Well, it’s finally happened. The Bryan Harsin experiment is over on The Plains. Perhaps Harsin was never the right man for the job and it was doomed to fail from the start. Speculating on the reasons why it didn’t work out are pretty much pointless now, though. John Cohen, who resigned as AD at Mississippi State over the weekend, will be named the AD at Auburn and his very first major task will be finding a new coach.
The interim head coach has yet to be announced, but really it doesn’t even matter. Auburn will limp to the finish line for the rest of this season and needs a complete hit of the reset button in this coming offseason. After the Penn State game, we took a look at the top possible candidates for the job, and I think this shortlist remains pretty much the same at this point (you can add Matt Rhule as well).
The Harsin era, which did not last a full two seasons, is the shortest tenure for an Auburn head coach in nearly a century and will be remembered for poor play on the field and drama off the field, albeit not at the fault of Harsin. While he showed a disturbing lack of ability to recruit in the SEC, I don’t think Harsin was ever really given a shot due to the fact that the “powers that be” at Auburn never wanted him there.
Moving forward, the 3-5 Tigers still have four more games to play against Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Western Kentucky, and of course, the Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa. But you have to imagine the gears are already turning and wheels are getting into motion with the Auburn brass in terms of the process of finding someone new.
No matter who it is, even their top candidate will have their work cut out for them in building the program back up into a respectable competitor in the SEC West. It’s been a tough year and a half for Tiger fans. Today marks the start of a new era.