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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Monday, Dec. 2

Boise State coach Chris Petersen was in play at USC, but has reportedly withdrawn his name from the search.

Boise State coach Chris Petersen has withdrawn his name from the USC job. (Photo: AP)ESPN’s Joe Schad reports that Petersen withdrew his name “after mutual interest.”

FightOn247 reported on Sunday that Ed Orgeron or Vanderbilt’s James Franklin would likely next in line should Petersen decline, while ESPN reported that the Trojans were down to Petersen and Franklin.

According to ESPN L.A.’s Arash Markazi, Franklin and Petersen have been on Pat Haden’s short list for awhile with Franklin in the lead. Markazi also reports that USC is prepared to make Orgeron the highest paid assistant and an associate head coach.

ESPN L.A. also reported that Washington coach Steve Sarkisian interviewed with Haden over the weekend, but Sarkisian says that no interview took place.

Wyoming has fired head coach Dave Christensen. Sources tell us that Sam Houston State coach Willie Fritz is considered a serious candidate to replace him.

Oakland Raiders assistant and Wyoming alum Ted Gilmore is also rumored to be a candidate.

Should Fritz head to Wyoming, look for Texas co-OC Darrell Wyatt to get serious consideration to replace Fritz.

Texas A&M and head coach Kevin Sumlin have agreed to a six year deal worth $5 million per year. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Sumlin has agreed to not pursue any NFL jobs as part of his new contract.

We continue to hear Kyle Flood is in serious jeopardy at Rutgers. Flood says he’s not at all concerned with his future.

If Flood is fired between now and Feb. 1, he is owed an $850,000 buyout.

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads announced that offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Courtney Messingham and running backs coach Kenith Pope have been let go.

We continue to hear that the situation at Texas remains very fluid. A win at Baylor and the Longhorns gain at least a share of the Big 12.

Would Texas force Mack Brown out after a 9-3 campaign and a Big 12 Championship? Most of our sources don’t think so. However, a bad loss to Baylor and it could be time to turn the page.

At TCU, multiple sources tell us to expect major changes on the offensive side of the ball.

Florida Head coach Will Muschamp fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis.

We’ve heard all sorts of names over the past few days. Possibilities at offensive coordinator include Mike Mularkey, Lane Kiffin, Clay Helton and James Coley, among others.

Offensive line candidates are rumored to range from Neil Callaway to Stacy Searles to Joe Wickline.

New Mexico State fired defensive coordinator David Elson.

Another Ohio State assistant is rumored to be a candidate for the FAU job.

It was reported a couple of weeks ago that Buckeyes defensive coordinator Luke Fickell had interviewed for the job. At the time, Urban Meyer said he didn’t, but Fickell’s name has been hot ever since.

Now, sources indicate Buckeyes assistant head coach and running backs coach Stan Drayton could be a candidate.

FAU athletic director Pat Chun has told associates he wants to hire someone who can recruit Florida (a smart move), and Drayton has had recruiting success wherever he’s been.

Chun spent almost his entire career at Ohio State and apparently that’s all he knows. He has even enlisted  Meyer and A.D. Gene Smith to assist in his search.

So, Drayton fills two requirements: He works at Ohio State and he was a Florida with Meyer. Two boxes checked. Could he be the guy?

Luke Stampini of 247Sports reported Monday morning that Western Kentucky offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm could interview for the the FAU position.

Georgia’s Mark Richt has confirmed that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will be back next season.

Charlie Weis‘ job at Kansas is safe. Athletic director Sheahon Zenger is confident that Weis has the program moving in the right direction.

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas tells WCIA Channel 3 TV that Tim Beckman will return next season.

UCLA has fired running backs coach Steve Broussard. Sources indicate that USC running backs coach Tommie Robinson could be on UCLA’s radar.

Photo: Otto Kitsinger, AP

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OC Brent Pease, Tim Davis out at Florida; Lane Kiffin possible replacement

Florida has fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis.

Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease

Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease

Pease became the primary scapegoat for the Gators’ offensive woes, and he moves were expected. The firings were announced one day after the Gators (4-8) finished the program’s first losing season since 1979.

“I have a lot of respect for Coach Pease and Coach Davis,” coach Will Muschamp said in a statement. “They are both good football coaches and even better people.

“There have been a lot of unfortunate circumstances this year, but that is part of the game sometimes. I want to thank each of them for their contributions to the program both on and off the field.”

A Florida offense ravaged by injuries finished the season ranked 112th in total offense. The Gators managed just 279 yards in a 26-20 loss to lower-division Georgia Southern on Nov. 23 followed by 193 in the season-ending 37-7 loss to Florida State.

Both Pease, who replaced Charlie Weis prior to the 2012 season, and Davis received raises in May. Peasereceived an additional $100,000 per year while Davis was given an $25,000 a year raise.

Florida owes Pease about $1.2 million for the remaining two years on his contract.

Former USC coach Lane Kiffin is rumored to be a candidate to replace Pease.

Former Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell, now head coach at Jacksonville University, is another name that has been mentioned. Fellow ex-Gator player Mike Mularkey is also rumored to be interested in the job.

Veteran assistant Neil Callaway, now at Western Kentucky, is considered a popular pick to replace Davis as offensive line coach.

Photo: UF Sports Information

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Wednesday, Nov. 27

We’ve heard rumblings over the past several days that Rutgers coach Kyle Flood could be in trouble, and we added him to this week’s Hot Seat list.

Could Rutgers coach Kyle Flood be in trouble? (Photo: Julio Cortez, AP)

Could Rutgers coach Kyle Flood be in trouble? (Photo: Julio Cortez, AP)

Now, the Asbury Park Press reports the situation for Flood might be even worse than we thought. Athletics director Julie Hermann is already under investigation and most agree if she goes, so does Flood.

Flood would be owed $850,000 if he is fired before Feb. 1, 2014. Keep an eye on this one.

With Rutgers headed to the B1G, the Scarlet Knights may want to start with a clean slate… or an old one. Greg Schiano anyone?

Mack Brown is only a few wins away from passing Darrell Royal on Texas‘ all-time Texas wins list. In fact, he probably hits the mark next season – if he returns.

Even though UT megabooseter Joe Jamail says that Brown will decide when he retires, sources continue to tell us this is likely his last season in Austin.

If Brown goes, who takes his place? As you’ve no doubt heard numerous times, Alabama coach Nick Saban tops the Longhorns’ wish list. Earlier this week, Saban’s wife Terry told the Wall Street Journal that the couple intends to retire in Tuscaloosa, but the Sabans certainly aren’t above changing their minds.

If Saban does stay put, we continue to hear that Jimbo Fisher, Charlie Strong, Jon Gruden and Art Briles could all be in play.

Briles stated last week, that he “cannot envision” talking with other schools at season’s end, but sources indicate he’d still likely listen to Texas.

Another name that has surfaced is Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin last coached in college at Cincinnati in 1999-2000, where he was on staff with Jimbo Fisher. Ian Rappaport reported a couple of weeks ago that Tomlin’s job in Pittsburgh is safe for 2014.

Sources indicate Tomlin may be ready to move on – and that he’d have a keen interest in Texas.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy’s name is also making the rounds, both publicly and privately. Many believe he could emerge as a prime candidate at Texas.

At Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reports that Will Muschamp will return as coach in 2014, but that there will be “significant changes” on the staff. Sources tell us the two most likely sacrifices are offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis.

Pease said today he believes he deserves to return.

You may remember Davis from his off-season spat with his former boss, Nick Saban.

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reports that FAU coach Carl Pelini was fired for not reporting conduct of staff and not for using illegal drugs. Here’s an excerpt from a letter that interim president Dennis J. Crudele sent to Pelini:

“FAU did not terminate your employment because of a finding that you used illegal drugs. Accordingly to clarify these significant points … your resignation is withdrawn and your separation is converted to a termination with cause based on our finding that you failed to timely report certain conduct of a member of your staff, as required by your contract.”

We continue to hear that Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell is a serious candidate. FAU AD Pat Chun said he would like to name the Owls’ next football coach by Dec. 8.

Stephen F. Austin has fired  coach J.C. Harper.

James Madison fired head coach Mickey Mathews.

According to the Daily News-Record, “JMU might be interested in as its new coach are Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Arizona co-offensive coordinator Rod Smith and Virginia Tech tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Bryan Stinespring.”

Elon has fired coach Jason Swepson. Swepson went 10-24 in three seasons.

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Report: Muschamp will return next season; staff changes coming

It looks like Florida coach Will Muschamp’s job is safe — at least until 2014.

Report: Will Muschamp will return for 2014 season. (Photo: John Roux, AP)The Orlando Sentinel quotes a source close to the program as stating the school has no plans to fire Muschamp, despite Saturday’s loss to FCS foe Georgia Southern.

The same can’t be said for Muschamp’s staff, where significant changes are expected particularly on offense.

After supporting offensive coordinator Brent Pease through struggles earlier in the season, Muschamp has gradually distanced himself from the former Boise State OC.

Muschamp didn’t mince words about the Gators offensive woes following Saturday’s game.

“You’ve got to change the scoreboard offensively,” Muschamp told the media after the game. “You’ve got to be able to change the scoreboard, and we just struggled scoring points offensively. It’s been a week-in, week-out occurrence.”

Florida has now lost six straight, and the Gators have not scored more than 20 points in any of those games.

The school is assured of its first losing season since 1979, and with arch rival and No. 2-ranked Florida State still on the schedule, things could get even uglier next week.

Though staff changes won’t likely occur until after the season, Muschamp hinted that they are coming.

“It’s my job to get it fixed,” Muschamp said of his team’s offensive struggles, “and we will get it fixed.”

Photo: John Roux, AP

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Video: Will Muschamp calls loss to Georgia Southern 'embarrassment'

Florida coach Will Muschamp called the Gators’ 26-20 loss to FCS Georgia Southern on Saturday “an embarrassment.”

It guarantees the Florida its first losing season since 1979, and makes Muschamp’s already hot seat even hotter.

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Muschamp punches chalkboard to fire up team in loss to South Carolina

The hits just keep coming for Florida coach Will Muschamp. Literally.

Florida coach Will Muschamp bloodied his hand after punching a chalkboard in attempt to fire up his team in a 19-14 loss to South Carolina. (Photo: Steve Johnson, UF)His right hand was bloodied and bandaged following Saturday’s 19-14 loss to South Carolina, and Muschamp gave a succinct explanation in his post game press conference.

“I hit a chalkboard,” he said after the game. “Dumb.”

Muschamp said he punched the chalkboard during halftime to fire up his troops.

Saturday’s loss was his Florida’s fifth straight. The Gators now stand at 4-6 and must beat both Georgia Southern and Florida State to avoid their first losing season since 1979.

The third-year coach’s answer to a question about how his team has fought through the adversity of several injuries was not nearly as brief.

“Guys, it’s not excuses. It’s real. It really is. You can say what you want to say and write whatever the hell you want to write, but it’s real. It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for that locker room. To hell with me, I worry about the kids. These kids fought their butts off. There’s a lot of negativity out there, and some of our fans needs to get a grip. They really do. We have a bunch of kids in that locker room fighting their butt off. You can criticize me all you want. I’m great with that. They pay me enough money to deal with it, but those kids don’t. They really don’t. They fought their butts off, and they continue to fight and play hard. Nobody has ever questioned their efforts. I’m just extremely proud of them and of the resolve and the fight and coming together like Florida Gators do. Extremely proud of them. We just couldn’t get it done. That’s my fault. Nobody else’s fault.”

The pressure on Muschamp has been mounting. Two weeks ago, he got into a verbal exchange with a fan who was giving him an obscene gesture after the Georgia game.

Following last week’s loss to Vanderbilt, he told reporters, “I’m a lot harder on myself than y’all are or anyone else is going to be or anyone else in this Gator Nation. You know, again, I’m very critical of myself and what I need to do to be better and I don’t need to hear any fan from the outside telling me what we need to do with this football team. I can assure you that.”

Photo: Steve Johnson, UF Athletics

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Wednesday, Nov. 13

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.

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill could be in line for a raise. (Photo: AP)

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill could be in line for a raise. (Photo: AP)

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.

IllinoisTim 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.

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