Gus Malzahn has done a great job in his first year at Auburn.
He’s revamped the program, taking a team that was 3-9 and 0-8 in the SEC to 11-1 and a shot at not only the SEC title, but also the national championship.
Malzahn has been a hotshot high school coach.
He’s been a hotshot assistant.
And now the hotshot head coach should bolt Auburn while he’s at his hottest, for the riches of Texas, should that job come open, Sports Illustrated writer Pete Thamel writes.
Thamel states that other Auburn coaches — Terry Bowden (11-0 in 1993), Tommy Tuberville (13-0 in 2004) and Gene Chizik (14-0 in 2010) — have had undefeated seasons at the school, only to later lose their jobs when boosters grew tired of them.
In the 14-team SEC, Auburn will never be better than the fifth-best job, as Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU are widely considered a notch above the Tigers’ position. So if Malzahn gets a chance to go to the Longhorns, he should jump at the opportunity. That’s in part because of the boundless potential in Texas, where recruiting talent is flush and national championship expectations are realistic. (Think the Texas high school coaches wouldn’t all love Malzahn?)
We have to stop here and point out that Mack Brown is still the coach at Texas. The Longhorns (8-3, 7-1 Big 12) have won seven of their past eight after losing two of their first three and could still win the conference title.
Who could have guessed this summer that Malzahn may be more likely to go to Texas than Nick Saban? Meanwhile, Alabama is having a season that includes an uncharacteristic number of off-field issues.
University of Texas’ regents have made it clear that Saban is their top target, but there’s little optimism in Austin that he’ll jump. While Alabama’s presumed absence from the national title game increases the slim possibility of Saban leaving — it eliminates the awkward timing element if he’s playing for a BCS championship — it’s hard to envision that happening.
Thamel says Malzahn shouldn’t spend his “prime coaching years” chasing Saban.
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