Success in the SEC is hard to come by on a weekly basis if you don’t have the right pieces in place. Whether that be players or coaches, Auburn is finding that out the hard way as they enter the bye-week. The lingering issue of the current head coach Bryan Harsin doesn’t help the situation either.
Coming off the loss to Ole Miss, Auburn fans have to wonder what’s next. Is this team capable of winning in the SEC or has this ship already sailed? The coaches will undoubtedly tell you that they are close to putting it together, but the administration is dealing with hard times.
There were times on Saturday against the Rebels where it felt as though the final wheel was falling off the car. It was 21-0 at one point in the game, leading many to believe that this ship was going down quick. But then we started to see some fight out of the Tigers, cutting it to a four-point game in the second half.
So it seems as if this team hasn’t lost its will to fight, even after dropping its third straight game. But we’re still at a point where the future is looking bleak and the solutions are running thin. This type of Auburn football team is not what fans are used to, given how they’ve lost games. Remember, if it weren’t for Missouri missing a chip-shot field goal, the Tigers would be winless in conference play.
Harsin’s Team Hasn’t Given Up
It’s never about if a team wants to win, that’s obvious. But what we have at Auburn is mixture of coaching problems and player miscues. According to Bryan Harsin, who spoke at two quarterback clubs on Monday, he thinks this team is closer to wins than what it seems.
“Those guys know we’re a lot closer than what it seems,” Harsin discussed on Monday. “And so, a few things here and there. That’s what changes the game. But that’s football as well. And the reality of it is we didn’t win. Ole Miss did. They did it better than we did today. So, what we have to do is go back and figure out what we can control and how we’re going to improve and get better and what we can do going into the next game to find a way to win.”
The never-ending chatter about Harsin’s job status isn’t going away anytime soon either. This will be a topic discussed over the next two weeks around the country and local airwaves in SEC country.. But for Harsin, he’s trying to say out of the fray and not pay attention to any of the chatter.
“It’s not everywhere I look. That’s not where I go. I’ve said it before, it doesn’t matter where I’ve been or what I’ve done, I focus on the job I have to do. Control the controllable’s. I learned that a long time ago and that’s something I’m very grateful for. I learned that as a young coach just to focus on the task at hand and have the discipline to do that.
“To me, that’s what everyone should do,” Harsin added. “When you get caught up in things that are out of your control, it doesn’t matter what you do, we’re talking football, I think that’s a disaster for anybody.”
Auburn President In Control, Along With Money Men
President Christopher Roberts understand the problems right now with the football program, but is a steadfast man, working through every detail. The buyout for Harsin would be around $15.3 million if fired this year, fifty percent in the first two months. Not having former AD Allen Greene around doesn’t help the situation, who hired Harsin while the boosters were against it.
This past weekend we witnessed a football team still responding to the head coach, fighting until the they had nothing left. I’d say this is a good sign for Harsin and his staff, given all the circumstances that are surrounding his job status.
But there will come a time in the very near future where the decision needs to be made and Auburn cuts the check. The waiting game is pointless, given the early signing period and new transfer portal windows. Delaying the inevitable will only last for so long before things get truly out of control within the building.
Winning one game in their last nine against power 5 teams won’t cut it. 3-9 n the last twelve games sounds even worse. The remaining schedule won’t help, with SEC games against Arkansas, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Alabama.
If Auburn decides to wait much longer to make a decision on Harsin, you could setback the program even further. It’s time for someone on the plains to make a decision and stop dangling a carrot in front of Bryan Harsin, as this soap-opera has been going on for almost ten months.