Originally written on The Lady Sportswriter  |  Last updated 12/14/11

LEXINGTON, KY - OCTOBER 09: Gene Chizik the Head Coach of the Auburn Tigers talks with a game offical during the SEC game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
I'm scratching my head just a little over this news because I can't figure out how a guy—a guy less than 12 months removed from coaching one of the most high-powered offenses in the country—goes from being a heavily sought-after offensive coordinator to becoming the new head coach at...Arkansas State? Gus Malzahn, you are definitely not the average bear.

There are already theories surrounding this odd decision by the former Auburn assistant (i.e. a building riff with head coach Gene Chizik, ready to ditch the pressure of coaching in the pressure-cooker of the SEC, a desire to return to Arkansas–his place of former glory—etc.) but my bet is on his need to jump off a sinking ship before it's too late.

Sorry, Auburn fans, but that's the only way I can make sense of a coach taking a half-million dollar paycut to coach in the Sun Belt at a school that, prior to this season, spent the better part of a decade collecting paychecks to be an SEC whipping boy (interesting side note: the one win Arkansas State did have in 48 tries against an SEC opponent came against Ole Miss, the school Hugh Freeze has decided to jettison to after one good year in Jonesboro).

And please, spare me the rebuttle of "but, wait, he's leaving to become a head coach at another school"...uh-huh, well, riddle me this, why not just take the Vanderbilt job he was offered $3 million for last season? Surely their futility is every bit as marvelous as the Red Wolves, and they have the added bonus of residing in the SEC. Say what you want, Malzahn wanted out of Auburn and Gene Chizik's stock ain't looking to good either.

Oh what a difference a Cam (Newton) makes. 
Related articles
  • Update: Malzahn to be named Ark. St.'s coach Wednesday (collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com)
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