Let’s Re-look Auburn’s Coaching Short List… Shall We?
As you know Auburn is currently looking for its next coach as Chizik and his family decides to use their windfall from Jay Jacobs’s clearly questionable business savvy. Who might it be?
I thought it would be nice to re-list the names and see how the candidates have fared so far or to describe who they would face in the bowl game.
1) Bobby Petrino: This 51 year old is still getting the buzz. And interestingly Charles Barkley is advocating him heavily.
Bobby is currently unemployed. Here is a listing of his resume: head coach at Arkansas (2008-2012), Atlanta Falcons (2007), Louisville (2003-06), assistant at Auburn (2002), Jacksonville Jaguars (1999-2001), Louisville (1998), Utah State (1995-98), Nevada (1994), Arizona State (1992-93), Idaho (1989-91), Weber State (1987-88), Carroll College (1985-86).
His current record as a head coach is 75–26 (college) and 3–10 (NFL). His bowl record is 4–3
Current position: Petrino’s position is unchanged. But in a recent AL.COM poll 53% of all AU fans said hiring Petrino would be a bad idea. How can he overcome the obstacles? It’s obvious he isn’t a good recruiter. Can he bring the big names to the Plains? Unfortunately that remains unclear. Best guess… his stock is going to start dropping soon when the decision makers start peeling back the skin.
2) Bo Pelini: The 44 year old Nebraska head coach rolled into …
The Big Ten championship game with a 10-2 record with losses to UCLA and Ohio State. The loss to UCLA was respectable… but the loss to Ohio State was a blow out. This brings me to the big ten championship game…. Nebraska lost to a 7-5 Wisconsin team 70-31.
What does this say about Pelini? One thing for certain… I would have hated to see him play Ohio State or Penn State. Can you imagine that score? Nebraska fans can’t be happy… what could that mean if he came to Auburn?
Here is a listing of Bo’s resume: 2008- Head coach at Nebraska. Assistant Coaching Experience: 2005-07, LSU, defensive coordinator, 2004, Oklahoma, co-defensive coordinator, defensive backs, 2003, Nebraska, defensive coordinator, interim head coach for Alamo Bowl, 2000-02, Green Bay Packers, linebackers, 1997-99, New England Patriots, linebackers, 1994-96, San Francisco 49ers, assistant secondary, 1993, Cardinal Mooney High School, quarterbacks, 1991, Iowa, graduate assistant.
Considering they lost the championship game… it’s unclear where Nebraska ends up.
His current record is: 49–18 with a bowl record of 3–2.
Current position: After his team’s disappointing performance in the big ten championship… I see Pelini’s stock starting to drop. Heck, it might even drop for him just keeping his job at Nebraska.
3) Gary Patterson: The 52 year old TCU head coach rolled in to the last game of his regular season with a 7-4 record. His losses were against Iowa State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State. TCU didn’t look competitive in the losses to Iowa State or Oklahoma State. In his last game he played Oklahoma. TCU lost to Oklahoma 24-17.
We all know that TCU had some off field issues this year that came to light at the beginning of the season. Considering the school, I think this effort is legitimate. Here is a listing of his resume: head coach at Texas Christian (2000-), assistant at TCU (1998-99), New Mexico (1996-98), Navy (1995), Utah State (1992-94), Sonoma State (1989-91), Pittsburg State (1988), Cal Lutheran (1987), UC Davis (1986), Tennessee Tech (1983-84). His current record as a head coach is 116–35 and bowl record is 7–4.
It’s unclear where TCU will fall out in the bowl schedule.
Current position: His name is getting a lot of buzz in some circles. I see him, even with the latest loss and record, being considered by Auburn.
4) Kirby Smart: Out of the top four “potential” candidates… this 37 year old has never served as a head coach. His resume looks like this: assistant coach at Alabama (2007-), Miami Dolphins (2006), Georgia (2005), LSU (2004), Florida State (2002-03), Valdosta State (2000-01)
I watched the game last night. Probably everyone else did as well. His defense looked good. But it wasn’t stifling like the 2011 or 2009 team. But it was still good enough to win against a decent UGA team.
Bama will be playing for the NC against Notre Dame. Kind of fitting if you think about it.
Current position: I’d say its rising. If we hear nothing about a coaching hire until the NC game… then I see AU targeting Smart. The rumor I am hearing is that his agent is Pat Dye’s son. Yes, some would say this is a PR hit for AU, but to those people I’d say 49-0 is pretty bad in its own right.
5) Charlie Strong: This 52 year old coach is no stranger to the SEC. While he is currently serving in the big east, he has gotten his school to be admitted into the ACC. That is a coup for Louisville. While he got a late start as a head coach, no one can contest that he didn’t turn around the cardinals.
The cardinals are currently 10-2. The losses came to a blowout loss to Syracuse and a much closer contest to Connecticut.
Strong’s resume: head coach at Louisville (2010-), assistant at Florida (2002-09), South Carolina (1999-2001), Notre Dame (1995-98), Florida (1991-94), Ole Miss (1990), Florida (1988-89), Southern Illinois (1986-87). He has a 24-15 record as a head coach, and a 1-2 bowl record.
It is unclear at this point where the Cardinals will play… but it should be in a BCS bowl.
Current position: After a bit of miscommunication caused by the media coverage, rumor is Strong is very much in the mix. I wouldn’t count this out until the fat lady finally sings.
6) Jimbo Fisher: This 47 year old is no stranger to Auburn. Although rumor is that Tennessee is looking hard at Fisher it is clear that Auburn’s gaze has cooled somewhat. Yesterday FSU won the ACC… a feat that isn’t as impressive as it used to be. The Seminoles are currently 11-2. FSU’s losses came to NC State and Florida.
Here is Jimbo’s resume: head coach at Florida State (2010-), assistant at Florida State (2007-09), LSU (2000-06), Cincinnati (1999), Auburn (1993-98), Samford (1991-92)
His coaching record is currently 30-10 and 2-0 bowl games.
FSU will be playing in a BCS bowl game.
Current position: Fisher would be a great hire. But it’s pretty clear he is entrenched at FSU. Still, I know in some of the articles I have read it is indicated that UT is trying to snag him. Personally, I don’t think he is going to so easily give up on FSU considering his investment in the program. I think he is going to parlay any discussion with another school into a pay raise with him and FSU.
Other coaching potentials:
• Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State. The 1990 Oklahoma State graduate (and former starting quarterback) he’s 66-34 in his eight seasons with the Cowboys. He need some time to get things going, but went 23-3 during the past two seasons – including a trip to the 2011 Fiesta Bowl. His last three OSU offenses have ranked no lower than fifth among NCAA programs in total offense. He’s been discussed in connection with the Arkansas job and Auburn’s search firm identified him as a potential target. It’s unclear how Auburn’s advances have been received.
This season, Ok State is 7-4. In his last game OK State got beaten by Baylor.
Current record is 66-35. 4-2 in bowl games.
It’s still not clear where Ok State will play its bowl game.
Current position: We know AU is looking into his availability. But that is about it. Remember that T. Boone Pickens is former alumnus of the Cowboys. I doubt anyone will be moving him anywhere. We don’t have the cash reserves necessary…
• Chris Petersen, Boise State. His winning percentage (91.1) put him in the elite category; no other Bowl Subdivision coach can match it. The Broncos are in the midst of a disappointing 10-2 season. That’s how expectations work at Boise State these days. Petersen is an offensive guru and his teams generally finish among the top 15 in those categories. It’s interesting, though, that BSU’s defenses always are among the best as well. Petersen has discussed in connection with almost every vacancy of the past three years. Like Gundy, he’s also in the mix at Arkansas. Auburn has reached out.
This season, again, Boise State is 10-2. In his last game BSU beat Nevada.
Current record is 83-8. He is 4-2 in bowl games.
It’s still not clear where BSU will play its bowl game.
Current position: If I had a dark horse candidate – this guy would be it. I know he hasn’t seen the competition of the SEC but I still think if you have the right building blocks – everything else is relative.
• Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M. He’s making approximately $2.5 million and this is his first season with the Aggies after a memorable run at University of Houston. His freshman quarterback is a Heisman favorite, his team is excellent and Texas A&M has a ton of money. Auburn has reached out to Sumlin, though even moving into position to talk about its vacancy seems like a long shot.
This season, Texas A&M is 10-2. Losses came to Florida and LSU. But A&M beat bama in Tuscaloosa.
Current record is 45-19 and 1-1 in bowl games.
It’s still not clear where Texas A&M will play its bowl game.
Current position: He has already moved from UH to Tex A&M. Another move in the cards? Nah. I don’t think so. I think he is simply going to get a pay raise.
• Jim Mora Jr., UCLA. In his first season with the Bruins, Mora took an eight-loss team and turned it into nine-win team. Talk about an abrupt turnaround. He’s had two separate stints as an NFL head coach before the age of 50. Mora clearly knows football. He’s also an unusually fiery guy who demands total control, which may not work well on the Plains. Mora currently earns approximately $2.4 million per season.
Mora’s team was beaten in a much closer championship game with Stanford than in its regular season loss. Current record is 9-4.
It’s not clear where UCLA will play its bowl game.
Current position: Doubtful. Considering that Jacobs is still on AU’s payroll… I highly doubt that Mora would come to AU.
• David Shaw, Stanford. After serving as Stanford’s offensive coordinator for four seasons from 2007-10, David Shaw was appointed Stanford’s head coach on January 13, 2011, succeeding Jim Harbaugh. Prior to his appointment as offensive coordinator at Stanford, Shaw served as the wide receivers and passing game coordinator at the University of San Diego during the 2006 season, where he helped guide the nation’s top Division I-AA offense that paced the Toreros to the Pioneer League championship and NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major national title. The Toreros led all NCAA Division I-AA teams in passing offense (293.3 ypg), total offense (494.25) and scoring offense (42.83).
Shaw’s coaching resume also includes nine years of NFL experience with the Philadelphia Eagles (1997), Oakland Raiders (1998-2001) and Baltimore Ravens (2002-05).
Stanford just wrapped up the PAC 12 by beating UCLA for the second time.
Current record: 22-4. He has 1 loss in a bowl game losing to OK State.
Standford will be playing in the Rose bowl against a 8-4 Wisconsin team.
Current position: Don’t know if this coach is being considered but he should be. He comes from football pedigree. I think he could do great things at AU.
In conclusion, Auburn’s chances of landing a great coach are much better this year than four years ago. From that stand point Chizik’s buy out was worth it. Who says a National championship isn’t a good thing? Perhaps this will lead to greater things for Auburn….
Depending on who Auburn hires I look for the Tigers to be back on the prowl in 2013.