With questions about his job security following 2016 being asked, Jay Jacobs and Gus Malzahn tried to put a damper on any negative talk and added an extra season to Malzahn's Auburn contract, today.
James Crepea of AL.com has the major details of what exactly it means. It really doesn't sound like the contract changed much at all with the exception of adding the extra year in 2020. The buyout remains the same, although I guess technically it's gone up a bit more to what it would have been if Auburn had fired Gus last season since they added an extra year. That extra year will be worth more money to Gus, though, so if he's still at Auburn in 2020, it will be more lucrative for him. It also adds more salary to him in the next two seasons and less in 2018 and 2019.
You can bet opposing schools are using whether or not Gus Malzahn is on the hot seat against Auburn in recruiting. I'm sure they heard about that when talking to a number of the big-name prospects who were in town for Big Cat Weekend in Auburn this weekend. I think it was a smart move by Auburn to make this move, today. As said, it doesn't change a whole lot, but it helps shore up against that negative recruiting while not necessarily putting the school in as big bind financially as some possible extensions they could have negotiated.
Personally, I don't think Gus Malzahn should be on the hot seat this season, anyway. Nor does probably his most famous player. I think if Auburn struggles in 2016 then he should go into 2017 with a scorching hot seat, but I am the eternal optimist who thinks 2016 will be much better for Auburn. The overall results in terms of record may come close to the same - Vegas has Auburn at a record similar to last season - but I think the way those games play out will be much different. I also think that Auburn's defense will be much improved and that if the Tigers can even find a bit of an improvement on offense (which, either with a healthy Sean White or a dynamic JF3, I'm sure they will), then the Tigers will be better.
I know there are plenty of people who disagree with me, though. I just hope the powers that be don't get too caught up in record alone and actually look at the team that's being built. That's the true measure, to me, especially given just how brutal a good bit of the 2016 schedule looks. Auburn suffered in 2015 and the team never fell apart as we saw in the Chizik years. I really think Gus will get things turned around.