It’s crazy coaching carousel season in college football, and one rumor that’s popped up lately is Arkansas trying to pry Gus Malzahn away from Auburn. Tom Murphy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Thursday that Malzahn was a top candidate for the Razorbacks.
On Friday, Malzahn was asked about the rumors, and he pointedly refused to address them.
Gus Malzahn doesn't directly answer question about Arkansas reports. "I'm focused on this game. This is for the SEC Championship and I'm the head coach at Auburn."
— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) December 1, 2017
It’s worth noting that Malzahn could be coming out of this with some enticing leverage.
It’s been reported that his representatives have “presented a package to Auburn president Steven Leath to keep him in blue and orange,” per Zach Barnett of Football Scoop. Barnett noted in his report that Arkansas fans and boosters are optimistic the Razorbacks could entice Malzahn if the Tigers lose to Georgia Saturday in the SEC Championship Game.
Auburn fans are likely not feeling reassured that Malzahn will be staying on at this point, especially given the fact Jimbo Fisher just bolted to Texas A&M thanks to a boatload of money and a 10-year contract.
With that in mind, if Auburn really is serious about keeping its head coach in place, the school would be smart to provide a bit of financial insurance in the form of a new contract.