Could Gus Malzahn leave Auburn for Arkansas? Paul Finebaum thinks it's possible
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is solidly on the hot seat, as his Tigers have failed to live up to expectations this year, especially after blowing a 20-0 lead at LSU a couple of weeks ago.
However, even if he gets fired, he should still land another job, perhaps even in the SEC.
On Monday morning’s episode of “The Opening Drive” on WJOX, ESPN host Paul Finebaum said he thinks there’s a possibility of Malzahn taking the Arkansas job, should the Razorbacks decide to part ways with current coach Bret Bielema.
“If (Auburn AD Jay) Jacobs remains or Jacobs goes, I think you might see Gus Malzahn decide ‘I don’t want to be here either,'” he said. “Now there is something I thought was interesting. Gus Malzahn is from Arkansas and he’s always wanted to be the Arkansas coach. Who’s to say Arkansas decides, ‘You know what, let’s get rid of Bret Bielema, pay him off and bring in Gus Malzahn. He may not be the most successful coach in the SEC right now, but he’s better than the one we have.'”
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Finebaum added that, even if Jacobs stays, Malzahn doesn’t have the best relationship with him, so it’s still possible he could leave.
“He’s either going to have Jay Jacobs as his boss, someone with whom he doesn’t speak, or he’s going to have a new boss who doesn’t have a vested interest or an investment in him,” he said. “If given the opportunity to go home, where he can escape Auburn and escape the immediate shadow of Nick Saban — now listen, you still play Saban at Arkansas. The expectations at Arkansas, have an 8-4 season and win your bowl game and we’ll throw you a parade. At Auburn, 8-4 gets you fired.”
Obviously, at 6-2 and with games against Alabama and Georgia remaining on the schedule, the Tigers are indeed staring at another 8-4 season, which could spell the end of the Malzahn era.
What happens the rest of the year remains to be seen, but it will be an important final stretch for Malzahn.