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Pressure is nothing new in college football. Coaches, staffs, players, and even the administration feel the heat every single day.
However, when it comes to football on the Plains, it gets dialed up a notch. Bryan Harsin’s predecessor took the Tigers to a BCS Championship game but couldn’t win the crystal ball trophy. Over the next several years he failed to return to the ultimate stage, ultimately costing him the head coaching gig. The Tigers turned to Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin.
After finishing 6-7 and losing to their rivals in the most gut-wrenching fashion, Harsin felt the heat during the offseason. Leaving many to even question if he would be the head coach prior to the SEC coaches meeting in Birmingham.
As we march towards the 2022 campaign, Harsin is still going to feel the pressure. Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports highlighted him among the seven coaches who will face the most pressure in the upcoming season. It feels more and more like the pressure at Auburn is directly related to the administration and their want to clean house after one season.
Bryan Harsin, Auburn
Auburn Tigers head coach Bryan Harsin talks with Auburn Tigers quarterback Robby Ashford (9) during the A-Day spring practice at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK
What Sallee Says…
A coup attempt by influential members of the Auburn program nearly ousted Harsin during the offseason, but the second-year coach of the Tigers needs to thrive in order to survive in 2022. A 6-7 season should never happen at Auburn, even during rebuilding years. That’s exactly what Harsin posted in his first year, which also included massive coaching turnover, a mass exodus of players to the transfer portal, a 25-point collapse vs. Mississippi State and an overtime escape from the clutches of Group of Five foe Georgia State.
Harsin has to manage a three-man quarterback battle among T.J. Finley, Texas A&M transfer Zach Calzada and Robby Ashford this offseason, and will do so with long-time confidant Eric Kiseau running the offense. The right decision better be made. The Tigers have road games at Georgia, Ole Miss and Alabama this year, in addition to a home tilt vs. Penn State in Week 3.
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