Yesterday, Texas’ Mack Brown accepted the resignation papers of three assistant coaches including those of offensive coordinator Greg Davis.
Today, the rumors of Texas’ interest in Auburn’s Gus Malzahn are heating up. And with good reason. Malzahn stock is as high as it’s going to get.
First things first, I don’t want to see Malzahn leave the SEC. I want to see what his offense can do without Cam Newton. Last year, it looked good for the first half of the year and then SEC coaches seemed to figure it out in the back half. This year, it started slowly, but as Newton spread his wings, Malzahn’s offense took flight.
Next year, Malzahn likely won’t have Newton. He’ll also lose four and possibly five of his starting offensive linemen. Read that again. At least four O-linemen… gone.
Simple question: Is Malzahn’s stock higher now than it will be at this time next year?
It would be hard — even for an Auburn fan — to say no. Clearly, Auburn will take some type of step backward in 2011. That means now is the time for Malzahn to cash in some chips.
Malzahn just won the Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s best assistant coach. He’ll be featured in the BCS Championship Game. His offense is ringing up points and yards at an astounding clip. And Texas’ Brown is desperate.
Ah, yes, Texas. Brown won a BCS title of his own in 2005. In 2009 he played for another. But after a 5-7 season this year, Brown is being hit with “the game’s passed him by” talk from short-memoried Longhorn fans. He’s had to shake up his coaching staff. And he’s got Will Muschamp waiting in the wings.
The 2011 season is key for Brown, as silly as that sounds. He needs to make a splash with his offensive coordinator hire. Malzahn would definitely make a splash.
Looking at Malzahn’s status we see:
* Broyles Award
* BCS title game
* Great offense
* Losing a lot of good players
* Texas is open
* Texas has more money than Donald Trump
* Texas has a built-in recruiting base second only to Florida
Add it up and Malzahn should seriously consider chatting with Brown and the Longhorns should they dial him up.
But if he does, he must also figure out two things:
1. Is Texas’ roster built for a quick conversion to Malzahn’s spread?
2. How would Malzahn feel about working for Muschamp? (If he goes to UT, he’ll likely work for the coach-in-waiting at some point… unless he lands a head coaching job himself.)
Brown wanted to mix in a power running game with his spread passing attack this season. That never really materialized. But that’s exactly what Malzahn has done at Auburn.
The planets seem to be aligning for Malzahn to make a move to Texas… just as Gene Chizik once did. And if the Horns call, Auburn’s OC should at least listen. His stock will never be higher than it is right now.