At first, Gene Chizik was very surprised at the firing of Gus Malzahn by Auburn. But the more he stepped back from the coaching profession, and looked at it from a media standpoint, Chizik, himself a former Auburn coach, gained a greater understanding.

“I was shocked, I didn’t think that that was really warranted to be fair with you,” Chizik, an SEC Network analyst, said on the SDS Podcast. “It wasn’t like he went 3-7 on the year. It was a 6-4 year and probably could’ve won seven games, but that’s the nature of the beast. We all live with the realities tat that could happen at any time. You’ve got to pull your big-boy pants up and move forward.”

Chizik then shared some advice he gave Malzahn.

“Gus is going to do that and he’ll get a great job next year,” Chizik said. “There’ll be several jobs open next year and he’ll — like I told him, ‘You’ll have three or four to pick from next year. You just take the year off, recalibrate and figure out what you want to do next.'”

Chizik also said he wasn’t the only one surprised by the move.

“But I thought it surprised him to a degree,” Chizik said. “It definitely surprised me. But … the more I’m in the media side, the more I see how things unfold and I’m not so singularly focused every day on my own program, nothing surprises me anymore. It really doesn’t. Whether it’s buyouts, size of buyouts, why they fired a guy, what the strategy was to fire a guy so they don’t have to pay him, I’ve seen it all. Nothing surprises me, I say that after I said I was kind of shocked, but as I really reflect from a 10,000-foot perspective, nothing surprises me anymore. They had to write him an $11 million check within 30 days and then he gets the rest paid out in increments. People are going to say, ‘In a pandemic, are you kidding me?’ My answer to that is don’t let anything shock you.”