Auburn Tigers College Football Preview 2021: What Will Happen, Season Prediction
So you’re not fired up to get Bryan Harsin as your head coach, why?
To get really general here – based on the underwhelming reaction over the last few months from Tiger and SEC fans – there hasn’t been the weeping and gnashing of teeth like there was when Gene Chizik was hired away from Iowa State, but no one seems to be jumping for joy to get the Boise State head coach.
Two caveats here. 1) You NEVER know what coaching hires are going to work and which ones won’t – again, Gene Chizik – and 2) almost all coaches are hired to be fired, or they leave for something better.
With that said …
Harsin was a strong call to potentially get in cheap on the stock.
All Harsin has done is win four conference championships in his eight years as a head coach, win at least a part of the division three other times, and won nine games and a bowl in the one season he didn’t take a team to some sort of title.
He got Boise State to the first New Year’s Six bowl the CFP threw to the top Group of Five champion – beating Arizona in the 2014 Fiesta – and compiled a 69-19 record in his seven years.
Yeah, he never coached before in the SEC – and that’s okay. He won a conference championship in his one season at Arkansas State, just like Hugh Freeze did. Just like Gus Malzahn did.
But make no mistake about it; Auburn is a tough gig as long as the program a few hours up the road is still doing what it’s doing.
Set The Auburn Tigers Regular Season Win Total At … 7
Malzahn won an SEC Championship, got to another, almost won a national title, and his Tigers beat Alabama three times – likely keeping Nick Saban from one extra national championship – and it was never quite enough.
So what does Harsin have to do to make this job work?
Don’t lose four or more games every year like Malzahn did after 2013.
Malzahn was fine, but Auburn fans know what it’s like to win a national title. It’s not that a crazy expectation for the Tigers to catch fire, have a strong year, and then pull off a win over Alabama on the way to the SEC Championship.
But give Harsin a year before that starts to happen. You don’t just walk into the SEC West and take over when it’s about to be as strong as it’s ever been in a super-senior year.
Like it should be for all new head coaches, the idea is to show the fan base a plan. Show a system, an attitude, something that makes everyone fired up for what’s coming.
Few coaches in college football history did a better job of that in Year One at a gig than Malzahn.
Even though this should be a rough year at times, let’s see what Harsin can pull off.