Candidates for the Auburn job

Updated: November 25, 2012, 3:36 PM ET
By Travis Haney

There are fewer head-coaching jobs in the country with more "bosses" than the Auburn Tigers gig, because of the established and football-obsessed booster contingent on the Plains.

When things turn, they turn quickly.

That was certainly the case for Gene Chizik, who was fired by the university Sunday. On the surface, this situation does seem insane, that a coach could go from a national title to unemployed in two seasons. But he was 24-38 as a head coach when his quarterback wasn't named Cam Newton (19-19 at Auburn and 5-19 at Iowa State).

The previous Auburn coach, Tommy Tuberville, illustrates the sensitive nature of the fan base and leadership. Tuberville was 85-40 at the school -- including a six-game winning streak against Alabama from 2002 to 2007 -- when he was asked to leave.

All that said, it's likely the best of the open SEC jobs. Auburn and Tennessee are a coin-flip in that regard, though Auburn might have a slight advantage on the recruiting front. Then again, the Tigers have to go head-to-head in the state with Nick Saban and the Tide on the trail and on the field.

It'll be interesting to see whether the new NCAA investigation into some of the program's recruiting practices dissuades interest from any candidates. However, it didn't really sway those who took the jobs at Ohio State, North Carolina, USC, etc., in recent years, so there's probably no reason to think it would make a difference at Auburn.

Let's take a look at five potential candidates to replace Chizik as the next Auburn head coach.