CFB insider names intriguing candidates for possible hires at Ole Miss, Tennessee
The expected coaching openings in the SEC this hiring season are just two of a myriad of pending changes that has grown in recent weeks as upsets happened across the country in the first half of the college football season.
Yahoo! Sports college football insider Pete Thamel outlined where Ole Miss and Tennessee would look to potentially replace Matt Luke and Butch Jones.
At Tennessee, Thamel wrote that it was hard to believe Jon Gruden’s name is serious because of his need to boost his ego and his happiness on television as an analyst for Monday Night Football on ESPN.
“Could big dollars lure Justin Fuente from Virginia Tech?,” Thamel wrote. “Does Greg Schiano’s success in building Rutgers into a power appeal to (Athletics Director John) Currie? Is Tennessee a better job/fit for (Central Florida coach) Scott Frost than Nebraska? Mike Norvell has led the nation’s No. 13 scoring offense at Memphis? Could a sleeper name like N.C. State’s Dave Doeren, Purdue’s Jeff Brohm or Iowa State’s Matt Campbell emerge?”
Lots of questions at Tennessee and so far, not many answers on the direction of the potential coaching move.
Ole Miss is trickier in Thamel’s mind as the Rebels are facing NCAA sanctions, and Athletics Director Ross Bjork is squarely in the middle of the investigation. Scholarship reductions and bowl restrictions are among the issues a new coach would need to address, assuming interim coach Matt Luke is not retained.
“Look for an established Power Five coach like Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre to end up here. (Washington State coach Mike) Leach could end up in the mix, as sources at Texas Tech indicated that Ole Miss officials have called around to research Leach. Could they end up with someone safe like Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz? Or perhaps someone like Air Force’s Troy Calhoun, who has won consistently – though not this year – and brings a credible off-field reputation. It’ll be a long contract (think eight years), providing safe landing and the school will give secure deals to the assistant coaches. A hot young coach is unlikely to risk crashing his career in Oxford for Hugh Freeze’s sins. If so, it’d have to be an aspirational coach like the crew from the Sun Belt more so than an established AAC coach.”