Auburn Football: Examining the Top Candidates to Be Auburn's Next Coach

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Auburn Football: Examining the Top Candidates to Be Auburn's Next Coach
Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images

All too quickly, the 2012 regular season came to an official end yesterday. That can only mean one thing: the coaching carousel is just getting warmed up. 

There are quite a few major coaching jobs available across the college football landscape. There are now three head coaching positions open in the SEC after Kentucky hired its new head coach, Mark Stoops.

Arkansas, Tennessee and Auburn are still accepting applications for its head coaching position. 

A lot of names have been rumored at each school, and there are some big names that all three schools have expressed interest in. Monday Night Football commentator and Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden has deflected offers from Tennessee. Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long swung for the fences and attempted to land LSU head coach Les Miles. 

Auburn has been tight-lipped thus far, but there have been rumored interview requests with candidates such as TCU head coach Gary Patterson, Louisville head coach Charlie Strong and Boise State head coach Chris Petersen. 

Many have opined on the state of affairs for Auburn's next head coach and the quality of a job that it may be with what many think is a new NCAA investigation. Auburn's actions in the last week should have answered the question about how worried it is about that. 

Auburn has batted down the doors at an undisclosed location in Nashville to conduct the interviews, according to Charles Goldberg of AL.com.

It is hard to sift through the quagmire of rumors that surround a head coaching vacancy, but it is safe to say that Auburn has formed its list of top targets and intends to hone its focus on these five names...

Let's take a closer look at each. 

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