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My Auburn Wish List

By on November 28th, 2012 in Football 65 Comments »

If you were king of the Auburn search committee, who would be your first choice for head coach? Sand Mountain Tiger, a regular contributor to TET, suggested this list on Monday, and I thought it was a great idea.

Who would be on your short list and in what order? Be realistic. Jon Gruden is not walking through the door at Auburn. List your top 5 in order.

I’ll go first, but let me say that I’m torn and really everyone on my list would be a great choice (in my opinion). So here goes…

(1)  Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State Head Coach) – He would bring excitement back to Auburn and his offense would be a perfect match for the personnel we have on campus. Plus, he could expand the recruiting footprint to Oklahoma and Texas.

(2)  Gus Malzahn (Arkansas State Head Coach) – He’s an offensive genius and has recruited most every kid on the Auburn roster. When given the opportunity to run the offense his way, he’s hard to stop. He’s going to land at a big time program; it might as well be Auburn.

(3)  Chris Petersen (Boise State Head Coach) – No one has a better record in college football over the last five years than Petersen. He’s proven in bowl games that he can beat the big boys. One negative is that he’s never recruited the South. He could off-set that with his staff, but it would still be an obstacle. Could he win in the SEC? I believe he could with the right support.

(4)  Jimbo Fisher (Florida State Head Coach) – He knows Auburn better than most, having served as an assistant for six years during the Bowden era. His wife is an Auburn graduate, so he gets it. He would not miss a beat on the recruiting front and could likely save most of Auburn’s 2013 recruiting class. On the flip side, despite two good years at FSU, many believe he’s underachieved considering the talent on campus.

(5)  Gary Patterson (TCU Head Coach) – He’s said to have bombed his interview with Auburn back in 2008. However, his on-field performance has been at the top of the class. There’s nothing splashy about Patterson. He’s not going to stir excitement like others, but he does do one thing well, and that’s winning.


  1. sparkey sparkey says:

    1. Bob Stoops
    2. Jimbo Fisher
    3. Charlie Strong
    4. Kirby Smart
    5. Gus Malzhan
    6. Jim Mora Jr.
    7. Hugh Freeze
    * O’Brien* Not sure where to put him he’s probably first on my list. He can take a mess and fix it very well and he is hard nosed with loads of discipline. I like the guy and he has NFL influence. He’d be a great hire.

  2. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    1. Petersen-imagine what he could do with a talent-laden roster (!!!!)!

    2. David Shaw

    3. Rich Rodriguez

    4. Jimbo Fischer

    • OrangeKnight says:

      I’d hate to see Chris Petersen leave Boise State, even for Auburn, but as for what he would do with a talent-laden roster… he’d probably go 82-8 in the better part of seven seasons, finish in the Top 11 five times, and pick up a couple of BCS wins.

      As for other coaches, has anybody seen what Craig Bohl has done at North Dakota State? I’d probably see him as a B1G coach someday, if he were to leave… and as far as his emphasis on defense and a pounding run-first/play action offense, it may be a “fire v fire” scenario, vis-a-vis Alabama (SEC experience/recruiting/etc. notwithstanding, of course). I believe he arrived in Fargo from Nebraska, btw, so no stranger to a premier program.

      Does anyone else feel like Malzahn would be more likely to move on from ASU after another season or two, as opposed to right now?

      Back to Petersen, has anyone considered Bryan Harsin? or Brent Pease?

      I suppose another good question to ask is, “do we want a defensive mind or an offensive mind at head coach?”

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        Craig Bohl, that’s interesting. So, it’s true that he has had extraordinary success in the Missouri Valley Football Conference at NDSU. And while the MVFC is considered the ‘SEC’ of FCS ball (at least in these parts–I’m in SD), I would worry about his transition to the Big Leagues. If we are going to head out of the SEC for this hire, then I think that we need a coach who has been head coach at an FBS-level school.

        David Shaw is by far and away my number one (despite my numbering above-I just think that we have a slightly better shot of getting Peterson, ie, 1% vs 0.5%.).

        Personally, I would favor an offensive guy, who calls the plays over a defensive guy…..but I’m likely biased by the past couple of years.

  3. War Eagle 2000 says:

    1) Fisher
    2) Stoops
    3) Malzhan
    4) Strong
    5) Smart

    If it were only this simple….put five on a list and pick one…..glad to see that Petrino is missing from the prior lists…

  4. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    1. Peterson
    2. Patterson
    3. Malzahn
    4. Smart
    5. Tressel (maybe the NCAA would wave his show cause?)
    6. CTT (just wanted to throw that out their to ruffle some feathers)

  5. auburntoby says:

    Those are 5 solid coaches, but I would really like to see Kirby Smart. He’s a solid defensive mind, and he’s worked for some of the best in the business. He would likely be able to attract (and retain) some really great defensive recruits. Sure, he’s 36 years old and he’s never been a head coach. However, after stints under Bobby Bowden and Nick Saban, he surely knows what he’s doing. He’s played for Georgia, and worked under a dominant Alabama coach. Sound familiar? We named a field after the last guy with those credentials.

  6. freddy007 freddy007 says:

    At this point, I’m with the “anybody but Petrino” crowd! The idea, that Auburn is actually entertaining the ideal of hiring a scumbag like Petrino is really troubling. Bobby Petrino should just go away, just like Mike Dubose to Opp High School.

  7. auburntoby says:

    Petrino is low on my list, but it isn’t because of any moral issues. The guy is 0-4 vs. Saban, and he doesn’t seem to be able to hit that gap between 10 win seasons and championship seasons. I’d like to see him at offensive coordinator under the new coach. I wouldn’t worry about him embarrassing the the University. His contract would be full of “good behavior” clauses.

    • freddy007 freddy007 says:


      Under Jacobs leadership, if Petrino cheats again, Auburn will probably have to pay him. Jay Jacobs has a great thing going on, it’s called extortion.

  8. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    Jay, I like that you have mostly offensive minded generals on your list. I’m ready for an offensive guru…

    1. Gus Malzahn (I’m ready to take a chance with him even with limited HC experience. Besides, we would get Kodi back)

    2. Jimbo Fisher (I think he would stand up to the powers that be…)

    3. Chris Peterson (As long as he doesn’t change our turf color. Team chaplain would be replaced with Team Scientologist)

    4. Art Briles (He could open up Texas recruiting and besides, he needs $$$)

    Mike Gundy (Meh, he’s good, not really great but very passionate about protecting his players, especially QBs who like to be fed fried chicken by their mothers. Oh, and he’s a man!)

    Rich Rodriguez (NCAA violations, lack of character and discipline with athletes…)

    Kirby Smart (We have mutual friends – we don’t want him. Besides don’t hire him just because he’s worked for Saban. He doesn’t need to be our experimental coach)

    Hugh Freeze (The blind side coach, really??? He seemed like a doofus in the movie and he let Fulmer walk all over him at his practice… Besides we don’t need to steal from Miss again)

  9. spanky says:

    1. Peterson- He simply does more year in and year out with really low ranked recruiting classes. And he has knocked off top ranked teams from big conferences.

    2. Patterson- Same as above only lowered because he usually gets a higher ranked recruiting class.

    3. Stoops- Always produces a good team.

    4. Smart- Good coach who could be the next big thing.

    5. Gundy- Brought OkSU into the mix in recent years.

    The top two make it for being able to develop talent and win with a small pool of players. The other three beacuse they field good teams and recruit top players. I lean more towards player development because year in and year out the same teams recruit well regardless of who the coach is. Development and coaching is where champions are built.

  10. Jumpn Jack Flash says:

    1. Chris Peterson, but he isn’t coming.
    2. James Franklin. I think we could easily get him. What he has done with Vandy has been amazing.
    3. Gus Malzhan. I think he would be the easiest transition of anyone. He is going to be great someday.
    4. Since it’s a wish list, give me Bill Cower.
    5. Gary Patterson

  11. MobTownAub says:

    Your list:

    1. Gundy – I could get behind this guy. Explosive offenses, outside of that I really don’t have any knowledge, but I could support it

    2. Malzahn – No. No. No. At another time, maybe, but he is too close to the current situation. He’s part of the reason for the current discipline issues. Current players would think they could continue to get away with what they have in the previous years and you would see more of the same. Great coach, but not the right fit for us right now.

    3. Peterson – the guy has done nothing but win. But I’ve always been skeptical about how he would fair in a major conference. That being said, I’d be thrilled if he was hired. I just don’t think he’s a serious contender.

    4. Fisher – I could get behind this guy as well.

    5. Patterson – another guy that’s won consistently but I remain skeptical. I’m fairly certain TCU has quite a few off the field issues? We need some to instill discipline and I’m not sure he’s the guy.

    My list:

    1. Billiam O’Brian – great offensive mind without all the baggage. Motivator, hard nosed. NFL ties. But he won’t come. Massive buyout.

    2. Jim Mora Jr. – NFL ties, great turnaround job at UCLA. Doesn’t take any flack from players.

    3. Petrino – offensive mastermind. With baggage. But at the end of the day, he’s one of the best coaches in the country hands down.

    4. Jimbo Fisher – reasons stated above

    5. Peterson – does more with less. Give him an opportunity with SEC level talent and see what happens.

    Realistically, I think we end up with Petrino or Fisher. One thing we have to remember – a lot of these “great” coaches were not great when they were hired at their current stops. Nick Saban was a very good coach and became great after getting to Bama. A guy like Fisher, Peterson, Patterson etc., who are widely known as very good coaches, could become great once they get to Auburn. It’s a right place right time kind of thing. So we can’t really sit back and nit pick their records too much. All very good coaches. All with tons of potential.

  12. James James says:

    These 5 aren’t bad at all. I don’t feel they are the “best” for the Auburn vacancy. You have to think of multiple factors not just 1-2 that solidify a legitimate coaching hire.

    I love my Tigers. Always will. Regardless if we win nothing or win it all, as i’m sure the majority here would agree.

    Here is the “Wish List” in my eyes…

    1. Kirby Smart – By far the best choice. I’ve said it a million times that keeping our current recruiting class will definitely help us “rebuild” being that our defense was horrendous and we have one of the TOP defensive classes, if not the top in this years class. It will give Auburn a legitimate chance to get a “one-up” on Alabama. No one in CFB knows SEC West offenses better than him. He has great credentials, great roots, and is a great character. He’s young, fiery, and is going to get his chance soon. I think it will be easier to find a Run-First-Tough Offensive Coordinator than a great defensive mind. Our defense needs to be held accountable for all those missed tackles. I don’t this K.Smart let’s those Bama defensive players slack too much…

    2. Jimbo Fisher – Strong personal ties with Auburn. Has experience on the staff. Proven winner at FSU, but the ACC is at its weakest in many years. (FSU should have gone undefeated in ACC play honestly) He’s an amazing recruiter and great leader with a stable personality. I think this hire would be a “long-term” solution.

    3. Dan Mullen – Amazing success in the West with limited talent. If MSU had some depth I think they could have done much better down the stretch. Great recruiter in a mid-level program. Proven winner and good roots.

    4. Phil Fulmer – Proven winner. Knows the SEC. Class act. Great credentials. Great personality. Don’t know if he would inherent trouble for his second shot though.

    5. Bob Petrino – Okay.. I’m not a Petrino fan, but he’s a proven winner and runs “clean” programs. It’s personally not MY choice, but we all have to be realistic on the “business” side of this. He will be cheaper, he’s unemployed, he knows the SEC (West in particular), and he’s a big name. We are always going to have mixed reviews with ANY coach that fills the vacancy. I am NOT a Petrino fan, but we have to be realistic. This is scary, but it’s a great possibility with Jay Jacobs calling the shots.

    Again, I am a Tigers fan first and foremost. Whoever the skipper is ill still be screamin’ War Damn Eagle!

    • MobTownAub says:

      Auburn needs a sure fire, knock out, home run of a hire. Kirby Smart is not that guy. He may be one day. But the guy has NEVER been a head coach. We have no idea what we would be getting. Too big a risk.

      Fulmer is too old.

      Dan Mullen has had amazing success against OOC teams and Ole Miss. Other than that, he’s been extremely mediocre.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      I forgot about Fulmer. Good coach, great recruiter. No stranger to the color orange.

    • Todd92 Todd92 says:

      Fulmer? Really? Smh.

  13. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    1. Chris Petersen. I believe that we can get him. Money talks.
    2. Jimbo Fisher. Would bring an outstanding staff and is already a recruiting animal. He coached here previously. His wife is an Auburn grad. He understands Auburn.
    3. Bobby Petrino. Would win immediately, but would he put a decent defense on the field and how long would he stay?
    4. Gary Patterson. Wins consistently with three star talent at TCU. I also heard he doesn’t like Jay Jacobs, that is a plus.
    5. Gus Malzahn. I think if Gus were at the helm, he would put together a good staff and discipline problems would disappear.

    • MobTownAub says:

      Money may talk, but I want a guy who WANTS to be at Auburn. Who WANTS the rigorous hours, the stress, the opportunity. I don’t want him to take it just for money. The guy has a special needs child, I can’t imagine how awful I would feel if I was never at home. He has a great gig at Boise close to his child’s treatment center. I just can’t see why he would leave.

  14. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    Looks like a broken record in here!! HA!

    I agree with plenty of the names. I think the front runners on most people’s lists are just about clear cut across the board.
    Then I ran into James’ post which had Mullen and Fulmer. I’ve not really thought about those two, but they are legit choices. We all know Mullen has done some good things at MSU and he’s done it all for a better gig. The timing might be right.
    Fulmer has been off the radar and I’m not sold on him being a solid choice over some other ‘current coaching’ candidates, but it’s names like these that might end up signing on the dotted line.

    Names on the edge of some people’s radar and not on most others might be the ones we hire. Jacobs is still in charge and it’s likely he’d go off the grid for a choice (just like Chizik). Just that this time he’d get a more familiar name to appease the fan base.

  15. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    1a. Gary Patterson
    1b. Chris Peterson
    2. James Franklin
    3. Charlie Strong
    4. Jimbo Fisher
    5. Al Golden
    6. Kirby Smart
    10010. The janitor at the Gadsden Mall
    10011. Bobby Petrino

  16. restless6 says:

    Fisher, Patterson, Petrino, Golden, Gundy.

    BTW, Les Miles beat Arkansas twice. Last week and again today. 7 year extension, unknown raise coming.

    Looks like Les will retire a Tiger.

  17. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    This is my WISH list. It’s like when I was a kid and circled stuff in the Sears Wishbook. Hopefully, this year I won’t just get socks and underwear.

    1. Bill Cowher.-He’s kind of like the U.S.S. Flag, the GI Joe carrier that only one kid I knew actually had. Am extreme long-shot, but what the hell! Santa can do ANYTHING! I promise to be a good boy! I mean it this time!

    2. Chris Peterson -He’s like the chemistry set I got when I was 9 (my dad was a science teacher) When I got it, it had some silly, childish stuff in it, but when my Dad got me some real chemicals to work with WOAH! I just hope there are no yellow stains on the ceiling…

    3. Mike Gundy- Ok, I’m out of Christmas analogies. I like this guy a lot. I like the way he recruits: get yourself a strong QB and a big WR, and let the 3 star WR’s run around while your big guy is getting double teamed. He’s been able to hold his own with OU and the Texas schools and has been a consistent winner.

    4. Gary Patterson- Remember the old days, when TCU was awesome? Yeah, no you don’t. Maybe your Great Grandfather does. Patterson has been able to keep his team very competitive. You want to talk about a “little brother” school? Try being the youngest of eight kids

    5. Patrino. I know, he’s a re-gift.Or a gift from that crazy aunt that gives you something at some on-line store that you say “WTF is this?” only to find out it was just what you needed (Ok so I had one more Xmas analogy).

    Stocking Stuffers:
    Charlie Strong, Gus, James Franklin

  18. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……My personal favorite choice would be Malzhan. I think he’s absolutely on the cutting edge on offense, and let’s face it. You pretty much have to score to win if you’re not a football state flagship program.

    ……Wouldn’t mind Patterson or Shaw. Shaw’s offense is also pretty dynamic, and clever in that it uses power players in space. Can Shaw recruit the Southeast? That’s a big unknown.

    ……Fisher and Franklin are suspect, in my opinion. Vandy TRIED to give us that game six weeks ago. They didn’t look terribly well-prepared. Jimbo tends to have his team walloped at inopportune times, too.

    …..Charlie Strong would be a great hire, IF… it didn’t divide the fanbase. Is the Auburn nation ready to hire an African-American football head coach? It’s a legitimate question, unfortunately. I’m ready. Who else is?

    …..I’m interested in Kirby, but we decidedly do NOT have the personnel on campus to run a 3-4 defense. That’s a years long rebuilding process, if we hire him and try to win with defense.

    …..I’ll even support a Petrino hire, but with great misgivings. If he’s the Auburn coach, I’ll pull for him. Till things go badly…

    • Todd92 Todd92 says:

      If the AU fanbase isn’t ready to hire a black head coach but is willing to hire Petrino I am ashamed of my fellow alumni and fans.

      • restless6 says:

        That’s absurd. Petrino is a winner and a

      • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

        Color is no barrier. Experience is. There isn’t a black coach out there with a resume that can match Peterson, Patterson, Petrino, or Fisher.

        • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

          You can argue the dearth of a black coaches without resumes to match Petersen et al., is due to not giving talented coaches the chance to prove their abilities because of color….

          Just throwin’ it out there….

      • KoolBell KoolBell says:

        I’l rec’d this 1000X Todd.
        The days of racism are fading fast, and if some people would STFU we as people could get things done w/o the color references.

    • War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

      I’d be all for Strong, the only thing is he doesn’t bring anything super exciting to the table, but he’d be solid.

      Great point on Kirby Smart and running a 3-4, I hadn’t though of that. I’m not sure AU would want to compete with UGA and Bama for the 2-3 decent 350 lb nose tackles that come out of high school each year. Nice observation Acid.

  19. spanky says:

    I’ll throw in some NFL coordinators who were once head coaches that may want that title again:

    Josh McDaniels- Denver HC, now OC under Belichick.
    Wade Philips- Denver and Dallas HC, now DC for Texans
    Jack Del Rio-Jacksonville HC, now DC for Denver
    Jim Haslett-Saitns and Rams HC, now DC Redskins
    And super out of left field…Marty Schottenheimer- When i lived in Virginia for last 4 years he was the HC of the Virginia Destroyers, a UFL team, They won back to back titles with him as their coach. He’s old, but maybe he still wants a shot at it.

    Just thinking outside the box here.

    • Todd92 Todd92 says:

      I rode the shuttle with Marty Schottenheimer and his son Brian to the golf course at Sandestin…. I wanted to ask him for his autograph as I’ve always been a huge fan of his….. Dude gave me the stink eye the entire way like he was daring me to say something…. My brother in law and I both failed to even say hello because of it…. Very intimidating .

      • spanky says:

        Cool story. I think the intimidating factor would be great in a coach. Plus he’s old enough to not care what the “powers that be” have to say. Not gonna happen though.

  20. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    All good choices in Jay’s article. We now know that Gary Patterson would have been a better choice than Chizik in 2008.

    I just hope that the Auburn selection committee does choose the right candidate or it could take Auburn a while to compete again in the SEC. It would be nice to have rivalries again with Bama and UGA.

    • MobTownAub says:

      Well…Chizik did get us an NC. Tough to say he was a bad choice looking back. We soon realized he couldn’t develop players, but his leadership was key that season..

  21. Jay Coulter Jay Coulter says: reporting that Auburn interviewed Louisville coach Charlie Strong in the last few days.

    • War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

      Solid coach. If he’s the one we get in the end then I’m happy. War Eagle!

      • mikeautiger says:

        Strong was one of my first thoughts, good all around coach.

        Patterson was another.

        Gundy for his spirit as exzemplified in his “Come pick on me” speech. Good offense and he can get another DC to help him out there.

        Jimbo would be good.

        Malzon could handle the job and provide great offense and he apparently found a good enough defense in Ark St to win.

        San Diego state coach sounds like another good one similar to Stong.

        So good options out there so we could still have some integrity without having to disparage the Auburn creed and put it to bed.

  22. SLAD3R SLAD3R says:

    My Wishlist (Realistic Candidates)

    1- Bobby Petrino (He is a proven winner and solid recruiter in the SEC. His recruiting and overall ceiling will only rise at Auburn. He handles the offense himself, therefore no risk of a Loeffler-type on the Plains again. He seemed comfortable at Arkansas before the “incident/accident”. Only concern is his ability to hire a competent, hard-nosed DC. Seems like a perfect fit, we can offer him a salary in the $1.5-$2mil range with incentives.)

    2-Gary Patterson (Another proven winner, however mostly in the MWC. He was able to get his teams up for the big games. Texas recruiting roots, solid defensive background. Only downfalls are the recent drug/alcohol problems amongst his players and he already makes $3.5mil, we’d have to offer over $4mil to get him.)

    3-Kirby Smart (Saban disciple, only 36 years old. No HC experience, has learned under the best in the business though. Probably our top option to challenge Bama in recruiting in this region.)

    Also, the talk of Jeff Fisher and Jon Gruden is ridiculous! Fisher has ZERO college experience and is 57-64-1 since 2004 in the NFL. Gruden hasn’t coached in college since 1991 and hasn’t coached at all since 2008, his SuperBowl victory is impressive but was done with Tony Dungy’s team.

    Long time reader, first time poster. Don’t get after me too hard… lol. WDE!

    • restless6 says:

      Sound like a good list, except for Smart. As someone else said, he runs a 3-4 defense. Auburn doesn’t have the players for that.

  23. KevinATL KevinATL says:

    David Shaw, Ya’ll. Throw the bank at him. Doubtful though, and he has only been a HC for 1-2 year. He does SO much with very high academic standards, and he plays nasty SEC defense out in the PAC 12.

    If not him, I am not super impressed with Strong, and I think getting Smart would be like making out with your sister ( I’ll ask a LSU fan if that is what is actually like).

    Peterson and Patterson……..zzzz…zzzzzz…..zzzzz

    Hire Gundy just to do post-game interviews and yell that he is a MAN.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      Yeah, dude! I hear ya. David Shaw would be freakin’ awesomesauce wrapped up in a $500 milllion dollar winning lottery ticket! Seriously, he would be a good hire AND he would succeed……Win. Win. Win.

  24. Tiger Walker Tiger Walker says:

    My list
    1-Jeff Fisher
    2- Jason Garret ( Dallas cowboys)
    3- Jumbo Fisher
    4- Butch Davis
    5- Kirby Smart
    6- Jay Jacobs fired

  25. Tiger95 says:

    Here goes:

    1- Jimbo Fisher
    2- Bobby Petrino
    3- Al Golden
    4- Charlie Strong
    5- Bo Pelini

    Actually, I would be happy with any of these and Gus would be fine, but I wonder if he can win in the SEC consistently since he puts so much stress on a defense.

  26. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    fyi, an SI and a Yahoo reporter are reporting that they talked with Strong and that he angrily denied that he interviewed with anyone…

    • War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

      Sports Illustrated reporter Pete Thamel tweeted Wednesday night following the report, “Just spoke to Charlie Strong. He’s angry. He says he did not interview at Auburn and has not spoken to them. ‘It’s not true.’” Later, Yahoo! Sports columnist Pat Forde tweeted, “Charlie Strong, just now: ‘I didn’t interview with Auburn, I have a job.’”

      Read more here:

  27. WarEagleEngr says:

    My top 5, in no particular order:
    1. Gus Malzahn
    2. Jimbo Fisher
    3. Charlie Strong
    4. Gary Patterson
    5. Chris Peterson

    My bottom 5, IN order:
    1. Bobby Petrino
    2. Bobby Petrino
    3. Bobby Petrino
    4. Tyrone Willingham
    5. Mike Price

  28. DCWarEagle says:

    My top 5 are …… oh heck, let’s just cut to the chase: Where’s the Auburn Athletic Dept’s plane?

  29. killian says:

    I never expected Charlie Strong to leave Louisville. Especially not now for an Auburn program I doubt many coaches would dare touch. The Chizik era had one epic, incredible year, then profound failure. It would be difficult to convince anyone to take a job where winning a National Championship is not enough. I’m not saying Chizik deserved to keep his job. I never believed he was a good hire to begin with, then he shocked me. However, his success seems to be more attributable to Cam Newton and Gus Malzahn.

    It seems to me that a Bobby Petrino hire would be made out of pure desperation. I think people would lose a lot of respect for Auburn’s program. That affects recruiting certainly but also what kind of image we want to project. Add to that, Petrino was not that successful. He certainly lifted the Arkansas program from the depths Houston Nutt brought it to. However, he only raised a low bar. Furthermore, his history, specifically his exit from Atlanta, demonstrates a shameless character with loyalty only to himself. But who else would take this job?

    The next coach must be able to compete with the big dogs of the SEC. That is no easy task. The most likely hires will either be a coach who has nowhere else to go, such as Mike Leach, Jim Tressel, Rich Rodriguez or Bobby Petrino, or a candidate with little to no head coaching experience. I immediately prefer the latter. I would take a relatively untested candidate such as Kirby Smart, John Chavis, or Gus Malzahn over the Petrino option. Malzahn already has the players to run his system. Smart can face Saban and create a destructive defense Auburn has not fielded in years. The choice comes down to what has to improve immediately, offense or defense?

    The fantasy I hope is realized is that Auburn must go big and get national attention for the right reason. Not for creating the next scandal in waiting with a Petrino hire, reducing the program to a talk radio punchline. Auburn should hire a big name, the next Nick Saban level hire. A coach that is a proven success, a name so big, he could not likely fear firing.

    Chris Peterson, I doubt leaves Boise.

    Gary Patterson, always fields a team that is at the very least solid every year.

    Jimbo Fisher, might be the biggest name available, his only drawback that he has yet to realize his full potential.

    Bob Stoops, would never trade Oklahoma for Auburn, I don’t see an upgrade

    Kevin Sumlin, if only this steal were possible

    Dana Holgorsen, I don’t think I’ve seen this name mentioned and it disappoints me, if he had a good DC he’d light a fire on the SEC

    Mark Dantonio, always solid, never electrifying but if no one else takes the job, he is an excellent backup plan

    Mike Gundy, continues the Ok St tradition of goofballs, next Les Miles, so pass

    Paul Rhoads, it’s like if Gene Chizik was a good headcoach

  30. restless6 says:

    For all of us playing the fantasy game, the fact is that most of these picks would be downgrading coming to Auburn. They are secure and paid well where they are at. The Auburn job is a gamble right now.

    I still say that Jetgate began this slide. I imagine most agents and coaches are well versed in Auburn’s hijinks.

    This is why I say it’s Petrino. He will not only be given a second chance to Auburn will be given one too, and one that will bring success.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      “I still say that Jetgate began this slide. “…
      I agree Jetgate set this train wreck in motion. We need a coach with courage, conviction and an iron fist…I disagree that Petrino is that person.

  31. War Eagle 2000 says:

    Restless6 –

    I agree with you that it will most likely be Petrino, and if so I will support him, but I think there are so many other directions we could go without the baggage….

  32. AUdacious_Dude says:

    1) Jeff Fisher — There’s a snowball’s chance in hades it happens, but it would be a grand-slam and national news for weeks.

    2) Jim Mora Jr. — Home-run, but there’s no way he leaves UCLA after one season, especially with the job he’s doing.

    3) Bobby Petrino — He will come, has no buy-out and is one of the top 5 offensive minds in all of football. He has SEC experience both as an OC and HC and is extremely detail oriented and a disciplinarian. He also has no NCAA problems. I saw where one former AU player who played for Petrino in 2002 said that AU should definitely hire him. He said he was never better prepared for a game than the season Petrino was there.

    4) Chris Petersen — Snowball’s chance. He has been offered by big programs before and hasn’t left, but he is up there with Petrino in his offensive acumen.

    5) Gus Malzahn — I am torn on him. Part of me thinks that since he is tied to CGC that he might bring some of CGC’s bad habits with him (especially with respect to player discipline). I also don’t know if he has what it takes (personality wise) to be a head man opposite of people like Saban. On the other hand, I would put him in the top 5 offensive minds in CFB. There’s no doubt the offense would be much improved, but what scares me with him is his ability to be a CEO like is required of the HC.

  33. restless6 says:

    Charlie Strong’s stock just went sky high. Fire up the jet boyz.