According to the Washington Post, InsideVandy.com and USA Today, former Auburn Tigers offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has accepted an offer to become the next head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Malzahn had been mentioned as a potential candidate for the offensive coordinator opening at Texas, among other places. It had become a foregone conclusion in recent days that Malzahn would not be returning to Auburn for the 2011-12 season. These rumors gained even more steam with Cam Newton's selection as the 2010-11 Heisman Trophy winner while under Malzahn's leadership.
Malzahn's move to Vanderbilt creates an even more unstable environment among the collegiate coaching ranks, and is sure to escalate some of the existing rumors of movement among the elite coaches.
Could it be possible that Gene Chizik might try to lure Major Applewhite to Auburn to be the next offensive coordinator? Could Auburn have interest in Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin? Is there another coach that isn't yet on the radar that will be Chizik's next right-hand man?
None of these questions have easy answers, especially given the fresh announcement of Malzahn's departure to Nashville.
Vanderbilt has staged a major coup by bringing in Malzahn to take the reins of the Commodore offense. His ability to make the most of the talent he had to work with at Auburn and turn that talent into the nation's most explosive offense was impressive to watch.
While the talent may be somewhat limited at Vanderbilt, it is still an SEC opportunity for the new head coach. And, as we've seen over the past 24 hours with Will Muschamp's decision to take the Florida job, SEC head coaching opportunities are just too good to pass on.