Gus Malzahn didn’t receive a warm welcome at the national championship game.
The Auburn coach is at Raymond James Stadium for Monday night’s matchup between Alabama and Clemson. Given how Auburn played both teams this season — Malzahn’s squad lost to Clemson, 19-13, on Sept. 3 and it fell to Alabama, 30-12, on Nov. 26 — the coach had an interesting perspective to share.
As relayed by ESPN’s Chris Low, Malzahn picked Clemson to beat Alabama, in part because “Clemson has the best player on the field with Deshaun Watson.” Malzahn also cited the Crimson Tide’s switch from Lane Kiffin to Steve Sarkisian as their offensive coordinator as another reason that the Tigers would win.
To little surprise, Alabama fans were quick to troll Malzahn.
Gus Malzahn got a few boos from those in crimson when exiting tunnel to do TV interview.
— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) January 9, 2017
Gus Malzahn got a lot of "roll tides" when he walked by the Alabama section.
— Matthew Speakman (@speakmanmc) January 9, 2017
Kudos to Malzahn for sharing his honest opinion. And props to the Alabama fans for keeping the Iron Bowl rivalry alive even when the Crimson Tide are playing someone else.
It will be fun to see if Malzahn ends up being right. Watson can be a chore for defenses to contain, and it remains to be seen how the switch from Kiffin to Sarkisian will affect the Crimson Tide.
Enjoy what should be a memorable night.
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) January 9, 2017