The Bryan Harsin era of Auburn football begins this weekend as the Tigers take on Akron in a non-conference game. While that game should be an easy one for the SEC giants, Harsin has a warning for the fanbase.
Appearing on The Plains, Harsin warned that fans should temper their expectations against Akron. He praised the team for having good transfers and retaining their starters from last season.
“You have got to be careful about the expectations going into a game,” Harsin said, via 247Sports. “It’s really just about us, it’s just about our execution. Who knows? With Akron, we have seen some of the transfers and some of the players they have lost, and there are probably new faces in there. We have no idea of what they are capable of doing. There is a lot of unknown in that first game. Our guys better be ready.”
That’s exceptionally high praise for Akron, who went just 1-5 in 2020 and are just 1-17 under head coach Tom Arth. But given that it is Harsin’s first game at Auburn, he may just be trying to avoid criticism for not blowing the Zips completely out of the water.
— Auburn Football (@AuburnFootball) September 1, 2021
Bryan Harsin was hired to replace Gus Malzahn, who was bought out by Auburn after a 6-4 season. Harsin joined the team with one of the best Group of Five resumes in the country.
In seven seasons at Boise State, Harsin went 69-19, winning the Mountain West Conference title three times and securing four top 25 finishes. He was also the head coach of Arkansas State in 2013, and led the Red Wolves to a Sun Belt Conference title.
Needless to say, the expectation is that Harsin’s success in the Group of Five will carry over to the SEC.
That may also explain why he wants fans to settle down right before his first game.