It's another week in the middle of the 2022 college football season, so it must have been Auburn's turn. Bryan Harsin on Monday became the , this following a 41-27 loss to Arkansas that dropped him to 3-10 across his last 13 games and 1-9 in his last 10 against Power Five opponents.
Harsin's teams were competitive but just not good enough where, in the SEC alone this season, Tennessee has turned itself around, Ole Miss is making waves, and both Alabama and Georgia remain the cream of the crop.
Harsin would likely still be employed had he beaten Bama last season. That seems like 37 years ago. In a position it frequently finds itself, Auburn is ready to move on.
Athletic director Alan Greene, the man who hired Harsin, resigned a week before the season. The Tigers appear to be in the process of naming Mississippi State's John Cohen to the same role.
Harsin seemed like a misplaced hire from the beginning. A coach who had spent most of his career out West was descending into the belly of the Southern beast. In the end, it ate him up. Good news for Harsin: He would seem to be a good fit at Arizona State or Colorado, a couple of programs with open jobs both in need of a turnaround.
The coaching search is going to be a wild one with agents trying to slot their guys for extensions, raises and some major national jobs. Insiders will be lobbying for their guy. Anything is possible at a place that is looking for its second coach since 2020.
Auburn coaching candidates
Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss coach: Something tells me super-agent Jimmy Sexton is going to use this listing alone for a giant extension for Kiffin -- at least. Auburn probably has more resources and more tradition than Ole Miss, but this is a big decision for Kiffin if the Tigers hierarchy centers on him. That's two straight turnarounds we've seen Kiffin execute at FAU and Ole Miss. The Rebels are off to their best start to begin a season since 1962. Auburn would be the toughest of all because Kiffin's old boss is right up the road.
Hugh Freeze, Liberty coach: Freeze wants it so bad he would crawl on his hands and knees to Auburn. Some might say the 53-year-old has paid his penance for misdeeds; others would perhaps disagree. More than that, though, he has been successful at Liberty going 33-12 overall with a 7-1 record in his fourth season. This is a match made in Jimmy Rane's back room. Freeze desperately wants back in, which gives those shadowy boosters a bit of leverage over him. But the guy can coach. Isn't that what Auburn needs more than anything right now? Freeze recently agreed to a new eight-year contract that will pay him .
Kenny Dillingham, Oregon offensive coordinator: If you want to take a chance, this is your guy. In 2019, as a 29-year-old, Dillingham was the offensive coordinator for Gus Malzahn's last good team at Auburn. The Tigers won nine games, beat three top 20 teams (including Alabama) and averaged 33 points a game. Dillingham birthed the Bo Nix era (16 touchdowns as a freshman). The two reunited at Oregon where Nix has matured with the Ducks as a fringe Heisman Trophy contender. There's plenty to like there for Auburn if they want to go extremely young.
Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina coach: I'll ask again: Why Chadwell doesn't have a better by job? Nearing the fourth anniversary of his hiring, the Chanticleers are 37-20 under Chadwell with a 7-1 mark this season. Auburn would probably make Chadwell change his assistants to look more like an SEC staff, but there's no questioning what he's done taking a 5-7 team in 2019 to a program that is 29-4 since.
Jeff Grimes, Baylor offensive coordinator: The tie for Grimes to Auburn is being the Tigers' offensive line coach from 2009-12 under Gene Chizik. That run includes a national championship. Since then, Grimes has bounced around but has become one of the more respected play callers in the game. In his last year as BYU's offensive coordinator, the Cougars averaged more than 43 points. Last season, Baylor won the Big 12 averaging 31 points per game. Offensive tackle Connor Galvin was all-Big 12. His star may have dimmed as the Bears have slipped to 5-3 this season.
Matt Rhule, former Baylor, Temple, Carolina Panthers coach: All indications are Rhule is going to sit out 2023, review his options, and maybe do some TV. This turnaround artist should be Auburn's No. 1 target, but he's smart enough not to get involved with the meddlers on The Plains. His next job should be at a place where it's absolutely set up to win (think Lincoln Riley at USC). Still, Auburn has to call and make Rhule say no for what would have to be $7 million to $8 million per year.
Deion Sanders, Jackson State coach: On "60 Minutes" a couple weeks ago, Coach Prime said he would "straight up" have to consider a Power Five job. The question: Would Auburn consider Coach Prime. for a Power Five role. Despite his flamboyant exterior, he has the recruiting and tactical ability to take over a major program. Jackson State is currently fourth in FCS scoring offense and first in scoring defense.
Kevin Steele, Miami defensive coordinator: Steele is the former Auburn interim coach who some say was promised the job after Malzahn was fired. While things haven't gone swimmingly at Miami this season, is impressive. He will have powerful support, but at age 64, is this the guy with whom Auburn wants to rebuild?
Check out what our experts at 247Sports' Auburn Undercover have to say about replacing Harsin in their Hot Board 1.0 now that the Tigers' coaching search has officially begun.