Head coach Bryan Harsin of the Auburn Tigers prior to their game against the San Jose State Spartans at Jordan-Hare Stadium
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The Bryan Harsin Era at Auburn Ends After Two Seasons of Disappointment

You can sum up Bryan Harsin's tenure as head coach of the Auburn Tigers in one word: horrible.

After two seasons of mediocre football, missed opportunities in recruiting, and the loss of a homegrown stud in Bo Nix, Harsin was finally relieved of his head coaching duties following his fourth consecutive loss of the season. Asking Auburn to defeat Georgia and Ole Miss is a tall task, but the Tigers had every opportunity to take down a shaky LSU squad and a struggling Arkansas team. Harsin's inability to steal even one win during that stretch is unacceptable, which makes his removal as head coach understandable.

Harsin Lost the Plot

Head coach Bryan Harsin of the Auburn Tigers during their game against the Mississippi Rebels at Jordan-Hare Stadium

Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

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When Harsin came to The Plains from Boise State, the new HC had a resume chock full of successfully revitalized programs and re-envigorated fanbases. Over the last 15 years, Auburn has been through a lot. From the Gene Chizik Championship days to the Gus Malzahn years of "close but no cigar" seasons, Harsin was supposed to be a return to the glory days. Instead, it was a return to the George Bohler years of the late 1920s, the last time an Auburn head coach lasted only two seasons.

Harsin's Auburn career began with a bang, starting the 2021 season with a 6-2 record, dropping games No. 10 Penn State and No. 2 Georgia, earning the Tigers a No. 12 ranking. From there, the Tigers hit the skids hard.

Auburn dropped their remaining four regular season games and matchup in the Birmingham Bowl against the University of Houston. To add insult to injury, the final three losses of Auburn's season all had one thing in common: Auburn lost by fewer than five points. The end-of-the-year defeats also colored Bo Nix's reputation as a player who can't win against ranked teams. Credit Harsin for that, at least.

Similar to 2021, Harsin and the Tigers were on a four-game losing streak when Auburn fired him. If it weren't for a Missouri miscue in overtime, Harsin would be leaving Auburn with two wins in 2022. Auburn never had solid footing after Harsin's hot start. Whatever success they had in the early days of 2021 appeared more like a fluke, as if Harsin was riding the coattails of Malzahn's recruiting and momentum.

Change in the Air at Jordan-Hare

ank Bigsby #4 of the Auburn Tigers runs the ball in the first half and tries to avoid a tackle.

Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

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Harsin's failure to launch at the helm of Auburn's football program is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, the Tigers lost two years of momentum under his control and now have to work back and rebuild a program that wasn't too far off when he first put on the headset. However, while Auburn is directly behind the eight ball after the Harsin Era, the Tigers are free to enter the head coach marketplace and look for a long-term solution. While Big Ten schools like Wisconsin and Nebraska are looking for someone to help reshape the identities of their football program.

Auburn doesn't need that. The Tigers can look for someone willing to return them to SEC dominance, not completely renovate the program. Things are looking up, Auburn fans!

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