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Gus Malzahn: Is He Fighting For His Coaching Life?

Football fans have short memories. Having a short memory is good in some circumstances. For instance, if you are a Quarterback and you throw an Interception. A bad Quarterback will not be able to get past the pick, and probably will throw another. A good Quarterback will shake it off and lead his team.

Football fans are more about what have you done for me lately and not much for remembering what a coach, or a player has done for them in the past.

Gus Malzahn was hired by the Auburn Tigers to take over a struggling football program that was just a few short years removed from Cam Newton and a national title.

The 2010 Auburn Tigers won the national title. In 2011, they slipped to 8-5.

But, by 2012, the Tigers finished the season with an awful 3-9 record and former hero head coach

Gene Chizek was fired.

Gus Malzahn was the Offensive Coordinator in 2010, but he left to take the head coaching job at Arkansas State. He led the Red Wolves to an impressive 9-3 record in 2012.

But, he was there only one season because Auburn hired him to replace Gene Chizek.

Malzahn took over a team that lost 0-49 to Alabama, 0-38 to Georgia and 21-63 to Texas A%M the previous season. They also lost 20-41 to a really bad Ole Miss while finishing the season with an embarrassing 3-9 season.

Fans have already forgotten the 2013 season which may seem like decades ago now to some. But, it is understandable seeing the success of in-state rival Alabama. Looking at the all time Alabama record, only Notre Dame, Texas and Oklahoma hold advantages over the Crimson Tide in all time head to head match ups.

But, Auburn has been competitive with the Crimson Tide other than in conference championships. Alabama leads Auburn 44-35-1 om their all time record, but Alabama dominates everyone else in the SEC and they mostly always have. Forget about the last two fluke wins by Ole Miss over Alabama, the Tide owns a 48-11-2 all time record over the Rebels. The Crimson Tide will beat them again in 2016, just like old times.

Gus Malzahn took over that really bad Auburn team that finished 3-9 the previous season and they won the SEC championship. Admittedly, they had a lot of good luck along the way including the Prayer at Jordan Hare and Kick Six where they got unlikely wins over rivals Georgia and Alabama.

The Auburn Tigers were just seconds away from winning the national title against Florida State and Heisman winner Jameis Winston.

Two seasons have come and gone since then, and now Gus Malzahn is fighting for his coaching life. In 2014, the Jordan Hare or Kick 6 kind of breaks went against the Tigers and they finished with an unimpressive 8-5 record.

2015 was more of the same with Auburn fighting to survive games against Jacksonville State and Kentucky. They also lost ugly to LSU, 21-45. Will Muschamp was brought in as some kind of a program savior at Defensive Coordinator and that didn’t work out so well and then he left for another head coaching job at South Carolina.

The Tigers finished with another less than legendary 7-6 record with tons of issues.

They never got the Quarterback issues worked out when the preseason hype had Quarterback Jeremy Johnson winning the Heisman Trophy.

That didn’t quite work out so well as he battled Sean White all season long.

Will Junior College transfer, and former Florida State player, John Franklin III be the guy to take the Auburn offense back to the days of another Junior College transfer, Nick Marshall?

He has that kind of athletic ability and talent. Franklin is a former sprinter that has a Quarterback’s arm. But, does he have a  Quarterback’s head?

He never played at Florida State, but he had huge success at East Mississippi Junior College which is the same school that brought us Bo Wallace and Chad Kelly. Or, should I say the same school that brought Ole Miss Bo Wallace and Chad Kelly?

Malzahn and Auburn have recruited well and they have some good young talent on their roster, especially on defense.

But, will Auburn give Malzahn the time to ever see the results of that recruiting?

No, not if they have a losing season in 2016.

Gus Malzahn really is coaching the 2016 season for his coaching life.