Who Could Be Next To Lead Tigers?

These are just a few of the names that could be involved as the Auburn Tigers begin the search for a new head coach.

Auburn, Ala.--Just two seasons removed from the BCS National Championship, Gene Chizik is out as Auburn's head coach leaving the Tigers on the prowl for the new man to lead them into the future. With three top recruiting classes on campus, top-notch facilities, and playing in the best football conference in the country, Auburn is an attractive job and one that should garner plenty of interest.

In addition to Auburn, Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky are also looking for a head coach after making changes during the last year.

With that in mind here are four of the guys that you should keep an eye on as Auburn looks to fill the vacant position as quickly as possible.

Gus Malzahn—The architect of the 2010 offense that helped Auburn to its first national championship in over 50 years, Malzahn is 8-3 in his first season at Arkansas State and has the Red Wolves on the brink of the Sun Belt title. Auburn's offensive coordinator from 2009-2011, Malzahn is someone that Auburn's current players have a good rapport with and he could easily re-install his hurry-up/no-huddle offense to hit the ground running as quickly as possible. While the 2010 season gets all the press for Malzahn, his 2009 offense may be even more impressive. Coming off a season in which the Tigers averaged just 17.3 points and 302.9 yards per game in 2008, Malzahn helped the Auburn offense to averages of 33.3 points and 431.8 yards the very next year.

Jimbo Fisher-A former Auburn offensive assistant from 1993-1998 and currently in his third season at Florida State, Fisher is 29-10 after taking over for Bobby Bowden and has the Seminoles playing for the ACC Championship this weekend against Georgia Tech.

Jimbo Fisher

With three assistant coaches (Eddie Gran, Dameyune Craig, Rick Trickett) that have Auburn ties and also having worked for Alabama coach Nick Saban at LSU, Fisher knows all about the rivalry with the Crimson Tide. Since leaving Cincinnati to go to LSU in 2000, Fisher has coached in 13 consecutive bowl games.

Kirby Smart-A former Georgia player now working as an assistant coach at Alabama, Smart would following the Pat Dye path if he became Auburn's head coach. One of the hottest names in college football, he's a name that could pop up on several lists this year.

Kirby Smart

At just 36 years old he's already the highest-paid defensive coordinator in the country and the 2009 Broyles Award Winner for college football's top assistant coach. His defenses have been among the best in the country since he took over the job in 2007.

Bobby Petrino-There is no doubting Petrino's pedigree and ability to coach football, but the questions surrounding his dismissal at Arkansas can't be denied as well as his early departure from the Atlanta Falcons to take over the Hogs. Petrino was also the coach at Louisville that was secretly wanted by the Auburn administration in 2003 that later became known as Jetgate.

Bobby Petrino

Compiling a 75-26 record at both Louisville and Arkansas, Petrino is one of the top offensive minds in football and a ferocious competitor. Those two traits make him one of the more intriguing candidates for the Tigers this year.

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