Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rumors of Jeff Fisher to Auburn swirl

AUBURN, Ala. -- St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher is one of the big names that keeps popping up in public forums when surmising who Auburn might consider to replace Gene Chizik.
Fisher's son, Trent, is a former walk-on safety for the Tigers who earned a scholarship before this season and had a chance to shine in the final two games. Other than that, Fisher's interest in the job is unknown.
Something to consider: rarely do successful NFL head coaches bolt for the not-so-greener pastures of college football, where salaries are lower but headaches are higher in terms of recruiting responsibilities, NCAA compliance commandments, and the like.
There are 106 currently-employed head coaches at Division I universities. Only a half-dozen have ever been the head man for a single NFL game.
And get this: even those six have not been very successful.
There are some pretty good college coaches in that company. Alabama's Nick Saban, South Carolina's Steve Spurrier, Oregon State's Mike Riley and UCLA's Jim Mora Jr. each lead top-20 programs. USC's Lane Kiffin and Southern Methodist's June Jones, solid in their own right, round out the list.
But the group's combined NFL record is 100-156 -- a 39 percent success clip. None individually has a winning percentage at the professional record.
As for Fisher? He would shake up the list completely. He's 150-132-1 in 18 years coaching the Oilers, Titans and Rams, a man who has coached more days in his life in the Super Bowl (XXXIV) than he has in college football.
Throw in the fact his salary ($7 million) is double what Chizik made, and it's not a stretch to call it a major upset if Auburn lured Fisher to the Plains.
For the record, ESPN's Jon Gruden has rebuffed rumors he's linked to Arkansas and Tennessee openings while serving as Monday Night Football color commentator. He's 100-85 in 11 years as coach of the Raiders and Buccaneers, including a Super Bowl XXXVII victory.
Gruden has not coached since 2008, and did spend four years in the college ranks from 1986-89, including a two-year graduate assistant stint for the Volunteers.

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