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Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back

By on September 15th, 2017 in Football 14 Comments »

Two games into the season and it already feels like a long one in many ways. For the third consecutive year, Auburn has sputtered out of the gate, and it has left many fans wondering if this is the new “normal” for Auburn football.

Gus Malzahn is now at the center of most fans’ frustrations—and those frustrations range from simply wanting to see significant offensive evolution (or really any) to basic indifference until his replacement is found.

It’s far too early to speculate on any possible moves the athletic department might make concerning Gus’ fate, however. The team is settling in to a “new” offensive system and coordinator. That is a legitimate cause for patience, but Auburn fans are understandably growing weary of being asked to do so.

What cannot be denied is that at some point since the end of the 2014 season, Gus Malzahn has lost his way. Gone are his out-of-the-box concepts that wreaked havoc on defenses, and in their place he has introduced game plans that are either basic and lacking flair or so preposterously overcooked that I am not even sure the coaches know how the final product should look.

The “mad scientist” has gone completely mad

A fair question many fans are now asking themselves is this: “If Gus is an offensive genius, and our offense is bad, then what good is Gus?” Ultimately, that’s going to be answered by the man himself as the rest of this season progresses.

Gus Malzahn has to prove he’s capable of getting it done when all of the pieces he needs come together. Is he still the guru that once looked to challenged Nick Saban’s defenses almost universally? Or is Gus Malzahn too far gone to turn it around?

Also, be sure to check out TET Podcast Episode #4 with myself and Zach Taylor. We discuss the Clemson game, the de-evolution of Gus, and what the rest of the season might hold for Auburn. 


  1. meathead530 says:

    I’ve lost hope in Gus. But I hope at the end of the season I look back at this and think “Boy was I stupid.”


  2. Orangeblood says:

    We can’t help it.
    We are emotional creatures.

    Last week. We went from confident that we could compete .To desperation, despair and ultimate disappointment.

    Followed by anger which leads to blame and fault finding.

    We are back to confidence against Mercer. But how will this season of games unfold.
    Can we ride confidence every week to the end until we meet up with satisfaction and joy….even elation.

    Riding an emotional roller coaster can be tough at times.
    Just hold on and don’t scream to much. Remember you chose this ride.

    And…We not the Red Empire

  3. jlobailey says:

    Dabo Swinney through 4 years at Clemson went 36-19. CGM through his first 4 complete seasons went 36-19 (and add a conference championship, national championship appearance). Moral of the story is that fans rarely give a fair appraisal of a coach. Let’s try to keep our head on straight, and maybe not fire the head coach straight off a Sugar Bowl appearance because he lost by 8 points in an away game at night to the defending national champs.

    • Tiger Tiger says:

      Dabo has led Clemson to 10+ win seasons since 2011. His worst year was 2010, at 6-7, and he steadily improved from there. We’ve steadily plateaued since 2013.

      I definitely agree with you in not firing Coach Malzahn right now, or even mid-season. I also agree that we should wait to judge his body of work for this year. But as results go, the first two games do NOT look good.

      • jlobailey says:

        Well, you’ve sort of supported my point. CGM has never had a losing season. So he’s teacher higher highs and not been so low as Dabo through four years.

        I see your point about observation of regression, but there’s plenty that fans don’t get to observe. So let’s measure by the only objective tool we have to measure from: wins and losses.

        • jlobailey says:

          *reached higher highs

        • Tiger Tiger says:

          Haha, I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not. But if you are, let’s compare wins and losses, as you suggested.

          Dabo at Clemson: 4-3, 9-5, 6-7, 10-4, 11-2, 11-2, 10-3, 14-1, 14-1, 2-0…

          Gus as HC at Auburn: 12-2, 8-5, 7-6, 8-5, 1-1…

          Does this honestly seem like two evenly-matched W/L records to you? I know which set of numbers I like better.

  4. benjig3 says:

    Don’t let the weak minded Auburn people fool you. Gus ran the same running play out of the same formation five times in a row last week when it wasn’t gaining anything. These softies want to preach patience and yes, we shouldn’t fire him now. Mostly, because who are we going to get? But it’s time we face reality. Gus has lost his way and Jacobs has to go as well. It’s time for Auburn to become Auburn again. I like Gus as a person. Just not as our leader in Orange and Blue. His inability to change with the times and even worse his inability to recognize where problems exist until 3 or 4 losses go by have been the coup de gras for him. We are Auburn and we deserve better.

    • jlobailey says:

      “It’s time for Auburn to become Auburn again.”

      Oh, so you were alive the last time AU went to a NC without CGM? My parents weren’t even born yet.

      • Tiger Tiger says:

        ^^ Sorry, but this point is irrelevant.

        • jlobailey says:

          The point is how silly the OP’s argument is– advocating for firing a coach in order to return to the dominance that we’ve only experienced under the leadership of that same coach (or at least since 1957).

  5. auburnelvis says:

    Maybe next year we will be better. Why does my auto fill put that sentence in?