Auburn’s offensive coordinator, Gus Malzahn, is an offensive guru. Need proof? Just ask any kool-aid slurping Auburn fan who still worships at his feet.
Poll any barn dweller and they would gladly shed Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik before letting Malzahn go. In fact, when Camgate was still in session, one fan I had a conversation with said he hoped Chizik would take the fall for it and Malzahn would succeed him as head coach.
Malzahn’s fame grew to epic proportions as Auburn climbed the ranks in 2010. However, may I offer that Barney Fife…even Jim Fyffe…would’ve looked like an offensive genius with Cam Newton in his backfield?
The fact is, the last four games, Auburn, the offensive juggernaut that they are, has struggled to put more than 17 points on the board.
Wasn’t this the genius who could take Chris Todd and create a force to be reckoned with? That’s what so many Auburn fans…and Auburn posters here…have said.
But can I remind you that Todd’s team finished the regular season 7-5 in 2009? In fact, those Tigers were wins over Ball State and Furman away from repeating 2008’s mark of 5-7.
But that was so two years ago, right? Gus has it going now, doesn’t he? To quote the great Lee Corso, not so fast my friend.
I offer you this: Last week, against LSU in Baton Rouge, a place an offensive coordinator is supposed to make his money by keeping his team in games, Auburn managed just 248 yard of offense. But mind you, 106 of that came in the fourth quarter once the Bengal Tigers’ scout team was on the field.
Oh, and that powerful dipsy-doo, trickeroo offense? 10 points.
The week before Gus’ powerful machine managed just 278 yards against Florida…at home…against a team with no quarterback. Why does this matter? Short Florida possessions resulted in a tired Gator defense and yet the Tigers had to string together points like somebody trying to string together loose change to buy lunch. 17 points at home is impressive, ain’t it?
By comparison, Tennessee, in all their ineptness (new word), managed 279 against the Gators, in the Swamp. Anybody ready to call UT’s offensive coordinator a guru? Anybody even know who he is??
Against Arkansas the yard total was greater (395), but is a Gus Malzahn offense supposed to settle for just 2-touchdowns? Auburn fans should hope not; they were hammered by a team that got 38.
Auburn eclipsed the 300 yard mark again against South Carolina, but managed only 16 points.
But remember, the games I’ve just mentioned are in reverse order. Auburn’s production total is going backward, not forward.
So many times people have haphazzardly (and ignorantly in this writers’ opinion) mentioned Gus Malzahn as a solution for possible head coaching openings in the off season.
But do you really want a guy in charge of your program who wanted to turn a team with Felix Jones and Darren McFadden in the same backfield into a passing team?
Do you want a guy calling the shots who had Cam Newton in his backfield last year yet had to rally from behind no less than eight times in that dream season?
Do you want a guy as your head coach who uses oversized ex-president heads and pictures of other neat-o things to signal in plays?
Do you want a guy who, eight games into the season, is trying to find solutions to Auburn’s offensive woes with his third quarterback? Wasn’t Gus allowed to attend spring and summer practices? What took him so long? Confident Auburn fans?
And do you want a guy who has to count on trickeration to be successful?
In last Saturday’s game, CBS analyst Gary Danielson said it best.
“Gus Malzahn can’t continue to count on being able to ‘trick’ the LSU defense. At some point they’re going to have to line up and block somebody.”
Sorry Gary, but Auburn can’t. They don’t play big boy football in Lee County.
Instead they opt for junior league, flag football type shenanigans you’d see at your local little league park.
Which is why the Malzahn clan shouldn’t worry about moving companies or forwarding mail any time soon.
The only way the “Guru” is leaving the Plains is with a pink slip.