Published September 28, 2012 - 10:42am
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We know Arkansas needs another head coach. It is just a questions of whether they let John L Smith go after Johnny Manziel runs up the score on them this week or after the season.
Coaching searches are hilarious in college football. Every time there is a coaching vacancy, a few big names get thrown around without putting any thought into the likelihood of such a hire materializing.
In recent years, no name has been thrown around more than Jon Gruden. So we start with him.
Three guys that are absolutely not going to coach at Arkansas
Arkansas fans, Jon Gruden is not your next head coach. When the Miami job opened, people thought Gruden was a done deal. He’s in the Tampa area, and I guess Miami has South Beach. Nevermind that the program itself is a dumpster fire. When Urban Meyer quit twice, Gruden’s name was thrown around as well.
Gruden is a big name and would, of course, be a great hire. However, we don’t even know if Gruden has any desire to return to coaching. He looks pretty comfy in his monday night football gig at present time. Moreover, Gruden in the NFL was known for wanting a veteran quarterback to lead his team; I’m not sure he’s the right guy for player development in the college ranks.
This one is so ridiculous that I’m laughing as a type this. Arkansas fans, Pete Carroll is not going to be your next coach. First of all, he has a 2-1 team in the NFL. He’s also reportedly being paid $6.5 million a year. Carroll reportedly loves the west coast, yet he’s going to leave a higher paying NFL job to move to Fayetteville? I think there’s a better chance that Mitt Romney is the next Arkansas coach over Pete Carroll.
Plus, did you see how much fun Carroll had after the referee/simultaneous catch debacle last Monday night that gave him the win over the Packers?
I asked a buddy the other day if there was a remote chance that Jimmy Johnson would consider coaching at Arkansas, and he was so caught off guard by the question that he thought I was talking about the NASCAR driver. After a full minute of ridiculing me for even bringing up the idea, I dropped it. Then I decided to learn more about the “good life” that Jimmy has been living in South Florida.
I’m going to present the following from his Wikipedia page without comment and allow you to determine if this sounds like somebody who wants to move to Fayetteville and get back into the grind of college coaching:
Johnson owns a restaurant named Three Rings (after the three championships he’s won on both collegiate and professional level), located in Miami, Florida. He previously owned a second restaurant (under the same name) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; however, it has since closed. Johnson’s fishing boat, which is docked behind his oceanfront home in Islamorada, Florida, is also called “Three Rings”. He also owns a bar and restaurant in Key Largo, Florida called “JJ’s Big Chill” located at mile marker 104.
The bottom line is that nobody not named Mike Leach lives in the Keys of Florida and then goes back into coaching.
Three legitimate options for Arkansas
The Arkansas coaching position is a top 20 college coaching position in my opinion. Here are three candidates that are very viable options to be the next head coach at Arkansas.
Strong is a very likely candidate. He has roots in Arkansas, is an energetic up-and-coming coach and is an outstanding recruiter. Strong can pull sick athletes from the sick athlete factory of South Florida. Strong is more of a defense-first coach which works well in the SEC – though some wonder if Arkansas needs an approach different than that of the power offense, strong defense types of Saban, Miles, Muschamp, etc.
Bill King made some news this week claiming he had sources that said Davis is likely the next coach for Arkansas. Davis played at Arkansas and has great coaching experience. He left UNC under a cloud of scandal but has since had his name cleared at least to a certain degree. Davis is 60 years old, so he’s an older coach. He is currently working as a special assistant with the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Who? Sonny Dykes. he’s the head coach at Louisiana-Tech. He’s more of an offensive coach with mentors like Hal Mumme and Mike Leach. He’s the son of well known Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes – also the coach with the best name ever. Dykes also coached under Leach at Texas Tech as the wide receivers coach and eventually the co-offensive coordinator along with Dana Holgorsen. Mike Leach, Dana Holgorsen and a guy named Sonny. What a crew.
Dykes has had the reputation for a great offensive mind as well as a very strong recruiter. He replaced Derek Dooley at Louisiana Tech in January of 2010. No word on whether or not Dooley will go back to La-Tech after he’s fired from Tennessee.
Meanwhile, Louisiana-Tech is putting up 50+ points every game and thumping their competition including a dismantling of B1G embarrassment Illinois. La-Tech might have beat Texas A&M in the opening week had that game not been postponed.
In my opinion, Dykes would be a great hire for Arkansas.