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Auburn Must Fight for Malzahn

By on January 6th, 2014 in Football 12 Comments »

                                                                                                                                                                               Photo by Julie Bennett/
Regardless of what happens tonight in Pasadena, Auburn has something very special – once in a lifetime special. It’s something that it must protect with all its might and resources. It’s something that should be priority one for not just the athletic program but the entire institution.

I’m speaking of Gus Malzahn.

Just as Shug Jordan came along at a crossroads for Auburn back in the 1950’s and then Pat Dye nearly 30 years later, Malzahn is unquestionably equipped to take Auburn to the next level and keep it there.

Never in Auburn’s history has a coach been so coveted by others. Whether it be the Cleveland Browns or a program like Texas, those lining up for Malzahn’s services will only grow with time.

From all indications, he’s happy at Auburn; make that “tickled to death.”

He’s already agreed to a new long-term deal with athletic director Jay Jacobs. However, that was before the Browns and big name programs started showing interest. Auburn may want to consider doubling down on its bet.

Some may point to the mistake Jacobs made when extending Gene Chizik’s contract following the 2010 title. It’s a cautionary tale, but make no mistake, Gus Malzahn is no Gene Chizik.

How many suitors came calling for Chizik following Auburn’s win over Oregon. I can recall none. Correct me if I’m wrong. Malzahn is an entirely different animal.

When you look at his drive, work ethic and attention to detail, he reminds you a lot of… Nick Saban. He is clearly not building the program just for now, but more importantly, the long haul. I hate to use that process word, but the two coaches’ tactics are eerily similar.

An advantage Malzahn has over others, including Saban, is his offensive mind and relative youthfulness. Never has Saban’s defenses been as revolutionary as Malzahn’s offense. It’s something that’s caught the attention of more astute college football watchers including ESPN personality Colin Cowherd.

He enraged the Alabama faithful a few weeks back on the Paul Finebaum Radio Show when he suggested that Malzahn could be Saban and Alabama’s undoing.

“I think he’s going to be a nightmare (for Alabama),” Cowherd said of Malzahn. “I am amazed that Alabama fans aren’t concerned about Gus Malzahn.”

“I want all you Alabama fans, who love Finebaum and hate me, to know,” Cowherd said. “Right now, you’re driving around and I’m here to tell you that you’re going to start to lose to Gus Malzahn.”

For that to become a reality, Auburn people must remain on the same page. Not in 40 years have I seen the Auburn Family so together. Of course, that’s easy when you are playing for your second national championship in four years.

To sustain it, Auburn must continue to work together, raising money, improving infrastructure and most importantly investing in Malzahn through good times and bad. Auburn has a game changer now, not unlike Saban seven years ago.

It’s important going forward that it’s managed correctly. In other words, stay out of the way and give the man what he needs to win.

Tonight we embark on another first. Auburn walks into the Rose Bowl, the granddaddy of them all, to play for yet another national championship. We’ve been on this stage before. Now it’s important that we stay there.

See you tonight.


  1. AubieCE AubieCE says:

    You are so right Carl, erm Julie…
    Coach Malzahn gets Auburn and it a great fit.
    Auburn needs to do everything it can, money for assistants, facilities, recruiting to keep Coach Malzahn
    Any money spent will still have a huge return on investment
    That AU is back to elite in such a short time is surreal
    War Damn Eagle, beat FSU !

  2. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    If I could have 5 minutes with CGM, I’d argue that the NFL will never embrace the HUNH read option offense. Look at Chip Kelly and the Eagles; they didn’t fully implement his system because the linemen didn’t want to condition for the faster pace. NFL owners, overpaid primadonna players and their agents call the shots at that level. And what overpriced QB can withstand that much running in the NFL???

    Coach, you’ve got a good thing here at Auburn. We are offering you the chance for “Legendary” status for all of college football. Why try to recreate elsewhere what is already sitting in your lap here on the Plaines??? Big fish, small pond, coach. BIG FISH, small pond…

  3. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Happy Game Day everyone!!

    I can worry about places where Gus may or may not be going tomorrow….Today we have a game to play.

    So let me have a minute with my Auburn Tigers: huddle up, boys:

    You have undoubtedly heard how lucky you are, how your trip to Pasadena is Destiny and Luck. As if getting to a National Championship Game is some run to the Toomer’s for some lemonade. Right, because it’s just that easy. You know how hard that road is. You’ve been playing the games. You’ve been getting the job done. When the games mattered the most, you kept your noses to the grindstone and got it done….not just one or two of you: ALL OF YOU.

    This season is a culmination of learning how to be a team again and executing on a level that is heads above your competitors. No doubt you will be tested on the field again tonight. FSU is a great team. They’ve blown out all competition all year. They will not blow you out. They will not keep you down. They will not stop you from playing your game. Why? Because you will not let them. We believe in you! More importantly: You believe in yourselves!!! WAR EAGLE!!! Let’s do THIS.


  4. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    I’ve been saying the same thing to anyone that will listen, and some that won’t. We have the right man, in the right place, at the right time. I think Malzahn realizes this as well. I apologize in advance for the link to an article. In my defense, I found it on Saturday Down South.

  5. sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

    I would say coach Malzahn is the anti-Saban. He is intense, but it seems a very different vibe than what I see from little Nicky. Gus has an agenda, but it’s more of an engineering marvel than a dictatorial decree. More a work of art than a grinding process.

    And calling him a “high school coach” is akin to calling Napoleon a corporal, or Larry Bird “The Hick from French Lick.” As soon as you buy into that reasoning, you’ve already two scores down.

    Keep him, pay him handsomely and make him happy to stay. WDE

    • KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

      I agree Sully.

      I understand the author’s intent by comparing Gus to Saban. Nick has been the most visible and readily accepted guru of national college football’s attention. Malzahn shows the world you can be that good and still be polite and likable while doing it.

      Gus can hold a press conference without being condescending to reporters… even when they ask him really dumb questions. And then ask slightly different versions of those same questions again.

      Just because the administration made a mistake with Chizik’s contract is no reason to make a different but equally boneheaded mistake by not doing what it takes to make Auburn the most attractive place for Gus and this staff of highly effective assistants to stay.

  6. GRT2BAUTIGER says:

    I watched the 2011 BCSNC last night and was reminded that the game played out completely different than anyone suspected leading up to the game. 2 up tempo spread offensive juggernauts were supposed to run up and down the field amassing points at a record setting pace….errrrh – wrong!

    Actually, the defense was the star of the show. The 2010 Oregon Ducks averaged 47 points per game, but the Auburn D held them to 19 points.

    Similarly, Cam Newton, Heisman Trophy and all were largely neutralized in that game. Yes, he made critical first downs that kept drives alive, but the big plays were kept in check by the oregon defense.

    There are so many “x-factors” that contribute to any games outcome that stats just don’t reflect. That could be why sports rs characterize Auburn as Lucky, because on paper it doesn’t make sense to them.

    I am looking forward to see what turns out to be the difference maker in tonights game. Will it be a freshman running back, will the defense play lights out, will either team have the deer in the headlights look from a long and mentally taxing business trip, will the passing games be rusty or out of sync? Who predicted AJ McCarron would be running for his life the entire game against the OU pass rush? Who thought a no name UCF QB would out shine the dazzling Baylor offense? Oh yeah, how about special teams November 30, 2013 in Jordan Hare?

    There are so many expamples of individual players and/or units rising to the occasion and shocking the world, and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds tonight.

    Our Players and Coaches are exceptional ambassadors of Auburn University and I could not be more proud regardless of the outcome tonight. CGM has the right vision for the program and prepares his teams to compete on a high level.

    God Bless the Trackemtigers community, Auburn, the Players, and the Coaches.

    “You chose Auburn….and that makes us FAMILY!!” – Will Herring

    War Eagle!

  7. Tiger4Life says:

    Let’s keep the greatest BUS in all of college football!
    War Eagle!
    We Comin!!!!

  8. milehighmike says:

    I just don’t see Malzahn heading for the NFL. But I do agree Auburn needs to do everything in it’s power to keep gus at the wheel of the Auburn Bus. I think Collin cowherd is right, Malzahn could very well be the undoing of Saban