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Gus Malzahn, Jay Jacobs Respond To Arkansas Rumors

Gus Malzahn coaching on the sideline for Auburn.

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Gus Malzahn of the Auburn Tigers reacts after a touchdown by the Alabama Crimson Tide was overturned after review during the fourth quarter at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Auburn won tonight's Iron Bowl, giving the team a trip to the SEC Championship amid rumors that head coach Gus Malzahn could jump to Arkansas.

Malzahn is an Arkansas native and former Razorbacks assistant, and cut his teeth in the local high school ranks before surging through college football.

The Razorbacks fired Bret Bielema immediately following the team's loss to Missouri. Influential figures at Arkansas reportedly want Malzahn to replace him, as tough as that may seem to pull off given Auburn's potential push to the College Football Playoff.

Malzahn and Jay Jacobs, the outgoing Auburn athletic director, both addressed his future with the program after the game. Malzahn gave your usual answers about focusing on the next game, in this case the SEC Championship against a Georgia team that Auburn destroyed a few weeks ago, though he wasn't afraid to talk about what his team may look like next year. From AL.com:

"Let me just tell ya, we just won the SEC West and we're fixing to play for the SEC Championship," Malzahn said. "I don't get into rumors."

[...]

"You can see kind of where we're at now. We're starting to get depth and we're starting to have quality depth and talent and we got a real chance for a long time. ... 2013 was obviously a huge win for our program and where we were at and all that, but this is different.

"We're a little more stable right now. I like where we're at. I like our staff. I like our players. We'll have most of our guys back next year."

Looking at the impact of this run on the future of the program may be a bit strange for a team that has national championship aspirations this season, but it is probably a bit reassuring for Auburn fans right now.

Jacobs, who is set to step down in June, says that Malzahn has told him that he's very happy at Auburn, but will not discuss contract extensions until after the season.

"Gus and I, we haven't spoken about a new contract," Jacobs said. "We spoke about his future here and he's very happy here and I expect him to be here for quite some time. ... Gus and I will talk about (a new contract), but the way Gus is, he doesn't like to talk about things until everything is over."

Malzahn's deal is set to expire in 2020, but it seems pretty clear that he will be getting a nice big extension, assuming he stays at Auburn.

[AL.com]