As long expected, Bryan Harsin didn’t finish his second year at Auburn. The Tigers have fired their former Boise State coach. Besides, recruiting at Auburn was terrible, largely because of both of these things. The good news: Auburn has some very interesting options and will attract some high-profile coaches. After all, Gene Chisic won a national title there and his successor, Gus Malzahn put the Tigers on the verge of another title.
Lane Kiffin, head coach of Ole Miss
The biggest names to watch are currently working for SEC West. The Rebels are 18-4 and 10-3 in the SEC over the last two seasons, with Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin and former OC of Nick Saban. His team ranks him 11th nationally. He is one of the best offensive spirits in college football. He’s also proven adept at managing his media socially, and knows how to build the kind of buzz that gave Rebel a lot of momentum. When Kiffin left Tuscaloosa, there was a lot of skepticism about whether he could be trusted to run his program, but hiring him proved to be a very smart bet for Florida Atlantic. it was done. So when Hershin got the job two years ago, Kiffin was interested in the job. Among his three big names in action, Tiger Power may feel like the safest and most attractive option for his broker.
Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze
Former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freese left the SEC amid scandal, but no one doubts how aggressively he has the spirit and how he could be recruited by the SEC Freeze led the Rebels to the top 10, defeating Nick Saban’s Alabama team twice. He resurfaced with Liberty, where he is 33-12 overall. There were rumors that SEC boss Greg Sankey was against one of his programs hiring Freese as head coach. If hired, he would quickly bring the Tigers back into the top 20.
Deion Sanders, Jackson State Head Coach
The biggest wild card in this search, who is also the head coach of the Deep South, runs the FCS program: Jackson State University’s Deion Sanders.
The 55-year-old has a 19-2 record over the past two seasons, earning him the Eddie Robinson Award as FCS head coach for the 2021 season. Go to Jackson State. His December of last year, Sanders pulled off a massive recruiting coup for Travis Hunter, the number one recruit in the nation, beating everyone, including his alma mater. There is no doubt that Sanders will be a big force in recruiting. No one has more presence than him. The man has been Saban’s co-star in every Aflac commercial and was dragged into his NIL controversy between Alabama’s head coach and Jimbo Fisher. Sanders was probably one of three people who got out of it without looking good and needing no apology. Mixed responses have been received as to whether Auburn’s brass would be happy with Sanders taking over. The feeling here is that it would be silly not to seriously consider whether the Tigers would be a good fit for him.
Former Carolina Panthers Head Coach Matt Rule
Former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rule is expected to be considered. He struggled in the NFL but did a very good job at Temple and did a great job overhauling Baylor the owls at Temple his last 2 of his season he won 2 wins 10 From the loss he went 20-7. Then, he turned down Oregon for Baylor’s job, taking a one-win team to an 11-3 team after two seasons. The downside: The Pennsylvania native has never worked for his SEC and will probably be hard for people to get over after Harsin’s failure at Auburn.
Mark Stoops, Kentucky head coach
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops knows how to win in the SEC. In his 4 his seasons up to that point, he had 10 wins in his two years, an amazing feat for Kentucky. The Wildcats had only one season in which he won 10 in the last 65 years. Kentucky is 5-3 so far, which is a bit disappointing considering how much he raised expectations for the program. Before Harsin, where the last two coaches won a national title or played for one, would he leave Lexington for another job with the SEC? It may be hard to say, but he’s comfortable enough in the UK.
Dan Lanning, Oregon State Head Coach
Dan Lanning, 36, of Oregon knows the SEC well from his time as an employee in Alabama and Georgia. He had a very good debut his season in Oregon, going 7-1. A year that isn’t even a full season isn’t much experience for a job like this. It’s probably too early for Auburn to make this kind of move.
(Lane Kiffin Photo: Justin Ford/Getty Images)