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2014 College Football Coaching Changes and Rumors
September 27, 2014
1:55 pm
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Pac12 Pat
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Ravens' Coach John Harbaugh to Michigan? It will take more than coaching for the Big10 to return to any prominence, as demographics (aging population, no growth, blacks moving to Sunbelt) ravage the Rust Belt and Big10 recruiting.

The Other Harbaugh May Have Solution for What Is Ailing Sputtering Wolverines

 
 
 

Another ho-hum start.

Another set of embarrassing losses.

Another coach on the hot seat.

Welcome to Michigan football, 2014 edition.

Thanks to a 31-0 whitewashing at the hands of Notre Dame and an embarrassing home loss to Utah, the Wolverines stand at 2-2 as they prepare to begin their Big Ten conference schedule this Saturday against Minnesota.

With national title hopes no more than a fantasy and a Big Ten title looking unlikely, it seems to be a question of when, not if, Brady Hoke's reign as the Michigan football coach will come to an end.

As it often has in the years since Michigan last hoisted the championship trophy in 1997, the chatter around Ann Arbor these days regards direction—as in, who can lead the Michigan football program back into prominence?

In speaking with a few Michigan insiders, the consensus answer to that question is Harbaugh...but not the Harbaugh most assume.

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh may have the Wolverines pedigree, after having played quarterback for Bo Schembechler from 1983-86, but it is brother John, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, who might emerge as the front-runner when the Michigan job officially becomes available.

"[Michigan] hiring John would be like hitting a home run with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the game," said one NFL insider who has known both John and Jim Harbaugh for many years. "He's a good person. He's a good coach. It would be a great fit. And I think he would be interested in the job." 

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September 27, 2014
2:03 pm
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Florida's coach Muschamp on the firing line. Forbes  article by Chris Smith.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ch.....n-of-work/

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September 28, 2014
3:13 pm
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Kansas fires Weiss 9-28-2014 for lack of progress

 

Kansas fires Charlie Weis

Updated: September 28, 2014, 11:49 AM ET

By Jake Trotter | ESPN.com

After he won only one Big 12 game during his tenure at Kansas, the Jayhawks have fired head coach Charlie Weis.

He was in the third year of a five-year contract.

Defensive coordinator Clint Bowen will take over as interim head coach, athletic director Sheahon Zenger said.

 

 

"I normally do not favor changing coaches mid-season," Zenger said in a statement. "But I believe we have talented coaches and players in this program, and I think this decision gives our players the best chance to begin making progress right away."

Weis went 6-22 at Kansas, with his only Big 12 win coming last year against West Virginia. Weis also only had two other victories against FBS competition. He is the second coach in a row to be dismissed at Kansas before reaching the end of his contract. Weis replaced Turner Gill, who was let go after the 2011 season.

Kansas announced Weis' firing a day after the Jayhawks' 23-0 loss to Texas on Saturday.

"I appreciate what Coach Weis did with several facets of our football program," Zenger said. "But we have not made the on-the-field progress we believe we should. I believe new leadership gives our coaches and players the best chance to make a fresh start."

Despite Weis' background as an offensive coordinator, the Jayhawks had struggled on that side of the ball under his leadership. Kansas ranked last in the Big 12 in scoring in 2012 and 2013, and is last at the moment again with an average of 15.3 points per game.

On the heels of Gills' 2-10 season in 2011, Weis took immediate action as his successor, and quickly ran 29 players off the team, citing a need to clean house. But such a drastic mass exodus also drained much of the talent and depth from a program already hurting for both.

[+] EnlargeCharlie WeisImage Enlarger

AP Photo/Eric GayKansas fired Charlie Weis for lack of on-field progress.

 

"I miscalculated the impact of when I threw 29 guys off the team the first year I was there," Weis said during Big 12 media days this summer. "I walked in there; there were a lot of issues I felt had to be resolved and one of the ways to resolve them was to get rid of them."

Weis attempted to replenish his roster by relying on recruiting junior college players. He also brought in a pair of high-profile transfers at quarterback in Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps. Crist transferred to Kansas from Notre Dame for his senior season in 2011, but was eventually benched by Weis after completing less than 50 percent of his passes. Heaps arrived from BYU, but he too lost his playing time to true freshman Montell Cozart, and transferred to Miami before this season.

Behind Cozart and new offensive coordinator John Reagan, Weis seemed optimistic coming into this season that an offense that had been abysmal would finally turn around this season.

But after falling 41-3 at Duke in their second game, the Jayhawks were shut out at home Saturday by Texas. Cozart threw four interceptions in the loss.

"Our Achilles' heel on offense is still making productive plays in the passing game," Weis said afterward. "And that's at the end of the day what ended up costing us."

On-field results, however, weren't the only factor that cost Weis his job. Kansas announced an attendance of just 36,904 for Texas, even after Weis pleaded with fans leading up to the game to fill Memorial Stadium.

In 2013, Kansas ranked last in the Big 12 with an average attendance of just 37,844, and that was down a Big 12-worst 8.3 percent from the previous season.

"As we continue to elevate the national stature of the University of Kansas, our pursuit of excellence extends beyond our research and instructional missions," said KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. "KU alumni, students, fans and supporters expect that Kansas Football will match the other areas in which we excel as a university. After consulting with Dr. Zenger, I am in agreement that it is time for new leadership of our football program."

According to the Lawrence Journal-World, Weis was making $2.5 million a year, and will still receive the full $7-plus million still owed him.

Bowen, who grew up in Lawrence and played linebacker for the Jayhawks in the early 1990s, has been an assistant coach at Kansas since 1998.

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September 28, 2014
3:21 pm
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Hoke Looks Done at Michigan after 30-14 loss to Minnesota on 9-27.
Offensive line and qb uncertainties doom Michigan. How far the once mighty (15 years ago) have fallen!!
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September 29, 2014
7:59 pm
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SMU is "fascinated" by Mack Brown: http://www.cbssports.com/colle.....mack-brown

Mack knows Texas for recruiting purposes and would lend legitimacy to the SMU program. But, why would he want to do it? It will drive his winning percentage down as a coach and SMU is simply the dregs of college football.

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October 3, 2014
2:05 pm
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Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports: Ten coaches due for an upgrade in college head coaching jobs--include Jim Harbaugh, Mike Gundy, Dan Mullen, and the Mad Hatter, Les Miles.

http://www.foxsports.com/colle.....-10-100214

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October 14, 2014
2:00 pm
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Biletnikoff Award voter

CBSSports.com
 
 

 


 
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October 19, 2014
4:06 pm
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Spurrier to Florida? Dennis Dodd: http://www.cbssports.com/colle.....at-florida

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October 20, 2014
2:41 pm
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cheerleader111 said
Spurrier to Florida? Dennis Dodd: http://www.cbssports.com/colle.....at-florida

Others say no way SS goes back to Florida, esp. in view of the lack of support the incompetent UF AD Jeremy Foley gave SS in the dispute with that snotty nosed English Teaching major at Bama and then  FSU AD Dave Hart. Hart told people he was an English major. No, Dave, two completely different majors, with one (English major) being challenging. FSU fans now hate Dave Hart from all reports. Foley should have told Hart that only athletes (Spurrier, Heisman vs. Hart, maybe a scrub on Bama basketball team--yes, I was surprised to find that Bama has a basketball team, too, although no one seems to be able to find any record, outside of Hart's memory, that he was the #13 guy on the team) can actually argue.

Ryan Nanni (well known only in his local bar, well maybe) says : Dan Mullen, Rich Rodriguez, and Dana Holverson. They better do better than the last 2 or it is Zook/Muschamp II! Get rid of Foley; he is a joke.

http://www.sbnation.com/colleg.....ment-coach

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November 17, 2014
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After Will Muschamp whiff, pressure on Florida AD to revive football program

On the floor of the Louisiana Superdome after Florida had blasted Cincinnati in the 2010 Sugar Bowl, Jeremy Foley offered me some reader feedback.

I’d written a column the previous day surmising that the game might be the last night of the Florida dynasty – Tim Tebow was leaving, defensive coordinator Charlie Strong was leaving, and head coach Urban Meyer’s future was uncertain after a bizarre retirement/unretirement in a matter of 48 hours. It had been a great run, but the future was in the balance.

“This is not the last night of the Florida dynasty,” Foley said, friendly but firm. “I guarantee you that.”

Nearly five years and zero Southeastern Conference championships or BCS bowl wins later, the dynasty is dead and in need of a revival. And it’s on Foley to bring it back to life.

He’s an accomplished and respected athletic director who suddenly finds his continued viability at Florida very much on the line. After firing Will Muschamp Sunday, Foley has to get his replacement right.

He is batting .500 in revenue-sports hires. If the next one doesn’t work out, and he has more failures than successes in Florida’s marquee sports, it almost certainly would be his last major hire. He’d be gone, too.

Foley made two all-time great ones: Billy Donovan as basketball coach in 1996, and Urban Meyer as football coach in 2005. He identified a young star on the way up in Donovan, and has kept him in Gainesville for 18 phenomenally successful years. And he outflanked Notre Dame to get Meyer, a coup that altered the football trajectory of both schools for several years. Those hires yielded four national championships between them.

But Foley also hired two unproven football head coaches who were busts. He had to fire bumbling Ron Zook after less than three full seasons, and now he has trap-doored Muschamp after fewer than four complete years. This one undoubtedly hurt more than firing Zook – Foley, like most everyone else, greatly liked Muschamp and badly wanted it to work out.

It didn’t. Muschamp never could field quality offense, and rarely fielded even a competent one. At a school that had been on the cutting edge of offensive football for more than a decade with Steve Spurrier and then with Meyer, ineptitude on that side of the ball was difficult to swallow.

A lot of athletic directors who have two strikeout football hires don’t get to make another one. Foley’s stature gives him wider latitude – but there will be a lot of pressure to hit a home run this time.

Florida has a new president, Kent Fuchs, who arrives Jan. 1 from Cornell. He has no ties to Foley. Loyalty won’t keep Foley on the job if the athletic department’s performance is insufficient.

So where will his coaching search lead? In broad terms, the new guy almost certainly will be an experienced head coach – the Zook and Muschamp eras guarantee that. And after years of offensive futility, expect the new guy to have a track record of lighting up scoreboards.

 

 

But the specifics are where it gets tricky. This could be a complicated search.

If you want a guy with Florida ties who is having a great year, Dan Mullen would be the obvious choice. The former Meyer offensive coordinator is 9-1 at Mississippi State and has authored what may end up the greatest season in the school’s modest history. But multiple sources say there was a friction between Foley and Mullen that makes a reunion unlikely. Mullen probably is a non-starter.

If Florida wants to get back in the business of winning championships, it shoots for the moon. And right now the most attractive possible name on any level is Jim Harbaugh – a guy who won big in college and is in the midst of a messy, turmoil-ridden season with the San Francisco 49ers. If Harbaugh changes jobs, it’s more likely he stays in the NFL. But if he’s open to giving it the old college try again, Florida might want to give Michigan a run for its money.

The other NFL guy with a great college resume – and an offense that could be nuclear at Florida – is Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles. There has been some chatter about Florida boosters lusting after Kelly, but right now he owns the NFC East and doesn’t have to deal with annoying NCAA rules. (Remember, he left Oregon under a cloud and was given an 18-month show-cause penalty that would, conveniently, expire during this offseason.) He would seem a long shot at well, but a shot worth taking at least to gauge interest.

From the current college ranks, a few names to consider:

• Bob Stoops. If ever the onetime Spurrier defensive coordinator were open to leaving Oklahoma, this would seem like the time. The program has gotten stale in recent years, failing to maintain distance over the strivers in the Big 12. Stoops is a championship-level coach who may just need a change of scenery to rejuvenate. He has a defensive pedigree but his offenses have scored plenty of points, and he’s coached a pair of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks in Jason White and Sam Bradford.

• Rich Rodriguez. Keep an eye on this one. Rodriguez has been a hit at Arizona and West Viriginia, two places where winning does not come automatically. In between was a three-year debacle at Michigan that increasingly looks like it can be written off to bad fit and bad luck at a place that resisted change. Rodriguez has a fertile offensive mind and recruited well in Florida while at West Virginia – and although happy at Arizona, he could and would be paid a lot more at Florida.

• Brian Kelly. Notre Dame is a great job but an exhausting job, a dog-years kind of place that tends to wear out even the coaches who win. Only Knute Rockne has ever lasted longer than 11 years at the school, and the last six coaches prior to Kelly have averaged fewer than six seasons. This is year five for Kelly. He’s an offense-first coach who was courted by the NFL after unexpectedly taking the Fighting Irish to the 2012 BCS championship game. If he’s starting to feel the burnout of Notre Dame, he might listen.

• Art Briles. The Baylor coach has taken that program from outhouse to penthouse in the Big 12 thanks to a pyrotechnic offense. But he’s a Texas guy to the core, and all his recruiting contacts are in that area. Not sure he would leave the state.

Other names may surface in what doesn’t figure to be a fast search. Foley has given himself a couple of extra weeks to work by announcing Muschamp’s firing now, while letting him finish out the season.

Jeremy Foley has to get this hire right. For his own viability and to revive belief that Florida can again be a dynasty program.

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November 19, 2014
5:55 pm
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Florida's Will Muschamp out; SEC gets tougher



The SEC — and specifically the SEC East — just got a lot tougher.

Will Muschamp's ouster at Florida is bad news for the rest of the conference. As long as Muschamp was in charge, Florida was a sleeping giant. Well, the alarm just sounded. The beast of the SEC soon will be out of hibernation.

It's a plum job. In time, Muschamp will be replaced by a better coach and a better fit. The Gators will regain their bite. Fellow SEC East members, including Tennessee and Vanderbilt, should prepare for the consequences.

Come to think of it, UT was 0-4 against Florida with Muschamp as coach. What's it going to be like if they bring in somebody like, say, Bob Stoops? And when you consider what Dan Mullen has done at Mississippi State, what could he accomplish with Florida's resources and nearby talent pool?

Muschamp's exit has been in the works for weeks but it took an inexplicably inept performance by the Gators in an overtime loss to South Carolina on Saturday in The Swamp to make it official. The Gamecocks tried to give the game away but the Gators simply wouldn't take it.

When it was over, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said:

"I still feel for the other guy a little bit. Maybe I know him too well. We all know he's sorta on the hot seat I guess you call it. I hope he stays, though. He's got a bunch of good players and I think he's a good coach that … man, to get a field goal and a punt blocked right there at the end, that doesn't happen often."

Funny, but I don't remember Spurrier saying anything like that about Phillip Fulmer when he beat Tennessee 27-6 in 2008. Fulmer was fired a couple of days later.

While I don't doubt Spurrier's sincerity — despite what opposing fans might think, he's a good and decent man as well as one heckuva coach — there's a bit of self-interest mixed in with his sympathy. Spurrier won a Heisman Trophy at Florida and coached the Gators from 1990-2001. He knows better than most about Florida's potential to be among the dominant teams not only in the SEC but in the nation.

All the ingredients are there. The only thing that has been missing for the last four seasons is the right coach.

The Florida program sits amid one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country. Even with Florida State's return to prominence under Jimbo Fisher and Miami's resurgence in Al Golden's four seasons as coach, there are plenty of great players to stock the rosters of all three programs.

As gifted a recruiter as Muschamp is, uncertainty about his job security had caught up with him. As of Sunday, the Gators recruiting Class of 2015 checked in at No. 73 in the nation — dead-last in the SEC — according to Rivals.com.

And even though Muschamp had landed Top 10 recruiting classes in the three previous years, that talent wasn't translating onto the field, particularly on offense. The Gators haven't had a top-tier quarterback since Tim Tebow. Offensive playmakers remain in short supply.

It took a lot for Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley to make this move. For weeks, Foley had said he would wait until season's end to make a decision. On Nov. 1, Foley was observed celebrating with Muschamp after the Gators' upset of Georgia in Jacksonville.

Sometimes, though, you have to do what's good for your program and bad for the rest of the conference. Foley finally realized what others already had seen: It just wasn't going to happen for Muschamp at Florida. He had lost the fan base. Attendance was slipping. Hope was lost.

Maybe it was inevitable. These days, you have to win big and be entertaining in the process. Muschamp wasn't winning enough and his style of football (strong defense and mistake-free offense) didn't play well at Florida.

Gators fans got spoiled by Spurrier and later by Urban Meyer. Both rolled up points, victories and championships. Muschamp couldn't measure up.

To his credit, Muschamp did a lot of things right. Meyer left behind a mess in terms of player discipline and accountability. Muschamp cleaned it up. His successor — whoever that may be — inherits a more stable program than the one Muschamp found.

As recently as the Florida-Vanderbilt game on Nov. 8, fifth-year senior Leon Orr learned he was not in the starting lineup and chose to get on a bus back to Gainesville. Rather than try to talk him out of it, Muschamp calmly announced Orr was no longer a Gator.

"He was more concerned with starting than being part of the team," Muschamp said.

Now it's Muschamp who is headed for the exit.

The SEC chews you up and spits you out. When the 2015 football season dawns, eight of the 14 SEC coaches will be in their fourth season or less with their current teams.

And that's assuming there are no other coaching changes.

In the SEC, that's never a safe assumption.

David Climer's columns appear on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Reach him at 615-259-8020 and on Twitter @DavidClimer.

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November 19, 2014
6:02 pm
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Mark Bradley

To replace Muschamp, Florida should consider Mike Shanahan

Comments 157
 

A man who knows a lot about college football — he used to coach it, and he’s in the Hall of Fame — dropped me a note Sunday to point out something I’d missed. (I miss a lot, as we know.) Had Southern Cal beaten Notre Dame in the teams’ regular-season finale in 2012, Florida would have played Alabama — which would edge Georgia the next week for the SEC title — for the BCS title.

Yes, Florida. Yes, as coached by Will Muschamp.

The Gators had gone 11-1 in the regular season, losing only to Georgia. It was a weird 11-1 — Florida’s offense was, as per usual under Muschamp, terrible — but still: If you play for a national championship in January 2013, the odds of you getting shown the door in November 2014 are pretty long. (Here we insert the obligatory Gene Chizik reference, who was canned by Auburn two seasons after winning the BCS title.)

It’s fair to say that whatever the Gators did right in 2012 — lest we forget, they were routed by Louisville in the Sugar Bowl — wasn’t sustainable. They went 4-8 last season, losing at home to Georgia Southern. They’re 5-4 now, having lost three home games (to LSU, to Missouri and to South Carolina) that should never have been lost. On Sunday, it was announced that Muschamp wouldn’t return for the 2015 season.

Somehow the Gators beat Georgia, a loss that could well keep the Bulldogs from winning anything of consequence. But even that extraordinary result didn’t mask what had been apparent for more than a year: Muschamp wasn’t an SEC head coach. To Florida’s credit, it finally acknowledged as much. So now we ask: Who’s next?

The most obvious name would seem Dan Mullen, once Florida’s offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer and now Mississippi State’s head coach. But I’ve heard for years — I first heard it in 2011, when Mullen was being mentioned as a possible replacement for Mark Richt — that Florida folks were never crazy about Mullen. Sure enough, Brett McMurphy of ESPN has reported that Mullen isn’t on the Gators’ list.

Bob Stoops was Steve Spurrier’s defensive coordinator at Florida, but I’m not sure he’d leave Oklahoma for another college job. (Maybe the NFL, as noted earlier.) Charlie Strong was Meyer’s defensive coordinator in Gainesville, but he’s in Year 1 at Texas and Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley has said he’s leaning toward an offensive-minded man. (Muschamp was a career defensive coordinator.)

Some are lobbying for Spurrier — the ultimate offensive-minded man — to make a triumphant return to his alma mater, but Spurrier at 69 seems closer to retirement than to Fun ‘n’ Gun, Take 2. But there is a former Florida offensive coordinator available whose arrival would make a massive splash in The Swamp.

He’s Mike Shanahan, a winner of two Super Bowls with Denver but whose career was jump-started by his partnership with Charley Pell on the Run & Shoot Gators of the early ’80s. Georgia fans will recall that it was Florida, with Wayne Peace at quarterback and Cris Collinsworth and Tyrone Young as receivers, that led the 1980 national champions-to-be inside the final two minutes in Jacksonville, at which time Buck Belue threw to Lindsay Scott, who ran so fast and so far he induced Larry Munson to break his chair.

Shanahan is 62, and his four years with the Washington Redskins didn’t end well, but still: He’s Mike Shanahan. He’s a Big Name for a Big Program. If he has interest in coaching college football — he hasn’t since leaving Gainesville after the 1983 season — he’d be a man for Foley to interview. And maybe the man for Foley to hire.

One thing more: That guy I know who knows a lot about college football? He told me in September that Florida’s next coach would be Mike Shanahan. He said he’d heard it from a Gator booster — the same Gator booster who told him back in 2004 that Foley was about to fire Ron Zook and would hire Urban Meyer.

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November 20, 2014
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Inside Read: After first domino, a look at all likely jobs on coaching carousel

 
Why Florida will go after a big name head coach

On Monday's SI Now, Sports Illustrated college football writer Andy Staples discusses why the Florida Gators will most likely pick a big name football coach to replace Will Muschamp.

The announcement of Will Muschamp’s exit as Florida’s coach marks the first major domino of the college football coaching carousel. With Michigan expected to fire Brady Hoke in the coming weeks, the two jobs predicted all season to open will be vacant. Here’s a look at what could happen by examining the jobs destined to open and the candidates who may fill them. (Information comes from coaches, agents and athletic officials.)

FLORIDA: Athletic director Jeremy Foley has outsmarted himself twice in hiring off-the-radar coaches for one of college football’s most prominent jobs. Both Ron Zook and Will Muschamp were flops. Foley needs a big name with an offensive pedigree (or a track record of hiring good offensive minds) and someone with extensive head coaching experience. And that’s where it gets tricky.

The first name here is Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops. Could he have an itch to leave Norman after 16 years? No one really knows, but it could finally be time. From there, the next names are Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze. After that, the list of experienced head coaches with offensive pedigrees who can handle the spotlight in Gainesville is small. Foley isn’t going to hire Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy. Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez and former NFL coach Mike Shanahan are highly unlikely. And please stop mentioning Steve Spurrier. Don’t be surprised if an outside-the-box candidate emerges, such as TCU’s Gary Patterson. Perhaps there’s some regret from two coaches who had a chance to leave last season but didn’t: UCLA’s Jim Mora Jr. (Texas) and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin (USC)?

STAPLES: What's next for Will Muschamp, Florida

MICHIGAN: If anyone tells you they know who is getting the Michigan job, don’t believe them. Michigan doesn’t even know who will be firing Brady Hoke or hiring his replacement. Wolverines fans should be rooting for San Francisco to lose, as the 49ers missing the playoffs would perpetuate the notion that Jim Harbaugh could return to his alma mater. It’s still likely Harbaugh stays in the NFL (though probably not in San Francisco), but he’s such a wild card that even he has no idea what he’s going to do. There’s a chance at Michigan, but it’s a slim one. (A key factor is timing, as waiting for Harbaugh would kill the December recruiting period, which is a week shorter this year and ends on Dec. 15. That’s an integral period to shore up the 2015 class and perhaps even more critical for establishing the groundwork for 2016.)

Mullen could end up as the frontrunner here, as he’s the hottest coach. He would have to decide if he wants to leave the SEC. Greg Schiano had a long dance with Michigan while at Rutgers but ultimately turned down the job. He fits their profile for academics, recruiting and style of play. The wildcard name here is Al Golden. He’s on his third athletic director at Miami. Instead of praise from the fan base for enduring the Nevin Shapiro-induced NCAA nuclear winter, he has airplane flyovers calling for his dismissal and former Miami players ripping him on Twitter. His tie-on-the-sideline image would fly much better in Ann Arbor than in Coral Gables. But don’t forget, whoever is hired as athletic director at Michigan will change the whole dynamic.

FARRAR: Which NFL candidates could replace Florida's Will Muschamp?

ILLINOIS: The end is inevitable for Tim Beckman, and his brutal tenure makes you wonder why Illinois administrators didn’t pull the plug earlier. In the era of expanded leagues, bad jobs like Illinois are now worse. The best thing Illinois has going for it is that it’s in the easier division of the Big Ten, away from Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State.

This could well end up as a coordinator hire, as the school went with the hot MAC coach and bombed last time. Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi is the obvious name. But would he rather stay at Michigan State to succeed Mark Dantonio? Marshall’s Doc Holliday has an undefeated team but hasn’t received much buzz. Could his proficiency at recruiting Florida help him land a job in the talent-starved Big Ten? First-year Bowling Green coach Dino Babers crushed it at Eastern Illinois, giving him some familiarity with the recruiting base. The recruiting momentum that Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck has created (see more below) could be intriguing.

Ohio State’s Tom Herman, Clemson’s Chad Morris, Baylor’s Philip Montgomery or Oregon’s Scott Frost could bring a shot of offensive adrenaline to a buzzless program. The tricky question here is whether agents will advise their clients to go to a place that’s been a career sinkhole for many coaches.

INDIANA: Kevin Wilson likely will be fired. The Hoosiers are headed toward their seventh consecutive season without a bowl, and a loss to Ohio State this week will bring their current losing streak to six games. (Only one of those defeats, a 13-7 loss to Penn State, was competitive). Indiana (3-7, 0-6) did beat SEC East leader Missouri this year, but a rash of quarterback injuries and a hapless defense have submarined the Hoosiers.

There’s no obvious candidate here, but Nevada’s Brian Polian interviewed last time and was passed over for his lack of head coaching experience. His energy could give Indiana some momentum. After whiffing with the hot coordinator last time -- Wilson is still considered one of the game’s top offensive coaches -- do the Hoosiers go with an FCS coach or a Division II coach?

On the MAC front, Fleck, Babers and Toledo’s Matt Campbell could be in the mix. Whoever ends up as the MAC champion would boost his candidacy exponentially.

KANSAS: An upset of TCU last week would have done wonders for the candidacy of interim coach Clint Bowen. The close loss didn’t hurt him. Bowen was a star player at Kansas, is beloved by KU boosters and even married a former Miss Kansas. Expect him to be part of the staff even if KU hires a more experienced coach.

Memphis coach Justin Fuente could loom as a top choice, as he has the Tigers on target for a nine-win regular season. In a thin year for mid-major coaches, he should be the hottest candidate. If Kansas casts a wider net, Utah State’s Matt Wells and Air Force’s Troy Calhoun could end up as good fits. Other names expected to be in the mix are Nebraska’s Tim Beck, Ohio State’s Ed Warinner and the usual suspect coordinators like Clemson’s Morris, Ohio State’s Herman and Baylor’s Montgomery. Money will be an issue here, as it would be a surprise if Kansas paid its head coach more than $2 million per season.

SMU: The field has narrowed, and it would be surprising if the Mustangs don’t end up with either Herman or Morris. SMU is looking for a candidate with Texas ties. Herman has strong experience there as an assistant on the college level (Sam Houston State, Texas State and Rice). Morris is one of this generation’s most respected high school coaches there. With the Tulsa job expected to open and Kansas potentially drawing from the same candidate pool, don’t be surprised if SMU acts quickly. Oklahoma coordinator Josh Heupel is a candidate, and Baylor’s Montgomery would also be a good fit.

VIRGINIA: Things are free-falling for Mike London, who at 4-6 needs wins against Miami and Virginia Tech to get bowl eligible. This is an intriguing job because London brought in so much high-end talent. The first name would be Golden, who served as a graduate assistant (1994-96) and a defensive coordinator (2001-05). While it would be a step back from Miami, it may be a better cultural fit for Golden to go somewhere he’s embraced.

Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has the academic pedigree from his days at Stanford and was a finalist at Vanderbilt last year. The Colts have the NFL’s top total offense and passing offense. Morris could also be a fit with his familiarity with the ACC, as he’s long been considered a strong candidate at North Carolina should things continue to go south for Larry Fedora there. (Morris and UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham have a relationship back to their days at Tulsa). Calhoun’s Air Force team is 8-2 and he could end up a darkhorse here, as he’s worked in an academic environment and also knows the league from his time at Wake Forest.

BUFFALO: Athletic director Danny White has been bouncing around the country quietly interviewing candidates since letting Jeff Quinn go in mid-October. The buzz on White’s search is that he’s honed in on an experienced head coach, which would rule out BCS coordinators. (So would finances, quite frankly). Look for White to lure a winning head coach from a lower level to kick start the program after it dipped when Turner Gill departed. Towson coach Rob Ambrose fits White’s profile and took his team to the FCS title game last season. Fordham coach Joe Moorhead knows Buffalo’s recruiting footprint well from his days as UConn’s offensive coordinator, and his high-octane spread offense has quickly turned around his current program.

TROY: Larry Blakeney had a long and successful run at Troy. To replace him, the most obvious candidate to emerge this season is UAB’s Bill Clark. With the future of football at UAB uncertain, Clark could use his 5-5 resuscitation to bounce to a more stable job. His performance this year and career of success in the state of Alabama makes him a logical pick. Other names include Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins, Texas running backs coach Tommie Robinson (a Troy graduate), Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown (former Troy assistant) and Packers cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr.

TULSA: The Bill Blankenship era is sputtering to an end, as the Golden Hurricane are 2-8. A hot coordinator (Morris, Montgomery, Herman) would fit here. Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, who has strong ties in neighboring Arkansas, could get a look. (His boss, Malzahn, is a former Tulsa offensive coordinator). TCU offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, a former Oklahoma State assistant, could also have a shot. Utah State’s Wells is from Oklahoma and would be a big splash hire if he’s willing to jump. Wells is a former assistant under Steve Kragthorpe, who turned around the program from similar depths.

Sizing up some top candidates

Dan Mullen Mississippi State: As we detailed a few weeks ago, Mullen to Florida is unlikely. It’s clear that Mullen is the hottest candidate in the country, bringing Mississippi State into playoff contention. So where does he go? A lot could depend on whether or not the Bulldogs make the playoff, as Mullen is unlikely to take another job while preparing for that.

P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan: The Broncos are in negotiations to keep Fleck, who has impressed both recruiting and on the field. Western Michigan is 7-3 and tied atop the MAC West with a 5-1 record. He could be a candidate for some low-level Power 5 jobs like Illinois, Kansas or Indiana (if it opens). Fleck brought in the highest rated recruiting class in MAC history last year and has Western Michigan at No. 58 in the recruiting rankings this year, ahead of Cal, Kansas State and Colorado.

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame: There’s little chance that Kelly leaves Notre Dame for another college job, especially with 19 of 22 starters slated to return next season (20 if you include KeiVarae Russell, who could be the nation’s top cornerback). Why move to rebuild at a Florida if there’s a chance to thrive immediately in South Bend? It’s widely believed Kelly’s next move is to a high-end NFL franchise. Notre Dame is still his best platform for that.

Jim McElwain, Colorado State: Too inexperienced for Florida, and Michigan just flopped with the hot Mountain West coach. McElwain has a buyout of $7.5 million, and there doesn’t appear to be an obvious fit now, but things could change. A Montana native, McElwain likes it out West, but no Pac-12 jobs are expected to open.

Greg Schiano: Don’t expect him to go to a school that can’t someday contend for a national title. He’s getting paid for one more year after getting fired in Tampa Bay, so he can afford to be picky. He’d also have a chance to return to the NFL as a head coach or coordinator. He nearly took the Michigan job before Rich Rodriguez got it, and Florida was interested in him before Urban Meyer decided to return in 2009.

Matt Wells, Utah State: He’s been impressive this season as the Aggies have won despite losing nine starters to injuries and were forced to go with their fourth-string quarterback. He’s a strong recruiter, has a magnetic personality and is earning a reputation as a magician for having this team 8-3 (5-1 in the Mountain West).

Justin Fuente, Memphis: He and Wells fall into the same category -- mid-major coaches who lack an obvious landing spot but could end up somewhere if a Power 5 coach skips to a place like Florida or Michigan. (Fuente would be a logical choice at Ole Miss or Mississippi State). Fuente will be a hot name after turning around Memphis, which is 7-3. Being a former Gary Patterson assistant at TCU also will help, as the Horned Frogs’ success makes him an easy sell. If Patterson leaves, he’d be among the first phone calls.

Willie Fritz, Georgia Southern: The hottest Sun Belt candidate is Fritz, who has Georgia Southern 7-0 and has a terrific track record as a head coach at Blinn Junior College (39-5-1), Central Missouri (97-47) and Sam Houston State (40-15). He may be too loyal to leave after one season, but his success at multiple stops and different levels has athletic directors intrigued.

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December 2, 2014
6:13 pm
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bigten_numberone
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John Niyo of the Detroit News says Michigan, having fired Hoke, should start with Jim Harbaugh. Pelini out at Nebraska. Muschamp out at Florida.

http://www.detroitnews.com/sto...../19766099/

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December 5, 2014
10:59 am
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Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports: McElwain is already catching heat!

 

http://www.foxsports.com/colle.....ion-120414

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December 5, 2014
11:52 am
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Jeff Duncan explains why Les Miles should not take the Michigan job.

http://www.nola.com/lsu/index......cart_river

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December 5, 2014
12:06 pm
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Chatelain: Mike Riley is an extremely bold hire for Nebraska

http://www.omaha.com/huskers/c.....44b55.html

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December 6, 2014
10:26 am
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Sports Contrarian said
Chatelain: Mike Riley is an extremely bold hire for Nebraska

http://www.omaha.com/huskers/c.....44b55.html

Matt Brown ranks the recently vacated college jobs based on desirability:

http://www.sportsonearth.com/a.....ka-florida

1. Florida

2. Michigan

3. Nebraska

4. Oregon State

5. Kansas

6. Colorado State

7. SMU

8. Tulsa

9. UNLV

10. Troy

11. Buffalo

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