SEC Football: Auburn bites a big bullet and fires Gus Malzahn

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

SEC Football: The once believed to be Guru of modern college football offense, Gus Malzahn is out at Auburn.

There is nothing quite like SEC football. It is on a different level than any other college sport and towers above all other football conferences. Nothing, as a burned-out hippie once said, “changes but the changes.” Which is another way of saying, time chooses its own pace.

For the Auburn Tigers, change has come too slowly, but despite the self-inflicted wound of an absurd buyout, Gus Malzahn is an Aubie no more.

Fame is fleeting but for those perceived to be elite college football coaches, guaranteed contracts do much to soften blows. Malzahn will leave Auburn, able to afford a fleet of Gus-buses, plus two or three planes, even his own private airstrip. Auburn will pay him more than $20M to not coach its football team.

Dancing like a drunk man might not have been warranted after the Tigers beat Mississippi State on Saturday night. Gus certainly looked like a fool doing it.

Dancing on Sunday would be more appropriate for Gus (is that allowed in Auburn) as he ponders his next career move.

It has been easy for Alabama football fans to disparage Gus over the years. He became so clearly overrated, no Crimson Tide fan wanted to see him fired. In eight seasons as the Tigers head coach, Gus’ teams won only two-thirds of their games. A 68-35 record does not define an elite coach. For Auburn, a different measurement was used. Beating Nick Saban three times in seven seasons was enough to be sold on Gus; until it wasn’t in the eighth season.

Gus was a legitimate trickster. Using old southwest football schemes, he took advantage of any rule that served his offense. Other SEC football coaches did not like it. Some tried to emulate him. Slowly, but decisively, SEC football rules-makers took away Gus’ favorite tricks. After SEC football defensive coaches were given time to sub and offensive linemen downfield on pass plays was enforced, Gus’ bag of tricks was empty.

All that was left was some high-school gimmickry that had no chance to regularly challenge top SEC football defenses.

A note to Gus Malzahn. dark. Next

What happened with Gus is ‘so Auburn’ and the Tigers’ brain trust who ran off Gene Chizik to hire Gus, will never change. Not even a $20M penalty will cause them to realize their decision-making is the real problem.