SEC Football: Auburn getting ‘Freezed’ out or ‘Gus Malzahn 2.0’

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

Many SEC football fans, especially Alabama fans may love the title of this post, but for sure Auburn fans will hate it. The Aubie hate is ironic since the Malzahn 2.0 statement comes from an Auburn fan.

The day after the Iron Bowl was supposed to be when Auburn named its new head coach. In the last 24 hours, the Tigers’ coaching search pace has slowed. The latest name, now apparently under consideration is Brian Johnson. Johnson is the Quarterback Coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. He played QB at Utah and has been a college assistant at Utah, Mississippi State, Houston and Florida. Johnson has no head coaching experience.

Johnson is a fast-rising coach who will likely become a college head coach soon. Why, has his name suddenly become tied to the Auburn opening? More complete answers follow in the paragraphs below, but the short answer is Auburn has botched a coaching search again.

All indications are Auburn was convinced it could land either Lane Kiffin or Hugh Freeze. Lane decided he did not want Auburn and now Auburn might be deciding it does not want Freeze.

Hugh Freeze has a heavy load of baggage. A short summary of Hugh’s past problems is a history of major NCAA violations and personal misconduct issues. Depending on individual perspective, Freeze is either a redeemed man or someone who would seriously stain the reputation of Auburn University. Notice the preceding sentence stated Auburn University and not the Auburn Football program that carries a permanent tarnish.

Not just SEC football fans unhappy with Freeze

The problem for Auburn AD, John Cohen is getting pushback from Auburn fans.

"… following Liberty’s game on Saturday. Soon, there was pushback from people in the Auburn community, especially women, who were quite outspoken about their dislike of Freeze and sent emails to the university president and athletics director."

It was one thing for many SEC football fans to deride Auburn for considering Freeze. Far worse is for complaints to come from Auburn faithful.

Aside from the debate over Freeze’s moral character are less passionate, but still serious concerns that as a coach, Freeze is nothing special. That is what prompts  Gus Malzahn 2.0 complaints. The gist of which are he won (some) at Ole Miss because of cheating and otherwise, his qualification is two wins over Nick Saban. Freeze is claimed to be no better at developing quarterbacks than Malzahn. Given the success Malik Willis had at Liberty, that claim lacks proof.

But even if Freeze is much better than Malzahn 2.0, is he good enough to accept the possible alienation of some Auburn fans? Auburn’s AD, John Cohen must decide.

Any Alabama fans wanting to rile up some Aubies on this subject can use the tweet below.

Next. Iron Bowl Defensive Report Card. dark

Alabama and other SEC football fans often disagree with Wolken. In this case, he makes a funny and not inaccurate point.