With two losses in the first three games of 2016, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn appeared squarely on the hot seat.
But after consecutive wins to move to 3-2, Auburn AD Jay Jacobs said in a recent interview with Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee that “we are in a great spot and have great momentum going.”
Certainly, winning streaks will make anyone feel good, and the Tigers have a good chance at winning their third straight this Saturday at Mississippi State. But the most interesting quote from the entire interview may be this — a win total that may not be what Auburn fans want to hear.
“Where you win championships in this league is making sure you have a great defense, and I think that we do. Even this early season, we’ve demonstrated that we have a really good defense. We’ve also demonstrated that we have the best kicker in college football.
“If the offense can continue to improve like it has the last couple of weeks, we’ve got a pretty good recipe for success. What does that mean? Does that mean winning seven or eight games? Maybe so, but it also depends on how good everybody else is.
“The way you win championships in this league is to have a great defense, be able to score and have a great kicking game. Right now, the kicking game is making up for our lack of ability to score on offense. If we can continue to improve on offense, then I’m really going to like this team and like our chances.”
Jacobs is appearing to be realistic, with games against No. 1 Alabama, No. 14 Ole Miss, No. 16 Arkansas and Georgia still looming on the schedule — and three of those are on the road. You have to wonder, though, whether Auburn fans will accept a third consecutive season of either 7 or 8 wins, should that materialize. That’s the type of record that got Malzahn on the hot seat in the first place.
It will be interesting to see how the season plays out.