Auburn finds itself in the process of hiring a new athletic director.
Auburn could – and in my opinion should – soon be looking for a new men’s basketball coach.
The last thing anyone at Auburn needed was to also be on the market for a new head football coach.
Following the Tigers’ stunning win over Georgia Saturday, that’s one problem Auburn no longer has to worry about. Gus Malzahn is officially off the hot seat in 2017 regardless of what happens against Alabama.
This was the victory all of Auburn needed.
For one man, Malzahn, it was the complete team performance against a power opponent fans have been craving for since… the 2013 SEC Championship Game? Has it been that long since Auburn put together a strong offensive and defensive showing against a quality opponent?
That, as much as anything, explains why he has been sitting on a hot seat the past two seasons.
For the millions of Auburn fans, after suffering six straight losses against their two biggest rivals, 40-17 gives them a reason to brag again. That Georgia happened to be the No. 1 ranked team in the nation adds an extra layer of frosting.
For the clique of Auburn power-brokers, boosters, and administrators who are tasked with replacing athletic director Jay Jacobs, determining Bruce Pearl’s fate, and who would have been forced to make a decision about Malzahn’s future had he fallen to both Georgia and Alabama, they receive a reprieve. Thankfully so.
I’m not confident that the leadership exists at Auburn to successfully take care of jobs No. 1 and No.2 outlined above – all while investigating a rash of ugly allegations inside the athletic department – let alone add the firing and hiring of a new football coach on top of it. In fact, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.
But that is irrelevant now.
Gus Malzahn will coach the Tigers next fall and Auburn will worry about 2019 when it’s time to worry about 2019. That time is not today, thankfully.
Now is a time for joy. A time to cherish an historic victory over a bitter rival. A time to dream about what might be vs. the Tide.
As a regular commentator on Auburn football, I personally couldn’t be happier. Like most Auburn people, I don’t want to see Gus Malzahn fail. I don’t get my kicks from highlighting his deficiencies. I don’t possess the energy for a coaching search this off-season.
Gus Malzahn finally delivered the win all Auburn people needed and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
(You can follow Chadd Scott on Twitter @ChaddScott)
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