The Bryan Harsin era’s swan song season in 2022 was “not totally awful” according to College Football News’ Pete Fiutak — who claimed that the Auburn football program’s record was a winning one despite the narrative being that they were hopeless.
“I admit to being very, very lonely in my belief that Auburn wasn’t totally awful in the 5-7 2022 season,” Fiutak prefaced before saying, “It had everything going against it with everyone knowing the bizarre run of Bryan Harsin obviously coming to a merciful end before the year was up.
“The offense couldn’t get off the ground, the defense went through a midseason meltdown – allowing 39 points or more six times on the year – and even with all of that the team still finished 5-7 and came a lot closer to being 8-4 – okay, maybe 7-5 – than everyone remembers.”
Cadillac Williams is the only reason Auburn football almost had a winning season in 2022
When it comes to finding those extra two wins that would’ve completely changed the narrative of the Tigers’ 2022 season, the only one Harsin was the head coach for was against LSU in Week 5 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. AU squandered a 17-point lead at home in what was easily the season’s most heartbreaking loss; since a 4-1 start was on the table at that point.
Truthfully, the only other game Auburn football had a chance at winning was when Cadillac Williams was in charge on an interim basis. In fact, it was the former Tigers running back great’s debut against Mississippi State — this time, featuring a 21-point lead comeback from Auburn, the inverse of the 25-point comeback the Bulldogs pulled off in 2021 — that could’ve given AU a winning season.
Harsin won three games in eight tries, while Cadillac won two in four. That ultimately tells the story of what would’ve been a forgotten season in any other college town, but instead, a 2022 campaign that had one of the sport’s most heartwarming moments over the course of the regular season: an Auburn man/legend who got to claim the spotlight while helping pay it forward in a mentorship role.