On Monday, Auburn finally ripped the band-aid off, firing Bryan Harsin in the middle of just his second season as head coach. He didn’t have a lot of time to build up the program, but there were no signs that he was making progress. It was a move that had to happen. Auburn will be eyeing the cream of the crop in their head coaching search, but will they be the only SEC team searching for a coach this offseason?
Most likely, Harsin will be the only SEC coach fired this season, but a couple of others are quickly finding themselves on the hot seat. Most notably, the rumblings around Jimbo Fisher at College Station are getting louder. Texas A&M has now lost four in a row and is just 1-4 in conference play. They also have an abysmal loss to Appalachian State on their resumé.
It almost seemed unfathomable at the beginning of the year, but there’s a world where I could see Texas A&M moving on at the end of the season. Three of their final four games are against Florida, Auburn, and LSU. If they lose those games and finish short of making a bowl, there will be serious conversations about Fisher’s job status.
What makes the situation even muddier is the recent suspensions of players and allegations that they were smoking pot prior to their game at South Carolina a couple of weeks ago, which they lost. It sounds like Fisher is losing control of the program; however, his $80+ million fully guaranteed buyout will make it very difficult for Texas A&M to swallow this early into his contract.
This one isn’t going to happen this year, but we could have a very similar situation in Florida next year to the one Auburn is going through right now if things don’t turn around in Gainesville. 2022 started off with a bang for Billy Napier and the Gators, beating a top-ten ranked Utah team at home, but it’s been all downhill since.
Florida has lost three of their last five games, with all three losses coming to some of their biggest rivals – LSU, Georgia, and Tennessee. That’s not going to cut it at the Swamp, and things could get even worse with matchups versus Texas A&M, South Carolina, and Florida State looming. Like Texas A&M, Florida could find themselves battling for a spot in a bowl game, which is something nobody expected coming into the season.
Billy Napier deserves a couple of years to get his own guys into the program, but as we just saw with Auburn, you’re not going to last long at a powerhouse program winning seven games or less. If Florida doesn’t see considerable improvements under Napier in his second season, I wouldn’t be shocked if he found himself jobless by this time next year.
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