The Gus Bus; Auburn's Malzahn Commodity
Now that the CFB season is winding down we can only look forward to recruiting and then seven more months of opinions based on statistics. So, I will give a little opinion based on assumption and zero fact.
The coaching carousel started a few weeks ago and I really didn't pay too much attention. Outside of Tennessee and Southern Cal what was there to notice, Notre Dame? We knew that was coming two years ago.
Derek Dooley, from La. Tech, went to Tennessee and someone needed to replace him. Enter Gus Malzahn.
I didn't know that Gus' hat was in the ring at this point; if it is, good for him and if not, good for Auburn. However, no matter what happens with Malzahn on this one particular hire next year presents itself with a double edge sword for Auburn.
If Auburn has a stellar offensive 2010 season and is able to assemble some sort of a defense then you could see a sizable increase in win loss ratios giving the Tigers an excellent season and Malzahn an option for a head coaching position.
Do I think Malzahn is a candidate for the La. Tech job? No. Do I think he will be a candidate next year for any job? Yes.
We live in the "what have you done for me lately" and "I want it now society", especially in the college football world. However, you may start to see this mentality waver over the next couple of years due to the fact that fans are starting to realize that stability, over the long haul, beats change in the present.
How does this effect Gus? Well, the head coaching jobs are going to start to dry up and Gus doesn't want to be the one still standing without a chair. If he hangs onto his Offensive Coordinator job too long he may just be hanging on longer than he thought.
Big time college football programs are now favoring coaches with top dog experience over coordinators. Just for example, Auburn didn't hire a coordinator to fill this recent head coaching position. They hired Chizik, who had head coaching experience at Iowa State. I know, he was a coordinator before that stint, but the Cyclones are not a big time college program. And yes, Auburn is a big time program contrary to their cross state rivals beliefs.
So, Auburn has a great 2010 season and Gus takes his bus else where. The question is "where". What mid level, ah la Iowa State, team will be looking for a head coach next year? The good non-marketed conference's programs like Central Michigan, who have been a spring board as of late, are just getting started with their new head coaches. So, who has been on the hot seat lately? And better yet, which institution fits Malzahn?
Forget that last question. Gus will employ his style no matter what the institution.
What about Tulsa? Malzahn ignited their offense in the 2 years he was there. The 2009 Tulsa season saw a nice drop off in offensive performance and if the new co-offensive coordinator doesn't work out next season who knows. But give him two years at least.
North Texas will be looking for a replacement of Todd Dodge after next season. Give Gus a two year turn around there and you could see him replacing Lane Kiffin at USC in 2013. Someone has got to.
Louisiana Lafayette could use a shot in the arm. Seeing that their best record is 8-3 since their inception in 1973 and most of the seasons they only win 4 games I think they are satisfied with 6-6 seasons over the past two years.
The reality is that many teams like these will always have losing records. They know and understand this to be a truth. Athletics are a part of their machine and not the machine which runs them. Therefore, they don't fire coaches more than not. Coaches leave them when they accrue a good record and can thus be promoted.
I don't know how Derek Dooley made the jump. Head coaching experience possibly?
So, who will be promoted next? This is starting to sound like a vicious cycle.
The ones that could be promoted have been and the others choose not to. They are waiting for the BCS to catch up to them. Think TCU and Boise State. They will have to wait another four years.
Well, that sounds good for Auburn, four more years of Malzahn. But, with Gus' meteoric rise in the college ranks will he wait for one of the mid majors to open up in six years when the BCS playing field may be the BCS "Playoff" field?
There is also Dll. Didn't Jim Tressel come from Dll football?
Opportunities come every year. Will these opportunities want Malzahn, someone who has only been in the FBS system for four years (at this point), and is in the early stages of learning the ropes? Sometimes they are short ropes.
Every year Gus seems to learn more and now with the 2010 season starting Auburn's commodity seems to gain more value.
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