As if Auburn needed any more bad news this season. Well, they got it anyway.
Auburn was in rebuilding mode this season and finished the year with an 8-5 record. They were absolutely unwatchable on both sides of the ball and finished in the 70s in points scored and points allowed. Sure, every game they lost came at the hands of a ranked opponent, but every game they won was sloppy and unconvincing.
They already lost offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn who went ahead and left for his first head coaching job at Arkansas State. The Red Wolves were also able to land a top quality running back in Michael Dyer, as the Tigers released him last week.
If you're an Arkansas State team, you have to be pinching yourself right now. These type of things don't happen to little teams in the Sun Belt Conference. Not only did you land one of the brightest offensive minds for a head coach, but you got a running back who's rushed for over 1,000 yards his first two seasons.
The Red Wolves will win a lot of games next season.
Malzahn is an offensive genius who is known for his work on that side of the ball. He knows how to put his players in the best position to succeed and will get the most out of those results. He's now taking over a Arkansas State team that went 10-2 this year. They were first in the Sun Belt in points scored, passing offense and total offense.
The only thing they were second in was rushing offense, and that's where Dyer comes in.
Dyer was a top running back coming out of high school and was fantastic his first two years at Auburn. Often overshadowed his freshmen year by Cam Newton, he still rushed for 1,093 yards, averaged six yards a carry and rushed for 143 yards in the national championship victory. If he was able to put up these numbers against SEC defenses, the Sun Belt should be a cakewalk.
Arkansas State also returns their starting quarterback and three of their four top wide receivers. In a conference where more than half had losing records this season, Malzahn doesn't need much to succeed.
The college football season may have just ended, but you can already pencil in Arkansas State as Sun Belt Champions for next year.
Randy Chambers is a B/R Featured Columnist that covers College Football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or Randy.Chambers7@yahoo.com