The Auburn Tigers are searching for a new head coach after the firing of Gene Chizik, and there are two very interesting names in the running (via College Football Talk/NBC Sports) that could provide a huge spark for recruiting—Chris Petersen and Bobby Petrino.
Both coaches are big names, and both have a history of being able to win. They both bring different elements to the table, but there's no doubt that Auburn would be making a good hire if they went with either of these two candidates.
Which coach would be the bigger win for Auburn recruiting though?
Let's examine both coaches:
Peterson has become one of the more recognizable coaching names in college football because of the success that he has had at Boise State. Not only has he led that program to an 82-8 record as head coach, but even more importantly from a recruiting standpoint, he took a program from the Mountain West conference and made it nationally relevant.
There were some years where the Broncos were even in the national championship picture, although never seriously because of the nature of the BCS system.
Either way you look at it though, Petersen's time at Boise State speaks for itself.
If Auburn were to hire him, he'd bring instant credibility with recruits because of his winning background and national relevance.
He'd create a buzz around the program that most other hires would not.
Hiring Petrino would also create a ton of buzz for Auburn, but the catch is that not all of it would be positive.
Petrino was fired from his position as head coach of Arkansas last spring due to a scandal involving an affair, so that will be something that Auburn will have to take into account if it wants to bring the well-known coach in.
That last statement is the big kicker for recruiting though. Petrino is a very well-known coach in the college football world, so he would provide recruits with a name that they will instantly recognize. He also had a ton of success at Arkansas, leaving with a 34-17 record and wins in the Cotton Bowl and Liberty Bowl.
Before coaching the Razorbacks, Petrino was 41-9 as head coach of the Louisville Cardinals, so if there is one certainty, it's that he knows how to coach and win a lot of games.
Auburn would be taking a chance based off of his reputation, but there's no doubting that Petrino is a good coach. He has had a ton of success, even in the SEC, and that's something that will resonate with recruits.
Bigger Recruiting Win: Petersen
Petersen would come without the issues that Petrino would present—especially with parents, mind you—but he would create the same amount of hype around Auburn football.
He's an exciting name with a history of success, and Auburn could provide him with that next big step in his own career as a coach.
Recruits would resonate with what he was able to accomplish at Boise State, and he would be a fresh, relatively young coach who can lead Auburn in a new direction and into the future.