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Something For All You Bumpas Hounds Out There, Another Unconventional Option, And A Warning About Premature Evaluations.

I continue to doubt that TCU's Dick Bumpas will be the next Defensive Coordinator at the University of Georgia, for a variety of reasons:

1) Doubts about how integral he is to his current team's defensive success.

2) No discernible connection to Mark Richt (except for the fact that they joined the Illuminati at roughly the same time, but you didn't hear that from me).

3) No SEC connections.

Nevertheless, Dr.B over at Shakin' The Southland, SBNation's Clemson blog, did a good summation of TCU's 4-2-5 defense before the Tigers played the Horned Frogs earlier this season.

TCU's scheme is unique for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the front seven scheme and the coverage are separated, and the coverages are actually bifurcated. That is, the free safety makes the call on one side and the rover  makes the call on the other. TCU by the way beat Clem's sons 14-10, and held C.J. Spiller in check with the exception of a 60 yard reception. Even if Bumpas doesn't come anywhere near Athens, Dr.B's take is a good read if you're into x's and o's. Check it out.

Also, if you're not convinced that the next defensive coordinator will be one of the suspects widely discussed, I urge you to consider the Air Force Academy's Tim DeRuyter. His units at Air Force have been well-ranked, he's an Air Force Academy grad who actually served as a full time military coach (if you're looking for a disciplinarian) and his Mountain West experience includes scheming for the triple option, the "pistol" formation which has become more popular (especially in Tuscaloosa), and a variety of other offensive looks. His unit just got through making Houston's Case Keenum look less than Heisman-worthy.

And about the search process in general: Do I wish it were over already? Of course. But the search process has not been "disappointing" or "embarrassing" or any other similar adjective being bandied about to describe it. Why? Because with coaching searches the proof is in the pudding. It doesn't matter who turned you down, just who you ultimately get to say yes. I promise, this search is no more chaotic than any other similar search in recent years. They all look like this, but they look a lot worse from the inside. It seems a lot worse because we're thinking about our search more than we think about other schools' searches, and because we allow ourselves to consider the possibilities each candidate brings to the table. Put another way, every decent thunderstorm looks like a hurricane when you're in the middle of it without a raincoat. Hindsight has a way of adding some perspective to the experience.

Bear in mind that if Mark Richt has talked to all of the folks reported, then he is looking under all the right rocks. The fact that he wasn't able to lure Bud Foster from Virginia Tech doesn't worry me nearly as much as settling for Jon Tenuta, just because he's available to start tomorrow, would. Mark Richt doesn't have to get the best defensive coordinator in America. He just has to get a guy who's a significant upgrade. He's obviously identified folks who are. One of them will say yes.

I've been saying for 3 weeks that if we were gambling on the outcome of this, if you'd give me Kirby Smart and Todd Grantham, I'd give you the field. I still think that's a decent proposition. Smart is the one guy we know Coach Richt approached who hasn't gotten a very public pay raise and slap on the back from his current employer. That could be because Nick Saban is getting ready to coach for a title and doesn't have time for, well, you know.

Grantham looked to be available the first week of January (when Coach Richt initially said the search might be done), but now joins the rest of the Dallas Cowboys staff in the NFL playoffs. Suddenly, the search could continue through January. That could be correlation. It could be causation. I have no idea.

But I'm more than willing to peddle in rumors and speculation until we find out. Because it's interesting, intriguing, and beats the heck out of trying to figure out whether I feel more empathy for Adam James or Mike Leach. And I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. Until later . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!