Athletic Directors are supposed to raise money, give speeches, hire and fire coaches and do it mostly behind the scenes. They aren’t supposed to run onto the field and argue with officials.
Vanderbilt is expected to name Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason as its head coach, according to media reports.
A finalist for the 2012 Broyles Award, Mason directed the Pac-12’s top-ranked scoring defense (19 points per game) and rushing defense (89.4 yards) in 2013. The Cardinal also led the Pac-12 in those categories in 2012, allowing 17.2 points and 97 rushing yards on average.
Stanford appeared in to consecutive Rose Bowls in 2012 and 2013, and compiled a 46-8 record during Mason’s four seasons at the school.
Mason had coaching stints with the Minnesota Vikings (defensive backs, 2007-09); Ohio University (wide receivers, 2005-06); New Mexico State (wide receivers, 2004); St. Mary’s (co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach, 2003); Utah (wide receivers and special teams assistant, 2002); Bucknell (defensive backs, 1999-2001); Idaho State (running backs, 1997-98); Weber State (wide receivers, 1995-96); and San Diego Mesa College (wide receivers, 1994).
Franklin, who was 24-15 in three seasons at Vanderbilt, was introduced as replacement for Bill O’Brien at Penn State last Saturday.
Vanderbilt’s James Franklin was asked about Texas head coaching job on Monday. Naturally, Franklin didn’t exactly deny interest.
“Really excited about the program-development period that we’re in right now and working with these young guys,” Franklin told the Tennessean. “Really excited about playing Houston. We’ve watched them on film. I think they’re really talented. I think it’s going to be a challenge for us. That’s what our focus is.
“Any of those other things, you know, we don’t talk about that are outside of our area of control or focus or concern. We’re focused on getting better as an organization and then getting ready for Houston.”
In other words, he’d love to have the job, but realizes he’s not in the top tier, but hopes to get a shot to convince the Longhorns he should be.
Brian Davis reports Arizona State coach Todd Graham is not a candidate at Texas.
Arizona State confirmed a written agreement between ASU president Michael Crow and former Sun Devils and current Texas AD Steve Patterson that he can’t hire any ASU coach.
The Detroit Free Press calls Michigan State coach and Lone Star State native Mark Dantonio a “dark horse” candidate for the Texas job.
USA Today reports that the six-year, $30 million contract Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin signed last week contains buyout provisions that would result in Sumlin being paid all of the money remaining on his contract if he is fired without cause at any point during the deal.
However, it requires him to pay only a $5 million buyout if he terminates the deal without cause before the Aggies’ last game of the 2016 season, including any bowl game.
Stanford coach David Shaw says that he’s not interested in leaving for the NFL.
Speaking of Stanford, sources tell us that Cardinal assistant Mike Sanford could be in line for the offensive coordinator job at Boise State.
Sources indicate that North Carolina offensive coordinator Blake Anderson’s interview for the Arkansas State head job went very well.
Anderson fits the profile the Red Wolves are looking for: young, energetic and an offensive mind.
We are also told Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper could become a serious candidate for the ASU job.
Other names linked to the job: Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, former USC assistant Ed Orgeron, Arizona State offensive coordinator Mike Norvell and Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.
Should Anderson land the Arkansas State job, expect ULL offensive coordinator Jay Johnson and Texas co-offensive coordinator Darrell Wyatt to get serious consideration at UNC.
Sources indicate that Nebraska’s Tim Beck is still likely in the running to become Florida’s new offensive coordinator, as is UNC’s Anderson. There’s no guarantee Anderson would accept the job – even if he doesn’t land Arkansas State.
We’re now told UCLA’s Noel Mazzone and Arizona State’s Norvell are unlikely to make a move to Gainesville. Both are quite stable at their current positions.
Jason LaConfora reports that Penn State’s Bill O’Brien was close to taking the Eagles job a year ago and is now ready to return to the NFL.
ESPN reports that former USC coach Lane Kiffin is visiting Alabama this week to evaluate the Tide’s offense and “to share ideas and exchange ideas and [for] professional development.”
In other words, Saban feels sorry for him.
We’re told that Sam Houston State coach Wille Fritz is a serious candidate for the Bowling Green job and is scheduled to interview.
We are also told LSU offensive line coach Greg Studrawa is a in the mix. Studrawa is a graduate of Bowling Green and spent six seasons there as an assistant.
We continue to hear that Bo Pelini’s status remains quite shaky at Nebraska, and a recent report seems to support that notion.
Kirk Bohls reports that Mack Brown’s attorney, Joe Jamail, got a call from someone saying that he represented Nebraska and was seeking Mack’s interest.
“He’s not going to Nebraska,” Jamail said.
Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst sent a one-word text message response to the Omaha World-Herald about the matter:
Bohls also reports that Brown has TV offers on the table and “one of biggest California talent agencies” wanted to set up Mack meeting soon.
There are more changes for the TCU offensive staff.
Last week, Gary Patterson added Houston offensive coordinator Doug Meacham to his staff. This week it’s Texas Tech co-offensive coordinator and outside receivers coach Sonny Cumbie coming aboard.
Cumbie will share the co-offenisve coordinator title with Meacham. The former Texas Tech signal caller will also coach quarterbacks.
Many Red Raiders fans are scratching their heads at what appears to be a lateral move away from his alma mater, but Cumbie will no doubt get a much bigger hand in TCU’s offense than he did at Tech, where Kliff Kingsbury is the chief offensive architect.
FCS powerhouse North Dakota State wasted no time in replacing head coach Craig Bohl, who last week became head coach at Wyoming.
The Bison elevated defensive coordinator Chris Klieman to their head coaching position on Sunday. The 47-year-old Klieman, who turned down a chance to join Bohl at Wyoming, has spent three seasons at NDSU, the last two as defensive coordinator.
His units have been at the top of the FCS statistically and are allowing just 11 points per game this season.
Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP
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
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]tanford tight ends and offensive tackles coach Ron Crook will be named the offensive line coach at West Virginia, according to a source.
Crook spent the past two seasons at Stanford and his work with offensive line coach Mike Bloomgren helped shape the Cardinal’s front five into one of the nation’s top offensive lines.
He is a West Virginia native and coached in the state for six years including stints at West Virginia Tech (1999), Glenville State (1997-98) West Liberty State (1990-92).
Oliver Luck, the father of former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, is the A.D. at West Virginia.
West Virginia’s Bill Bedenbaugh left last week to become the new offensive line coach at Oklahoma.
|West Liberty State||1990-92||Offensive line|
|Clarion College||1994-96||Offensive line (’94-96), Special teams (’96)|
|Glenville State||1997-98||AHC, Offensive line, Special teams|
|West Virginia Tech||1999||Offensive line, Special teams|
|Stanford||2011-12||Tight ends, Offensive tackles|
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