I took the liberty of carrying your post over to the open forum of 24/7, giving you credit for it of course.....all but a couple were in full agreement or had understanding of what you wrote....I was so glad that you wrote that, it was so very well thought out and well written that even if one did not agree with you, they would have to respect what you were saying.....I am bringing one back from the free football forum that was in response to what you wrote that is very well written also, although the poster did not quite agree with your assessment ....this comes in from another angle is also well thought out:
I have a much simpler theory. It isn't fear. It's hubris.
Malzahn brought an offensive system and philosophy that was a bit different from the predominant systems being run throughout college football and that he had been developing for years. He believed in it, and he still believes in it. But guys as smart or smarter than Gus and more willing to adapt have had a long time to examine the system and to break down Gus' tendencies and now, when opponents have talent at near-parity, Auburn is becomes relatively easy to defend.
As head coach at Auburn, when Malzahn hasn't had an OL capable of moving the line of scrimmage, an NFL-caliber back, and a respectable talent at QB, the offense hasn't worked really well. But you know what other system works with a really good OL, an elite RB, and a talented QB? All of them.
Gus was never a genius. He was a novelty. He's still a novelty, but the novelty has worn off, so now he's just boring and predictable. Even his little gimmick calls tend to be predictable, which is why so many of them get stuffed.
The game requires evolution and an insistence on scouting oneself. I never get the sense that we've done a good job of scouting ourselves on offense. We're so, so tendency-reliable that coaches who have been around the SEC for a while know what's coming. But Gus still believes he's smarter than everyone else. He's not.
But his belief in himself and his system is supreme, and it's why he won't evolve or truly relinquish control of the offense.