Potential candidates to be the next football coach at Auburn

Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart (

Now that Auburn and Gene Chizik have officially parted ways, it's time to turn our attention to who will be the next football coach at Auburn University.

Bobby Petrino

Current position:{} Unemployed

Career Record as Head Coach: 75-26 in eight seasons

2003-2006:{} Louisville 41-9

2007:{} Atlanta Falcons head coach 3-10

2008-2011:{} Arkansas head coach 34-17

Bowl Record: 7 Bowls, 4-3

Reasons why Petrino will be the next coach at Auburn:

Everybody deserves a second chance, right? Auburn could get one of the winningest coaches in college football at a discount after Petrino sat out from coaching in 2012 following his firing from Arkansas. Petrino's eagerness to land another SEC job gives Jay Jacobs the edge at the bargaining table when it's time to talk salary and buyout, and after an expensive divorce from Gene Chizik and his staff, Jacobs will be looking to stop the recent hemorrhaging from the Tigers Unlimited fund.

Reasons why Petrino will not be the next coach at Auburn:

Just six months after signing a 10-year $25.6 million extension at Louisville in 2006, Petrino left to become the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons..

Petrino resigned from the Falcons with three games remaining on the schedule in 2007 to take the Arkansas job. He informed his players by leaving notes in their lockers.

Arkansas fired him after he lied to athletic director Jeff Long following his motorcycle accident about an extra-marital affair he had with a staff member.

Jimbo Fisher

Current Position:{} Head Coach at Florida State

Career Record as Head Coach:{} 29-10 in three seasons

2010:{} 10-4

2011:{} 9-4

2012:{} 10-2

Bowl Record: 2 Bowls, 2-0

Reasons why Fisher will be the next coach at Auburn:

Fisher, a Samford University graduate, loves the state of Alabama and he would undoubtedly enjoy living in Auburn after spending six seasons there as a quarterbacks coach (1993-1998). Along with his familiarity with Auburn, Fisher's impeccable character and propensity to winning is exactly what Jay Jacobs and company are looking for in the next Tigers' head coach.

Reasons why Fisher will not be the next coach at Auburn:

Prying Fisher away from Tallahassee would take an enormous amount of money, and the Seminoles coach has complete control over the program, a perk that Auburn may not be willing to give him.{}

Gus Malzahn

Current Position:{} Head Coach at Arkansas State

Career Record as Head Coach:{} 8-3 in one season

Reasons why Malzahn will be the next coach at Auburn:

Many people in Auburn gave more credit to Gus Malzahn than Gene Chizik for winning the 2010 BCS National Championship, and the "Gus Bus" was widely popular on the Plains. Just one season removed from being the Auburn offensive coordinator, Malzahn's return as head coach would provide a seamless transition for the current Tigers' team and recruiting class.

Reasons why Malzahn will not be the next coach at Auburn:

Jay Jacobs said in his news conference on Sunday that the search committee will seek a proven winner to be the next coach at Auburn, and Malzahn's one season at Arkansas State isn't exactly proving a whole lot.{}

Kirby Smart

Current Position:{} Defensive Coordinator at Alabama

Career Record as Head Coach:{} 0-0

Reasons why Smart will be the next coach at Auburn:

Stealing Nick Saban's best assistant away from Alabama would give the Auburn family great satisfaction, and Smart would provide the Tigers with more stellar recruiting.{} No coach knows Saban better than Smart due to the fact that the two have worked together for eight seasons at three different places (LSU, Miami Dolphins, Alabama). Smart's intimate knowledge of Saban's process to building a championship program is a rare commodity that other candidates will not have on their resumes.

Reasons why Smart will not be the next coach at Auburn:

Although Jacobs said they will not limit potential coaching candidates to current or former head coaches only, Auburn will be hesitant to hire Smart who has zero head coaching experience.{}


Other possible candidates:{}

Bo Pelini (Nebraska), Charlie Strong (Louisville), Chad Morris (Clemson OC)