Jan. 4, 2014
Auburn's Gus Malzahn, right, accepts the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award with Eddie Robinson III (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Charles Goldberg
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Gus Malzahn was honored with words and song Saturday night.
That's what you get when you win the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award -- and when former UCLA and Colorado coach Rick Neuheisel is the master of ceremonies. Neuheisel, who has been known to play his guitar and sing parodies about college football, took aim at the SEC and Malzahn.
"When you get fired, you have to come up with new ways to make a living," he told Malzahn.
Neuheisel, who also has a TV gig, sang about the SEC, but didn't stop there.
"I want to do a little verse with you..." Neuheisel warned.
Even Malzahn, who has been all business heading to Monday's BCS Championship Game against Florida State, had to laugh at the parody of Born in the USA.
Watch the video to see why.
Malzahn accepted the honor named for the former Grambling State coach and the all-time winner in Division I before being serenaded.
"It's a true honor to have my name by coach Eddie Robinson on this day," Malzahn said. "I looked up to Coach Robinson to his integrity, his class, his professionalism. He was a winner, and that helped give an influence for me to stand up here and accept this award is a true honor for me.
"I accept this award on behalf of our players, who have done an outstanding job. They sacrificed, they worked extremely hard, overcame a lot of adversity. Our coaches are great coaches, but the best thing about them is their men of integrity, and they're great example for our players."
Malzahn has won three national coach of the year awards. And two SEC coach of the year awards as well.
Neuheisel talked of Malzahn winning the SEC championship in his first year, and that was after convincing Auburn to hire him.
"For a guy who is looking for work myself, what was in that interview?" joked Neuheisel.
"I shared my heart with the hiring committee, and I was fortunate they hired me," Malzahn said.
Malzahn has been working toward the BCS title game since winning the SEC championship on Dec. 7.
What's been going on at Auburn and Florida State during the month-long break.
"They've done their homework on us. We've done our homework," Malzahn said. "There are going to be some wrinkles they have. And they'll be some wrinkles we have. And then things will settle down. Anytime there are 30 days, a lot of things can happen. It usually takes a good quarter before everything settles down."
Watch this sort-of-music video...
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: