Coaching Changes Daily: Malzahn to Browns link odd but intriguing

Would Gus Malzahn leave Auburn for the NFL's Cleveland Browns? (USATSI)
Would Gus Malzahn leave Auburn for the NFL's Cleveland Browns? (USATSI)

1. Gus Malzahn to Cleveland – doesn’t seem to fit, but the Browns are smart to look into the Auburn coach.

You could argue that Auburn is a better job than Cleveland, where a coach is fired for not making a triple pumpkin spice latte out of a plastic Mr. Coffee maker worth of quarterbacks.

For anyone wondering whether the three stooges run the Browns, well, a Cleveland reporter did, too.

But the latest development from CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora that Cleveland will kick the tires on Malzahn makes sense for two reasons. Reason 1: Chip Kelly. Reason 2: Bill O’Brien.

The NFL wants coaches who will scheme good offense and maximize the play of quarterbacks. Not many do that better than Malzahn.

Still, would be mildly surprised – no, shocked – if Malzahn left Auburn for Cleveland. Just isn’t a better move for him. Coach speak is hard to decipher, but Malzahn says he’s “tickled to death” to be on the Plains and calls his recent contract extension a true commitment to the school.

Plus, Auburn’s a better job.

2. Penn State shouldn’t count on Al Golden to be interested, and James Franklin might pass, too. Then what?

Golden and Franklin are in good situations and can use PSU for leverage if necessary. Why would Golden start the sanction battle all over again? As if the Penn State job wasn’t hard enough during the O’Brien tenure, the bulk of the scholarship reductions are looming – 75 scholarships next season, 80 in 2015 and the full allotment of 85 restored in 2016.

Perhaps that’s manageable, but Golden’s Hurricanes face nine reductions over three years as part of the UM scandal.

Franklin, a Pennsylvania native, could be more attainable, and he’d be dynamic there. Vandy doesn’t have the storied history of Penn State but it has the best job security the SEC can offer and an administration willing to give him whatever it is he’ll want.

The Vandy rape case is a serious issue but hasn’t seemed to quell his job buzz of late.

After O’Brien’s two-year stint, Penn State needs someone who’s serious about staying.

Still think Greg Schiano makes sense. As of midweek, there wasn’t serious contact between both sides. But it’s easy to forget the rebuilding job he did at Rutgers, and he understands the Penn State culture.

3. Check Texas’ coaching list – it’s pretty progressive. That has surprised some.

I’ve heard this comment from numerous industry sources – not sure if Texas, with its rich-oil-money boosters, would hire an African-American coach.

But two of the candidates for Texas are Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Franklin.

Credit to Texas for evaluating coaches it thinks are the most qualified and leaving it at that.

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