8 crazy facts about Gus Malzahn's tenure at Auburn
Gus Malzahn seems to be the No. 1 coach SEC fans love to hate. Auburn fans seemingly go back and forth, often in the same game. Now in his 8th season with the Tigers, Malzahn has been reasonably successful, reaching the BCS National Championship, twice winning the SEC West and even winning Coach of the Year in 2013.
Yes, he has a penchant for coming up short. Such was the case again last week at Georgia. But we’ve spent enough time discussing the doom and gloom from Athens. Arkansas awaits on Saturday, a chance for the feel-good vibes to return.
Until then, here are 8 crazy facts about Malzahn’s tenure with the Tigers.
1. He is a Saban whisperer?
Malzahn has 3 wins vs. Nick Saban. He has 2 total against Kirby Smart and Mark Richt. His struggles certainly continued against Smart again this year. Les Miles is the only other active coach with 3 wins against Saban.
2. He is 0-11 in Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge and Athens
Outside of those 3 cities, Malzahn has a 15-5 record on the road. He has a chance to pick up his first win in Tuscaloosa later this season.
3. He’s not afraid of No. 1
Malzahn has 3 wins vs. No. 1 teams, but he’s yet to be a No. 2-ranked team. The Tigers most recently lost to a No. 2 team last season when LSU beat Auburn 23-20. One of those numbers will likely change in this year’s Iron Bowl depending on where Alabama is ranked.
4. He might not be a QB whisperer …
Seven ESPN300 QBs have played under Malzahn, but none has thrown for 20+ touchdowns and only 1 threw for over 3,000 yards.
Bo Nix is the newest member of this statistic. Last season he threw 16 touchdowns and passed for 2,542 yards.
And maybe the biggest number Auburn fans are concerned with: Gus Malzahn’s buyout is $21.45 million after this season.
5. … but Malzahn has built a pipeline to the NFL
He has produced 3 NFL Draft classes of at least 5 players (2015, 2019, 2020).
Gene Chizik, Tommy Tuberville and Terry Bowden produced 3 similar classes in the 20 seasons prior to Malzahn. The Tigers have had 6 players in each of the past 2 drafts, something none of the previous 3 Auburn coaches ever did once.
6. Auburn is 19-1 when scoring a non-offensive touchdown under Malzahn
The Tigers were perfect until January’s Outback Bowl, when Noah Igbinoghene returned a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a 31-24 loss to Minnesota.
7. The Tigers have rushed for fewer than 100 yards in just 13 of 95 Malzahn-coached games
They’re 0-for-2 this year on rushing for 100 yards, moving Malzahn’s record to 4-9 when his team fails to break that threshold.
8. Malzahn wins 75.7% of games not on CBS. He’s won just 39.1% on CBS
Good thing the SEC moves away from CBS after the 2023 season. The real question is if Malzahn makes it until then.