Disaster Averted: Thanks Gus Malzahn!

Alabama defeats Auburn; Crimson Tide 12-0 for second straight undefeated regular season.

The story of this year’s Iron Bowl is not the inspired play of Auburn’s defense, or the superb job Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof (and Gene Chizik) did in putting the Tigers into a position to win the game. None of that stuff matters as the lights fade on Iron Bowl 2009. What matters is that Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn were exposed.

Their horrible clock management made LSU’s Les Miles look like Rockne, Bryant or Lombardi.

To put it mildly, Auburn’s coaches wilted under pressure. They were without a plan.

They were without a clue.

And that is sad. Chris Todd deserved better than the horrible final moments of that game. He played a good season, and was competent in this year’s Iron Bowl. Unfortunately, Malzahn bungled the final minute. All that looking at the sidelines was amateurish as seconds ticked off the clock.

Gus, this isn’t high school.

I feelt like Verne saying, “WHAT ARE THEY DOING?!?!??!”

Tick…Tick…Tick.

That was beyond bad. It wasn’t even high school coaching because I know many high school coaches would have done a much better job of clock management.

Alabama fans should put Chizik and Malzahn on their Christmas card list after that.

One of the most overused clichés in sports is out-coached. Usually, out-coached doesn’t apply to what happens in a game. X’s and O’s rarely determine a game; what determines a game is the execution of the plan put together by the coaches.

Alabama fans have criticized Jim McElwain’s playcalling for a good portion of the season. Sometimes, the calls have been puzzling. But never forget that final drive. It was a masterpiece of playcalling. The screen pass was called at the right moment to exploit Auburn’s pressure. The touchdown pass was masterful—and no doubt a cooperative effort from the entire staff.

It was like a Botticelli.

You cannot doubt the Alabama Crimson Tide is in the right hands with Nick Saban.

Auburn fans cannot feel so lucky tonight. I guess Auburn fans can always hope someone offers Malzahn a job.