Friday morning, Alabama Football and other SEC programs got some good news. It was not that the SEC was distributing over $54M to each SEC school. That financial bonanza was announced on Thursday.
On Friday, multiple media sources, including Chris Low and Pete Thamel reported Auburn University has decided Bryan Harsin will continue as the Tigers’ head coach. Harsin has ‘some’ support in Auburn, but most of the celebrating will come from other SEC schools who understand how easy it will be to compete against Auburn and Harsin in recruiting.
Triteness be damned – there is no better label for the Auburn situation than Bryan Harsin is a ‘dead man walking.’ It may be a slow, long walk, but the destination is clear. Many involved in the Auburn football program and Bryan Harsin have irreconcilable differences.
The relationship will be severed at some point and the longer Auburn dithers, the better it will be for the rest of the SEC.
To be clear, none of us on the outside know that Bryan Harsin has done anything wrong. To the extent he may have failed, it falls short of the incompetence within the Auburn administration. That incompetence is not excusable, even if it has been almost all driven by powerful boosters, as many reports have claimed.
What Auburn has done collectively is exhibit the worst way to manage a football program. The damage is deep and it will linger long.
Alabama Football and others will benefit
A depleted roster will not be competitive next season. In a year when the state of Alabama is loaded with elite prospects, Auburn’s 2023 class will likely be even worse than its mediocre 2022 class.
Why is Auburn delaying the inevitable and causing itself further damage? The only somewhat justifiable excuse is a degree of sanity says the mess at Auburn cannot be cleaned up quickly. The new school President needs to be in place as well as the next AD who will replace Allen Greene at some point. Only then can Auburn try to build a structure for sound decision-making.
Getting everyone not named Bryan Harsin to pull together seems an almost impossible task. At some point, Auburn must write a massive check to bring in a guy they are willing to hand total control of football to, without meddling. Will deep-pocket boosters agree? A tougher question to answer is what high-priced coach is willing to take a chance on Auburn.
One thing is sure – that almost $55M Auburn is getting from the SEC this season is not enough to remedy the ills of the program.
Alabama football fans have enjoyed every minute of Auburn’s saga.