Overcriticized former Auburn football head coach reveals strong love for Arkansas

Arkansas Razorbacks v Mississippi State Bulldogs
Arkansas Razorbacks v Mississippi State Bulldogs / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

Former Auburn football head coach Gus Malzahn sure sounds like someone who wants to end up with the Arkansas football program at some point.

During the "'Coaches and The Mouth" podcast, Malzahn revealed that he has always cheered for the Razorbacks; even when he was on the Plains coaching against Arkansas while running the Auburn Tigers.

"My dream was to play for the Hogs, you know," Malzahn said (h/t All Hogs). "I walked on and that was a big deal. You go to Auburn and it's a rival. And, I'm a closet Hog fan. I root for them like every other time we don't play and we have to play them. You find out who you're friends are, I'll tell you that. We beat [Arkansas] and they don't talk to me for a month. Now, I'm just so glad I can root for the Hogs and don't have to play them."

Gus Malzahn says he saw KJ Jefferson do things he hadn't seen from former Auburn football Heisman winner

Malzahn bordered on sacrilege when discussing Arkansas-to-UCF transfer KJ Jefferson, comparing him to Cam Newton -- and actually hyping up his new quarterback at the expense of the former Heisman winner.

"I hadn't [seen anything like that] either," Malzahn said of Jefferson shaking off Alabama defenders during a 24-21 Crimson Tide win. "And I coached Cam Newton. I had to rewind that about three or four times. 'Did I see that right?'"

Jefferson has garnered Newton comparisons, but the most he's delivered the Hogs' fanbase is a third-place finish in the SEC West. 7-6 and 4-8 are Arkansas' records during the other Jefferson-led years.

Perhaps in the Big 12, Jefferson has a chance to at least make it to New York for the Heisman ceremony. There's a world where he is the transfer portal stimulus package for Malzahn's Knights that Superman for the Tigers, of which Malzahn was their offensive coordinator, was in 2010.

But Newton just needed a chance when he arrived to Auburn. He had thrown 12 passes prior to arriving on the Plains. Jefferson has had three years to show he's that guy, and he hasn't.