As Auburn’s coaching search has continued, people seem to have begun to lose their sanity.
Throw out any name, and it apparently sticks.
A new face has emerged in the running for the Tigers’ head coaching position, and he hails from an unlikely place: Clemson’s Dabo Swinney.
According to our sources (also confirmed by a few outlets, we are not the first to mention Swinney and Auburn), Dabo Swinney’s representatives have been having conversations with Auburn University since around last Saturday (Lance Taylor of The Next Round discussed similar things on wednesday’s show).
Note that this does not mean the Tigers are going to hire him, nor does it mean they are currently trying to hire him. All that has been said is that his representatives have been in conversations with Auburn.
As of right now, things have gone quiet on the whole. Nothing new on any of Auburn’s other candidates. We’ve trimmed our list to four with questions surrounding actual Swinney’s interest in the position.
Here’s a look at our updated hot board:
Lane Kiffin – Ole Miss
Record at Ole Miss: 23-10
Overall Record: 84-43
Head coaching experience: Oakland Raiders, Tennessee, USC, Florida Atlantic, Ole Miss
Other experience: Fresno State (assistant), Colorado State (GA), Jacksonville Jaguars (DQC), USC (TE, WR, PGC, OC), Alabama (OC/QB)
Kiffin is one of the main candidates at the top of Auburn’s target list, and will remain there until the end of the season when the Tigers can finally go after him. He has mastered the transfer portal with the Rebels and would immediately provide a boost to Auburn’s relatively thin roster.
He’s one of the best offensive minds in the game and has a Twitter game that is unrivaled. Kiffin has made a couple of public remarks about the position but has not fully shut down the possibility of coming to the Plains. He was reportedly interested in the position back in 2020 and may find interest in Auburn now.
Rumors surrounding Kiffin and a move to the Tigers have circled for a few days now. If we had to make a guess, he will be the hire. When that comes, or if it even does, we don’t know.
Record at Oregon: 159-37
Overall Record: 159-37
Head coaching experience: Clemson
Other experience: Alabama (GA, WR, TE), Clemson (WR, AHC, OC)
Swinney is one of the most accomplished coaches of the 21st century. Two national titles, seven ACC championship victories, ten ACC Atlantic division titles, and six top ten recruiting classes. He’s done it all.
We don’t think Dabo Swinney is genuinely considering a move from Clemson to Auburn despite the conversations. It was hard to put anything out on Saturday, because, well, it sounds wild. If he did leave for the Plains, he could cause a seismic shake up in the SEC.
Hugh Freeze – Liberty
Record at Liberty: 34-13
Overall Record: 75-45
Head coaching experience: Lambuth, Arkansas State, Ole Miss, Liberty
Other experience: Ole Miss (TE), Arkansas State (OC)
Hugh Freeze has well documented baggage that comes with him wherever he goes. However, that has not stopped many from pointing out that he has won everywhere he has coached, and currently has the Flames (a program that has only been at the DI level for four and a half seasons) inside the AP Top 25. He is also one of three college coaches to have ever beaten Nick Saban in back-to-back years (Ole Miss, 2014-15). He just traveled to Arkansas and beat the Razorbacks with his third-string quarterback.
Freeze wants the job badly. How high he is on Auburn’s board is obviously not known – but it is fair to assume that he will get a look if he hasn’t already.
Dan Lanning – Oregon
Record at Oregon: 8-2
Overall Record: 8-2
Head coaching experience: Oregon
Other experience: Pittsburgh (GA), Arizona State (GA/RC), Sam Houston State (DB), Alabama (GA), Memphis (ILB), Georgia (DC/OLB)
Lanning is a first-year head coach that holds a lot of promise. He overlooks one of the best defenses of the 21st century at Georgia before moving to Oregon in the offseason. He picked up a quarterback and offensive coordinator with Auburn ties (Bo Nix, Kenny Dillingham) and has produced one of the best offenses in the entire nation.
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