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Take Two: Is there any chance Gus Malzahn leaves for Arkansas?

Gus Malzahn
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Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and a local expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites.

MORE TAKE TWO: Why did Kevin Sumlin fail at Texas A&M?


Crazy rumors abound on the coaching carousel this time of season - Jon Gruden to Tennessee, for example - and one that was reported in recent days is that Arkansas is going to make a serious run at Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.

Auburn is headed to the SEC Championship Game. Arkansas just fired Bret Bielema and the Razorbacks haven’t won nine games since the Bobby Petrino era. Polar opposites in the SEC.

The rumor sounds completely ridiculous, but Malzahn made his bones in the Arkansas high school ranks, was the offensive coordinator in Fayetteville for one season and was the head coach at Arkansas State for a year before taking over at Auburn.

Is there an itch to return to the state of Arkansas to rebuild the Razorbacks - and to not have to deal with near-constant questions about being on the hot seat? Can the Arkansas brass pony up big money and steal away Malzahn from a program that’s now headed in the right direction?

Or - more likely - is this just another crazy rumor, some wishful thinking that will never happen?


“Arkansas' interest in Gus Malzahn is, or was, very real. Our sources say Malzahn was fed up with the feeling of coaching for his job every week at Auburn. But now that he is heading to the SEC Championship Game with a chance at the College Football Playoff, it doesn't make a lot of sense that he would leave in the middle of that situation to go rebuild Arkansas. If Auburn loses next week, maybe that changes. His agent is Jimmy Sexton, who is as good as there is at leveraging employment opportunities for his clients.”


“The stress level at Auburn is much higher. The guy has been on the hot seat how many times and they fired Gene Chizik a couple years after a national championship. So if he’s tired of the fans, he may go. When you’re on those message boards, after the LSU loss, everybody wanted him fired, they’re tired of him. He could be treated as a hometown hero at Arkansas.

“But I don’t think he’s going anywhere. He’s going to get a nice extension out of this, a nice raise out of this run he has going. He’s currently coaching a top-four team in the country, so it’s not a lateral move at all. I think he stays at Auburn.”

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