I love coaching silly season. Really, I do. This and the leadup to signing day are the closest thing college football has to a hot stove league. Bear in mind that what you're about to read is unsourced, unconfirmed and mostly untenable. Caveat emptor.
Gus Malzahn was allegedly offered everything up to and including the title of Commodore to coach Vanderbilt. He has allegedly balked because he wants to coach in the BCS Championship, and Vandy has allegedly said that they'll be announcing this week that their coach will start immediately, and it would be nice but not necessary if it were him. Allegedly.
Frankly the thought of Saint Gustav the Hurried (TM) standing on the sideline in Nashville wearing a monicle and top hat just sends me into spasms of mirth. I figure if we're going to have to stop his video game level offensive hijinx I'd rather they be wrapped in the person of Larry Smith than whatever follows Cam Newton. If you're going to be locked in a room with a deadly sharpshooter, it's always best when that room is stocked full of dull knives. Vandy's stock of talent is the closest the SEC has to a dull knife collection. Ergo, I view this move as positive on balance.
I admit to being among the many who thought Dan Mullen was a shoe-in at Florida. I certainly wasn't the only one who said when Mullen left Gainesville that he didn't get enough credit for the vaunted Gator offense, and that he might be brought back to fix things. I thought Mullen would initially feign lack of interest until the money and terms were right, before eventually relenting.
I for one wouldn't take the job in Gainesville, or any other job, for less than 5 years at $4 million per if I were Mullen. Because he'd be leaving a pretty nice setup for a pressure cooker of unreasonable expectations*. Dan Mullen could murder a hooker, a clown, and Steve Earle on the streets of Starkville tonight and be out on the street before sunup. Though he would have to spend the night in Starkville, which is kind of like jail except the scenery's not as good and the food's slightly better.
The ascendance of Will Muschamp to the reptile throne takes a little of the starch out this most paranoid time of the year because it was the one job which everyone felt comfortable linking Bobby Petrino to, and Petrino was the wobbly linchpin that could have fallen out and sent coaches careening across the land. I suppose he's still theoretically an option at Michigan if/when Rich Rodriguez gets the ax. If only Ryan Mallett were able to hang around long enough to go with him.
If Petrino goes anywhere this offseason, highly unlikely given the options and his shiny new contract extension and buyout, I pray fervently that the Razorbacks try to bring Malzahn back to Fayetteville because, egad, having him supplant the guy who supplanted Houston Nutt would be like reading the Count of Monte Cristo while watching an instructional video on running the inside veer and eating hot wings with Elizabeth Banks.
Charlie Strong isn't going anywhere because Charlie Strong took forever to get a head coaching job, he now has one that will deliver him to a bowl game in his first season, and he's smart enough to understand that's a good fit. As you can see, having his defenses beat my team's offense into submission lo these last 4,582 years has convinced me that Charlie Strong is the smartest man alive.
Mike Bobo is not a candidate for any job other than the one he has now. Until 3 a.m. next Sunday when he's announced as the new equipment manager for the PeeWee League Dacula Tiny Terrors, because it was the last thing you expected him to do.
Alabama wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Curt Cignetti appears set to become the head coach at Kent State, which can't really help Alabama, but probably doesn't really hurt them that much either. If I had Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy in the backfield I probably couldn't even tell you who my wide receivers coach was. I'd just call him "that guy who stands around talking to Julio and Darius Hanks."
Perhaps more significant would be the rumors that Texas is after Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, well-liked among Tide fans and known for helping turn Greg McElroy into a floppy-haired football game winning machine. If only he were better paid he might have won another Iron Bowl. Remember, the 4th quarter is when losers cash out and winners cash in. So sayeth Cameron's First Letter To The Auburnians. Amen.
Even more significant would be the rumors that Kirby Smart will follow his good friend Will Muschamp to Florida as their new defensive coordinator. As I told Darius Dawgberry this morning, such a move would all but guarantee that neither coaches at the University of Georgia for the foreseeable future. I am willing to defend Will Muschamp for taking the best available head coaching job in the year when his head coaching stock is probably at its peak. I was willing to defend Kirby Smart last season for waiting in Tuscaloosa for a head coaching position to open up rather than making a lateral-ish move. But if Smart now leaves one year later for Gainesville in the exact kind of move he said he wasn't willing to make last year to Athens, you all can say whatever you want to about him.
Alabama outside linebackers coach Sal Sunseri is also rumored to be doggedly pursuing the Pitt job which Dave Wannstedt finally agreed to leave because, as Pitt's Athletic Director put it, "Wanny was just 50 pounds of awesome stuffed in a 20 pound sack here and needed to go somewhere much more awesome. Like Anchorage. Or Yellow Knife." Sunseri's son Tino is the starting quarterback at Pit by the way which, were I on the search committee, would be all I'd need to not to give him the job because . . .
Next season Dan Hawkins will be coaching intramurals somewhere with unrivaled intensity, and Cody Hawkins will be, well, not playing for him anymore.
Bob Stoops is going to be in competition for all the major coaching jobs BUT HE WON'T WIN ANY OF THEM 'CAUSE HE CHOKES IN BIG GAMES HOOK 'EM HORNS!!! Sorry, my cyber-aggressive Longhorn buddy Zeke grabbed the keyboard for a second. He's having a rough time and crashing at my place until he gets back on his feet. Zeke may also go by the nome de pigskin "Greg Davis".
Until later, feel free to
*2 BCS titles in 4 years, the Meyer standard, is on its face unreasonable. It simply will not happen. The fact that 30% of Gator fans will expect this from whoever gets the job is simply an excuse for us and the other 70% of Gator fans to find something to agree on besides calling Tennessee fans hillbillies. Namely, that Florida Gator fans are the Manchester United fans of college football, only without the technical knowledge of the game they're watching and a slightly smaller cache of explosives.