Colin Cowherd predicts Auburn will fire Gus Malzahn after this season
Everyone appears to be jumping on the Gus Malzahn hot seat train heading into the 2019 college football season — which is a year late, if you ask me.
While Malzahn did nearly lose his job last season, the fact that he survived the fall suggests the school may not be as eager to replace its coach as many as suggesting. CBS Sports recently rated Malzahn as having the hottest seat in the SEC, along with Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason, but FOX Sports analyst Colin Cowherd recently took the Malzahn hot seat to another level and predicted Auburn would fire its coach by the end of the upcoming season.
While discussing his favorite Over/Under win total picks for the upcoming college football season, not only did Cowherd pick the under with Auburn — the Tigers Over/Under win total number is currently set at 8 — he made his bold claim regarding Malzahn getting the ax this fall.
“I’m taking the under. Gus Malzahn will be fired after this season,” Cowherd recently said on his show. “He’s been a disappointment, mostly because he’s an average recruiter in a conference of great recruiters. Jarrett Stidham is gone at quarterback. I thought he was a wildly underrated college quarterback. Their schedule is the toughest in college football. Oregon, A&M, Mississippi State, Florida, at Arkansas, at LSU.
“The two games they get at home — Alabama and Georgia — the problem is those may not be winnable games because Georgia and Alabama have the best personnel in the SEC. I think by midseason they are beat up, there’s a lot of criticism of Gus Malzahn and they have to beat Georgia and Alabama late to save his job and they won’t.”
Under closer inspection, Cowherd’s rationale doesn’t exactly add up. Here’s an overview of Auburn’s previous four recruiting classes, according to 247Sports Composite Team Rankings:
2019 recruiting cycle: #11 in the nation, #6 in the SEC
2018 recruiting cycle: #12 in the nation, #3 in the SEC
2017 recruiting cycle: #9 in the nation, #4 in the SEC
2016 recruiting cycle: #9 in the nation, #5 in the SEC
That means the players suiting up for the Tigers this season come from classes with national overall ranking of 10.25 and an average SEC rank of 4.5. Those aren’t classes put together by an “average recruiter” as Cowherd puts it. When you combine that statement with his remarks on Stidham, who failed to regress during his time at Auburn and had his worst season last fall, it’s tough to take Cowherd’s arguments at face value.
Malzahn may very well be out of a job by the end of the season, but if he is, it won’t be because he doesn’t have talent on his roster — it will be because he didn’t get more production from those players this fall.