Tag:Gus Malzahn
Posted on: December 13, 2010 11:56 am
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Vandy keeping fingers crossed on Malzahn

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Yesterday the Washington Post reported that Gus Malzahn had accepted an offer to become the next head coach at Vanderbilt.  The news generally led to three reactions.  People either thought it was a great hire for Vanderbilt, wondered what the hell Malzahn was thinking, or, if you were an Auburn fan, will Malzahn be sticking around for the title game?

Well, it seems we all reacted a bit too quickly.  Apparently the Post report was a bit premature, because according to Vanderbilt, Malzahn hasn't accepted anything yet.  Though the school is crossing its fingers super hard hoping that he does decide to accept it soon.
Vanderbilt denied a report Sunday that it had hired Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn as its next head football coach.
But director of communications Rod Williamson said Vanderbilt hopes the report would be accurate very soon.

Word from Auburn is that Malzahn is still weighing his options.  

It is a bit of a tough call for Malzahn to make, as if the reports are true, and Vandy is guaranteeing him $3 million a year, it's hard to turn that money down.  On the other hand, what has proven harder over time, is winning at Vanderbilt.  Another factor Malzahn may be considering, at least I would be if I were him, is the fact that his star will never shine brighter than it is right now as an offensive coordinator.  I think it's safe to say that after everything he's had to deal with this season, Cam Newton will not be coming back next season, and as good a coach as Malzahn is, having Newton makes him look even better.

Should Auburn struggle next season, odds are Malzahn won't get any offer nearly as lucrative as the one Vanderbilt is reportedly offering him.
Posted on: December 13, 2010 11:55 am
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Posted on: December 12, 2010 5:44 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2010 6:47 pm
 

Report: Vandy hires Gus Malzahn

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Yesterday news broke that Will Muschamp had decided to leave Texas to take over the head coaching job at Florida , and now today it seems that another big-name coordinator is moving on to a head coaching job.  According to a report in the Washington Post , Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has agreed to take the head coaching job at Vanderbilt.
The Post's Eric Prisbell has been told that Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has accepted Vanderbilt's offer to become the Commodores' next football coach.
Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin was a candidate for the Vanderbilt job, and was seen as the Commodores' second choice after Malzahn.

If this is true, this is a huge hire for Vanderbilt.  Malzahn has been incredibly successful just about everywhere he's gone, and we've all seen what he's been able to do with Cam Newton and the Auburn offense this season.  Of course, he won't be able to bring Cam Newton with him to Nashville.
Still, this is a very good first step for the Vanderbilt program if it's ever going to experience success in the SEC and put an end to being a conference doormat.  As for Malzahn, if he's able to win at Vanderbilt, he'll be able to pick any job he wants at any price he wants in a few years.

UPDATE: CBS's own Dennis Dodd -- along with an awful lot of other outlets -- are reporting that Malzahn-to-Nashville isn't quite a done deal yet. It seems likely that the Post 's source would be Franklin or someone close to him who'd been told the Commodores had gone in a different, i.e. Malzahnian, direction, so this could be a case of Malzahn simply trying to get his ducks in a row before going public. But it's also possible there's nothing set in stone as of yet. We'll see.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 10:21 am
Edited on: December 10, 2010 11:12 am
 

Report: Vandy offers Malzahn"ballpark" $3M a year

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Given who's making the offer, this report from the Tennessean might say more about the upward spiral of college coaching salaries (particularly in the SEC ) than Nick Saban's contract at Alabama ever could. Why? Because it claims that Vanderbilt -- Vanderbilt! -- has just offered to pay Auburn's offensive coordinator some several hundred thousand dollars more per year in salary than his own league title-winning head coach earns :
Auburn coor­di­na­tor Gus Mal­zahn , who was in town Wed­nes­day, is thought to have recei­ved another offer from Van­der­bilt that approaches the ball­park of $3 million per year.
Say this much for Vandy: now that we know that the SEC's most downtrodden football program has the capacity to come up with this kind of scratch (though we're still not sure how ), it makes a lot more sense why they parted ways with Robbie Caldwell after only one season. When you can make this kind of play for a property as hot as Malzahn, there's no reason to hold on to a well-meaning-but-limited coach like Caldwell.

As for whether Malzahn will accept, both the report above and the one preceding it at the Tennesseean make clear that despite the chance to double and possibly triple his maximum salary at Auburn, he hasn't accepted just yet. (Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin has apparently moved up to second in the Commodore pecking order and would get the call if Malzahn declines.) He could be willing to wait out the falling dominoes at Florida and then possibly Mississippi State or Arkansas; they might not pay him as much as the Vandy offer and would be almost as difficult a job, traditionally speaking, but the latter would give him a chance to coach in his home state for a fanbase that is already wildly fond of him. That might be worth waiting on, though when we're talking about a ballpark $3 million bird in the hand, it also might not be.

In any case, it looks like Auburn will have to have those dominoes fall exactly right -- Malzahn waits on MSU/Arkansas, Vandy moves on to Franklin, Mullen goes to Florida, State can't make a strong enough offer or goes in a different direction -- to retain Malzahn's services for another year. The far more likely result at this stage is that he's gone, and that the bigger question for the Tigers now is simply keeping Malzahn as focused on the BCS National Championship Game as they can amidst the coaching storm.

 


Posted on: December 7, 2010 4:45 pm
 

Vandy to cut candidate list, as they should

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Thanks to the Jon Gruden panic at Miami, the Bill McCartney escapades at Colorado , etc., the coaching search at Vanderbilt has flown mostly under the radar to date despite it being the only vacancy this offseason in the SEC (barring Dan Mullen' s hypothetical departure at Mississippi State ). That doesn't mean the Commodore brass hasn't been doing their due diligence. In fact, as this report from the Tennessean indicates , they've been extremely diligent. According to the report, the full alphabetical list of coaches contacted or coaches whose agents have been contacted by the 'Dores --and it may not be comprehensive -- is as follows:

Troy Calhoun , head coach, Air Force
Dave Doeren , defensive coordinator, Wisconsin
James Franklin, offensive coordinator, Maryland
Al Golden, head coach, Temple
Todd Graham , head coach, Tulsa
Gus Malzahn, offensive coordinator, Auburn
Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, Stanford
Don Treadwell,
offensive coordinator, Michigan State
Shawn Watson, offensive coordinator, Nebraska

If that seems like a lot of candidates, Vandy Vice Chancellor of Athletics David Williams agrees with you :
Williams said he will select three candidates — maybe four — from the first round of interviews to become finalists. There would then likely be a second round of interviews.

The cut could come as early as today or as late as next week.

"What I'd prefer to do is probably take more than three to the second round, but to get this thing done, three is probably the optimal number," said Williams, who has declined to comment on candidates during the search process.
We already know a few names on the above list that won't reciprocate enough interest to make the cut -- Calhoun, Malzahn, possibly Golden -- and even though Williams said the frequency of offensive-minded coaches on the list is "just how it's gone," add that frequency to the 'Dores hopeless struggles on offense the last few years and it's easy to see Vandy leaning in that direction.

This could lead the 'Dores to Roman, who's coming off of two incredible seasons with the Cardinal, has first-hand experience dealing with the Stanford-like academic requirements at Vandy, and even got some measure of name-recognition following his nomination as a Broyles Award finalist.

But before they can settle on one candidate, the 'Dores have to settle on three or four. It's time for Williams to make that call.

Posted on: December 4, 2010 8:30 pm
 

Auburn dominates second half, off to Glendale

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We asked at halftime if the Hail Mary from Cam Newton to Darvin Adams had done enough to erase the cavalcade of mistakes from Auburn in the second quarter, mistakes that had seemed to hand momentum back to South Carolina and undone a dominant first quarter from the Tigers.

The answer over the second 30 minutes appeared to be a resounding "Oh goodness yes," as Auburn cruised to an overwhelming 56-17 victory in the SEC Championship Game. Spencer Lanning missed a 42-yard field goal on Carolina's first drive of the half, wasting a 10-play, 50-yard march, and from there it was nothing but Auburn. Newton scored on a one-yard plunge to cap a 75-yard drive on Auburn's ensuing possession, and the rout was on, starting with this T'Sharvan Bell pick-six of Stephen Garcia:



That put Auburn up 42-14, and from there the only question was what kind of stats Newton might finish with to put the finishing touches on his Heisman campaign, which by every indication will result in his becoming the third Auburn Tiger to win the award. The answer: 17-of-28, 335 yards, and 4 touchdowns in the air, 14 carries for 73 yards and 2 scores on the ground. In the process, he became the No. 1 quarterback in the country in pass efficiency and just the second player ever to both run and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season. (Tim Tebow , of course, was the first; just a little while later, Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick becaee the third.) While the discussions about Newton's now NCAA-approved eligibility and his father's transgressions will no doubt continue apace, the discussion of who has been college football's most dominant player this season is over.

Up next for the Tigers: the BCS National Championship Game against Oregon, where they will seek to become the fifth consecutive SEC team to lift the crystal football. The game promises to become the highest-scoring national title game -- by a wide margin-- in the BCS's history, as even in victory (one that featured another stout second-half performance defensively), Auburn's 20 first downs and 5.2 yards-per-carry allowed likely didn't do that much to convince viewers they'll be able to slow down the Ducks.

But after today -- and the 56 points and 589 total yards -- it's also worth wondering at this point if anyone, much less Oregon, can stop Newton and the Gus Malzahn machine now that the NCAA has not. When even your Hail Mary's are working, it's safe to say every last cylinder is hitting. When the BCS title game kicks off Jan. 10, we strongly suggest we all buckle up.

Posted on: December 3, 2010 2:30 pm
 

Gamecocks have the right idea about Cam this time

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

There are many things you could say about Cam Newton , and by now, nearly all of them have been said.

But even given that Newton ranks second in the country in passer rating, given that he's rushed more often than he's thrown in one of the country's strongest rushing attacks, you wouldn't expect "we fear him more as a passing threat than a running threat" to have been one of those things said. It turns out that's exactly what South Carolina was saying to themselves as they prepared to face Auburn the first time:
South Carolina's coaches saw a 6-6, 250-pound quarterback who wanted to throw first and run second. The new JaMarcus Russell, they called him. That's what film against Arkansas State, Mississippi State and Clemson had shown them.

But they were mistaken.

"The first time we played them, they did a good job and wore us out," Gamecocks defensive assistant Shane Beamer said Monday.

"We probably didn't have as much respect for him as a runner as we did a passer."

Newton solved that problem right quick, going for 176 of Auburn's 334 yards on the ground. Obviously, when the two teams meet again Saturday in the SEC Championship Game (exclusively on CBS!), the Gamecocks will be a little more focused on making sure Newton has to beat them through the air rather than on the ground alone. (Whether they can succeed is debatable given Carolina's struggles in their 100th-ranked pass defense and Newton's 12-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio since midseason, but when given two evils, one has to be the lesser.)

But the question has to be asked: what film of Mississippi State and Clemson were the Gamecock coaches watching? Against State , Newton threw 19 times and rushed the ball 18 times, with many of those rushes going for critical first downs and one of his passes an ugly interception into end-zone triple coverage. Against Clemson , Newton threw just 14 times (with two more interceptions) while carrying the ball 17 times.

Certainly, many of Newton's passes in both those games went for huge plays (he averaged a remarkable 29 yards per-completion in the comeback against Clemson) and both the Bulldogs and Tigers kept him largely bottled up in those 35 attempts on the ground. But if Carolina really expected Newton to be a Russell-like pocket passer, you have to ask what they thought they were seeing over the course of those games ... and whether the same staff is up the challenge of Gus Malzahn and Newton this time around.

 


Posted on: November 30, 2010 12:07 pm
 

Vandy considering Temple's Golden

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's still something of a mystery why Vanderbilt ever removed the "interim" tag from recently ousted (or "resigned," if you believe the press releases) Robbie Caldwell if the Commodores were just going to go coach-shopping again after just one season with college football's most famous turkey inseminator , but at least the Vandy brass appears to be going about that shopping the right way. As in, according to the Tennesseean , taking a look at one of the hottest properties on the coaching market in Temple 's Al Golden .

Golden's overall record of 27-34 may not look overly impressive, and this year's 8-4 mark has actually been something of a disappointment for an Owls team that was expected to win the MAC and instead finished a surprising third in the conference's East division. But that a program as punishingly downtrodden as Temple ever had those kinds of expectations to begin with is a minor miracle; the Owls had gone 3-31 the three years prior to Golden's arrival. And this season hasn't exactly been a disaster, especially by typical Temple standards, not with accomplishments like a win over potential Big East champion UConn , eight wins, and back-to-back bowl berths for the first time in the program's history.

With a resume like that and the rampant similarities between Vandy and Temple -- both academics-first afterthoughts in major metropolitan centers with zero tradition of winning football -- Golden would appear to be the best-case scenario for the Commodores. The bigger question is if their interest is reciprocated; Golden has been rumored for jobs at places like his alma mater Penn State (assuming Joe Paterno isn't immortal, a dangerous assumption at this stage) and Virginia before they hired Mike London . Like fellow alleged Vandy target Gus Malzahn , he may be able to land a better (and certainly easier ) gig down the road even if one doesn't come available this offseason.

But if the 'Dores can get Golden to listen, the Caldwell fiasco might start to make a little sense after all.

 
 
 
 
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