The season started out with Gus on the "hot seat" according to the national pundits. Those close to the program reported that was hardly the case and more of a media narrative. Someone told me he needed to go 8-4 and beat one of the Big Three (Alabama, Georgia, LSU) to save his job.
Well, the Tigers beat LSU in Week 4 of the season, and they're projected to finish the season 8-4. Should we still consider Gus Malzahn to be on the hot seat?
Sing it with me, folks...
I don't just say this because of the projected record and the LSU victory. We should also beat UGA, so that helps, too. No, I say it for one other big reason.
I love Auburn. I think Auburn is one of the greatest places in the world. I think Auburn Football is a place any coach can succeed even with Alabama across the state and doing what they're doing.
That being said, let's take a look around at some of the other coaching jobs that are or will likely come open this season...
LSU - This is a given unless DACOACHO wins out and has the interim tag removed.
Texas - Charlie Strong's seat is simmering and Texas' struggles mean that one of the biggest jobs (though with boosters more meddling than Bobby Lowder ever was) in college football could be open.
Notre Dame - The Irish are 2-5 and Brian Kelly has fired his defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder (heh) and last night got into an argument with a Stanford strength coach.
Oregon - Mark Helfrich is likely gone, but I don't consider Oregon a more "prestigious" job than Auburn by a long shot.
USC - Could the Trojans fire Clay Helton after only one season? I doubt it, but it's possible.
UCLA - Jim Mora is 3-4 overall, 1-3 in conference. I haven't heard hot seat talk for him, but it's possible.
Again, I think Auburn is a prestigious job and coaches would love the chance to coach in the SEC at a school with a winning history and a ton of talent on the roster. However, I don't want to be competing with Notre Dame and Texas in particular for coaches on the market.
Malzahn has or will likely meet the goal I was told he needed to meet. Some writers have insisted there was never a bench mark and only a Chizikian collapse would end in his firing. That's not likely to happen when you see how well this team is playing, now. I think he's more than safe for the end of this season.
And, for those who say "but what good is he now that he's turned over play calling to Lashlee?" Well, how good does that make any head coach in football? That's a dumb argument.
So, too long; didn't read: Gus Malzahn's job is safe. He's only going to leave Auburn if he wants to, and remember no coach has left Auburn without retiring or being fired in almost 100 years.