After one of the best seasons in Auburn Tigers football history, Gus Malzahn has won AP national coach of the year honors. Bringing the Tigers from the cellar of the SEC in 2012 — when they were led by Gene Chizik — to prominence and a national title appearance in 2013 is something that can be recognized as honor-worthy.
Was this award deserved with all of the great head coaches out there? Coaches such as Mark Dantonio of the Michigan State Spartans who led them to an improbable 12-1 record and their first Rose Bowl in 25 years. How about Urban Meyer who led his team, the Ohio State Buckeyes, to 24 straight wins before losing in the Big Ten title game? Don’t forget the Missouri Tigers and Gary Pinkel or the unbeaten Florida State Seminoles and Jimbo Fisher.
Well, Malzahn has done a few things that none of those guys have done. First, he led the Tigers to a national title berth after they had a terrible 3-9 season in 2012 with no conference wins. Second, he is doing all of this in his first season as a head coach and just his second college head coaching job in his career. Lastly, no one expected Auburn to even have a chance at competing in the SEC, but he led his team to a conference title.
Of course Malzahn deserves the 2013 AP coach of the year award, but there’s no doubt that Auburn fans are waiting to crown him. Why do I say this? Don’t forget how Gene Chizik started with Auburn after taking over at head coach in 2009.
Chizik ended up winning the 2010 head coach of the year honors and the national title in the same year and then he lost control of the team and got fired two years later.
Let’s hope Malzahn has a different fate.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.