Former Auburn football quarterback Bo Nix, who is now thriving as a Heisman candidate as the starter for the Oregon Ducks against far easier defenses than he faced in the SEC, was “failed by the grownups in the room” at AU according to Opelika-Auburn News editor Justin Lee.
“Failed by the grownups in the room at Auburn who couldn’t come up with a cohesive vision,” Lee said of Nix. “Between the money, administration, and coaches, none of them could convince the others to get on board with their ideas. It’s not just about recruiting players, but recruiting loyalty.” Nix had previously described being “miserable” every week under disgraced former Auburn football head coach Bryan Harsin — something that contributed to No. 10’s exodus from a program his father had also played for in the 1990s — so there’s certainly validity to Lee’s perspective.
“Last year, I was just kind of over it,” Nix said of the 2021 season (h/t CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd). “Each week it was something else. There was, quite frankly, nothing I could do about it. I just remember kind of being miserable. It wasn’t fun anymore.”
Bo Nix is a symbol of the failed Bryan Harsin era of Auburn football
No one man can define Harsin’s failures on the Plains; not even the Boise native’s own faults. The story of how the Tigers blew big leads, got blown out in the Middle 8 constantly, and got embarrassed twice by Georgia will be told using several players’ testimonies.
Nix’s is perhaps one of the most notable. The Pinson Valley product was a gimme for Harsin to inherit from Gus Malzahn, who got plenty from Nix in 2019 with Kenny Dillingham in tow but not nearly as much with Chad Morris in charge at offensive coordinator. Like every other gimme, though, Harsin give him back to the college football world and led him to his best-fitting gridiron home.
Between Tank Bigsby never getting the protection necessary to reach his potential, TJ Finley’s yips making him a different in-game QB than what he did in practice, the exodus of transfers to the portal right before his firing, and Nix, Harsin, and the achievements he held his players back from, will always define the 2021 and 2022 college football seasons in East Central Alabama.