Didn’t you have fun this week? We had more comments here on the site than I’ve seen in my time as editor, so we’re all of the opinion that Auburn should fire its coach every week!
For real, though, this has been exhausting. What looked like a wild possible heist on Thursday with the coveting of Mario Cristobal turned into a gut punch with his extension at Oregon. After that, news of the entrenchment of the pro-Kevin Steelers in Auburn’s administration and booster corps beleaguered Tiger fans all around.
News of a possible coup by the power players — the anti-Gussers — spread, and we’re unsure of who may actually be involved. What is almost certain is that there was a collaborative effort to oust Gus Malzahn. The who, what, where, and when... window dressing for the public. Scenery.
Who has the power to do it? Who has the ability to cover it up? Who benefits? Those are the important questions, but not as important as the following questions —-
Who will they choose as Auburn’s next head coach, and why?
We can dive down the conspiratorial rabbit hole all day long, but that’s not constructive. We can deal in fact as well, or at least purported fact, and see where that gets us instead.
News has surfaced that at least one interview will be set. That’ll be Steve Sarkisian tomorrow after Alabama throttles Florida in the SEC Championship Game (tonight, 7 pm CST). We’ll probably have another interviewee in Tony Elliott on the field this evening when Clemson meets Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game (3 pm CST).
There’s also a very real possibility that Auburn is talking to Billy Napier today at some point. The ULL head coach was slated to play Coastal Carolina this weekend before COVID positives canceled the Sun Belt title game.
So, we’re likely not hearing anything today, but you can at the very least watch some of the guys who are top candidates for the job. Maybe we’ll get a coach for Christmas.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Auburn has missed on its biggest target.
But seriously, it seems like fact that Auburn will conduct interviews with five candidates: Kevin Steele, Steve Sarkisian, Billy Napier, Tony Elliott, and Brent Venables. If Auburn could snag one of the Clemson coordinators, they’d be likely to bring along some other Clemson assistants, thus hurting Dabo and bolstering Auburn. I’m on board with one of those two. In order of preference, and this is just me personally:
- Billy Napier
- Tony Elliott
- Brent Venables
- Kevin Steele
- Steve Sarkisian
What say you?
UPDATE: Now, there’s a “compromise candidate” emerging. It’s Neal Brown from West Virginia. He formerly coached at Troy, so he’s familiar with the area, but man.
News: Auburn’s “search” is now more of a search, albeit with a powerful group still backing usurper Kevin Steele. Candidates - Sarkisian, Napier, Elliott, and I’d now add Neal Brown. Brown might be the best positioned to bridge the chasms between various factions on The Plains.— Steven Godfrey (@38Godfrey) December 19, 2020