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Will Gus Malzahn be successful at UCF? | Yahoo Sports College Podcast

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Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss UCF’s hiring of Gus Malzahn and if they believe the marriage will be a successful one.

Video Transcript

DAN WETZEL: Gus Malzahn loves Waffle House. He celebrates his victories at Auburn by going to a Waffle House, and now I presume maybe he did it at Arkansas State or even in high school up in Arkansas. Now he will do it at Central Florida, and I believe he will win a considerable amount.

I would like to just say Gus is winning the world. Someone said nobody had a good 2020 except Patrick Mahomes, who signed like a half a billion dollar contract, won the Super Bowl, but yeah, Gus came close. He got fired but made out with like $50 million or something. I don't even remember.

PETE THAMEL: 20--

DAN WETZEL: A ton.

PETE THAMEL: --and change, yeah.

PAT FORDE: 21?

DAN WETZEL: $21 million.

PETE THAMEL: 11 in a poison pill like right away, though, like within 60 days.

DAN WETZEL: Right away.

PETE THAMEL: That's really when you're winning life, when you get--

DAN WETZEL: The dude has 11 million burning a hole in his pocket and now gets to shop for houses in Orlando, then gets a job that I'm not sure isn't like-- I'm not going to say it's better. I don't know what it is. But it's a damn good job.

Central Florida is the best non-Power Five job in the country. It is better than most Power Five jobs in the country, especially if you already have your money. Like, there's no motivation now to be like, got to go grab that, you know-- or I don't know, whatever, a Mississippi State job. It's, I hope I can make it because they're going to pay me more.

You already stole all the SEC's money. You got it. And now you get to coach this really good program, great facilities, great city. You have talent, media market, you know, and you're going to have an advantage. Like, Gus Malzahn, he had it all figured out the whole time. Here we were making fun of his sweater vests, and he just pulls the rabbit out of his hat. Pete?

PETE THAMEL: Gus Malzahn-- and I had an assistant in the SEC tell me this-- will have a talent advantage 90% of the time when he's the coach in Central Florida, right. And Cincinnati fans are already mad. What about Bearcats? Bearcats are better right now. There's no question, all right.

But Gus Malzahn with a talent advantage means that he can run his offense and dare people to stop him, all right. Like, the guy said Malzahn, early on at Auburn, was so defined in what he did, like they only ran power one way and counter one way. It was the ultimate like, dare you to stop us.

Now you could call it a high school offense, but it was successful. And it's going to be successful when they have better players. So you combine that with two other factors that I think are important. One is all his eight years as a head coach in the SEC recruiting in the South, so you have a lot of credibility when you walk in high schools.

And the second factor, I did not write about my column but I think is important is, every single quarterback who goes to a school, gets beat out for a job is going to want to transfer to Central Florida, right? Because it's going to be-- if you're a Power Five-- because it's going to be a level below. So not only can he recruit a great quarterback, and I do think part of that reflection means he's going to go more of the Nick Marshall, Cam Newton dynamic zone read route, but I think he will have quarterbacks lining up on campus to come there. So I think it's a great hire, and I think it really helps Central Florida maximize that school's potential.

PAT FORDE: Oh, I agree. I think it's-- this is a really good marriage, I think. A program that has gotten to some really high heights, I mean, undefeated in 2017, damn near undefeated in 2018, they have slipped a little bit the last couple of seasons. Gus has slipped a little bit the last couple of seasons.

I think you put them together with a renewed energy, and I think there's a very good chance that this works out well. The chance to be at, again, as you said, a forefront group of five school when we may be on the cusp of playoff expansion means you're in a great chan-- got a great chance to go to the playoff, you know, year after year.

And I think Luke Fickell has Cincinnati a definite level above UCF right now and above basically everyone else, I would say, in the group of five. But that doesn't mean it's forever, you know. And if you do your job well and you see if you're right there with them and you're competing with them, then you're going have a chance to go to the playoff and recruit well and be a hero down there without having to deal with the Bobby Lowders or any of the other crazy boosters at Auburn that leveraged you out of there. It's not to say they don't have boosters at UCF, but I think it's a little more grounded in reality than Auburn was.

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