Lane Kiffin named early favorite to become Auburn’s next head football coach

Oh, what a plot twist this would be.

Imagine Lane Kiffin, former USC head coach and assistant coach, making the jump from Ole Miss to Auburn.

After Auburn hired a new athletic director and fired head football coach Bryan Harsin on a very busy Monday, the Tigers are officially searching for a new coach.

Our friends at Auburn Wire get to follow a head coaching search. We did this last year with Clay Helton, though Helton was fired much earlier in the 2021 season than Harsin was in 2022.

Now that Auburn is looking for a coach, who is at the top of the list?

Auburn Wire thinks it’s Lane Kiffin.

Keep in mind that Kiffin coached at Tennessee for one year. This would therefore be his third SEC head coaching job, and that doesn’t include his stint at Alabama under Nick Saban.

How many SEC teams will Kiffin coach before his career is over?

Anyway, let’s go through Kiffin and the other candidates mentioned by Auburn Wire:

AUBURN WIRE ON LANE KIFFIN

Auburn Wire noted before the Ole Miss-Auburn game a few weeks ago that Kiffin might be auditioning for the job in that game. Ole Miss won, 48-34.

Hmmm …

AUBURN WIRE'S OTHER CANDIDATES: DEION SANDERS

From Auburn Wire:

There isn’t a bigger name in the world of college football that is available like Deion Sanders. Coach Prime would bring a lot of eyeballs to Auburn. With a Power Five team could his staff do some damage on the recruiting trail? If he can swing five-star wide receivers at Jackson State, what could he do in the SEC? Sanders doesn’t have the experience of others but what do you have to lose at this point?

DAN MULLEN

Auburn Wire:

His resume is more impressive than Harsin with a combined 103-61 record in the SEC. It could be a story of redemption after being ousted in 2021 from the job at Florida. Not to mention he was the head coach at Mississippi State when new the Auburn AD was there. Just spitballing here.

BILL O'BRIEN

Auburn Wire:

This isn’t a name that will garner much positivity among some fans. But as a head coach Bill O’Brien has a pretty good resume, as a general manager not so much. He did a good job at Penn State before moving to the NFL. Perhaps attending Nick Saban’s school of wayward coaches has done him some good. At least a name to keep an eye on.

BAYLOR OC JEFF GRIMES

Auburn Wire:

Jeff Grimes has been on the Plains before as an offensive line coach. His work with the BYU Cougars and Baylor Bears will certainly have him getting some attention with the openings around college football.

MATT RHULE

Auburn Wire:

Matt Rhule’s run as the head coach of the Carolina Panthers was shortlived but perhaps he would return to the college game. He turned the Baylor Bears from worst to first in a quick span, an experience he could lean on with Auburn. The big question revolves around whether or not Matt Rhule wants to return to the game.

MARK STOOPS

Auburn Wire:

If Stoops doesn’t like dealing with basketball coach John Calipari, then he would probably love Bruce Pearl. A man who is very supportive of other sports at Auburn. Stoops has really turned around a football program that has been dormant for decades. He should be on the shortlist.

COASTAL CAROLINA HEAD COACH JAMEY CHADWELL

Auburn Wire:

Chadwell has put Coastal Carolina on the map in the G5 and he would likely do wonders for the offense at Auburn. While he doesn’t have experience at the Power Five level, his ability to build programs shouldn’t go unnoticed.

HUGH FREEZE

Auburn Wire:

Freeze is a name that has come up quite a bit. He did just sign a new contract with Liberty making it a longshot but worth a mention.

LANCE LEIPOLD

Auburn Wire:

Lance Leipold is the hottest name on the coaching carousel it seems. The Wisconsin Badgers and Nebraska Cornhuskers are likely both making a run at the Kansas head coach. Auburn should at least kick the tires.

OTHER NOTES

WASTED MONEY

NIL

BACKGROUND

NOTABLE

No mention of Alex Grinch or Oregon offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham, who worked with Bo Nix at Auburn before reuniting with Nix in Eugene this season.

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire