Vanderbilt is also interested in Maryland offensive coordinator/coach-in-waiting James Franklin and Stanford assistant head coach Greg Roman. The Washington Post reported that Franklin and Roman are the two finalists for the job.
But Malzahn apparently continues to pique Vandy's interest. Here's the passage in today's Tennessean article:
Malzahn's name popped up early in the search but he reportedly had no interest in the job. Neither Auburn nor Malzahn have commented publicly about any job rumors.
Auburn coordinator Gus Malzahn, who was in town Wednesday, is thought to have received another offer from Vanderbilt that approaches the ballpark of $3 million per year.
But if he continues to pass, look for Vanderbilt to move on to Franklin or perhaps Roman in the very, very near future (and save some money in the process).
One thing's for sure: if the report is true, the offer would be substantially more money for Malzahn, who received a 43 percent raise last winter to bring his annual compensation to $500,000. He is one of the top paid assistants in the SEC.
The $3 million price tag would be a departure for the Commodores, who rank near the bottom of the SEC in coaching salaries. Vanderbilt is a private institution, and therefore does not have to release its salaries to public records requests, but former coach Bobby Johnson was believed to make in the neighborhood of $1 million per season. This year's coach, Robbie Caldwell, made less than that.
This reported offer would make Malzahn the third-highest paid coach in the SEC, behind Nick Saban, Les Miles and Mark Richt. (Although Florida figures to offer someone a hefty contract now that Urban Meyer has resigned.)
I'm headed to New York today for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, so I'll be incommunicado for part of the day. I don't think there's much to this report, but you can never tell.