Originally written December 04, 2012 on College Football Zealots:
The Gene Chizik era at Auburn peeked in 2010 in his second season as the Tigers posted a 14-0 record and won the National Championship. In the last two years, the Tigers saw decreasing returns and after a 3-9 season, in which they went winless in conference play, they parted ways with Chizik. The ensuing Auburn coaching search was linked to such names as Jimbo Fisher, Gary Patterson, Charlie Strong, James Franklin, Chris Petersen, Kirby Smart and Chad Morris. Ultimately, it was former assistant Gus Malzahn that the Tigers settled on. Malzahn came to Auburn with Gene Chizik in 2009 and spent three years as Offensive Coordinator with the Tigers. One of those years, 2010, the Tigers were first in scoring in the SEC at 41.2 points per game and total offense at 499.2 yards per game. In the other two years that Malzahn was at Auburn under Chizik, the Tigers went 16-10 and 7-9 in the conference. In Malzahn's final year, the Tigers had their worst year statistically as they averaged 25.7 ppg (7th in SEC) and 337.8 ypg (8th in SEC). The big question for Malzahn, much like it was for Gene Chizik, is how will he be in the SEC without a once in a generation player like Cam Newton. This year, Malzahn spent his time at Arkansas State filling the shoes left when Hugh Freeze took the Ole Miss job. I predicted that the Red Wolves would go 9-3 this past season and Malzahn was able to live up to those expectations by going 9-3.  Malzahn will have his work cut out for him as the program is only two years from winning a National Championship but since that time the program has really been a mess on and off the field. In college football, and especially in the SEC, you are only as good as your assistant coaches. One of the most interesting things about this hire will be to see who Malzahn picks as his assistants and who remains from the previous coaching staff. I see this as a "safe" hire with Auburn going with what they know. This could range anywhere from decent to good. I don't see this hire putting Auburn back into contention with Bama and LSU, unless Malzahn finds another generational player, but it definitely should get them headed back in the right direction.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

Mark Davis: Raiders head coaching job will be 'enticing'

Fan on Craigslist offers Nats playoff tickets for threesome

Brady snubs rookie Garoppolo after touchdown pass

Cung Le suspended for failed HGH test

FCC Chairman: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

WATCH: Brett Favre in new nose hair trimmer commercial

WATCH: Michigan students protest, call for AD to be fired

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.