With Five Coaches Already Fired, Auburn’s Bryan Harsin Is Bill Murray In Groundhog Day

As the college football world continues to change and firing coaches has become the norm, Auburn has decided to turn Bryan Harsin into Bill Murray from “Groundhog Day.”

We’ve witnessed the fifth FBS coach to be fired this season — with Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst getting the axe — but folks on the Plains continue to delay the inevitable.

Heading into the dreaded matchup with Georgia on Saturday, Harsin is 9-9 as Auburn’s head coach.

Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin
Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin prior to the game against the Missouri Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Sept. 24, 2022, in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Offseason turmoil has surfaced as the 2022 season rolls along. Auburn administrators and boosters sit on their hands waiting to make a call. Harsin as head coach isn’t working out.

While it doesn’t mean Harsin is a bad football coach, it does mean Auburn wasn’t the right fit from the start. The minute former Auburn AD Allen Greene hired the former Boise State head coach, boosters were working on a plan for his exit.

In his first season at Auburn, Harsin’s team finished 6-7 overall and 3-5 in conference play. So far this season, the Tigers are 3-2 and 1-1 in conference play.

Auburn has one win in its last seven games against Power 5 opponents dating back to last season.

Since beating Ole Miss on Oct. 30, 2021, the Tigers are 4-6 in their last 10 games accounting for wins against San Jose State and Mercer.

The only Power 5 win during that 10-game span was secured as Auburn beat Missouri.

In its last five SEC games, Auburn has held a double-digit lead but went on to lose four of those five games.

It’s almost as if ‘Ned Ryerson’ is coming around the corner to surprise the Tigers every time they step on the field.

This is college football. When the head coach isn’t used to the backdoor dealings of a school like Auburn, he pays the price at the end.

It was obvious when the public investigation into Harsin’s practices as a coach were put on public display. The closed door coaches meeting last spring where Harsin had to be ushered through a backdoor at SEC headquarters should’ve been a clear indication.

The off-field matters aren’t Harsin’s fault, or his family’s fault — this is simply Auburn.

It’s not uncommon for SEC schools to not risk further damage. Look to Mississippi State and Arkansas as examples.

Once the athletic directors figured out Chad Morris and Joe Moorehead weren’t going to make it, the decision was made to let them go.

Sometimes things don’t work out, and that’s OK. But continuing to put your coach in front of a microphone on a weekly basis, when you know the final outcome, is a waste of time.

I know, Auburn technicality doesn’t have a permanent athletic director, but President Christopher Roberts can handle this on his own.

Will the Auburn Tigers fire head football coach Bryan Harsin? (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Will Auburn fire football coach Bryan Harsin? (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

It means appointing an interim head coach. Just as Nebraska, Colorado, Wisconsin, Arizona State and Georgia Tech have done.

Early signing period doesn’t help in these situations, neither does the new transfer portal window.

What happens when Auburn most likely gets destroyed by Georgia this weekend?

Is the school going to trot out Harsin for his Monday press conference to preview Ole Miss and act like this thing can be turned around?

The Tigers can’t afford anymore bad press. It seems the school is a glutton for punishment.

Harsin was asked Monday about the recent coaching changes around college football and a new sense of urgency in regards to coaching. He said he thinks every program is different.

“I don’t know if it has to do with anything bigger than that,” Harsin said. “I couldn’t tell you each and every program’s situation and where they are and those types of things. That’s just part of it — I don’t know if there is a better answer than that.”

Auburn is different. Bryan Harsin currently living out the same day on repeat.

Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.

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