Now that the College Football Playoff Committee has released its first poll we can move on to the bigger story, who’s going to head perennial powers—Michigan and Florida?
UPDATED: The Will Muschamp era at Florida is over. Who’s likely to lead the Gators next?
Most insiders now assume Michigan will dump Brady Hoke. Barring a major turnaround, it appears to be more a matter of when – not if – a change will be made. We continue to hear the same names.
There is a simple solution for college football’s first Division I playoff. If they really want to bring the best four teams to the table to duke it out for the closest thing we’ve ever had to something that isn’t a mythical national championship, then why not invite the top four teams from the SEC West Division? Of course, they won’t do that because the folks at Oklahoma, Oregon and Florida State would suddenly go into a state of apoplexy, but you can make a strong case that the Southeastern Conference deserves two seats at the Final Four table and both of those teams should be from the SEC West.
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.
Sources tell us that, while there’s still a chance that Minnesota’s Jerry Kill could opt not to return in 2014, it’s much more likely he will come back and give it another go if he can get his health issues under control.
According to the Pioneer Press, Kill is likely to receive a raise. Yes, Kill has health issues, but it’s hard to argue with the job he’s done. The Gophers have won eight games in ten tries in 2013.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has refused to address rumors linking him to the USC job.
There are rampant rumors of a rift with his A&M A.D. Eric Hyman, and Johnny Football and Mike Evans will be off the the NFL soon.
Sumlin’s career has taken him all over the country, including a stop at Washington State. He fits any everywhere.
We still think it’s more likely the Trojans end up with a coach with an NFL pedigree, but anything is possible.
Norm Chow isn’t not sure he likes being a head coach. He told CBS announcers, “I’m not sure if I am cut out for this head coaching thing.”
At 0-9, it’s certainly possible that Hawaii is looking for a new coach come December.
All signs point to Indiana’s Kevin Wilson being safe. The Hoosiers score points in bunches, but they’re 114th in points allowed. Wilson will likely get 2014 to get the defense fixed and get to a bowl.
Illinois‘ Tim Beckman inherited a team that had won back to back bowls for the first time in program history, but he has yet to win a Big Ten game in nearly two full seasons.
A.D. Mike Thomas recently told the Chicago Sun-Times that the program is getting better (apparently 2-10 and 3-6 are better than 7-6), but refused to address Beckman’s future.
“I’m not going to get into hypotheticals,” Thomas said. “You ask the question, ‘Is the program developing and getting better?’ I think it is. I’m looking forward to continuing progress in the program.”
We doubt Beckman gets fired in his second season, but if the Illini end the season with losses to Ohio State, Purdue and Northwestern, that might be enough to cut the cord.
Mississippi State is 4-5 with Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss remaining. If the Bulldogs get to 6-6, Dan Mullen is more than likely clear to return next season. Anything worse and things get dicey.
If the Bullies were to drop all three remaining games, it’s very possible Mullen could be shown the door.
We continue to hear Boise State’s Chris Petersen is open to a move.
Sources indicate that West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen will likely return in 2014. The Mountaineers are playing better and athletic director Oliver Luck didn’t get the Texas. With Luck still in Morgantown, Holgorsen is highly likely to get another year.
There’s a lot of chatter about Charlie Weis’ status at Kansas.
The Jayhawks fired Mark Mangino two seasons after we won 12 games and the Orange Bowl. He was 8-5 and 5-7 the following two seasons. Then, Turner Gill went 5-19 in his two seasons in Lawrence before being dismissed. Weis is 3-18 after 21 games.
It’s hard to see how Kansas makes another change after only two seasons. We think there’s a chance this job opens – but it’s more likely it doesn’t.
What about Mangino? He’s back at his alma mater loving life…
We’re hearing that UConn is in the market for an up-and-coming coordinator; head coaching experience is not a requirement. We also hear that they have money to spend to get the right guy.
At Florida, sources indicate that Will Muschamp is likely to survive, but look for major staff changes on the offensive side of the ball.
If the Gators finish 5-7, which is likely, it will be the first time Florida has had a losing record since 1979. Even with the mounting injuries, that’s hard to swallow.
Can A.D. Jeremy Foley handle the heat and keep Muschamp in place for 2014?
We’ll find out soon.
Following Saturday’s 23-20 loss to Georgia, Florida is now 4-4 on the year and this week’s Vanderbilt game looms large.
If Muschamp returns (and we expect him to), expect major staff changes on the offensive side of the ball.
Dana Holgorsen and West Virginia got a much needed win over TCU on Saturday, but his status is still shaky. Most insiders believe he is in serious danger.
With his team at 4-4, the heat on Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is rising. The Bulldogs could easily lose three of their remaining four games – and even the Arkansas game could be considered a toss-up.
Mullen is in danger of losing his job, but some believe he might be working on an exit strategy…
His name has surfaced as a potential candidate to replace the fred Paul Pasqualoni at UConn.
Former Arkansas and Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt is also interested in the job.
At Florida Atlantic, the names we hear most are former FIU head coach and current Alabama assistant Mario Cristobal, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran and Miami offensive coordinator James Coley.
Other names that have surfaced for the job include Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder, former Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and ex-Florida head coach Ron Zook.
CBSSports’ Jason La Canfora reported Sunday that former Bears coach Lovie Smith interviewed for the USC job. Smith denies he interviewed and says he has zero interest in the job.
Sources tell FRM that A.D. Pat Haden reached out to Jon Gruden, but that the reception was lukewarm. We’re told Gruden could end up back in Oakland where it all began.
Back to USC… The Trojans are doing exactly what we expected — looking at coaches with NFL backgrounds. We’re also told not to rule out interim coach Ed Orgeron as a serious candidate. A lot depends on oh the Trojans finish.
Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin could be a serious candidate at Miami (Ohio). We’re told the RedHawks plan to stick to the their usual MO and hire an up and comer.
The heat is rising on Jim Grobe at Wake Forest. The Deacons are 4-5 and could easily finish 4-8.
Does Nebraska coach Bo Pelini have nine lives? There was some speculation that if the Huskers lost to Northwestern on Saturday that Pelini wouldn’t have a job today.
Thanks to a Ron Kellogg III-to-Jordan Westerkamp miracle Hail Mary as time expired, Pelini is safe… at least for now.
Photo: Steve Mitchell, USA Today Sports