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What's going on with Bryan Harsin and Auburn?

 Chase Robinson   in Football

Is Auburn about to make a coaching change after one year?

Bryan Harsin photo courtesy of Auburn athletics.

Thirteen months Bryan Harsin's tenure as Auburn's football coach, and rumors are swirling that his job may already be in jeopardy. 

Let's cut to the chase: Harsin went 6-7 in his first year, never really connected with the Auburn community, has lost key assistants left and right and now, the perception is that recruiting isn't going well. More importantly, the big booster base at Auburn isn't happy, and at Auburn, that's darn-near everything. 

How did everything come to a head so quickly? 

Think back to December 22, 2020, when Auburn announced that Harsin would be taking over. His wasn't a name that many knew, especially in the Southeastern portion of the country. There were questions of how he could recruit in the Southeastern Conference, and who he would bring in on his staff, questions answered when he brought in two guys with SEC ties (Derek Mason and Mike Bobo) to be his defensive and offensive coordinators, respectively. 

It was a good start, back then, everybody was happy.  

Now to the 2021 season. It started well. There was a tough loss at Penn State, but then, Auburn got a win in Death Valley at LSU for the first time since 1999 and took down an Ole Miss team that finished the year 10-3. 

Then things got interesting, 

Texas A&M took down Auburn 20-3, and that would the beginning of the downhill slide. Auburn then went on to lose to Mississippi State, South Carolina, rival Alabama in four overtimes, and Houston in the Birmingham Bowl. In all of those games the Tigers had a lead and could not hold on to win.

I mentioned the staff that Harsin brought in. It did not take long before changes were made on this staff. Three games into the season, wide receivesr coach Cornelius Williams was let go. The Monday following the Iron Bowl, Harsin fired Bobo.

The search began for the new offensive coordinator and Harsin went to the NFL and brought in Austin Davis from the Seattle Seahawks. Meanwhile in the month of December, the staff assembled a top 20 recruiting class with 23 guys signing with the Tigers. 

And then things got really interesting. 

On January 22, Mason fled for Oklahoma State to take the same job. Harsin immediately promoted linebackers coach Jeff Schmedding to take his spot. Then, after six weeks on the job, Davis resigned for personal reasons. 

Topping it off, Auburn brought in zero recruits on the second signing day (Feb. 2). 

The Auburn football program is a very well respected program. We know that it's held to a very high standard. It will be interesting to see where this uncertainty leads and whether this relationship is salvageable or it's just time for the parties to move on.