Unfortunately, Gus Malzahn is still the head coach of the Auburn Tigers.

Gus Malzahn is an average to below-average coach with a high school offense. Despite good recruiting, he has routinely failed to develop talent and deliver results. Players, especially skill position players, have routinely regressed under Gus Malzahn in subsequent seasons. His only success has come from transfers and inherited talent; his two best seasons at Auburn (2013 and 2017) have come with transfers at quarterback.

Gus Malzahn's failure to develop talent has lead to an increasing lack of depth. Gus has had eight years to recruit the players he needs and develop them to be what he needs them to be. He hasn't done it, plain and simple, and there is no reason to believe that is going to change. All the while, since 2014, every Gus Malzahn season at Auburn has had at least four losses.

Gus Malzahn has had eight years to deliver results and has not done so. Auburn continues to fall further behind the rest of the SEC and her traditional rivals, and further into mediocrity. And yet, somehow, Gus Malzahn is the 6th highest paid coach in all of college football?

High school coach. High school offense. High school results.

Don't believe us? Look at the numbers.

Gus Malzahn: By The Numbers

As of Sunday, December 13th, 2020, Gus Malzahn is:

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Under Gus Malzahn's new contract, signed at the end of the 2017 season, every loss during the 2020 season costs Auburn $690,000. [11] Auburn paid Gus Malzahn $2,760,000 and counting for games lost during the 2020 season.

Since the "Kick Six" victory in the 2013 Iron Bowl, Malzahn is 38-32 (54%) against Power 5 opponents. [11]

Gus Malzahn is a combined 8-17 (32%) against Alabama, Georgia and LSU. He is 0-12 (0%) in Athens, Baton Rouge and Tuscaloosa.

Auburn has a 32-27 (54%) record in SEC games [since 2014] including 2-5 (29%) against Bama, 1-7 (13%) against Georgia and 3-4 (43%) against LSU. [12]

  1. Three straight losses 2014-2016.
  2. Three straight losses 2014-2016. Three straight losses, 2017-Present.
  3. 2016 win came as time expired.
  4. 2017 blew a 20 point lead to an LSU team that lost to Troy State and MSU.
  5. 2013 blew a 18 point lead with the National Championship on the line.
  6. Lost SEC championship game in 2017 7-28.
  7. Lost Peach Bowl to UCF 27-34. Last loss to a non-major conference team was 1991 vs. Southern Miss. (2007 loss to South Florida is often mentioned here - South Florida was a member of the Big East, which, at the time, was considered a major conference.)
  8. 2018 blew an 11 point halftime lead. Did not score a single point in the second half.
  9. Malzahn's contract pays him $6.7 million in 2018.
  10. Tennessee was 3-2 coming into the 2018 game, with a 0-11 SEC record. Last loss to Tennessee 1999, last loss to Tennessee at home 1998. Tennessee finished the season 5-7.
  15. South Carolina fired head coach Will Muschamp midseason after winning just 2 games to start the 2020 season. One of those two was Auburn.

Should these be the numbers of the 6th highest paid coach in college football?

* For the purposes of record keeping, "Power 5" and "major conference" should be read in the context of the year. Under the old BCS system, these would have been the automatic qualifying conferences. For example, the 2007 loss to South Florida counts as a major conference loss because South Florida was a member of the Big East at the time which was an automatic qualifying conference under the BCS, even though currently South Florida is not considered a Power 5 program.

What They're Saying

Does losing by 29 points to your top rival really constitute a solid season?

Losing to a two-win team that fired its coach before the end of the season is a success?

Auburn deserves better than considering a 6-4 season a success. If Malzahn doesn’t realize that, he’s not the right coach for the program going forward.

- John Talty

But sometimes, programs need to have a jolt of energy. Sometimes, hanging on to avoid a buyout can cost more in the long run than paying the buyout would cost. Sometimes, the only answer that will work is to move on.

Has Auburn reached that point? That is for others to decide, but Auburn football is in a precarious place. Recruiting has suffered. A slide toward the bottom of the league, if it happens, might take years to reverse. Auburn people are not happy, and that will eventually show up on the bottom line if it hasn’t already.

Meanwhile, Malzahn has lost four or more games in seven consecutive seasons, going 8-5, 7-6, 8-5, 10-4, 8-5, 9-4 and, so far this season, 5-4.

The decision Auburn power-brokers have to make is whether that is enough and, if it’s not, if Malzahn is the man to get the program to where Auburn people so desperately want it to be. After that, the question will be if they are willing to make the same commitment to success that their rivals have made.

Auburn administrators seem to want to simply ignore the angst and the frustration and say nothing. That is the worst option of all.

- Phillip Marshall

At what point, though, is Auburn’s mediocrity going to start affecting the bottom line? Is the old truck worth the price to always keep fixing it? These are the things people at Auburn should be asking themselves behind the scenes. Never mind Alabama and Georgia, is Auburn ever going to catch Texas A&M again?

It’s probably wise to view this college football season of the bizarre with a patient and sensible perspective, but this is the SEC. South Carolina fired its coach weeks ago despite the Gamecocks’ first win against Auburn since 1933. I might also add that South Carolina beat Georgia last year, too. Auburn hasn’t done that since 2017.

- Joseph Goodman

A four-loss season is solid for the likes of Vanderbilt and South Carolina, not Auburn. The fact that Malzahn admitted his right after — you guessed it, the fourth loss of the season — is appalling.

This is a sign of a man who has no business running the program he is in charge of nor has a feel for the fans that fill Jordan-Hare Stadium on a normal basis. Ask ANY coach if a four-loss season is solid, and 95% of them are going to respond with no. It is the point of a coach to not settle for mediocrity and that is exactly where Malzahn is with himself and the Tigers.

This is not how winners think.

- Brian Stultz

Yet when it comes to Auburn’s AD Allen Greene, there has been nothing but silence despite the school’s most popular program being run into the ground by a coach that has made four-loss seasons not just the norm but the expected on the Plains.

Does he not see the problem? The Tigers and Malzahn have yet to beat a team with a winning record this season. The best win is against 4-4 Ole Miss and even then Auburn needed a major break to come away with the victory. Oh, and let’s not forget the loss to South Carolina which gets more embarrassing by the day.

The thing, though, is that this is exactly the right time to rid Auburn of this mediocrity. There are plenty of better coaches out there that would bite at the bit to take the job on the Plains. If Malzahn (and Chad Morris) are brought back for another season, it is the equivalent of kicking a field goal on fourth down when trailing by seven. It is giving up, plain and simple.

The Malzahn era needs to end. He has lost the interest of even the most loyal Auburn fans. Now, it is up to Greene to show some signs of being a leader and doing what is best for the whole.

- Brian Stultz

Coaching: F

Settling for field goals was not the move. The defense probably never had much of a chance to contain Alabama, but the offense needed a better game plan than it had.

Overall: F

Gus Malzahn has been Auburn's coach for eight seasons. He has never won a road game at Alabama, Georgia at LSU.

- Josh Vitale

Yet this is Auburn, one of the top-15 programs in the history of college football, and all we can hope for is to keep it close? Is that where we stand as a program?

Mac Jones was a 3-star recruit. Nix a 5-star. Who would you want right now?

Listen, if you want mediocrity and four-loss season, we can stick with Malzahn. Yet I think our program deserves better than that. Our fan base deserves better. Our players deserve better.

It’s time to make a move or else there might be a mutiny on the Auburn football ship. People are fed up and I don’t blame them. Heck, I am one of them.

Thanks for the memories, Gus. It has been a highly mediocre experience.

- Brian Stultz

I get the sense that the emotional rollercoaster is starting to get boring. It's a natural occurrence that tends to happen when a coach has been at a school as long as Malzahn has been without winning numerous titles.

- Tom Fornelli

The Auburn offense is a mess and I don’t know how this is an easily fixable situation. You start doing the math and you start saying thank goodness for the head official in the Arkansas game or otherwise, we would be talking about a dire situation right now. You have to search three or four years back to see a Gus Malzahn offense working consistently.

There has to be a breaking point. Saturday was not the tipping point. It was close. It was bad, but it was not unexpected.

- Paul Finebaum

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it after Saturday’s embarrassing loss to South Carolina in Columbia: Gus Malzahn has got to go, and for the sake of Auburn football, that decision needs to happen sooner than later.

Yet Malzahn will never admit that maybe he isn’t the right person for the job. He’s still the smartest man in the room despite opposing defensive coordinators and coaches now laughing at him. Heck, the Tigers realistically should be 1-3 at best.

Let it sink in that while Malzahn has been watching, a lot of other SEC teams have improved in strides. Let it sink in that once defenses caught on to his system, Malzahn refused to adjust until completely giving up control to a coach who led Arkansas to exactly zero wins in two seasons as a head coach.

- Brian Stultz
This is an Auburn program with College Football Playoff expectations. And, now, three weeks into the season, it is mediocre. At best. This is vintage Auburn under Malzahn, the reason Gus Bus occupancy is always in transition. Auburn’s wild rollercoaster has returned. And most fans just want to get off.
- Doug Segrest

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We are tired of losing.

We are tired of hearing about great practices.

We are tired of being told that "the future is bright" or "next year."

We are tired of excuses.

#FireGus #FireGusMalzahn

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Auburn deserves better.

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