Auburn coach Gus Malzahn values his relationships with collegiate head coaches all over the nation and said on Thursday that his recent meeting with Baylor’s Art Briles was about “helping each other” to be as successful as possible.
Malzahn and Briles were seen together at a basketball game between Baylor and Kansas on Tuesday night in Waco, Texas. The two met to discuss offensive philosophies, and on Thursday Malzahn talked to KRZI-AM in Waco about the value of his meeting with the Baylor coach.
“He’s one of the best in the country,” Malzahn said, via Brandon Marcello of AL.com. “We both have our own flavors of what we do, but we play with tempo, which we both definitely believe in. And we run the football. Coach Briles does a super job of the vertical passing game. We are similar but we have our own little flavor to it.”
Malzahn’s had similar meetings in the past, and mentioned SMU coach Chad Morris, Arizona State coach Todd Graham and Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze as some of his other coaching friends. However, he admitted that hasn’t shared much information with Freeze since the coach left Arkansas State and joined Ole Miss in 2012.
“He’s a buddy of mine, but he’s in my conference, so we don’t share a whole lot of ideas,” Malzahn said.
Baylor and Auburn haven’t played each other since 1976, and there isn’t much concern that the information shared could eventually be used against each other. If the two teams ever did meet, it would likely be in a high-profile bowl game.
“If we played each other, that’s a good thing for both of us probably,” Malzahn said. “We haven’t really got that far. We’re just looking forward to helping each other and seeing how successful each other can be.”
The Auburn offense could use some fresh flavors after struggling in 2015, finishing No. 94 in the FBS in total offense. Baylor finished No. 1 in offense with an average of 616.2 yards per game.