Paschall: No light right now at the end of Auburn’s tunnel

Auburn photo by Todd Van Emst / Auburn second-year coach Bryan Harsin has an 8-8 record with the Tigers following Saturday’s 41-12 home loss to Penn State.

There is no competition when it comes to Southeastern Conference football programs that defy logic.

Auburn retired that trophy years ago.

When the Tigers ended the hugely successful Pat Dye era with a disappointing 5-5-1 record in 1992 and were facing NCAA sanctions, Terry Bowden was hired and promptly went 11-0. When Bowden was 1-5 midway through the 1998 season and bolted, Tommy Tuberville was hired and had the Tigers playing for an SEC title two seasons later.

Gene Chizik guided Auburn to the 2010 national championship two years after Tuberville resigned following a 5-7 finale, and a season after the Chizik era imploded at 3-9, Gus Malzahn came within 13 seconds of leading the Tigers to another national crown in 2013.

What about any of that makes sense?

Unfortunately for Auburn, what really doesn't make sense was the decision to fire Malzahn amid a pandemic in December 2020 without having a replacement lined up.