Well, it appears that in the Great Auburn Football Power Struggle Of January 2017, head coach Gus Malzahn wins. Arizona State's Chip Lindsey is expected to be named Offensive Coordinator of the Auburn Tigers. It was first reported by ESPN's Brett McMurphy, though was quickly reported by others with their sources, as well, and has now been confirmed by the official site.
Chip Lindsey's Arizona State team didn't have the best of years in his only year there, but they also struggled with some injury issues at the quarterback position, as well. If you want a reason to be excited about him, then look no further than his tenure as offensive coordinator at Southern Miss for 2014 and 2015.
Lindsey's USM offense had the most explosive plays in the nation in 2015. According to his bio on the Arizona State site,
The Golden Eagles broke five major offensive single-season school records in 2015, including completions (312), passing yards (4,263), total offensive yards (6,758), touchdowns (67) and points (528)
Now, why is that so impressive? Well, let's think about just who has played QB at Southern Miss. Someone by the name of BRETT FAVRE, maybe?
As a high school coach in Georgia, his offenses set state records with future Georgia QB Hunter Mason throwing the football (and beloved former Auburn TE Phillip Lutzenkirchen catching passes.
Hey, maybe he was working with good talent already, right? Not so fast, my friend. Remember the reason Ellis Johnson was available to be Auburn's DC in 2013? It was because his 2012 USM team went winless and looked horrific. They only won a single game - the last one - in 2013, too. It can't be understated just how bad that team was. Lindsey turned them around on offense immediately and by 2015 had them absolutely rolling.
As a high school coach in Georgia, his offenses set state records with future Georgia QB Hunter Mason throwing the football (and beloved former Auburn TE Phillip Lutzenkirchen catching passes).
Now, imagine him doing that with the level of talent Auburn already has on the offensive side of the ball. He'll be running an offense that is very similar but not exactly Gus Malzahn's. He and Malzahn have worked together and should be comfortable together. Oh, and he's a pretty good recruiter, too. He was a great high school coach and has tons of connections and is well known in the southeast coaching circles.
This may not look like the grand slam home run hire Auburn folks were looking for, but it's at least a solo shot to deep right field. I think this is exactly what this team needs.
Welcome back to the Loveliest Village, Chip Lindsey. I'm glad you're here, and War Eagle!