Nebraska Football: Harsin firing creates first real coaching search competition

Auburn Tigers head coach Bryan Harsin walks onto the field (Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports)
Auburn Tigers head coach Bryan Harsin walks onto the field (Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports) /

Now that Auburn has fired Bryan Harsin, there’s some legitimate competition for the Nebraska football program when it comes to the coaching search. That is of course, if you believe that the Huskers are going after a big name head coach and aren’t going to stick with Mickey Joseph as the man to lead the program.

There had long been talk that Harsin was on the hot seat. Every week it seemed as though fans across college football were wondering if this would be the week when he’d finally be shown the door. Turns out Monday was finally the day.

So who will replace him for the Tigers? Turns out there are at least a few names that have also been rumored to be part of the Nebraska football coaching search. Right at the top of the list is Lane Kiffin.

One of the hottest names in any coaching search, Kiffin already knows the SEC well and might be looking to make a move to a program that has a few more resources than Ole Miss does. Of course, it was the resource argument that was the big factor in the chance of getting him to come to Lincoln.

Another name that is already being floated for the newly open position is Matt Rhule. The recently fired former Carolina Panthers head was rumored to be on everyone’s hot list. However, there were rumors that he wasn’t all that interested in jobs that were “currently open.” Those jobs included the Nebraska football opening at the time, but not Auburn.

Monday’s move does seem to provide a wrinkle in the Huskers’ coaching search, even if they aren’t going after those two names. None of Georgia Tech, Colorado, or Arizona State really felt on the same level as the Cornhuskers, even if they are Power 5 programs. Wisconsin has long been thought to be leaning heavily towards interim head coach Jim Leonhard, effectively taking them out of the race. The Tigers, with their SEC money and prestige, are at least on the same level.

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From here on out, things could get very interesting for Nebraska football fans who are hoping the program lands a big-name head coach.