Auburn is one of many schools in the SEC that is searching for a new college football coach. Arkansas and Tennessee are others that have sent their head coach packing and will be shopping around during the holidays for a new guy to come and save the program.
If any of the head coaching candidates are smart, they would put Auburn on the back burner at the moment and explore other options.
Consider Auburn that ex-girlfriend that is just begging to give things another try. You would love to see how things go, but you know that there is too much baggage to realistically see things ending happily ever after.
What exactly is the baggage that comes with the Tigers?
Well, the program fired head coach Gene Chizik two years after he brought the program a national championship. Yes, he likely deserved it after the horrible season that took place this year, but we are talking about a national championship. Last time I checked, crystal footballs don't make their way to Auburn every other year.
If this is the type of success that the school demands, it will scare away a few potential candidates.
Which program would you pick to become a head coach for?
Tennessee hasn't had success since 2007 and has gone through a few head coaches to try and experience that magic again. As long as the Volunteers sign the right guy, I'm sure there will be a one- or two-year period before fans begin calling for his job next. The same goes for Arkansas, which just found out what it feels like to hit rock bottom. Anything is better than what John L. Smith provided.
But if Auburn is hoping to compete for a national title every year, there aren’t many coaches that will be up to that task.
Another thing that doesn't bode well for Auburn is the fact that the school is currently under investigation by the NCAA. With potential violations that include recruits, players, coaches and others, this isn't something that a coach would just voluntarily jump into headfirst.
Arkansas isn't in any kind of trouble, it's just looking for a coach to turn the program around. Tennessee just recently received more sanctions from the Lane Kiffin days, but those penalties aren't going to play a major role in swaying a coach to turn down an offer.
With Auburn, we have no idea what the NCAA has in store and the unknown is always a scary place.
Then there is the Nick Saban factor. With what he is doing in Alabama, I wouldn't want to share a division with him—let alone a state. The Crimson Tide coach is recruiting out of his mind and has a chance to reach a third national championship in four years.
This doesn’t sound like much fun for the rest of his competition.
Auburn is still able to snag a decent amount of top recruits, but having to fight off arguably the best coach of this generation is something that not too many have the heart to do. Taking your talents to Tennessee is a lot easier in the recruiting field, and it allows you to beat up on a softer SEC East. Not everybody is a Kevin Sumlin that can come in right away and compete with the best of them.
All of these teams have history and tradition. All three schools have great fanbases, terrific facilities and are being left with a bunch of talent on the roster.
Auburn would usually be a top program to take over, but there appear to be better possibilities on the table this time around.