Gus Malzahn to Vandy?

By Alex on December 12, 2010 at 7:17p

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JakeBuckeye's picture

If true, that is terrible news for Gene Chizik. Chizik had absolutley nothing to do with his team's success this year. Cam Newton, Malzahn, and $$$ made Chizik's success.

btalbert25's picture

Jumping ship before heads start to fall.


Gus Malzahn is a dirty SOB.  Does anyone remember the Mitch Mustain to Arkansas and hire Malzahan as a "throw in" scandal???  Huston Nutt got the Prized QB and illegally hired the head coach of the kids High School to get him.  Mustain ended up transferring to USC, Malzahn left Arkansas, and Nutt almost did not survive the whole ordeal. 

Now Malzahn ends up with Cam Newton with all kinds of pay for play scandals being insinuated.... coincidence???   I dont think so especially since Terry Bowden tried to clean Auburn up years ago and was fired for it.  Malzahn is leaving now before the NCAA comes calling in the same mold as Pete Carroll at USC and Ron Meyer at SMU.  Gene Chizzick is in a world of hurt and the whole thing is gonna come crashing down sooner rather than later.

Alex's picture

There were actually a bunch of kids from that HS that went to Arkansas including Damien Williams. From Wikipedia:


Included on the championship team were prize recruits Mitch Mustain, Ben Cleveland, Andrew Norman, and Damian Williams who all eventually joined their coach at the University of Arkansas. Offensive tackle Bartley Webb decided to leave the state to play for the University of Notre Dame.


Dude pretty much invented the Wildcat though which is kinda sweet

Poe McKnoe's picture

Eh, he may have come up with sweep out of the Wildcat, but having a RB/WR take the snap has been around since before the forward pass.  Hell, the Buckeyes ran Ted Ginn out of the single or double wing in the 2004 bowl game.

btalbert25's picture

Isn't the wildcat more than just the RB or WR taking the snap though?

tomcollins's picture

Malzahn is jumping ship because he's the best OC in the nation and a hot commodity.

tampa buckeye's picture

haha ya its hard to call plays for cam newton.  

tomcollins's picture

It's harder to call plays for Tulsa and Houston Nutt.  But hey, you probably didn't know who he was until you read the story.

btalbert25's picture

Since he's so hot, you'd think he'd be in the running for some of the good jobs out there, not Vandy.  Pitt would be a better job than Vandy.  He's definitely been blessed with unbelievable talent in his OC days.  Felix Jones and Darren Mc Fadden, now Cam Newton.  It's not hard to look like a genius with that talent.  As for being good at calling plays in Tulsa, well DickRod and Brian Kelly looked good in the lower ranks.

tomcollins's picture

5 years ago he was a high school coach.  There's a huge good-ole-boy network out there.

Vandy is throwing him a pile of cash so big, there's no way Pitt is a better job.

But hey, keep doubting him.  Keep calm and run Dave.  No need to actually have a real offense.

btalbert25's picture

He can go to Vandy and be 5th place in the East every year, there's no problem with that.  I'm just saying, that simply because they guy has run successful offenses, with a couple of the best college players over the last 10 years, doesn't mean he's neccessarily a guru. 

tomcollins's picture

For those ignorant of Malzahn-

Offensive ranks (using adjusted YPP)

Auburn 2008 (before Malzahn): 109

Auburn 2009 (with Malzahn, no Newton): 16

Auburn 2010 (with Malzahn and Newton): 2

Tulsa 2006 (before Malzahn): 47

Tulsa 2007 (with Malzahn): 10

Tulsa 2008 (with Malzahn): 10

Tulsa 2009 (after Malzahn): 74

Arkansas 2005 (before Malzahn): 42

Arkansas 2006 (with Malzahn, with young McFadden, Jones): 10

Arkansas 2007 (without Malzahn, with McFadden, Jones): 5

Arkansas 2008 (without Malzahn, McFadden, Jones): 37

So yes, it's easy to win with talent.  But it's also hard to win without that talent and he does a great job.  He gets the most from his talent.  Sure, he can do more with even better talent.  But he can get more out of it than just about anyone in the country.  See how that talent was working out for Greg Davis at Texas.

He has no track record as a head coach other than at the HS level, which is why a lot of big names aren't willing to take a big chance on him.  Vandy is a great stepping stone for him where he can see if he's got what it takes to become a top coach.

For comparison, here are Ohio State's rankings for O for those years:

2005: 10

2006 (loaded with Talent): 16

2007: 32

2008: 28

2009: 51

2010: 20

Seems like top talent isn't enough, and running Dave doesn't work so well.

btalbert25's picture

And all those teams did what?  I'll take Dave and 6 strait BCS games.   Of course the year after Mc Fadden and Jones take off for the NFL Arkansas's offense is going to drop off significantly.  I see a 10-4 and 8-5 Arkansas team, and 8-5 Auburn team, and what two or 3 10 win Tulsa teams? 

No one said he wasn't a good coach, but at the same time I wouldn't be surprised to see him go the way of Dickrod.  His offense is good, but his team sucks.  Hal Mumme was able to field unbelievable offenses at UK, hell his gimmicks even lead to a number 1 overall draft pick.  If having boring Dave means 6 strait Big 10 titles, and 6 strait trips to BCS bowls, a national championship and 8 overall BCS bowls, well I guess I'll settle for that.

tomcollins's picture

An OC can only do so much.  For example, you kind of want to have a good defense (ask RichRod).


Read what you are saying, 10 win Tulsa and you aren't impressed?  You aren't seeing a level of drastic improvement when he gets on board, and a huge dropoff when he leaves?

Taking credit for a shared title, taking credit for getting a BCS bowl that's largely based on traveling well and being a brand is a bit lame, but whatever.  But sweet, we are the tallest midget in the Big Ten.  We made it!  You don't think things could have been any better?  Look at our offensive rankings.  They are terrible given our level of talent.  Fortunately our defense is 

He's coaching Vandy, so yeah, 6 wins is pretty much a very high level of achievement for that program.  He'll be there for a few years, prove himself as a head coach, and a big program will take him and he'll win big. 

Just be glad he's not going to Minnesota or Indiana.  We've made all those accomplishments in spite of our offense.  Look at how many games we lost by settling for FGs instead of TDs.  Look at how many games were closer than they ever should have been.  Our defense saved our ass so many times which is why we have done what we have done (also having pretty much no competition helps considerably).

btalbert25's picture

I just think pointing and saying the offesne was ranked this before he got there and this after.  Well as I said, no shit. You lose Felix Jones and McFadden, regardless of the OC, your offense is going to drop off.  Other factors change than just the coach in those years.  So yes, he contributed to the improvements, and the drop off after he left, but there are other factors to consider than just his presence.  

I just heard all the same stuff. I know it's hard to remember but people actually were nervours when DickRod went to Ann Arbor because of his success at WVA and what Tulane?  So, am I impressed by 10 wins at Tulsa, meh, who'd they play?  That's pretty much the same thing I said about Dick Rod before Michigan.  Sometimes, I'm right sometimes I'm wrong, but I'd doubt you'll see a vast improvement at Vandy.

tomcollins's picture

What about Auburn last year?  What about Tulsa?

DR improved the shit out of Michigan's offense.  They went from being Yakety Sax to being one of the top offenses in the nation.  Their defense sucks, but RR is the real deal on offense.  If their defense moved from being bottom 10 to simply average, they'd be in contention for winning the Big Ten, have a very good shot at a BCS bowl, and even a remote chance at a title.  Since their defense is basically freshmen and sophomores, just giving them 2 more years will improve them to that level.

Give me something concrete to look for with Malzahn at Vandy so you can actually stake a claim.  Are they going to win the SEC?  I don't think there's any chance.  Will they make a bowl game?  I think they have a great shot to do it in 2 years.  Right now Vandy is so awful they have nowhere to go but up, so yes, vast improvements are pretty much inevitable.  They were 2-10 for the last 2 years, one of the worst 10 teams in football.  So much of their record is dependent on their non-conference schedule, I'd need to look it up for the next 2 years, but improvement will happen.

So set the bar on what would impress you from him at Vandy.  Try to get me to take the over on it.  I'd love to get an escrow to bet on Malzahn against haters.

btalbert25's picture

But DickRod is obviously not a success as a head coach at a major program.  Regardless of their offense.  I guess that's what I'm saying.  Just because the guy can coach offense doesn't mean they are going to be a great team.  At Vandy if he can make a couple bowls in a row, maybe pull of 3 or 4 SEC wins in a season then that would be some success.  I just dont' see how they'll sustain even that level of success there though.

tomcollins's picture

Uh, he certainly was at WVU, unless that's not "Major".

He's been at Michigan 3 years and improved them every year.  He got off to a rocky start and sucked during the transition period, but the next 2-3 years will bet he real story.  But if you are willing to write him off after 3 years, go for it.

3-4 SEC wins is pretty significant, because they have gotten the following SEC wins their past few years:

2010: 1

2009: 0

2008: 4

2007: 2

2006: 1

2005: 3

2004: 1

2003: 1

2002: 0

2001: 0

2000: 1


So a program that has had 1 4-SEC win season, and 1 3-SEC win season in the last 11 years, it would impress you if he could do that a couple of of times, that would be some success?  It would be absolutely huge.  It's the #2 program in a terrible HS football state in the hardest conference in the nation.  They have averaged 1.3 wins per season in their conference.

Here's the thing, if he does get any level of success there, he won't have long term success because he'll be the next coach at a major program once an opening comes up.  He's not gonna stay at Vandy for life.  This is a stepping stone.

3 SEC wins is a great success for him, and if he can get them 8 wins (including a bowl game), it would be a fantastic result.  Getting to a bowl within 2 years is the biggest accomplishment.  Their non-conference next year includes UCONN, Elon, Army, and Wake Forest, and in 2012 they have games against Wake, Northwestern, Duke, and Rice scheduled (and supposedly Clemson, but not sure how thats going to work out).

5 wins in 2011 would be fantastic

6 wins in 2012 would be the great as well.

tomcollins's picture

I'll simplify for you:

Where do you think we would have been the last 6 years if we had Gus Malzahn calling plays?  Better, worse, or the same.

btalbert25's picture

It depends, I seriously doubt it would've been much different with Todd Boeckman, Hartline and Robiskie, and an always injured Beanie Wells.  I don't have a problem with the results in 2005 other than 1 game.  He would definitely have used TP differently and the years he started would've likely been better.

tomcollins's picture

2005 we lost to Texas pretty much due to incompetence on offense.  Vince Young tried to hand us that game on a silver platter, and due to the switcheroo at QB between Zwick and Smith along with the constant settling for field goals inside the 10, we lost. 

I can barely remember that Penn State game other than watching it with Penn State fans and it sucking ass.  3.5 YPP though is impressive if you are fielding 9 men.  I don't think Malzahn has ever done even close to that poorly in any game, but would need to check.  IIRC, that might have been more QB switcheroo stupidity as well.

2008 - remember USC when we decided to kick a FG instead of punch it in from the 1?  I do, and what do you know, it was the difference in the game.

2008 against Penn State where we scored 6 whole points.

2009 Purdue Harbor.

2007 against Illinois.

Now there are games where we just got beat (Wisconsin, LSU, Florida, USC 2007), and I doubt much could have saved us.  But that's 6 games where we should have won at least 4 of them.  3 were through just plain incompetence, 3 were good teams that who knows would have happened, but a small improvement would yield 1 more expected victory.  Our defense saves our ass and keeps us in games, but that's not always enough.  I want an insurance policy in case they have a bad day, or we have 1 too many turnovers.  Scoring a bit more is that insurance policy.

btalbert25's picture

In each of those games though, a mistake cost the game.  2005 Texas, a dropped TD by the TE lost the game.  Purdue was a host of problems including a banged up and Bird Flu infected O-line.  Illinois a bad call was the big difference.  USC, if the defense does their job on the last drive it's a W.  So ok they lost those games, but if the plan is executed they dont'. Penn State TP had a huge fumble.  Would a different offense had made a difference?  It's hard to say.  Sure the margin for error is not as great, but if they game plan is executed, it works.  All that being said, sometimes the better team loses. 

Also, who's to say that system works with Buckeye personnel.  You take more chance you may have more mistakes.  If the other team gets on the field more, the defense may make mistakes.  I think it's far to simple just to say if we did this, this is how it would have turned out.  It's only looking at one variable.  When one thing changes it affects other aspects of the game as well. 

You can scoff at BCS bowls and why teams get invited all you want, and yeah shared titles are a little lame, but by and large this team makes it to BCS games and does very well against good competition.  2 of the losses were bad, sure but other than that, they've played good competition and won more than they have lost.

tomcollins's picture

Defense does it's job and its a win?  They held them to 18 points.  I guess if they hold every team to 0, we can't lose, right?  We can't count on the defense to hold every team to under 14 points to win games.  We need to actually score.  Penn State had that fumble, but why did we not score any other drives?  Why did it come down to that?  If a defense holds a team to under 14 points, we should win those games almost every time.

But hey, if the gameplan works as executed and we didn't ever make a mistake, we might win some more games.  Great insight.  Things don't always work as planned, and having an insurance policy is what helps.

Every other team that held USC to 21 or under points beat them except ASU.

Where is the good competition?  Indiana and Minnesota?  I'm not buying it.  Sure, it's not the WAC, but it's a lot closer to the ACC and Big East than Pac 10, Big 12, and SEC.

Against good competition, we are damn close to .500.  It's not a bad record, but it's not great either.

btalbert25's picture

I was referencing BCS bowls when I said they've done fine against good competion.  And yeah, when you have a True Freshman starting at QB on the road, the defense shouldn't let him become Elway on the last drive.  AGAIN, just because you run a different offense doesn't mean it's going to succeed.  How would you be able to predict they don't turn the ball over more?  You can't do it.  We've seen in games that when TP gets hit a lot he's coughed the ball up.  Just saying, this boring offense sucks, we suck because of it, OMG we'd be so awesome if we ran this offense, doesn't really convince me either.  It's a hypothetical.  Is Pryor suited for Cam Newton type offense, sure.  However, would he have the success that Cam does?  You just can't say.  The LSU game, the following season, would the line have been atheletic enough to run that offesne?  That's what I'm saying. 

btalbert25's picture

I would also counter that most good teams have a damn close to 500 record against equal or better competition.  I have no data to back it up, but have a pretty good feeling if you look back over the last oh say 5-10 years most good teams have close to 500 record when facing similarly talented teams.