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Monday Musings

By on October 29th, 2018 in Football 24 Comments »

Much has been made on message boards about Gus Malzahn flying to New York during his off weekend to be on the CBS Pregame Show. Many argue he should have been in Auburn preparing for Texas A&M. The optics couldn’t have been worse if you’re looking at it from an Auburn perspective.

Your team has underachieved more than any other and you’re mugging for the cameras in the Big Apple instead of dissecting game film. It’s a tough call. The exposure was enormous for the Auburn program, but so is winning.

I can’t imagine Nick Saban doing this a week before the LSU game. For Malzahn, this game is perhaps bigger than Saban’s game in Baton Rouge. He may be coaching for his job. I would have passed on the chance and stayed in the office. In the end, will it have an impact on the outcome? Probably not, but the look is not a good one…

Texas A&M is a struggling football team. The Aggies looked downright awful at Miss. State on offense and their somewhat heralded defense wasn’t much better. Coming off a bye week, if Malzahn doesn’t get it done Saturday, the heat will be turned up in ways we haven’t seen since 2012. There will be few excuses to be made. Auburn is expected to be close to 100 percent healthy for the first time in weeks…

Should Malzahn falter Saturday and then lose to Georgia and Alabama, he may not be the only one in jeopardy. Sources close to the program say that unhappiness with Steven Leath is intensifying because of his handling of Malzahn’s contract extension last year.

Auburn Undercover writer Phillip Marshall wrote this about Leath’s handling of the extension: “According to a source familiar with the circumstances and with Leath’s thinking, Leath’s inexperience was a problem. He’d arrived at Auburn from Iowa State only the previous July.

“If a coach at Iowa State beat two No. 1 teams in three weeks, he’d have lifetime security,” the source said. “It wouldn’t matter what else he did for a long time. This ain’t Iowa State.”

It goes back to what I wrote a few weeks back: A school president with little to no business background shouldn’t be allowed to make multi-million dollar decisions. It’s the craziest thing in the world. Hire a CEO to run the University. It’s a business, not a high school…

Flipping through the channels on Saturday, I’ve never seen SEC officiating so bad. Auburn has been victimized more than once, but it’s not just the Tigers . And, the play calling across the conference has hit an all-time low.

With the SEC now a billion-dollar industry, isn’t it time to hire full-time officials? The fat-middle aged car salesman that works for the SEC part-time is not getting it. These games mean too much for inept officials to mess up the outcome…

Until next time…


  1. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    The function of our president is to RAISE MONEY!
    Raise money.
    How the Board of Trustees approved the transaction is beyond my pay grade. It is like buying a used Porsche without a Pre-Purchase Inspection, and then the wheels begin to fall off.
    Had the Hogs acquired CGM, they would be better this season. Had Auburn hired a new coach, Auburn would be better this season [with all our good talent the Hoover HS coach would have a better record at this point in time]. And that is a startling realization.!

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..I dialed up the Hoover vs. Mtn. Brook game on TV, last Friday night. Hoover basically looks like they run the same offense Gus does, only less predictable. You can’t guess the play call based on who checks into the game, like you can with Gus.

      …..I will admit that I was biased, in that game. I’m a Mtn. Brook alumnus, and I was pulling for the Spartans. Hoover was just operating at a different speed, higher gear. Hoover won 31-7, and it really wasn’t even that close. Mtn. Brook got their touchdown off a blocked punt down to the 7 yard line, followed by a trick play, an end around pass back to the quarterback.

  2. uglyjoe says:

    Not to beat a dead horse, because it doesn’t do any good, but I was saying the same thing last year. Jay Jacobs, president Leath, and and let’s not forget our Board of Trustees, they approved it….. Why we were so terrified of Arkansas getting Gus is beyond me….

  3. neonbets says:

    Imagine the opposite: Malzahn stays in Auburn to ‘prepare for the Aggies’, and it comes out that he ‘declined an opportunity to appear on the CBS Pregame Show

    The exact same Message Board Dufuses** would be out in full force arguing that Malzahn blew a great opportunity to bring exposure to the program, and that Malzahn is just too lazy, and that doesn’t know how to run a major program in 2018, etc., etc

    And no, I’m not saying that believing Malzahn is incompetent means you’re a dufus. [But I am saying, if you’re on message boards getting triggered Malzahn’s existence without regard to consistency, logic, or any verifiable connection to team performance–then you’re probably a dufus.]

    Of course, the Message Board Dufus might respond that my lengthy comment here today is evidence that I am the one who was triggered. Therefore, it is neonbets who is the true Dufus.

    Now, I must admit: That is a compelling argument. Unfortunately, the Message Board Dufus isn’t bright enough to make it. So I am spared. Therefore, NeonBets remains firmly entrenched in Non-Dufusville. Q.E.D.

    **I think I like Dufii better for the plural of Dufuses. A gaggle of dufii just ain’t worth the extra syllable.

    • Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

      I think the only real argument is, if Auburn didn't have the current record they do, with an offense underperforming as it has, there wouldn't be an arguement at all.

      Would anyone be mad if Steele went to New York? Nope. Because the defense has been prepared most every week since he came to town.

    • sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

      FYI – The plural form would likely be “Dufen” as the word is Germanic. The origin word ‘doof’ is colloquial German or Old Saxon for ‘deaf’ or ‘stupid’ –

      ‘Dufii’ would only be the proper plural if the word were Greek in origin.

    • wpleagle wpleagle says:

      I’ve always seen this spelled “doofus.”
      My take on Jay’s comment about the optics of Malzahn being on CBS is, why not? It’s just one day away from the Plains, and that’s what having a staff is all about. Shouldn’t take away from game planning.

  4. darjon says:

    the bigger question I have is did Gus know that Houston Nutt was going to be a guest as well? I find it odd that Gus was invited especially giving Gus non social skills, what could he bring or add to the CBS desk that any other coach couldn’t have, so they had a former scandal plague head coach and Gus old boss that ended in controversy at Arkansas on there and it made no sense.

    • zotus zotus says:

      Last I knew, The Right Reverend Houston Nutt’s agent was Jimmy Sexton. And, of course, Jimmy Sexton is the guy who bluffed, duped and bamboozled Steven Leach into giving Gus Malzahn that infamous $49 Million contact.

      It would be a typical Jimmy Sexton move to pair ol’ Gus with Coach Nutt on national TV … and, then just sit back and enjoy the drama.

      And drama it was. The Right Reverend looked like he enjoyed every minute of it. And Gus? Well, not so much. The phrase, “Flop Sweat” comes to mind.

      Nutt was on his game. And Gus? Gus looked just as bewildered being on the same pre-game TV panel trying to match wits with his ex-Razorback-Boss as ol Gus looks when he is on the same field trying to match wits with another SEC football coach. Just as bewildered, but obviously a hell of a lot more uncomfortable sitting next to the confident and mischievous Houston Nutt on national TV. The phrase, “Flop Sweat” comes to mind.

      Nutt had a lot to say. And Gus? Well, not so much. Mostly he said things like, ” … there’s no doubt” … and, other such clichés.

      But, I do remember one comment of substance that Gus offered up when he was asked about the current NCAA P5 4-team playoff format:

      Gus said he would like to see a 8-team playoff format like they have in high school football in Arkansas. Gus said, that way you have a quarter-final round, a semi-final round, and then the final round … just like they do in high school!

      I mean, how great is that! The phrase, “High School Coach with a High School Mindset” comes to mind.

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..I saw some of that. Gus was on for about 5 seconds, and looked like he had spent about $1500 for that coat and tie, and had no idea how to act, at that event.

  5. dyingculture dyingculture says:

    …. we are back to the age-old question, who would replace Malzahn as coach this year?

    I think if Malzahn gets fired, this offseason we would be competing with the likes of Ohio State for a coach this time. OSU is struggling and with the scandals and all, most pundits seem to be expecting Urban Myer to bail and abandon ship. Heck, Southern Cal may fire their coach. So the top program of the Big Ten *and* the top program of the Pac Ten will both be competing for a coach this offseason.

    Don’t get me wrong, Malzahn looks like a turd most of the time. But competition for a coach this year might be even more intense than last year.

    • Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

      You wait. You roll with an interim. You go 8-5 a few years. You save money. You keep an open seat. And when the right one comes along BAM! You hire them.

      Look, I know this is gonna get some flack, just listen to me for a second. Auburn can go 8-5 with almost any coach in the nation and you can pay them peanuts to do it. JUST DONT HIRE A JIMMY SEXTON GUY.

      Tell me, truly, do you REALLY think Bama was hiring the Mike Mike Mikes for the long term? There’s no chance. None. Especially Shula. He was a place holder.

      • sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

        Interesting, so munch on raw potatoes until you can find that ‘perfect’ steak?

        I just don’t see that as a workable plan, especially in light of recruiting talent to attend the school. Who would want to play for a ‘placeholder’ coach who might be gone in two years, along with the style of position or scheme a given player was recruited to fill?

        Imagine you’re an 18-year-old dynamic mobile roll-out passer (like Sullivan or Craig) who runs the risk of the offense changing so that the qb required for that future ‘perfect coach’ is exclusively a drop back pocket passer two years into your eligibility. Would you risk attending that school? Or would you choose a more stable program with at least some consistency in style of play and opportunity to develop your talent.

        I disagree. If you want a new coach, it’s an investment over time and you make your best choice with the intent of keeping whomever you choose long term. It is a disservice to the institution to try a series of placeholders in an effort to get lucky sometime in the future.

        That has been the way of UT since 2008, and a surefire path to hell for your program for at least a decade. It’s the reason Phil Fulmer came out of retirement to be the AD there. And giving the six years in a row Alabama lost to Auburn as an example during the early ‘aughts?

        You’re not selling that idea all that well.

        • Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

          You make a great point about who wants to play for a lame duck. A good point. Except that saban stepped into that exact situation and won a NC in year 3, and went to the SEC champ in year 2 with that exact situation. .

      • zotus zotus says:

        RE: the 3-Mikes-Era

        Zach, as I remember the 3-Mikes-Era — and I remember it well — Mal Moore was within an inch of being the patsy and taking the fall for the biggest fiasco associated with Alabama football program since Ears Whitworth.

        The 3-Mikes were not “place-holders” — the 3-Mikes were (IMHO) colossal, almost laughable, mistakes. Mistakes that were made by the Powers-That-Be at the U of Alabama (from Paul Bryant Jr, on down)

        Very much the same kind of malfeasance (by all concerned) was going on at Tuscaloosa back then, that has been going on at Auburn (by all concerned) through Tubs’ last contract & termination, Chizik’s hiring & termination, and the mother-of-all-fiascos: Malzahn’s contract extension & inevitable contract buyout.

        One of the major differences in the 2 situations is that the powers-that-be at Tuscaloosa finally put a stop to the madness.

        They backed up the Brinks truck, checked their egos at the door, and turned the Alabama ‘football business’ (as Jay would say) over (lock-stock-and-barrel) to a proven football professional with a real resume. (Not some pie-in-the-sky-crap-shoot gamble that would likely come up snake-eyes like the 3 Mikes.) Lucky for Mal Moore, and the guys who were pulling Mal Moore’s strings, Coach Nick Saban didn’t come up snake-eyes.

        The powers-that-be at Auburn had the opportunity to try to stop the madness after the Chizik fiasco. They for some reason chose not to do so.

        The powers-that-be at Auburn find themselves, once again, at the crossroads. (Funny how that almost always happens.)

        No time to go wobbly now, ladies and gentlemen.


        • Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

          Certainly the strip club fiasco wasnt planned.

          I guess we will never know the intentions.

          What we do know are the results. Alabama has hired the two best coaches in the history of the game. That does not happen by accident no matter how you slice it. From the money to the timing, it all worked.

          • Solojoe says:

            Maybe not by accident or maybe…recall that Bama was trying to get Rich Rodriguez and he said ‘No’ so they had to go back to trying to get Saban (a Jimmy Sexton Guy also I might add) from the Miami Dolphins. If Rich had said yes then the past decade of Alabama success may not have ever happened and who knows where they (and the rest of us) would be right now. Luck? Maybe/probably. Sometimes not getting your guy allows you to get your guy.

          • zotus zotus says:

            RE: The saga of Rich Rod – Bama’s Runaway Bride

            Most old time SEC fans know that Bammer fans have unique memories when it comes to Alabama Football History.

            Exhibit A: Bammer fans are able to precisely remember even the smallest details of the tenure of these head coaches:
            Paul Bryant
            Gene Stallings
            Nick Saban

            Exhibit B: Bammer fans are not able to remember anything (zip, zero, nada) about the association the following coaches had with the Alabama football program:
            Ears Whitworth
            Ray Perkins
            Bill Curry
            Mike DuBose
            Dennis Franchione
            Mike Price
            Mike Shula
            Rich Rodriguez
            Joe Kines

            P.S. The stories of the legendary football coaches in the Long-Ignored-2nd Class-Bammer group shouldn’t be buried in the ash heap of history by your Bammer friends and relatives. Look up these guy’s histories, you’ll be glad you did.


      • AuJ says:

        So you want to fire Gus, pay his $36 million or however high buyout… Hire an interim head coach to do an average job and just wait for a quality head coach? This is ridiculous. “Let’s fire and still pay the current guy to leave, so we can hire a new guy to produce roughly the same result, until we can hire the real coach that we haven’t even identified yet.”
        The thought process behind this idea is absolutely absurd. This isn’t even taking into account how recruits would react to that news.

        • Solojoe says:

          Agree and also not taking into account how a potential new coach would look at the fact that contract extensions and buyouts (and past success) apparently mean nothing to Auburn. So lets see how this might look to a potential new coach hire… If they were to get rid of Gus now it would mean that they let a coach go 2 years out from winning the National Championship in 2010 (Gene Chizik, contract extension 2011, gone 2012) and now the next coach (Gus, contract extension 2017, gone 2018) was gone 1 year after winning the SEC Western Division (and beating 2 no#1 teams who also happen to be their biggest rivals) and a few years after winning the Southeastern Conference and being in the National Championship game. Do you think they will see job security, patience, understanding? What they will see is…have one somewhat bad year and you’re gone. You think the real quality coaches will be lining up?

          • audad says:

            Good points solojoe, but quite honestly I think Chizik might still be here had it not been for the 3-9 (0-8 in the SEC) season that followed those two years out from winning the NC. A natl. championship gets a coach a lot of mulligans, just not so many that you can become one of the worst teams in the country and get blown out by just about everyone in your own conference two seasons removed. J-H stadium was half to two-thirds empty by the end of many of their home games that year. And not because the good guys were up by 30.

        • Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

          I'd be perfectly happy continuing to pay Malzahn his discounted price (read, not buy out) and going 8-5 if it meant when the right guy comes free, he gets hired.

  6. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    Good read. Competing for a coach is an issue any year you have to hire a new one.

  7. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    Yeah; what J said /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\