SEC Network host Paul Finebaum for several weeks has said that no matter what Auburn coach Gus Malzahn does, there’s a segment of the fan base that won’t like him. Add in a loss to Georgia, and an Iron Bowl that won’t be easy on The Plains, and Malzahn is in a tough spot.

The difficult part against Georgia is Malzahn’s forte, the offense, struggled to do anything before late in the game.

“I don’t know why anyone thought Auburn was going to win the game because these are the way these games end up,” Finebaum said on his regular weekly appearance on the WJOX-FM program, “The Roundtable.” “It’s so predictable, and it’s really so sad. This is an Auburn team that isn’t far from being undefeated. I’m not going to go that far, but they could be pretty close. They could certainly be in the mix and they’re not now. This Iron Bowl now sets up in a strange way. Instead of Auburn hosting the No. 1, 2 or 3 team in the country with the best quarterback, they host a team that is really sideways without its star quarterback and the perception now is if Gus Malzahn can’t beat this Alabama team at home, what Alabama team is he going to beat.”

As the Arkansas job came open and again discussions began about Malzahn’s interest in that job, Finebaum suggested that kind of move could help reset his coaching clock and escape the booster class at Auburn that is seemingly never satisfied.

“I don’t know the machinations or what’s going on behind the scenes. Listen, we can whisper this, or we can scream it at the top of our lungs, if Gus Malzahn finishes the season 8-4, the appetite for him to return is going to be fairly muted at Auburn,” Finebaum said. “It will be below 50 percent. Gus Malzahn needs to leave. He needs to find somewhere else to go because he can continue, it’s like if you keep banging your head against the wall, you’re still going to get the same result. You’re going to have a headache and you’re going to feel terrible. You can quote Einstein or you can quote me, and I don’t see much of a path forward for him.”

Facing an Alabama team without star QB Tua Tagovailoa will not deliver the same kind of satisfaction it would otherwise.

“If he wins this game, it will be devalued, you guys know that,” Finebaum said. “He’ll continue to say the same things which really don’t resonate all that well. I’m not saying he isn’t a good coach, he is a pretty good coach. With this record, he would make a lot of fan bases happy, but he’s not making Auburn fans happy.”