Gus Malzahn to Auburn: Twitter Reacts to Auburn's Surprising Hire

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Gus Malzahn to Auburn: Twitter Reacts to Auburn's Surprising Hire
Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images

While Arkansas' hiring of Bret Bielema stole most of the headlines on Tuesday afternoon, Auburn made a big splash of its own, re-hiring its former offensive coordinator, Gus Malzahn, to take over as head coach.

James Bryant of broke the news:

While Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart also drew serious interest from Auburn, the school decided to return to its roots. Malzahn took the head coaching job at Arkansas State last season, leading the Red Wolves to a 9-3 mark and a date with Kent State in the Bowl.

Malzahn will replace Gene Chizik, who led Auburn to a national championship in 2010 but only managed a dismal 3-9 mark this season and went winless in the SEC.

So how is Twitter reacting to the news? What snarky jokes and perceptive tidbits have come pouring in from the Twitterverse?

We start with Gregg Doyel of CBS, who wonders if Auburn's interest in Smart was less about hiring him and more a covert operation to learn more of Alabama's dirty little secrets:

It's been like Mission: Impossible trying to beat Alabama these days. Perhaps Auburn was willing to borrow a few Mission: Impossible tactics to gain an advantage over its rival. 

Justin Hokanson of isn't interested so much in Auburn boosters wearing facial masks and dangling over security systems via cables. He's more interested in recruiting:

Malzahn is a familiar and respected face in Auburn circles. He's an Auburn guy, and that will help in recruiting.

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports can't help but feel that Tuesday's hirings have made an already powerful conference all the more lethal:

The football rich get football richer.

Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated is curious to see what Malzahn's coaching staff will look like: 

"Too hot" is in reference to an NCAA investigation of the Auburn football program. From Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports:

According to multiple sources, NCAA investigators have spent weeks looking into potential improprieties involving Auburn recruits, players, coaches, representatives of the school's athletic interests and third parties. Assistant coaches Trooper Taylor and Curtis Luper have been scrutinized by the NCAA, sources said. Taylor is the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach, while Luper coaches running backs and is the recruiting coordinator.

Might Malzahn decide to cut ties with any questionable staffers and start anew?

Bruce Feldman of CBS hasn't gotten that far just yet. He's happy to point out that Malzahn—a hot name among coaching candidates who didn't end up with the big-time job many pegged him for a year ago—has gotten himself a big gig:

All good things come to those (football coaches) who wait.

Mark Schlabach of ESPN continues in that same vein, only from the perspective of Auburn's mistake in letting Malzahn leave in the first place:

Well, he's back now, so let's allow those bygones to be bygones.

Of course, not everyone is thrilled with the move. Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution isn't convinced that Malzahn was Auburn's first choice:

Maybe Smart said no, maybe he didn't. Hard to imagine passing up a job like that of Auburn for a defensive coordinator, but you never know.

What we do know is that Malzahn is back at Auburn and certainly has a lot of work in front of him to turn this proud program back into a national power. Based on his track record and familiarity with the program, I think he's up to the task.

Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets didn't see this one coming either.

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