Last season, Auburn was the best college football team in the country. My, how things have changed.
The Tigers went 7-5 this season, lost their defensive coordinator Ted Roof and now have reportedly lost their offensive genius Gus Malzahn to Arkansas State. He is one of the hottest commodities in college football and was a candidate for the vacancies at Vanderbilt, North Carolina and Kansas.
This is a huge loss for the team, and head coach Gene Chizik who is now in a world of trouble.
The old adage that defense wins championships did not hold true for Auburn in 2010.
The team ranked 60th and 53th in total and scoring defense respectively, and a putrid 108th against the pass.
The team won six of their 14 games by 10 or less points and needed a number of fourth-quarter comebacks to do so.
That’s all because of Malzahn. Everyone raves about his ability to adapt his play-calling style to the personnel on the team, and he and Cam Newton combined to make an offense that was a joy to watch.
He had his troubles this year, but the team never got consistent play out of its quarterbacks, and the Tigers played one of the toughest schedules in the country.
Without him, they will be in serious trouble.
Malzahn is known nationally as an offensive genius, and a bunch of kids want to play for him.
Now that he’s gone, recruiting offensive skill players will be a huge challenge.
The Tigers have brought in some of the nation’s best recruiting classes in recent years, and it would not be surprising to see some kids follow him to Arkansas State.
Auburn is going to take a big hit in recruiting now that its offensive coordinator is gone.
People are quick to remember the great things Gene Chizik accomplished in 2010 but rarely talk about his poor track record when playing games away from home.
Excluding the 2010 season, his teams dating back to his first head coaching job at Iowa State is an abysmal 2-18.
During the national championship run, Auburn won their road games by three, three, 20 and one.
If you’re going to win championships, you have to win on the road, and Chizik has consistently showed that without an elite offense he can’t do that.
Don’t be surprised if Auburn falls by the wayside now that Gus Malzahn is gone.