Alabama Football: Harsin’s debut season with Tigers a failure


Alabama football isn’t worried about Bryan Harsin

Gus Malzahn may have struggled to win big games for the Tigers, but he had a solid record against Alabama football. Bryan Harsin failed to beat the Tide in his opening season, but he also struggled in other ways.

Auburn ended the year on a tough losing streak that sent the Tigers to the Birmingham Bowl. They lost to the Houston Cougars, leaving their record at 6-7 for the year. Bo Nix is in the Transfer Portal, and plenty of key players will enter the 2022 NFL Draft.

When you look at the first season for a head coach at a new program, it is hard to judge success. Saban took Alabama football from a dust heap to a national championship game in three years. You can look at a coach’s ability to recruit. You can see how quickly their offensive scheme works. You can judge the first season’s success to how the program looked in the previous year. All of this helps, but it only tells part of the story.

That being said, Harsin’s first year with Auburn has to be seen as a failure with any of these measurements. The Tigers were out of the SEC race for most of the year, and they failed to make it to a meaningful bowl game. They didn’t have any upset wins, and they lost a few games they should have won.

The recruiting class for the Tigers is miles behind their rivals. Alabama football and the Georgia Bulldogs have two of the three best classes in the country, and Auburn hasn’t signed a single five-star talent so far.

A win in the Iron Bowl would’ve masked these failures, and Harsin almost got that. However, the Tigers crumbled at home against the Tide. Can Harsin turn things around? Yes. However, there is nothing to point at and say that this hire was successful.

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We’ll see if Harsin can flip the script, but the Tigers are trending downward right now. It’ll take a major shift to get back into the SEC hunt.