Auburn regressed from a College Football Playoff contender to start the season into a middle-of-the-road SEC team that barely made a bowl game by season's end thanks to a woefully anemic offense. One of the coaches responsible for that regression, offensive coordinator Chp Lindsey, is out and has joined since joined Les Miles' staff at Kansas.
"It is a great day when you can add a coach like Chip Lindsey to your staff," Miles said in a statement. "He has a proven track record of putting exciting, electric offenses on the field and he also has built a strong reputation of developing his players. With the returning players we have on offense and the pieces that we are putting together now in recruiting, we have the potential to be much improved."
Brandon Marcello of 247Sports previously reported that Lindsey was fired as the offensive coordinator of the Tigers and actively searching for a new job. Lindsay just finished up the second year of a three-year deal that earned him $800,000 annually, according to USA Today.
Lindsay's departure comes on the heels of the worst season in Auburn history under Gus Malzahn's watch both as a coach (2013-present) and assistant (2009-11). The Tigers finished 11th in the SEC in total offense (373.6 yards per game) and yards per play (5.47), and 10th in scoring offense (28.3 points per game). The offense, which is designed to create big plays, finished 114th in the nation in plays of 20 or more yards (45).
Quarterback Jarrett Stidham regressed from being one of the top signal-callers in the nation into more of a game-manager. After throwing for 3,158 yards and 18 touchdowns last year, he threw for just 2,421 in 2018. The offensive line has been a problem all year, and contributed to a rushing attack that never got going. JaTarvious Whitlow is the team's leading rusher with 777 yards. Unless he goes off in the Music City Bowl vs. Purdue, it will be the first time in Malzahn's career as a college assistant or coach that he didn't produce at least one 1,000-yard rusher.
The question now becomes who Auburn will hire and whether it will matter. Malzahn is an offensive-minded coach who is as hands-on as any in the country. Unless Malzahn is willing to relinquish some control, the interest level might not be what he expects.