Here is why all the texas talk is hogwash. Look at the BCS standings coaching in the sec gives you a one game advantage over all other conf. No one is bemoaning Okie st to jump into the title game. Next year they would be fighting to make the final four. Any sec coach that goes to texas gives up that nice little cushion that has helped our conf win 7 straight titles.
Brown says he’s going nowhere. In fact, his people have responded to rumors of boosters trying to push him out by suggesting the coach would sue anyone who tries to undermine him — a novel approach, to say the least. But AD DeLoss Dodds is walking away. That’s one less big Brown supporter in the Longhorns’ org chart. And rumors persist that Brown will either step down or he shoved aside soon.
So yesterday, Pete Thamel of SI.com tried to play matchmaker between Texas and Gus Malzahn before the Horns have even divorced themselves from Brown. His message to Malzahn was simple:
“Get out of Auburn as fast as you can.
There’s an expectation that the Texas job will open in the next few weeks. According to a source, Malzahn has told friends privately that coaching the Longhorns is his dream job. If confronted with the choice between Auburn and Austin, it’s a no-brainer move for Malzahn to bolt. The best job in the Big 12 is a much more stable plan than The Plains, as even a play-caller of Malazahn’s acumen isn’t likely to make adjustments to historical trends.
History tells us that Auburn coaches — no matter how successful — don’t have long and stable professional careers. Just as Terry Bowden, who started 11-0 in 1993. Or Tommy Tuberville, who went 13-0 in 2004 after a failed coup to hire Bobby Petrino. Or Gene Chizik, who got fired two seasons are going 14-0 and winning the national title.”
For his part, Malzahn danced around Thamel’s report when he was asked for a response.
“The response is, I’m tickled to death to be the head coach of the Auburn Tigers,” he said yesterday. “I’m very blessed to be the head coach of the Auburn Tigers. I really appreciate the guys that gave me this opportunity and believed in me. We are playing for the SEC championship, so it’s been a good year.”
Yes, a good year. But you may have noticed Malzahn did not in any way, shape or form deny Thamel’s suggestion that he would be interested in the Texas job. Perhaps Malzahn is just trying to live by Chapter One of agent Jimmy Sexton’s playbook — “Milk outside interest and reports of outside interest for better contracts and bigger buyouts.” Sexton is indeed Malzahn’s agent.
But heading into an SEC title game that could/should open a door to the BCS Championship Game, wouldn’t most coaches want to nix this type of distraction straight away?
Whether Thamel is right about the dream job thing or not, he nails the rest of his argument for splitting from Auburn. It’s one of the least stable jobs in the SEC as evidenced recently by Chizik’s fast-as-lightning slide from king to fool. Tiger fans won’t like to read this, but Auburn has been on major NCAA probation more times than any other SEC football program. And no matter how good the Tigers become, they will always play second-fiddle to Alabama. That rivalry is too heated for one team to stay on top record-wise for long. Which means the default position is Alabama — the SEC’s winningest all-time program (with more than a few NCAA tussles of its own) — in the #1 spot. The state is named Alabama, not Auburn. So when folks think football in Alabama, “Alabama” will always be top of mind. No way around that.
Back on June 27th of this year we laid out many of the same arguments as Thamel when we suggested Malzahn would be the first of the SEC’s new coaches to get gone:
“Of the four new coaches in the league this year, it’s likely that Malzahn will get off to the best start as his roster appears to boast the most talent. In other words, Auburn’s new coach is going to have to deal with big expectations more quickly than his fellow newbies. Worse, he happens to be coaching in the same state as Nick Saban and that’s not a guy you want to play second fiddle to at the moment. Then there’s Auburn’s pesky habit of finding itself in a scandal or in NCAA hot water. Pat Dye’s tenure ended in scandal. Tommy Bowden’s tenure ended in scandal. Tommy Tuberville was a victim of grand expectations and Saban’s arrival. Gene Chizik won, dealt with scandal, and then saw his program collapse.”
That’s not to say Auburn is a bad job. It’s actually one of the top six in the SEC all-time. But there are a lot of obstacles and a lot of high expectations. Malzahn topped Saban and won the West Division this season — a tremendous job — but he needed a tipped Hail Mary and a Saban gaffe in the Iron Bowl to do it. And who do you think will wind up with the higher-rated recruiting class in February regardless? Who will continue to get the lion’s share of the pub in the Heart of Dixie? Auburn won a national title in 2010 and then had to spend the next three seasons hearing “Saban this” and “Bama that.”
Whether Texas is Malzahn’s dream job or not, there’s no denying it’s better to be at the #1 “name” school in a state — sorry, A&M fans — in a 10-team league than to be at the #2 school in a state and playing in a 14-team league with a conference championship game. An easier path to BCS titles? Texas has it.
Malzahn has been quick to jump at better opportunities on his path to the head coach’s office at Auburn. The Tiger job is his sixth since 2001. Would he be willing to do another one-year stint at a school — as he did at Arkansas State — and then bounce? If so, Texas would be a great big, wealthy, traditionally-strong landing spot.