AUBURN, AL -
Auburn went 14-0 in 2010. That was followed by 8-5 and 3-9.
Which meant Gene Chizik was gone after four years.
So how does a team go from nine loses, one year, to ten wins the next?
"These are the same guys, different circumstances," Auburn defensive end Dee Ford said after Auburn's stunning win at Texas A&M. "It was beyond football last year."
It's a combination of a new mentality, a moxie, and a miracle moment along the way.
"It's a new day," Auburn defensive lineman Gabe Wright said. "It's the biggest turnaround in college football history."
Auburn's "new day" began on December 4, 2012. Gus Malzahn was hired as head coach and immediately changed the culture. He quickly assembled his coordinators, Rhett Lashee and Ellis Johnson.
"I told you I was going to take my time hiring coordinators," Malzahn said in early January. "It took me about 48 hours."
Malzahn then hired coaches with a wealth of SEC experience and a recruiting readiness.
One of the biggest questions going into fall camp, who will start at quarterback? Malzahn's up-tempo offense relies on the decision-making ability from the quarterback. With the season opener two weeks away, Malzahn named his starter via Twitter; junior college transfer Nick Marshall beat out highly-recruited freshman Jeremy Johnson.
"It's a good fit because I've been running this offense since I left high school and then i did some in JUCO too," Marshall said. "I am well-fit for it."
The turnaround has been bizarre, but hiring Gus Malzahn has turned out to be the right choice for Auburn.
"It's a new day, and I think people are buying into that now," Ford said. "It's a new day. We're fighting for different things right now."