Former ESPN 106.7 host Carter Byrd believes polarizing ex-Auburn football head coach Bryan Harsin was “born on third,” a euphemism for having everything handed to one from the beginning of one’s life, when answering a fan’s question of whether or not the Boise native would be a good coach if he gave any effort to recruiting.
“A better question is…if Harsin hadn’t come up in Chris Peterson’s program, if he hadn’t been handed the keys to an Ark St built up by Freeze and Malzahn, if he hadn’t been handed the keys to Peterson’s built up, self-sufficient Boise State, would anyone have a clue who he is? Let’s be real…dude has been born on third and thought he hit a triple his whole coaching career until Auburn, and it resulted in a lack of effort in recruiting, over-the-top arrogance and stubbornness, and coaching ineptitude,” Byrd prefaced before saying, “He’s not a good coach. Plain and simple.”
While the point about Harsin only seeing success at Boise due to being handed the keys from Chris Peterson falls a bit flat when you realize Harsin had six consecutive winning seasons — hard to claim Peterson’s success when all of his recruits were working professionals by Harsin’s final years at the helm of the Broncos even with the vague “self-sufficient” claim that one would think would apply to Auburn too — it’s not hard to believe the rest of Byrd’s claims considering the minimal effort he showed on the Plains as Tigers head coach.
Auburn football must get past the Bryan Harsin excuses
Hugh Freeze has gotten endless grace from the Auburn family, who still blames Harsin when the team isn’t competing. But eventually, Freeze will have to take responsibility for the product on the field; one that’s been a straight-up disaster for nearly half the season.
The competitiveness of the Georgia game was not something we rarely saw from Harsin’s teams against elite competition, 2021 Iron Bowl notwithstanding. Still, the LSU, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss games were a step back from Harsin’s first season. Yes, those were mostly Gus Malzahn’s recruits who were on the field for AU, but few were giving Malzahn the credit for any of the six wins in the Tigers’ first eight games that season.
Harsin is surely to blame for why the Auburn football program didn’t take any meaningful steps forward in 2021 and 2022, but continuing to blame him for all of AU’s problems is giving opposing fanbases endless fodder should the Tigers be in the same position in 2024, 2025, and beyond.