Every time this comes up I throw out the same names. Why break from tradition?
I firmly believe John Harbaugh is a better coach than Jim, and he's not a space cake like his brother. Speaking as a Ravens fan, it's too early to call, but I can see how his time in Baltimore might be winding down. I like him in Bmore, and I would LOVE to have him in Auburn. After 13 seasons of college coaching he took an NFL job in 1997. Worked for Ray Rhodes and Andy Reid in Philadelphia until taking the Ravens job in 2008. He has a history as a special teams and secondary coach, so he isn't married to any particular philosophy. He's a really good dude too, and I think he has the personality to be an effective recruiter. In the heat of the moment he will call a ref an MF-er, so be prepared to mute the TV if momma is watching the game, I know she hates those unnecessary penalties.
Jeff Fisher says he wants to keep coaching. His uninspiring record is around 0.500, but that's not too bad for such a long career---it's way more impressive than dink or Spurrier, which is something. He's got pretty strong Auburn ties, considering as a coach he likely isn't tethered to a particular booster or faction. I recall an interview a while back where he said he almost took the uat, so he's open to the idea of coaching in these parts. We could do worse for a HC. Regarding his coaching tree, being an analyst at uat has become the latest stepping-stone job, and the current offensive guy is Chris Weinke, who was Fisher's QB coach for a few years. Weinke was the HC at IMG Academy for while, I don't know if that would open or close doors with FL high school coaches.
If things don't go well this season, I could see Carolina making a change. I've always liked Ron Rivera as a coach. Their relationship being what it is, that would probably irritate any anti-Cam people (turds, MSU). What if he brought Mike Shula back to Alabama...? And what if he turned out to be good...? CRR is in his mid-fifties, and impresses me as a football lifer, so he could provide an immediate pop and be a steady, long-term solution. Surely he would boost our recruiting profile in some very valuable recruiting territory. Could also help insulate the program from the contemporary paradigm of identifying and confronting societal deficiencies.
Scott Frost is my pick for coach on the rise. Played for a pretty impressive list of coaches. He spent two years with Bill Walsh at Stanford. When CBW left, he transferred back home to Nebraska where he finished his career with a 24-2 record and national championship under Tom Osbourne. In the NFL he played for Bill Parcels, Bill Belichick and John Gruden. As a coach he worked under Frank Solich, Mark Farley (7 conference titles at N. Iowa), Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich. As a first-year HC at UCF, his squad had a six-game improvement from the year before. He was an elite dual-threat QB and in 1997 (when they destroyed Peyton's UT team) he was the 10th player in college history to rush and pass for 1000 yards in a season. He's played and coached multiple positions on both sides of the ball.
Kliff Kingsbury accomplished amazing things as Sumlin's OC at Houston and TA&M, and CKS hasn't done a durn thing since they parted ways. I recently read since 2011 his offenses have averaged 550 yards and 42 points per game. He played at TT, so maybe he's a lifer. Maybe he would entertain an opportunity to step up. His history with QBs is impressive. He's coached Case Keenum, Johnny Manziel (during the good times), Baker Mayfield, Davis Webb and Pat Mahomes.
Brian Polian (son of legendary NFL GM, Bill Polian) is currently on the staff at Notre Dame. He's been around a while (21-year career) and has worked for some really good coaches, including, as it happens, dink and Kevin Steele.
Seems like only a matter of time before Jeff Scott gets his own gig. Clemson's WRs have been pretty dang good on his watch. Pretty good showing in the NFL too.
It might be worth a phone call to guys like David Cutcliffe, Jim Tressell, or Butch Davis, maybe even Pete Carroll.
With all of that said, to be perfectly frank, I believe I might have the simplest solution with the greatest possible likelihood of working. We defer to the expert. We call up the guy that probably has the best idea on exactly who Auburn needs and why we need them.....a guy that can reach into his magic hat and receive the best possible fit.....the guru who knows who's is and isn't available. We sack Jacobs, can the committee, and let Jimmy-effing-Sexton put together the best-possible package deal for AD, HC and staff. Give us the best you got and we'll sign them to a ten-year deal.