ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers celebrates with the trophy after their 43-24 win over the Virginia Cavaliers during the 2011 Chick Fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl: Auburn Fries Up Hoos For New Year's, 43-24

One of the worst calendar years in college football history ends in Atlanta, where the defending champs filled up the Dome and emptied Gus Malzahn's playbook.

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Can Auburn Take 2012 Recruiting Class From Good To Great?

The Auburn Tigers have a decent recruiting class with a chance to make a huge move in the rankings.

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Auburn Vs. Virginia Final Score, Chick-fil-A Bowl 2011: Gus Malzahn Era Ends With Confetti

Gus Malzahn has coached his last game as offensive coordinator of the Auburn Tigers, a 43-24 Chick-fil-A Bowl win over the Virginia Cavaliers. If this bowl was a showcase for what the Arkansas St. Red Wolves are going to run in 2012, you might want to tune in to a little bit more Sun Belt football than usual next year.

Click here for your up-to-the-minute Chick-fil-A Bowl stats and score.

It felt like watching an offense unleashed. Even minus suspended All-SEC back Michael Dyer, who'd run for more yards on the season than even any Auburn quarterback had passed for, the Tigers put up 454 yards with three quarterbacks pitching in, all led by Onterio McCalebb's 162 yards from scrimmage.

The future's still bright for UVa's Mike London, who has a new contract extension and a future star in sophomore quarterback Michael Rocco. That interception in the box score was caused by a deflection, but those 307 yards came honest.

College football's 2011, perhaps the hardest year in the sport's modern history, is now officially over. Doesn't feel bad to say that.

For more on this game, visit Virginia blog Streaking the Lawn and Auburn blog Track ''Em Tigers, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

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Gus Malzahn To Arkansas State Official, School Confirms

Guz Malzahn moving from Auburn to Arkansas State is now as official as it's going to get prior to Wednesday afternoon's press conference. What started as an odd and unconfirmed rumor has now been confirmed by the school.

Arkansas State posted a note on its Facebook site Tuesday evening saying that they would hold a press conference on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. to announce the new head coach. School officials issued another release on Wednesday morning confirming it was Malzahn they'd be announcing as the team's new head coach.

Malzahn's contract at Arkansas State has been reported at six years for $600,000, likely making him the highest paid coach in the Sun Belt Conference. It'll still be a pay cut for him, according to reports, but SB Nation's own Jason Kirk gave a bit of background on Tuesday night regarding that situation.

For many, the sticking point in all this ... how did Malzahn fall from turning down a $3 million-per-year offer with Vanderbilt to taking a pay cut just to land in Jonesboro, Arkansas, at a school that had never won six games in a year until 2011?

For one, we could be dealing with a man who values things beyond money. There are a few of those. He may also just really like the state. He's 46 years old, and as far as I can tell, has spent just five years of his adult life based outside of Arkansas. He went to high school and college there and coached there until 2006.

Either way, Malzahn is officially the new head coach at Arkansas State and desrves all the praise and recognition that comes with that sort of job.

For more on the Arkansas State coaching job, stick the the 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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No Chick-fil-A for Michael Dyer

Auburn offense Michael Dyer will miss the team's bowl game.

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