Coach Gus Malzahn has done what many Auburn fans have long waited for. He’s named Jarrett Stidham Auburn’s starting quarterback.
Even before Stidham had been named the starter, many were high on the Tigers. Some have pegged them as a potential College Football Playoff team. Given Stidham’s talent and Malzhan’s success with quarterbacks, the hype might be warranted.
In addition to Stidham, the Auburn offense will be led by new coordinator Chip Lindsey, who replaced Rhett Lashlee. The Tigers will need the best from both Stidham and Lindsey in tackling a schedule that sees Auburn face the usual SEC West foes, a road trip to defending national champion Clemson and a late-season visit from Georgia.
Malzahn has not fared well in previous SEC Country approval rating polls. He has finished near the bottom of every ranking, and came in with a 64.6 rating in July. Only Kevin Sumlin had a lower rating last month.
Malzahn has started to pick up the pace on the recruiting trail, as Auburn has landed a handful of 4-star recruits. The Tigers have the No. 9 class in the SEC.
Malzahn, who earned a salary of $4.7 million in 2016, is 35-18 overall and 18-14 in the SEC. The Tigers went 8-5 last season, which included an appearance in the Sugar Bowl. The Tigers also played both teams that appeared in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, losing to Clemson and Alabama.
Auburn opens its 2017 season at home against Georgia Southern. The Tigers’ Week 2 game against Clemson has been given a 7 p.m. ET kickoff.
Vote on Gus Malzahn’s approval rating
The SEC Country approval rating poll is designed to give an indication of fan happiness over a period of time.
Our formula is based on the percentage of respondents that select each answer. We multiply that percentage by the following factors: 1 (strongly approve), 0.67 (approve), 0.33 (disapprove) and 0.0 (strongly disapprove). In other words, if 50 percent of respondents select “strongly approve” and 50 percent select “approve,” the formula would be (50 x 1) + (50 x 0.67) = 83.5% approval rating.
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