Auburn coach Gus Malzahn was linked to Arkansas’s open position, but has decided to remain with the Tigers, earning himself a hefty raise for his loyalty.

Though the decision to extend Malzahn has been met with mixed reviews from Auburn fans, the coach will remain on The Plains for a while now, it would appear.

ESPN host Paul Finebaum appeared on “The Opening Drive” on WJOX on Monday to discuss Malzahn’s extension, saying he thinks the Tigers simply wanted to avoid a coaching search when there aren’t many great replacements out there at the moment.

“People at Auburn realize this is a bad time to be looking for a coach,” he said. “Gus Malzahn is not perfect. There are flaws. We all know them. But I believe this year convinced Auburn officials that he’s the right coach. It’s been a rather inconsistent run, but he’s been able to win at the right time, and this year was the right time.”

No, the Tigers didn’t win the SEC title or advance to the College Football Playoff this year, but Malzahn did manage to beat both Alabama and Georgia during the regular season.

With a strong team coming back next year, he’ll have to avoid losses to teams like LSU in 2018 or else he could end up back on the hot seat.