Who Are Auburn's Top Candidates for Head Coach?

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By Jessica Gertler

Names are already being thrown around about who could lead the Auburn Tigers football team now that Gene Chizik has been fired.

Now that Gene Chizik is officially out, Auburn's hunt for a head coach has begun. And with Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky also looking for a head coach, we're hearing the Tiger Nation will try to secure a candidate by the end of the week.

Just Hours after Auburn fell to Alabama 49 to 0 on Saturday, the Tiger's head football coach Gene Chizik was fired.

"We are in a better position now than we have ever been to hire someone," says Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs.

But who is Auburn considering as their next coach?

We asked CBS 8 Sports Analyst John Longshore to list the top three candidates and what each one would bring to the table.

First up is Bobby Petrino, who was ousted as Arkansas' head coach last spring after an affair with a staff member.

"in his four years at Arkansas, his average ranking for his recruiting class was 31 in a state that he had no competition. There is no SEC institution in Arkansas," says Longshore. "And then you look at head-to-head competition. Saban has owned Petrino in three of the four games they have played."

Next on the list: Gus Malzahn, who is Arkansas State's Head Coach.

"Here's a guy that obviously had Auburn's offense just rolling and clicking. He had to scale it back due to Gene Chizik wanting him to slow it down and help Auburn's defense," Longshore says.

"I believe that his coaching skills were a little bit better to me. Caring more about the players," says Daryl Williams, an Auburn fan who would like to see Malzahn as head coach.

And coming in at number three is Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher.

"Maybe his star has dimmed somewhat because of the loss to Florida last week," Longshore says. "He lost a game earlier this year to NC State when they had a lead and had no reason at all to lose that game."

At the end of the day, Longshore says he's not floored with Auburn's candidates.

"I think Auburn can do better. I think they need to go on a national search, and go after these big time head coaches and put the money out there," Longshore says.

He says he's also heard Auburn is looking at Alabama's Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart.

But Longshore says if he could choose, he would hire Vanderbilt's head coach James Franklin.

So who do you think Auburn should hire? Leave your comments, or vote in our poll, that you'll find on the home page.

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John Smith said on Monday, Nov 26 at 8:01 PM

Auburn should hire Lame Kiffin.

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MD said on Monday, Nov 26 at 8:06 PM

Charlie Strong is the guy.

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jimbo barber said on Monday, Nov 26 at 9:11 PM

I thank we should get g us becal he knows the game

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jimbo said on Monday, Nov 26 at 9:17 PM

Get gus we need a champion coach again it was gus not chizik helk get cam

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ZRated said on Monday, Nov 26 at 9:45 PM

Jeff Fisher

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Joseph Richard Wright said on Monday, Nov 26 at 11:02 PM

i think they should look at Chip Kelley from Oregan but there is also Charlie Strong he would be a great coach At AU They could go after Steve Spurrier from SC but Kirby Smart will be a great Coach but he isn't Ready quite yet and theres Lane Kiffin out at USC or they should look at some of the NFL Coaches Pete Carrol For one. go after Gus Malzon needs to stay at Arkansas State.........just giving you a piece of mind

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AW said on Tuesday, Nov 27 at 11:36 AM

Charlie Strong

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weslea miniat said on Tuesday, Nov 27 at 1:40 PM

auburn should hire jeff fisher

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jason watson said on Tuesday, Nov 27 at 4:32 PM

Pat Summit

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Dan said on Tuesday, Nov 27 at 7:31 PM

How about Jon Gruden?

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AU_Tiger said on Tuesday, Nov 27 at 8:10 PM

While Kirby Smar is a successful Defensive Coordinator, he has no head coaching experience. Charlie Strong would be a fantastic choice for Auburn, and Gus Malzahn would be good. The only coach Auburn should NOT look at is Bobby Petrino. He leaves programs worse off than when he got there. I think Charlie Strong is Auburn's best shot. Auburn needs to replace Scot Loeffler and Brian Van Gorder. Gene Chizik was not Auburn's problem, he just recruited poorly and hired two coordinators that don't cut it in the SEC. In my opinion, Charlie Strong should be Auburn's #1 choice.

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Anonymous said on Wednesday, Nov 28 at 4:49 AM

I would like to see Bret Bielema at Auburn Seriously dought he would leave Wisconsin for Auburn but $$$ does talk.

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Steven said on Wednesday, Nov 28 at 4:50 AM

I would like to see Bret Bielema at Auburn Seriously dought he would leave Wisconsin for Auburn but $$$ does talk

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Lame kiffin said on Wednesday, Nov 28 at 10:35 AM

Sucks

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Jason said on Wednesday, Nov 28 at 8:16 PM

Kirby Smart would be a great hire. I think he will make a good head coach even though he hasn't had the experience yet.

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Dan said on Wednesday, Nov 28 at 11:54 PM

JON GRUDEN

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Jim.... said on Sunday, Dec 2 at 10:24 PM

Please help Jimbo Fischer get out of Tallahassee before we Tar and Feather him...

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BARBARA said on Monday, Dec 3 at 2:20 PM

CHARLIE STRONG OR KIRBY SMART

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Just Knowing said on Tuesday, Dec 4 at 11:44 AM

The critical factor in being a successful head coach is having great assistants. Chiziks current ones do not measure up. Interviewers of head coach prospects should get some perspective of who the head coach thinks could help him be successful.

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