In some ways, it seems silly that Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn would even be approaching the hot seat. After all, the Tigers are 7-2 with a legitimate chance to crash the College Football Playoff party this year and, while the result haven’t been tremendous recently, Malzahn reached the national title game less than four calendar years ago.
Still, Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports believes Malzahn’s position might be tenuous, especially if Auburn loses to both Georgia and Alabama down the stretch of the 2017 season.
Even at 7-2 going into Week 11, Malzahn is, was and might always be on the hot seat. You wouldn’t understand, it’s an Auburn thing … so much so that if he doesn’t beat Georgia or Alabama in the coming weeks, Malzahn could be fired. The fact that the athletic director who hired him, Jay Jacobs, is on his way out doesn’t help matters. Gus is 16-16 since the 2013 run to the BCS championship game. In that span, he is 1-5 against Georgia and Alabama.
Dodd also offers up a scenario in which Malzahn could bolt for Arkansas as “a safe landing spot” in the event that Bret Bielema is canned but the headliner is certainly the notion that Malzahn could be run out of town soon at Auburn. If the Tigers lost to both Georgia and Alabama, it would be another 8-4 season under Malzahn’s tenure but that season would feature “good” losses to three top-five teams, further complicating the issue at hand.
The SEC is a very weird place for evaluating head coaches and that is doubly true in a state that also features Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. Still, it is undeniably strange to consider Malzahn’s future and the heat turns up even more if he fails to pull off an upset in the next few weeks.