Gus Malzahn wins Broyles Award

On the surface, Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is as quiet as his offense is loud.

He's anything but your stereotypical football coach and could almost pass as an accountant. He's not showy, doesn't engage in sideline theatrics and rarely does anything to bring attention to himself.

But when it comes to putting together an offense, developing that offense and calling plays, few coaches have been any better or consistent in recent years than Malzahn.

His excellence was rewarded Monday when he was named the 2010 winner of the Broyles Award, which is presented annually to the top assistant coach in college football. It's the second straight year that an SEC coach has won the award. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was the 2009 winner.

Malzahn has the Tigers ranked sixth nationally in scoring offense (42.7 points) and seventh in total offense (497.7 yards).

Known for his spread offense, Malzahn is probably one of the more miscast offensive coordinators out there. He's always going to have a few trick plays up his sleeve to force opposing defenses to prepare for everything, and because of that, he's been labeled by some as a gimmicky coach.

The reality is that trick plays are just a part of his offense. The cornerstone of his offense is being able to run the football. The Tigers are averaging 287.1 rushing yards per game this season to rank sixth nationally. They rushed for 212 yards per game a year ago.

Auburn fans had better enjoy him while they have him, because it's just a matter of time before Malzahn lands a head job. It may be at the end of this season.

Of course, the only thing on Malzahn's mind right now is the next game.

Chatting with him following the 56-17 win over South Carolina last Saturday in the SEC championship game, I said something to Malzahn about his finally having a little time to exhale before the national championship game and wondered if there was anything out there that interested him.

He smiled and said, "Yes, Oregon."

Some assistants are perennially positioning themselves for that next job. The only thing Malzahn is positioning for is another Auburn touchdown.