Michigan on Sunday watched painfully as their hated rival made the College Football Playoff Final Four. On top of that frustration, the football program still doesn’t have a head coach.
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley keeps things close to the vest, so the fact that there are all sorts of rumors flying around really isn’t all that surprising. Good information is hard to come by, but here’s what we know.
UPDATED: The Will Muschamp era at Florida is over. Who’s likely to lead the Gators next?
Charlie Weis should have stayed in New England, Georgia Southern’s Willie Fritz is likely to get a call from a big time program, and Al Golden and WIll Muschamp aren’t helping themselves. Here’s the scoop on these and other turbulent college football situations.
The names on the Texas coaching search board appear to be dropping quickly.
If recent reports are to be believed, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is off the table. Now Baylor’s Art Briles and UCLA’s Jim Mora have both stated publicly that they are not interested in the job and are not candidates.
Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio signed an extension. The news was announced Wednesday night just before Sparty’s Rose Bowl win over Stanford.
The school reportedly plans to make Dantonio one of the three highest-paid coaches in the Big Ten, and his assistants will become one of three highest-paid staffs in the conference.
If those names are gone, where does Texas athletic director Steve Patterson turn?
Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin are the other names most prominently linked to the job.
According to an Orangebloods.com report, Patterson has already interviewed both Strong and Franklin.
Despite the recent announcement of Fisher’s contract extension, sources continue to tell us that Fisher is not out of the mix at Texas. In fact HookEm247 believes that Fisher is likely the favorite to land the job.
Speaking of Fisher’s new deal, the Tallahassee Democrat reports that FSU built in an overall salary increase of 17 percent for the Seminoles’ nine assistant coaches. It’s up to Fisher to decide which assistants receive raises and how much.
The Gazette reports former Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple will interview for the UMass job next week, perhaps as early as Tuesday. UMass fired Charley Molnar on Dec. 26.
Penn State AD Dave Joyner says the school could have a new head coach “in a matter of days rather than weeks.”
Longtime Nittany Lions defensive line coach Larry Johnson has been named the interim head coach. PennLive reports wide receivers coach Stan Hixon set to join Bill O’Brien’s staff with the Houston Texans.
Lions247 reports five names have risen to the top of the early list of potential interviewees: Miami head coach Al Golden, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano and Johnson.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Caldwell interviewed for the Redskins head coaching vacancy Wednesday, and is also expected to interview for the Lions head job.
Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean reports that Titans coach Mike Munchak is still in limbo. No decision has been made on his future as coach. Munchak is thought to be a candidate for the Penn State job.
The Cleveland Browns are focusing largely – but not entirely – on college coaches. Jason La Canfora reports they are very interested in interviewing Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and Vanderbilt’s Franklin for their head coaching vacancy.
Sources close to Malzahn indicate that, while he might have an interested in moving to the NFL at some point in the future, he’d be likley pass on Cleveland now.
Tony Softli reports that Oklahoma head coach and Ohio native Bob Stoops may have the inside track on the Cleveland Browns opening.
ESPN reports that an NFL source insists Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is open to coaching a select professional team or two.
A source close to Sumlin tells us otherwise.
“That’s 100 percent not true, and it has no chance of happening. Zero.”
Sumlin has passed on several inquiries and job opportunities from NFL and high-profile collegiate jobs, including USC, sources said.
Sumlin is committed to coaching Texas A&M until the school finishes its $450 million renovation of Kyle Field. The renovation, which also has been labeled a redevelopment, is being done in three phases, with the grand opening set for August 2015.
Former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford will be offensive coordinator at Tampa Bay.
Sources indicate that FSU quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders could be a candidate to replace Kurt Roper as offensive coordinator at Duke. Sanders and Blue Devils head coach David Cutcliffe have a long history dating back to Tennessee.
Sources also indicate Blue Devils offensive line coach John Latina could be in play to be the offensive line coach at Florida.
DuckTerritory reports that Randy Shannon and Clancy Pendergast are among the possibilities for the defensive coordinator job at Oregon.
Secondary coach John Neal was believed to be a serious candidate, but it now appears head coach Mark Helfrich is intent on bringing someone in from the outside.
Cincinnati’s Tommy Tuberville has fired defensive coordinator Art Kaufman and defensive tackles coach Fred Tate, according to reports.
Now that Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has tied Barry Switzer for the school wins record, many insiders think he might be ready for a change.
There was some Florida chatter a couple of weeks ago and some USC chatter before that. Will Muschamp is likely to stay in place in Gainesville and you hear a lot of other names associated with USC.
Stoops won’t leave unless it’s a place where he can win as big as he has at Oklahoma, and there aren’t many of those places. That means the odds are good he’s still coaching the Sooners in 2014.
Multiple sources believe that Vanderbilt’s James Franklin could be on the move after the season.
Franklin has been rumored to be a second tier candidate at USC. With the job he’s done with the Commodores, he’s sure to have other opportunities.
Charlie Weis’ seat at Kansas is a little cooler after beating West Virginia to end a 27-game conference losing streak. Weis probably makes it to 2014. It’s hard to see the Jayhawks dumping two consecutive coaches after only two seasons.
The heat on Hawaii coach Norm Chow continues to rise. The Warriors are now 0-9 and a winless campaign is certainly possible. It’s wait and see, but this one could pop open.
Speaking of the Mountaineers, there’s a growing chorus of calls for Dana Holgorsen’s head on a platter.
His buyout that is reportedly $11.3 million, and that’s going to be hard for West Virginia to swallow. Fact is, that buyout probably saves him, but what if he loses to 1-9 Iowa State to close the season?
As for Holgorsen, he’s clearly frustrated with the program’s facilities.
There are lots of rumors flying about Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads. However, most believe Rhoads makes it, but makes significant staff changes. Still, a loss to Kansas Saturday could damage his chances of survival.
Indiana is 4-6 with games against Ohio State and Purdue remaining. Most insiders believe Kevin Wilson will return in 2014 – if he beats the Boilermakers in the season finale. With a loss in that one, things get very interesting.
There have been rumors and reports for weeks that Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin is a serious candidate for the USC job.
We’ve heard from a couple of sources that he could be in play with the Houston Texans, should they decide to dump Gary Kubiak at season’s end. The Houston Chronicle now reports that Sumlin would be a “prime candidate.”
With Washington State on the verge of its first bowl berth since 2003, head coach Mike Leach was awarded a new contract extension that keeps his salary at $2.25 million per year and keeps him in Pullman until at least 2018.
The Cougars went 3-9 last season and are 5-5 in Leach’s second year.
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]klahoma’s Bob Stoops is hoping an off-season staff shakeup will breathe new life into an Oklahoma program that’s been “good” the past few seasons.
Good might cut it some places, but not at Oklahoma and not for Stoops.
Out were the Sooners’ two offensive line coaches – Bruce Kittle and James Patton – as well as longtime Sooner assistant Jackie Shipp.
Bill Bedenbaugh, one 247sports.com’s Top 50 recruiters in 2013, was brought in from West Virginia to coach the offensive line. Bedenbaugh is already making waves on the recruiting trail and says the OU brand has only enhanced his pitch.
Filling the other two spots was defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, a rising star in coaching circles – and another 247sports Top 50 recruiter – who left Michigan, and tight ends and special teams coach Jay Boulware.
Boulware spent the past four seasons at Auburn, but was fired with the rest of Gene Chizik’s staff in December. An Oklahoma native who still has family in the area, Boulware was hired by Gary Andersen at Wisconsin in January, but left earlier this month when he got the opportunity to return to his home state.
Like Bedenbaugh, OU’s two most recent hires have brought new energy to the staff.
“We’re bouncing ideas around. We’ve got a fresh approach to things in our staff room now,” Boulware told the Tulsa World.
Montgomery also brings a positive, energetic approach.
“I’m a teacher first. I’m a high-energy guy, but I’m not into dog-cussing kids,” he said. “If you do something right, I’m gonna ‘rah-rah.’ If you do something wrong, I’m gonna teach you how to do it better. That’s my style. That’s who I am.”
That new energy will be especially important in recruiting, where Stoops is looking for improvement. Montgomery knows the key to that is building relationships.
“I don’t care where you are. If you’re at Texas or Florida or Michigan or wherever, if you have good relationships and people know that you’re going to take care of their kids when they get on campus, you’re going to have people willing to help you out with kids,” he said.
He thinks that’s why “a good 15 to 20″ of his recruits contacted him when news broke he was leaving Michigan.
With four years of SEC recruiting wars under his belt, Boulware is eager to help the Sooners catch up.
“Recruiting is definitely a little different deal. It’s a lot faster, I think, in the SEC,” he said. “There are some teams in this league that are trying to emulate that.”
No doubt Oklahoma is one of them.