More and more names are popping up in Auburn's search for a head coach. The latest is Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris. An earlier report stated Morris will interview with the Tigers at some point, but that was later contradicted.
Despite a report, sources tell me that Auburn has NOT setup an interview with Chad Morris at this point.bit.ly/xpkQEX— Pete Roussel (@coachingsearch) December 3, 2012
Morris runs a similar offensive system to Gus Malzahn, and in his two years at Clemson, the Tigers have compiled some prolific offensive numbers. Clemson averaged 33.6 points and 440.8 yards per game in 2011, ranking second in the ACC in both categories. This year, the Tigers lead the conference in scoring and total offense, averaging 42.3 and 518.3 yards per game.
This is just Morris' third season at the college level. He served as Tulsa's offensive coordinator in 2010, when the Golden Hurricane put up 41.4 points and 460.8 yards per contest. Before that, Morris was a high school head coach for 15 years at various stops in Texas.
Even if he interviews, Morris shouldn't be considered a serious candidate. His first ever interview for a college head coaching position came a few days ago when he spoke with NC State.
A couple of other notes
As we posted last week, Jimbo Fisher is working on hiring a defensive coordinator at Florida State, and Auburn Undercover's Phillip Marshall believes ($) he may be staying with the Seminoles. It's hard to disagree with that.
Marshall and Auburn Sports' Jay G. Tate both report that the hire is expected to be made Wednesday. If that's the case, any interviews from here on out may be just for show.
Louisville head coach Charlie Strong once again stated Auburn never called him.
Bobby Petrino's candidacy seems to be fading. Unless the Tigers are holding out on him as an absolute last resort, there's no reason he wouldn't have already been hired.
Who is the front-runner at this point? Who knows? If we were going to guess, we'd say Smart and Malzahn may be the favorites, but that's based mostly on gut feeling. Smart is supposed to interview today, and if he's a favorite, that sort of flies in the face of that note three spots up. It seems like we really won't have a solid clue on the hire until just before or when it is actually made.