Daily Whimsy (1/7) - Auburn's Big Moves
Auburn Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn
Auburn Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn
Posted Jan 7, 2009

The coaching moves that might make the hiring of Gene Chizik look a whole lot better, in the January 7th Daily Whimsy.

Fiu's Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy

The Auburn Coaching Situation ... Jan. 7

a.k.a. Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances ... or the obvious attempt to keep readers coming to the site on a regular basis during the off-season.
By Pete Fiutak   
What's your beef? ... Fire off your thoughts  

This Week's Whimsies:
Monday - 10 Reasons Why Florida Will Win

Past Whimsies:
Tuesday - The Andre Smith suspension
Monday - NFL Mock Draft (top 10 picks)
Tuesday - Holiday Wish List For All 119 Teams

Wednesday - Chizik, Gill, & the Race Card
Friday - Why Paterno isn't too old

Past Whimsies
- 2008 Season
2008 Preseason Cavalcade
- 2007 Season
- 2006 Season

- 10 Reasons Why Oklahoma Will Win

"Just when I thought you couldn't get any dumber, you go and do something like this... and totally redeem yourself!" ... The Auburn hiring of Gene Chizik as its new head coach still doesn't make any sense. He did nothing at Iowa State to remotely suggest he has the ability to navigate the SEC's shark-infested waters, and his hiring sent 94% of all Tiger fans into a state of sheer panic.

Considering all the negativity surrounding the program after Chizik came aboard, most painfully from Charles Barkley, who has far bigger fish to fry now, it's understandable that Auburn might want to fly under the radar for a little while. But things have changed in a big hurry over the last week, and now, the program that appeared to be headed for almost certain disaster has hope. Lots of hope.

If the Alabama loss to Utah wasn't enough, the Tigers very quietly came up with two excellent coaching moves to all but make up for the bizarreness of stealing Chizik from the Cyclones. In a major coup, Auburn got offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn away from Tulsa and took defensive coordinator Ted Roof away from Minnesota. Combine those two with Chizik, who still has a ton to prove as a head man, but is known for being a fantastic defensive mind as a former coordinator, and all of a sudden, Auburn appears to have the potential to be a player again.

Malzahn became a tremendous Arkansas high school coach before joining Houston Nutt at Arkansas. While the experiment failed, he caught on with Tulsa where his offenses led the nation in yards in each of the last two seasons. Auburn officials, after, ahem, accepting Tommy Tuberville's resignation, said they wanted more of an offensive coach to come in and take over. Mike Leach was being talked about. Now they got their man, and now the rest of the SEC should be worried about a wide open style that didn't work this year, but will under Malzahn.

On the defensive side, Roof, who wasn't able to do much as the Duke head coach, helped change Minnesota's defense, the worst in the nation in 2007, to a respectable group that struggled down the stretch but was hard-hitting, forced a ton of turnovers, and improved by leaps and bounds. Combined with Chizik, Roof has the potential to keep the Tiger defense playing at a high level.

Will Auburn win the SEC next year? No, but considering how bleak things appeared to be a few weeks ago, there's reason to think that maybe things might not be so bad after all. If nothing else, Auburn became far more interesting.