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Last week Coach Harsin was picked as the top SEC coach to win a fight. That might be the last thing he wins this 2022 season.
Not many named football programs head into a season with this many negatives aimed at the head of their coach. To name a few:
Yet, this guy had the University of Alabama on the ropes, well, actually had them beat, and let them get away. Harsin wins that game, would anyone even care about all of the above going into this season? And if that Alabama receiver doesn’t get away with pushing off to catch the game-tying touchdown pass with less than a minute left, would we even be debating ANY of this? Or Tank stays in bound late in the game?
September will at least give Auburn some time to grow before heading into the meat of the 2022 season. We can easily see wins against Mercer, San Jose State and Missouri. A loss in any of those games and the wheels come off the bus immediately and there ain't no way to get it back up and running.
The key game in September will be the September 17th home game against Penn State. Being at home helps a lot, but this just does not feel like the year things like that will matter. Count this as a close loss at home.
Ok, here we go. Harsin’s career future could be determined right here early in the season. And the key to that future could very well be the October 1 game against LSU. Again, thank God this is a home game. But once again count this as a loss. If this game does go South, the rest of the season will just blow.
Expect three more losses in a winless October, losing games to Georgia, Ole Miss and Arkansas. If Auburn finds itself at 3-5 or even 4-4 at the end of this month, expect the pressure to explode on the Plains. Harsin becomes Dead Man Walking. Will the rest of the season even matter? Could an impossible win over Alabama even save Harsin?
Boy, it don’t get easier in November. Maybe Auburn could hold against Miss State, but if the season is imploding all around them, coupled with all the negatives built going into the season, it would be easy to see this team quit on Harsin in November. Gotta go with a Miss State win here for no other reason than bad timing coming out of October for Auburn.
And Texas A&M and Alabama should put Auburn out of its misery.
The lone win comes from the November 19 game with Western Kentucky. But remember, even Nick Saban and Alabama lost to Lousiana-Monroe, so is anything a lock in 2022?
The scenario above is perhaps the worst-case season for our Auburn Tigers, coming in at a dismal 4-8 record. And Harsin will be gone.
The key to the 2022 season: the three swing SEC games we have identified above: LSU, Mississippi State and Arkansas. How Auburn fares in those three games could very well determine Harsin’s future and the future of the Auburn program.