I have to disagree with you. For one, Jacobs was Malzahn's boss. Generally speaking, it's wise not to tell your boss to shove it. And for all we know Malzahn might have already been considering the "CEO role" after the Jeremy Johnson debacle.
And I also would argue against our opponent's changing for the better. Nick Saban and Kirby Smart have Mark Emmert's dirty photos, they're the exceptions. Let's go in alphabetical order though.
Arkansas? They made a good decision letting Big Bert go, remains to be seen if Chad Morris will get them back on the winning path.
Alabama? Spoken for.
Florida? Most would agree, a good move hiring Dan Mullen.
Georgia? See above
Kentucky? Hard to say with Stoops. A few years middling and this past year puts an excellent season together. Would I trade Malzahn for Stoops though? Dunno I'd pull that trigger...
LSU? Hard to say after back to back 9 win seasons. Orgeron seems like Tuberville in some ways. Pulls out some unexpected wins, and unexpected losses.
Miss St? Moorehead could be a good head coach, but unless he can recruit as well as Mullen it will be more of the middle of the pack
Ole Miss? I'm not quite sold on Luke. Have the NCAA sanctions hurt them? Sure, but Hugh Freeze he is not...
Mizzou? Barry Odom is okay but I doubt he lasts much longer. Gary Pinkle he is not...
S. Carolina? Oof... Tough place to win at even with the Ole Ball Coach at the helm. I think Muschamp is a decent coach but this will be his 4th year and needs to make something happen besides another 8-4 season
Tennessee? Pruitt is chump and a vulture. Butch Jones might not have done them any favors but Pruitt is looking at a full rebuild, and if you thought Jay Jacobs was a meddler, you can bet your bottom dollar Phillip Fulmer is going to have his hand in the program.
Texas A&M? Probably the real winners of the previous coaching carousel cycle, but I still believe they underachieved. A&M recruited fairly well under Sumlin and outside of Johnny Football's Heisman year managed 8-4 every year. Jimbo Fisher for the money that was spent on him, should have at least been able to squeeze out one more win but instead again went 8-4, including choking to Auburn in the final 6 minutes last year. Their recruiting has been on fire so it's very likely they will be a force in the next year or two.
Vandy? Is Vandy. I like Derrick Mason but Vandy peaked under James Franklin.
So I don't really get the assertion that everyone is out-classing Auburn when it comes to coaching hires. And no I don't think Malzahn intended to change... His coaching philosophy (the one that has rewritten entire volumes of offensive records everywhere he's gone) is what has gotten him where he is today. Auburn hired it's OC when they hired Malzahn to be head coach and I, like many others, agree that he should ride-or-die on his own terms, but we as fans and the university need to support him as well. So far it seems that's the case and I for one think it's just crazy enough to work.