“EPIC FAIL” does not begin to describe a coaching search that should never have existed, yet ends in the hiring of your school’s former defensive coordinator, who has been an absolute joke of a head coach in the red-headed stepchild of a division that is the Big XII North.

This is what you parted ways with Tommy Tuberville for, Auburn? Gene Effing Chizik? Seriously?

Turner Gill was there for the taking after leading Buffalo to a MAC championship and an 8-5 record, beating the previously undefeated Ball State in the process. Mike Leach could have been money-whipped away from Texas Tech after his 11-1 season. Charlie Strong has been running the defense at Florida for YEARS, dying for a crumb and a shot at a respectable head coaching gig.

But no, ESPN reports AD Jay Jacobs will hire a man who is 5-19 in his head coaching career to run an SEC program — please put the necessary emphasis here, because the piece is based on “sources”, not any official word, and I’ll happily revoke and apologize for this post if the article it’s based on turns out to be complete bunk. But even the mere rumor of hiring Chizik for anything more than D-coordinator is utterly laughable, and will provide nothing but unwanted guffawing from the fans of all other SEC teams — especially considering that he’s a defensive guy! Defense is not the problem with Auburn.

Auburn fans don’t get to laugh at Tennessee for hiring Lane Kiffin after this is made official. At least there is a semblance of upside for Kiffykins. I don’t know how Auburn can spin this, and let’s set the O/U on Jacobs and booster Bobby Lowder trying to secretly lure another coach a la the Petrino jet scandal at 2 years.

Update: Read Auburn Undercover’s Philip Marshall for more on this. If I were Gill, I’d be furious — and I’d be thinking I got passed over because I was black and I didn’t coach at Auburn previously, not because of actual credentials or record.

Auburn Tigers hire Gene Chizik [ESPN]