Just a quick recap of what this countdown is. Over the next few weeks, we will take a look at our choices for the 25 people who will have a short-term and a long-term effect on the rebuilding of the Auburn football program.
1) Gus Malzahn, head coach
By Aaron Brenner
C’mon, you weren’t expecting a backup kicker, were you? College football head coach has become one of the most powerful on-field or on-court titles in all sports. Not just college sports; sports. Even though the players play and the assistants handle gameplanning, the short- and long-term performance of Arthur Gustav Malzahn III will dictate whether Auburn does as it usually does – flock back to SEC elite-hood with a new leader – or fall back to the second or third tier in the top-heavy age of SEC fiefdom.
It’s mind-blowing, when you “big-picture” it (one of Malzahn’s newly-coined phrases): a high school coach seven years ago is now an SEC head coach, and one his fans adore and rivals respect. The Malzahn Mystique is tied to the evolution of college football offense, with multiple packages and pure speed overtaking traditional power. Of course, the fans demand winning immediately: watch Auburn start 2-3 and see if the fans are still in love with Gus. With that in mind, a simple bowl game appearance will do in the new day; much more is expected for the next day.