Kevin Sumlin

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Thursday, Nov. 21

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.

It looks like Oklahoma coach  Bob Stoops will be back with the Sooners next season. (Photo: Alonzo Adams, AP)

It looks like Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will be back with the Sooners next season. (Photo: Alonzo Adams, AP)

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.

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News and Rumors: USC coaching search update

News surfaced over the weekend that Broncos defensive coordinator and interim head coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the USC job during Denver’s off week. We’d been hearing rumors, but nothing confirming the interview until Sunday.

Is Ed Orgeron's success making things tough on Pat Haden? (Photo: Ed Rubalcava, CalSport Media via AP)

Is Ed Orgeron’s success making things tough on Pat Haden? (Photo: Ed Rubalcava, CalSport Media via AP)

Another story surfaced citing sources close to the search claiming the Trojans might be willing to pay as much as $6 million per year to the right coach.

At the same time, interim coach Ed Orgeron is out actively campaigning for the job.

“I want to be the head coach at USC,” Orgeron said Monday during an appearance on ESPNU’s “CFB Daily.” “I love being a head coach. I think that it’s something I’m able to do, and do well. And I want to be the head coach at USC when I get the chance.

“I think I can perform on a very high basis to do what the Trojan family wants me to do.”

Current players are also weighing in saying they’d like to see Orgeron get the permanent gig.

“We absolutely love him,” USC quarterback Cody Kessler said Saturday night. “We’d run through a brick wall for him. He has that look in his eye that you can tell that when he talks to you he really does care.

“I gave him a hug after the game, and I don’t know if he’d want me saying this, but I saw his eyes water up. It’s awesome when you play with someone who has that same passion.”

Then there was a report last week that Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin had emerged as the top candidate for the job.

Our analysis?

Orgeron has done a phenomenal job. However, the two leaks over the past week suggest the Trojans are looking in other directions – at least for now. There was no reason for the Del Rio interview to leak – unless it was to quell the growing excitement of USC fans about Orgeron.

And USC certainly isn’t going to pay Orgeron, who was 10-25 at Ole Miss, $6 million per season.

Now, there’s a big difference in coaching at USC and Ole Miss. USC is probably the best job in the Pac-12. Ole Miss is among the bottom bottom four in the SEC. And Orgeron seems more at ease, more mature and more comfortable in his own skin this time around. That doesn’t mean he’s getting the job.

What about Sumlin? We don’t buy it. At least not yet.

Pick a name associated with the USC coaching search – Del Rio, Jon Gruden, Jeff Fisher, Lovie Smith, Mike Riley… Almost every name associated with the job has an NFL background. Even Orgeron spent time with the Saints.

From the outside looking in, it seems USC athletic director Pat Haden is looking for a coach with a certain profile. Sumlin doesn’t seem to fit that profile.

What happens? We’re not sure yet. But this one is far from over.

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Jack Del Rio interviewed for USC job

Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the USC head coaching vacancy on Nov. 1, according to multiple reports.

Denver Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the USC coaching job on Nov. 1. (Photo: Gregory Bull, AP)Del Rio, who played linebacker at USC during the early 1980s, met with athletic director Pat Haden during Denver’s bye week.

Broncos GM John Elway confirmed that Haden asked permission to interview Del Rio. The interview took place one day before news surfaced that Denver head coach John Fox needed to undergo heart surgery, which elevated Del Rio to the interim job.

Del Rio was 68–71 in nine seasons as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach.

Trojans assistant Ed Orgeron became USC’s interim coach after Lane Kifin’s firing and is a candidate to become full time coach. The former Ole Miss head coach has led USC to a 5-1 record, including a 20-17 upset win against No. 10 Stanford on Saturday night.

Other names mentioned in conjunction with the USC opening include Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.

Former Bears coach Lovie Smith has denied twice in the past month that he interviewed with USC.

Photo: Gregory Bull, AP

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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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Report: Kevin Sumlin emerges as USC's No. 1 target

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin’s name is one of several that have been mentioned to replace Lane Kiffin at USC.

According to an LA Daily News report, Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin has emerged as the top target to fill USC's coaching vacancy. (Photo: Dave Martin, AP)But according to Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News, not only is Sumlin a target, he’s emerged as Pat Haden’s top target.

As we mentioned in Thursday’s Rumor Mill, we’ve heard from a couple of sources that there is a growing rift between Sumlin and A&M athletic director Eric Hyman. Obviously, that’s just chatter, but if he is considering the USC job, that could be one of the reasons.

Sumlin, who makes $3.1 million a year at Texas A&M, has won 30 games the past 2 1/2 seasons at Houston and Texas A&M. According to Wolf, USC could potentially double that salary.

Haden’s search is still in the early stages, but he hopes to make a hire in December.

Most of the other names mentioned in connection with the SC job have NFL ties, including Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio. According to sources, Haden contacted Jon Gruden, but Gruden is thought to be focused on NFL jobs if he decides to return to the sideline.

Former Bears coach Lovie Smith has denied twice in the past month that he interviewed with USC.

In addition to Sumlin, other college coaches mentioned include Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin.

Current Trojans coach Ed Orgeron will also be considered but is not expected to get the job.

Photo: Dave Martin, AP

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Monday, Oct. 21

Sources indicate that even if the NFL comes calling, expect Charlie Strong to stay put in college.

Sources indicate that even if the NFL comes calling, expect Charlie Strong to stay put in college.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday that Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Stanford’s David Shaw have been tabbed by the NFL’s recently formed advisory panel to help to identify potential minority coaching candidates.

According to Schefter, the league “will be an upset if Strong is not a leading candidate for various NFL head coaching openings this winter.”

Not so fast.

Sources close to Strong indicate he’s inclined to stay in college — no matter what the NFL’s advisory panel suggests.

The 53-year old Strong is in his fourth season at Louisville and signed an eight-year extension worth $3.7 million per year in late January. The Cardinals are 31-15 during Strong’s tenure, including a 6-1 mark this season.

At Florida, sources in Gainesville indicate Will Muschamp is currenly not in danger of losing his job, regardless of how the Gators finish. Of course, things change quickly in college football. We do expect a staff shakeup on the offensive side.

Speaking of Florida, this was the week Ron Zook was fired in year three. Zook’s record was 20-13 overall and 14-7 in the SEC. Muschamp’s record is 22-11 overall and 13-8 in the SEC. Let that simmer for a minute…

Despite three wins in a row including a Red River Rivalry triumph over arch-rival Oklahoma, we’re told Mack Brown is still not out of the woods at Texas. An 8-4 record might not be enough, perhaps even 9-3 if that loss is a blowout to Baylor.

If the Longhorns do make a change, look for Nick Saban to get the first call. Jimbo Fisher, Art Briles and Charlie Strong are also likely to make the initial list of candidates.

Keep an eye on West Virginia, Virginia, Oklahoma State and Mississippi State. They could all open.

Eastern Michigan and UNLV are in serious jeopardy.

At USC, we’re told to keep an eye on coaches with an NFL background. Also, don’t rule out Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin.

Photo credit: Keith Srakocic, AP

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For Kevin Sumlin, life is good

Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin is all smiles these days. (Photo: AP)

Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin is all smiles these days. (Photo: AP)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s a good time to be Kevin Sumlin.

Not only does his new contract, details of which were released last week, give him a raise to $3.1 million per season (up from $2 million last year) and an extension through the 2017 season, it comes with a bevy of additional perks including cars, free tickets and a country club membership.

Beginning April 1, 2013, Sumlin will receive $500,000 annually, plus an annual supplemental payment of $2,600,000.

The supplemental amount increases to $2,725,000 on April 1, 2015 and then decreases to $2,350,000 on April 1, 2017.

Sumlin can also receive $100,000 extra per year if the Academic Progress Rate meets NCAA benchmarks, some of which can be shared with his staff.

Other financial bonuses include:

  • $100,000 for making the SEC championship game; $150,000 for winning the championship game
  • $50,000 for appearance in a bowl game -or- $100,000 for appearance in Cotton Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Capital One Bowl or the Outback Bowl.
  • $250,000 for appearance in non-national championship BCS bowl – or $300,000 for a win.
  • $300,000 for appearance in national championship game or $400,000 for winning national championship game.
  • $50,000 for being named SEC coach of the year
  • $75,000 for being named national coach of the year.

Non-monetary perks include:

  • The use of two vehicles through the A&M Athletic Department’s car program.
  • A membership to one country club in Brazos County, Texas.
  • His wife, Charlene, has travel paid for to all away football and bowl games and any “special events” at the invitation of A.D. Eric Hyman.
  • 12 complimentary season football tickets and a parking pass at Kyle Field.
  • Four complimentary men’s season basketball tickets and a parking pass.
  • Use of the head football coach’s box at Kyle Field. If there is no head coach’s box, he’ll get a comparable replacement.

The news is also good for A&M assistants. Sumlin’s pool for staff was raised to $3.4 million, up from $2.7 million in 2012.

His buyout remains $2 million, with the amount reduced by $400,000 on March 31 every year.

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