The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Thursday, Nov. 7
Here’s an interesting name to watch at USC — Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.
Hamilton’s name has been floating around coaching circles as a possible candidate for the Trojans. The former Stanford assistant has Pac-12 ties and certainly fits the profile that AD Pat Haden seems to be looking for.
Most of the names linked to the USC job have NFL experience, but the one big name who doesn’t is Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin.
There are all sorts of rumors linking the Aggies coach to the USC job and various expected NFL openings. A couple of sources indicate that there’s a growing rift between Sumlin and TAMU AD Eric Hyman. We’re not sure how serious it is, but that could explain why Sumlin seems to be looking.
A surprise name that could emerge at USC – and other major jobs – is Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin is rumored to be interested in a return to college coaching. That may be because the Steelers are interested in someone else being their coach, but sources say he’s interested in college jobs nonetheless.
Most of the people we’ve spoken to that are closest to the Florida football program over the past couple of weeks believed Will Muschamp was safe – no matter how the Gators finished the season. However, that opinion has started to wane.
At least two insiders tell us that the Vanderbilt game Saturday could be pivotal. You see, Florida hasn’t had a losing season since 1979. The Gators are 4-4 with the Commodores, South Carolina, Georgia Southern and FSU remaining.
Several sources now believe that Saturday is a must-win game for Muschamp. A 5-7 finish – or even a 6-6 finish could end his tenure in Gainesville.
What about AD Jeremy Foley’s vote of confidence a few weeks ago? As we mentioned at the time, Foley told Ron Zook he was safe on a Friday. Zook was unemployed by Monday.
If Muschamp is terminated, where would the Gators turn? There could be multiple options.
Most insiders believe Foley would want to hire UNC coach Larry Fedora. Louisville coach Charlie Strong seems to have strong booster support. Sources close to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops believe he might finally be ready to make a move after 15 seasons in Norman.
There’s a lot of chatter that Penn State coach Bill O’Brien could return to the NFL as a head coach. There are several pro jobs that could open and O‘Brien is sure to be on multiple lists.
For whatever its worth, Doug Marrone, who made the same leap last year, thinks O’Brien is staying put.
Watch out for Texas A&M DC Mark Snyder at Florida Atlantic. The former Marshall coach worked with FAU AD Pat Chun while the two were at Ohio State.
Texas coach Mack Brown’s tenure could very well hinge on the outcome of the season finale against Baylor. In other words, even 9-3 may not even save him.
We continue to hear that LSU coach Les Miles would have an interest in the Cowboys job, should it open. He was tight ends coach in Dallas for three seasons before landing the Oklahoma State job.
Rumor Mill Stat of the Day: Mississippi State started the 2012 season 7-0. In the 14 games since, the Bulldogs have gone 5-9, including 2-7 in the SEC.
Photo: Michael Conroy, AP