The coaching carousel refuses to let anyone focus solely on the SEC Championship Saturday. And what a wild week we have had in coaching news, and it’s really only beginning.
Let’s get you all caught up:
- On Tuesday it was reported by multiple outlets that Les Miles had a massive offer on the table from Arkansas. There were conflicting reports, however, about whether an offer was actually in place, but Les did have a conversation with Arkansas about the open job. He confirmed that in a press conference.
- AD Jeff Long’s relationship with Miles began back at Michigan, and we could conceive of some talks, but the realistic chance of it actually happening was very slim. Not that Arkansas is a bad job, but Miles had already turned down Michigan – his alma mater – to stay at LSU. What made you think he would go to Arkansas?
- Yesterday, LSU announced it would give Miles a raise and a contract extension. After all, he was being paid $3.75 million since 2008, with no raise or extension.
- Now that Miles is completely off the table, Arkansas has said to be primarily looking at Chris Petersen (Boise State), Gary Patterson (TCU), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State) and James Franklin (Vanderbilt).
- Some have said Petersen has an offer, and that Franklin is #2 on the list behind Petersen, which leads me to believe Patterson and Gundy are staying put at their current jobs.
- TCU’s Gary Patterson and Boise’s Chris Petersen were said to be very high on the list at Auburn.
- The one unemployed coach gaining the most momentum at this time looks to be Bobby Petrino.
- It was reported last night that Louisville head coach Charlie Strong had conversations with Auburn. Strong denied the report he had an “interview”. Louisville plays Rutgers tonight for a chance at playing in a BCS bowl, so of course he would deny an interview or any talks at this time.
- Strong would be a great hire at Auburn if they can get it done, but Louisville’s move to the ACC could help Strong make his decision one way or another.
- This looks to be a two man race between Strong and Petrino.
- Cincinnati’s Butch Davis was the one thought to be the frontrunner in AD Mitch Barnhart’s coaching search.
- However, UK hired FSU DC Mark Stoops.
- The Stoops hire is not a bad one, but I thought Kentucky would go in a different direction and target an up-and-coming offensive-minded coach. Stoops will be fine at Kentucky. He won’t win big (can that even be done?), but he shouldn’t do poorly, either.
- What a wild week for Tennessee fans eager to see who their next coach will be.
- Jon Gruden has long since thought to be the frontrunner and the favorite for the job. The entire fan base wants this to happen.
- FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher is also on the list and is said to be one of Hart’s favorite candidates.
- The Gruden rumors went into overdrive two nights ago when it was reported that he had not only been offered the Tennessee head coaching position, but that he had also been offered a minority stake in the Cleveland Browns. However, both Gruden and the Browns shot the rumor down.
- Gruden was also supposed to have a meeting with Hart today, but Gruden cancelled the meeting.
- Miami head coach Al Golden is said to be interviewing for the job today.
- Tennessee is said to be interviewing coaches in the next 7-10 days and will make a decision somewhere around December 8-10.
- It is my belief that Gruden has been in talks with Tennessee for a week or more, but the cat was let out of the bag with the false report about the Browns.