Duke head coach David Cutcliffe and Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn have been named Co-National Coaches of the Year by Sporting News.
It is a bit strange to see two coaches share an award, considering we never see two players ever share awards, but considering Malzahn put together a stronger resume and was every bit as deserving as Cutcliffe, I’ll take it.
As far as Cutcliffe’s resume goes, it was a good one. Duke finished the regular season with ten wins–a school record–including an eight game winning streak, two victories over ranked teams, and a birth in the ACC Championship game, where they were another unfortunate victim of the Florida State Seminoles.
Even more impressive, this all happened after the Blue Devils were picked to finish dead last in the ACC Coastal division, which featured an up-start Miami (FL) team, the always strong Virginia Tech Hokies, the triple-option attack of Georgia Tech, rival North Carolina, and the newly-added Pittsburgh Panthers.
Malzahn led the Auburn Tigers to a 12-1 record, including a 7-1 mark in the SEC, an SEC Championship victory over Missouri, and a win over the seemingly unbeatable Alabama Crimson Tide in the season finale in arguably the greatest finish we’ve ever seen in a college football game:
Cutcliffe and the No. 24 Blue Devils will face Johnny Manziel and the No. 21 Texas A&M Aggies in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on December 31st in Atlanta, Georgia.
Malzahn and his No. 2 Auburn Tigers will travel to Pasadena to face No. 1 Florida State in the Vizio BCS National Championship on January 6th.