UCF Football: Can the “Gus Bus” work in Orlando?

Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

UCF has a winning culture, but it is not the pressure cooker that Auburn has become. 

Malzahn has to feel as if he can breathe some taking this job. A two-game losing streak put Malzahn on the hot seat virtually every season while at Auburn. That is the culture at Auburn. Alabama casts a long shadow, and Auburn is the little brother in the state of Alabama. Despite their standing in the state, the Tigers feel they can compete with the Crimson Tide without having the Alabama university system’s machine behind them.

That is not to say UCF football does not have a winning culture. In their 25 years in FBS, the Knights have been to 12 bowl games, their first in 2005 under George O’Leary.

The Knights played their first New Year’s game in 2013. Though the Knights fell on hard times toward the end of O’Leary’s tenure in Orlando, Scott Frost rebuilt the program and took them to their first two consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games.

Josh Heupel, who is now the head coach at Tennessee, led the Knights to their second. Malzahn understands a program with a winning culture.

To that end, he should fit nicely. The former Arkansas offensive coordinator has the ability to coach and implement his system without the annual looming threat of getting fired.