Jump to content




Sign in to follow this  
aubiefifty

hot seat breakdown

Recommended Posts

espn.com
 

Early hot seat breakdown: Gus Malzahn

Greg OstendorfESPN Staff Writer

This week we're taking an early look at some of the SEC coaches who might be on the hot seat going into the 2017 season. First, it was Butch Jones at Tennessee. Then we discussed Kevin Sumlin’s future at Texas A&M.

Now it’s time to wrap up the series with Auburn’s Gus Malzahn.

Coach Gus Malzahn may have to end skids against both Alabama and Georgia in order to remain at Auburn beyond 2017. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

How he gets off the hot seat: Clearly, eight wins and a trip to a New Year’s Six bowl last year wasn’t enough. At this point, it would probably take beating Alabama or winning the SEC for Malzahn to fully remove himself from the hot seat. If the past decade has proven anything, it’s that Auburn coaches are one bad season from looking for a new job.

To be fair, though, Malzahn’s seat isn’t nearly as warm now as it was this time a year ago. For a stretch in the middle of last season -- before the injuries began to pile up -- Auburn looked as good as any team in the SEC.

The question is, if the Tigers can stay healthy, will we see that team return in 2017? The arrival of former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham should help. If there was one major question mark on last year’s team, it was at the quarterback spot. But many believe Stidham will be the solution to that problem and that he has all the tools to take Auburn back to an elite level.

However, with raised expectations comes added pressure. Seven or eight wins might not be enough when the missing piece (Stidham) is now on campus.

There’s also pressure on new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey to deliver. This is the first time Malzahn has had anybody other than Rhett Lashlee as his offensive coordinator at the college level, and Lindsey is the guy Malzahn wanted as Lashlee’s replacement. If the offense struggles again this season, it would look bad on Lindsey. But it could ultimately fall back on Malzahn.

The hope is that Stidham emerges as one of the SEC’s top players and leads Auburn to a conference title, beating Alabama along the way. Then maybe Malzahn can finally feel safe about his future.

How his job ends up in jeopardy: It’s hard to believe that the head coach on a team ranked No. 5 in ESPN’s preseason FPI would be on the hot seat. But we’ve been here before, right? In 2015, Auburn had a potential breakout star in Jeremy Johnson and a team that some thought could win the SEC. The Tigers finished that season 6-6 before winning the bowl game.

 

To be clear, Malzahn can’t survive another 6-6 season in 2017 -- not with these types of expectations being put on his team.

Record aside, it might be the month of November that ultimately decides Malzahn’s fate. Since that magical first season in 2013, he’s lost three straight games to both Alabama and Georgia in the final month. Let’s say Auburn does win seven or even eight games like it did a year ago. It might not be enough if two of the losses come at the end of the season to its two top rivals. Fans are growing tired of losing to Alabama and Georgia every year.

The good news for Malzahn this season is that he has a team capable of dethroning Alabama and winning the SEC. The bad news is that there’s very little margin for error. Will Auburn rise to the occasion or will it wilt under the pressure again? Malzahn had better hope it’s the former.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites




I wonder why they choose these 3 coaches to discuss? I mean I would think Mullen, Freeze, Bert, Stoopes, and McElwain would all be considered on at least warm seats. But can't say that I disagree with anything in that article.

Oh and how does the team ranked 5 have a coach on the hot seat? By losing 5 games the year before that’s how….

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, gravejd said:

I wonder why they choose these 3 coaches to discuss? I mean I would think Mullen, Freeze, Bert, Stoopes, and McElwain would all be considered on at least warm seats.

Agreed... in fact, I would say several of those are hotter. Freeze is likely gone... maybe even before the season. Bret is definitely on a make or break year. Mullen has a little time, but I give him 2 years, tops, before they are calling for his head if he doesn't turn things around... especially with a promising QB. McElwain has the disadvantage of being a Florida, where expectations are sky high, and he won't have long to meet them.

Taking the three they picked... Sumlin is his own worst enemy, but if he can get a quality QB that sticks, he's back on easy street and Gus has a loaded cabinet and everything is pointing in the right direction.  In fact, of the three, Jones is the only one who seems like he's in serious danger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, lionheartkc said:

Agreed... in fact, I would say several of those are hotter. Freeze is likely gone... maybe even before the season. Bret is definitely on a make or break year. Mullen has a little time, but I give him 2 years, tops, before they are calling for his head if he doesn't turn things around... especially with a promising QB. McElwain has the disadvantage of being a Florida, where expectations are sky high, and he won't have long to meet them.

Taking the three they picked... Sumlin is his own worst enemy, but if he can get a quality QB that sticks, he's back on easy street and Gus has a loaded cabinet and everything is pointing in the right direction.  In fact, of the three, Jones is the only one who seems like he's in serious danger.

Freeze is toast, there's not way he retains his job.  Gus will be fine.  Hard to can a HC that made it to ATL 2 yrs in a row, so McElwain is safe.  Sumlin's seat is warm, Bert's ass should be on fire.  Jones turned in the best season UT has had in over a decade last season, he should be ok.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, keesler said:

Freeze is toast, there's not way he retains his job.  Gus will be fine.  Hard to can a HC that made it to ATL 2 yrs in a row, so McElwain is safe.  Sumlin's seat is warm, Bert's ass should be on fire.  Jones turned in the best season UT has had in over a decade last season, he should be ok.  

I'm with you except for McElwain and Jones.  

Jones lost to Vanderbilt... I mean, it's bad when we lose to Vanderbilt, but doing it at Tennessee is a cardinal sin. He also isn't getting them to Atlanta, which is what Tennessee fans expect.  One more year of sitting at home for the SEC Championship game and I think they pull the plug.

McElwain's problem is that Florida is used to playing for all the marbles and his Florida team is literally expected to be stomped by whomever represents the west when they go to Atlanta and they've done just that.  After success with Spurrier and Urban, Florida fans and backers don't like being the annual whipping boy. If he goes again and doesn't even make a game of it, I say he goes on notice for 2018.  Same if he doesn't go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason he did not write about coaches you mentioned is that nobody cares about those programs. The only coach people really care about is the Florida coach, and even though they have been bad they won the SEC East 2 years running. 

TN, AU, and even TAM are better football programs that are used to winning. We are Auburn, and that means that you either win or your history. 

"Let’s say Auburn does win seven or even eight games like it did a year ago. It might not be enough if two of the losses come at the end of the season to its two top rivals. Fans are growing tired of losing to Alabama and Georgia every year."

Yep. Everyone seems to be losing to al, but losing to uga is unacceptable at this point. They have been average to terrible the last few years. Lose again this year to both and that would put us at 2-10 over the last 5 years and 0-8 the last 4 years. No AU coach has ever done that and survived. Lose again this year when we have a star-studded team and Gus will find himself out or on the hottest seat ever.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

McElwain is in year two and is basically rebuilding the offense.  He'll be fine.

Freeze and Sumlin are the two coaches that are in the most trouble.  Freeze is obvious.  If TaMu comes out and struggles this season then they may go ahead and pull the plug.  

Gus needs to win 9 games and beat 2/3rds of either LSU, UGA, or Bama.  I even think 8 wins keeps his job but his seat would be scorching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One name I saw mentioned is Dan Mullen. I don't think Mullen is any kind of trouble. Look what he did with that team last year. After a horrible start they turned it around and went to a bowl game. Lastly, who would state get who would be any better?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

State had a losing record and should have never gone to a bowl.   They lost to south Alabama.   Bad season all around.   If Gus is on the hot seat, then Mullen should as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Freeze is in trouble. And I don't think he can turn it around in time to save his job  

I think Sumlin is in trouble too. I don't think Mond is ready to be his savior yet  

Jones has to be feeling serious heat. Last year was supposed to be their year and they choked. Very little patience left in Knoxvegas. 

Gus has everything going for him right now. But if for some reason we stink this year, he's gone. 

Bert is probably in the warm and warming category. A bad season could cost him his job. And at the very least make the next year a "win or else" year for him.

Mullen is pretty comfortable. MSSt expects mediocrity. He can continue to provide that. 

McIllwain should be safe for another year, maybe two before his seat gets real hot. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not too much to argue about with the list but I see no way that three or four SEC schools could be out looking for a new head coach at the same time.

To be honest, it is unlikely that any of those schools could bring in a top experienced coach. Just look at the last round of new hires and imagine what the next group will look like . It will be a joke played on most of the PTB's that chase off a reasonably successful coach. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gus is safe for another year if he has a winning record.  So get off the hot seat crap.  He just replaced his entire offensive staff in the past year and half and defensive staff other then Garner in the past 2.  He's doing as the PTB want him to do and that's make changes when needed.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This story's statement that unless Malzahn beats Bama and Georgia he's gone is absurd, especially if both those teams bounce around the top 5 most of next season. ESPN is still annoyed their Camgate fairytale made them look like what they are.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No way Gus is the coach at AU in 2018 if he wins 7 games and loses to uga and bama again. If a coach can lose 4 straight years to both of them and still be the coach then AU has really sunken to a low I haven't seen in my lifetime

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to keep it simple. Nothing short of 10 wins this year, or he is out IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, corchjay said:

Gus is safe for another year if he has a winning record.  So get off the hot seat crap.  He just replaced his entire offensive staff in the past year and half and defensive staff other then Garner in the past 2.  He's doing as the PTB want him to do and that's make changes when needed.  

Safe for another year? Sure sounds like hot seat talk to me. I mean, he's definitely done what he's needed to, but that doesn't mean he's not on the hot seat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know just how hot Gus' seat is but I would imagine it's at least on the tepid side. 

I think Jones, Sumlin, and more than likely,  Freeze might want to call the Fire Marshall if things go south in a hurry

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see a very bad trend that has started taking place in the SEC and around the country. If 2/3 of the SEC teams start on the carousel of firing coaches every 4-6 years, a dangerous cycle will have taken hold with no real end in sight. Look at UT, they have gone through many coaches since Fulmer was fired. If UT fires Jones for an 8-5 or 9-4 season in 2017, they will once again be on a sinking ship. If Kirby has another season like last year, he will be firmly sitting on the hot seat. An 8-5 or 7-6 record in 2018, will likely get Kirby fired.

I think that Coach "O" will be a huge disappointment for LSU. I do not see him as being an elite coach in any stretch of the imagination. I hate to see this trend taking place. I am old school and think that this is way to go again. The what have you done for me lately concept is one destined to be a huge failure much like the tail wagging the dog. I for one hope that Gus can do the job for us over the long haul. Stability is what successful programs are built on. We will be at our best by staying with a coach that can bring championships here and there, and have winning seasons sandwiched between the championship ones. Shug Jordan, Pat Dye, and Tommy Tuberville provided seasons like this. Even Terry Bowden brought home some very good seasons for us.

Stability leads to success most of the time.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×