I ... I ... I seriously don't know what to say about this, to be honest. A year ago Malzahn was the hottest name in college coordinators after helping Auburn get to the national title game and turning Cam Newton from a JUCO malcontent into the Heisman Trophy winner and a likely first-round pick (prior to Andrew Luck's decision to return to school and his performance at the combine, Newton was not yet the presumptive #1 overall pick). He could have had any number of jobs, several of which were actually offered to him including Vanderbilt for $2.5 million per year. He turned those down to remain at Auburn and receive a sizable raise, probably hoping for a better job down than Vandy to open up down the road.
Several such jobs opened up this year with barely any mention of Malzahn's name. Arizona State, UCLA, Houston, Texas A&M, Kansas-- all jobs open now or that were open within the last week. All jobs that either passed over Malzahn or that he passed over himself. Suffice to say that I don't get it. Was it Auburn's rebuilding year that lowered his stock, people attributing Auburn's success last year to Cam Newton and not Malzahn, or was it something else? Something like, say, a wife that might actually be crazy? I don't know and I don't think we're ever going to find out, but it appears that Arkansas State (who lost their own coach to Ole Miss, yet another job that was open until recently where you would have expected Malzahn to at least get a look) made easily the best hire in their history coming off the best single year in their history. Whatever you think about Malzahn's personal life or history (and there have been rumors aplenty about his time at Arkansas and the discord he caused there), he seems like an extremely gifted offensive mind.
I seriously think that Arkansas State just made a better hire than Kansas made last week or Houston will make going forward (unless they hire Chad Morris from Clemson). Arizona State may not do that much better, either.
Weird, wild, and crazy stuff.