Gus Malzahn: The Next Tony Franklin?

chris mayContributor IJuly 11, 2009

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 20:  The special teams unit of the Auburn Tigers prepare for a kick-off after the offense scored against the LSU Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 20, 2008 in Auburn, Alabama. LSU defeated Auburn 26-21.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

This debate is just getting started Auburn fans. Frankly, I don't see the similarities. They both run up tempo offenses, but in very different ways.

Tony Franklin is a pass first play-caller. He uses the pass to set up the run. Gus Malzahn is a run first play-caller that sets up the pass with the run. Not much of a difference or is there?

The difference lies with the offensive line. Franklin wanted Auburn's lineman to lose weight but Malzahn wants them to gain weight.

While running a high tempo offense your lineman have to get back to line of scrimmage, quickly. With Franklin, that wasn't happening. Even with the weight loss. Why? It's fairly simple, the players or coaches didn't buy into it.

Malzahn is on a mission and has something to prove. He was one of the first hires for Chizik. Gene Chizik made Malzahn the focal point of this offense. All the other assistants had to be on board to coach under Gus.

Tony Franklin came to a staff that was, well, similar to the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Tubervilles staff was thick as thieves. No outsiders were welcome. The barbecue bunch if you will. Mr. Franklin never had a chance. 

I mean two of the assistant coaches went onto continue their stellar careers. Hugh Nall went on to work at a trucking company? Huh?

Oh, wait, I got a better one. Auburns offensive play caller, Steve Esminger, is a Quarterbacks coach for Smiths Station High School. No, seriously, a Division I football coordinator is in the high school ranks. Now, all the ridiculous fade patterns make sense.

Auburn fans have reason to be excited. Gus Malahn is legit and ready to make a name for himself in the SEC. Malzahn is bringing the running game back to the Plains with a little razzle dazzle mixed in. You never know, it just may work.