, sure), but there is a touch of comedy gold buried in the middle of it all.

Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin interviewed on Monday and impressed those involved in the search. After years of watching quarterbacks struggle to develop once they arrived at Auburn, those involved in the search believe Harsin has the skills and track record to change that.

They grew weary of all the preseason Heisman Trophy candidate talk?  I’m dying, Jerry.

By the way, if you want to know what really sealed the deal for Harsin, it’s in the very next sentence.

He had a minimal $250,000 buyout to leave Boise State, making him much more financially palatable than coaches like Oregon’s Mario Cristobal, who come with big buyouts on top of the $21.4 million Auburn must pay Malzahn.

I will give Auburn some credit.  At least they have some vague awareness of the limits there, unlike, say, Tennessee.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands