published Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

5-at-10: College coaching search edition

Remember the Friday mailbag, which as we mentioned to Spy may well include a inquiry that may require the 5-at-10 to wear a bra on our head.

From the "Talks too much studios," it's go time...

  • photo
    ESPN NFL analyst and former Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden is the favorite of many University of Tennessee fans to become the Volunteers' new coach.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Complete craziness

You are likely a college football fan. If you're not, then we suggest you either A) pick a team and get in the game or B) share what you're interested in so we can pretend to be interested or C) pick a team and get in the game.

And if you are a college football fan, you are either mired in the self-loathing, program-shaking, fan-base-splitting debacle that is a coaching search or have been part of it. (Well, everyone except Georgia, and for you nut bars out there that have wanted Mark Richt fired in the last three years, shame on you. Embrace and enjoy what you have.)

And like everything else in the college football realm and the battle for middle Earth that is the SEC arms race, the stakes are raised exponentially and the pressure is monstrous. The rumors take on lives of their own. The instant turn of information can cause whiplash.

And sweet buckets of loose lips sinking ships, either every athletic department looking for a coach has 85 percent of its employees telling everything they know to anyone who will listen — including the guy that details the Cadillacs in Knoxville to Bob Stoops' publicist outside of Chicago. Well, that or 90 percent of the stuff we see on the interwebs is chat room fodder that has been watered with hope, fertilized with desperation and loved with passion and grown to tall tales comparable to the Loch Ness Monster and has fostered baby rumors the size of a love child between Paul Bunyon and Sasquatch.

Now we have hit unchartered waters in the Sea of Unbelievable. Crash these waves:

— A Memphis TV station reported that Jim Haslam III has ponied up an ownership stake in the Cleveland Browns as part of the package to lure Jon Gruden to Knoxville. The questions about this are far greater than the fact the Memphis TV report misidentified Jim Haslam III (his father, Big Jim, was the founder of Pilot and the former UT letterman). The Browns issued a statement denying the rumor. Gruden completely denied this on Mike and Mike this morning on ESPN radio, and while coaches everywhere are denying reports (more on that below), Gruden was pretty clear when asked if it was true, saying, ""No there it isn't. No truth to that."

— But for hits and wiggles, we'll play along with this. Let's see: if Haslam III is so hot and heavy for Gruden, why not offer him the Browns job. Oh yeah that's right, because the No. 1 goal of spending more than $1 billion for an NFL franchise was to make UT better. Plus, Haslam III is going to get Nick Saban in Cleveland, right? (Side note: Forget the Browns, if the Haslam clan is offering up ownership stakes, here's our demand sheet: We want a piece of Pilot Oil first; we want Gov. Bill Haslam to secure us lifetime passes to Dollywood and to that boss water park in Gatlinburg; we want Mrs. Gruden to get to be a cheerleader again; we want front row center seats at the Opry; we want the words changed from "Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo-Choo," to "Pardon me Mr. Coach Gruden, sir, is that the Chattanooga Gru-Gru." And we want a hamburger, no a cheeseburger, we want a milkshake, we want a hot dog...)

— Southern Miss fired Ellis Johnson after one season. One. And, you know what, it was probably the right move.

— The website SportsbyBrooks first reported Arkansas offered LSU coach Les Miles a five-year, $27-million deal. Hello, Arkansas. We don't know whether to A) congratulate the Hogs on swinging for the fences; B) pity the Hogs for apparently not having any sort of real plan; or C) wish desperately for this to happen just on the off chance that Miles does Mad Hatter things at the Little Rock Wal-Mart. "These folks here at the South Little Rock Wal-Mart are a spectacular group of men. You go find them, you throw your arms around them and you give them a big kiss on the mouth… if you're a girl."

————

Unanswered questions

Has anyone stopped to ask whether Jon Gruden is going to fit in college football?

Think about it. In the NFL, it's all football. In college, it's recruiting and glad-handing boosters and making stops in Cookeville and Murfreesboro to speak at events. In the NFL, the players know their livelihood is at stake with the outcome of their performance. In college, the players know the coaches' livelihood is at stake with the outcome of their performance.

Seriously, who was the last former NFL coach that had success in college? Yes, Pete Carroll won on a grand scale at USC. But they also had to give all of that back because of NCAA violations. Oh yeah, NCAA rules. That's another Grand-Canyon-sized difference between the college game and the NFL.

OK, so if Johnny Vols Fans everywhere are willing to push their chips in for a Pete Carroll-like return — couple of titles, couple of Heisman winners, couple of years of NCAA sanctions and scholarship reductions — we can accept that. Seriously, we can and we're pretty sure as an Auburn grad, we'd take that risk at Auburn too.

But that's the high end, the optimum. Look at the other former NFL coaches that tried to make jumps to high-profile college jobs.

Charlie Weis and Monte Kiffin were former ground-breaking NFL assistants and they are getting chewed up in college.

The jury is still out on Jim Mora and Bill O'Brien. What about Chan Gailey's forgettable time at Georgia Tech? And who can forget Lane Kiffin? Wait, strike that. We all want to forget Lane Kiffin.

Tthere's no doubt Gruden had more head coaching experience and success than those guys in the NFL. And he'd be a rock star hire in the eyes of recruits and a unifying hire for the UT fan base.

For those reasons alone, hiring Gruden would be a good hire. Heck those alone considering the state of the UT program could qualify it as a great hire.

But, if the contract details do work out and Gruden gets a rumored piece of the Browns and DirectTV, a percentage of every commercial Peyton Manning ever shoots and a sizable portion of the subscription fees collected by the 5-at-10, five years from now will it be just a home run hire or will it be Tennessee's solution. Because we all know they are not necessarily the same thing.

Lane Kiffin was a home run hire; he was not a solution.

Rich Rodriguez was a home run hire; he was not a solution.

Mark Richt was not a home run hire (heck, he wasn't even Georgia's first choice); he was the solution.

Sure, Saban was both, and that happens, but it's rare.

And this is not only germane to Gruden and UT, of course. It's the same question for every school about every candidate. And it's an expensive and painful proposition.

————

Reading between the lines

Amid the rumors and the rumblings there is little fact and a monstrous appetite for information. Case in point: Yesterday afternoon, four of the top five clicked stories on the TFP website had to do with the UT opening. In fact, we'll bet that the productivity at BlueCross BlueShield right now is hovering near 65 percent because of the folks trolling the interwebs looking for coaching nuggets.

Heck, we're just as guilty (except, not unlike telling the family during the holidays that "We have to watch sports for work," we can actually saying scouring the interweb for coaching news is part of the job).

That said, you need a roadmap for traveling the rocky rumor roads of coaching searches.

First, every added "connection" cuts the chance of possibility in any story by 50 percent. For example, if someone said, they have a friend in the athletic department that told them that Gruden can shoot fireballs from his eyes and bolts of lightning from his arm pits, then that's one connection and that story at best has only a 50 percent chance of possibly being true. If it's a friend of mine knows Gruden's hairdresser who said he has split ends and bad cowlicks, that's two connections, so that's 50 percent of 50 percent or a 25 percent chance of being possibily true. If someone says a guy they know plays golf with Dr. B (he's a doctor after all) who heard that from a pilot that overheard two UT boosters talking about a girl that showed the Gruden's property that Gruden likes to wear capes and play Pin the Tail on the Dooley, well, that would be (guy—>Dr. B (he's a doctor after all)—>Pilot—>UT boosters—>girl that showed property) five connections and give even the remote chance of 3.125 percent chance of being possible. So even if Gruden is a cape-wearing William Wallace with bad hair and a fondness for Pin the Tail on the Dooley (and we need to copyright that game ASAP; don't tell us you won't bring that to every White Elephant Christmas event you go to this year), the possibility of that depends on the number of connections.

Second, learn the playbook on the candidate coach speak. We love the non-denial, denial that has become standard operating procedure for coaches everywhere. And we respect them for it, too. Seriously. After the mitten-storm that consumed Nick Saban after he said time and time again that he was not leaving the Dolphins, we understand the need to address the question without addressing the question. Here are the top five non-denial, denials, and what they mean:

— “I have not spoken with anyone there.” Translation: That’s why I have an agent and why he gets 10 percent.

— “I’m very happy with the job I have.” Translation: And I’m about to be happier, because every time you guys ask me about another opening it adds an extra year and another 8 percent to my contract.

— “This is the job I want.” Translation: We explored that other opening, but we didn’t feel the love.

— “This is the best job in the country.” Translation: What do you want me to say? Of course I’d be interested in the other spot, but c’mon, you know and I know it’s a long shot, so just let me share some praise.

— “I’m only focused on this team and what we have to do this week.” Translation: After the season, I’m getting paid.

— “I guess I have to say it. I'm not going to be the Alabama coach.” Translation: Nick Saban is going to Alabama.

— “They'll have to carry me out of here in a pine box." Translation: Tommy Tuberville is going to Auburn.

—————

This and that

— Indiana dropped the hammer on UNC last night and served notice to anyone that follows the ball that bounces true: Doubt the Hoosiers at your own peril. This bunch can play. This bunch appears motivated. And most importantly, this bunch appears to know their roles and has embraced them. That's fun to watch.

— Sonny Dykes is apparently the top target at N.C. State, and we think that would be a solid hire for the Wolfpack. Sadly for Dykes, he picked the wrong year to have a breakout season considering the two biggest jobs that are open are at Tennessee and Auburn. And Dykes will not get a sniff at either because: Tennessee can't hire another La Tech guy after the debacle that was Dooley; Auburn can't hire Dykes because his record-setting offense is coordinated by Tony Franklin. Yes, that Tony Franklin who was fired six games into his first season as Tommy Tuberville's OC in the disaster that was 2008 at Auburn.

— The ACC bigwigs are going to vote on admitting Louisville today, and that has to be a slam dunk, right? Good move for the ACC, which needed it. Plus, it adds more basketball power to an already basketball powerhouse league.

————

Today's question

Feel free to dish on the coaching search process.

Who do you want?

Who do you not want?

What have you heard?

What have you heard that stretches the realm of believability?

As for our question to you, here we go:

This is mainly for Auburn and Tennessee fans, but feel free to chime in: Picture your dream coaching candidate. He's there ready to take the job. Then the Fairy Godcoach floats down (he has wings, a wand and looks a lot like Ashton Kutcher but he's pint-sized like Terry Bowden) and says, "OK, you get only one choice: Do you want Dream Coach X to come to your school or do you want Nick Saban to go to the NFL?"

What do you pick?

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
droolyvolfan said...

Hey 5'er, the perfect solution to the UT coaching debacle would be for Sir Nick go to the Cleveland Browns and then Big Jim Haslam to gift him to the Vols....win, win

November 28, 2012 at 10:22 a.m.
Salsa said...

One never knows what to believe these days. Denials mean nothing. Saban said he wasn't going to be the Alabama a coach and Meyer denied he was leaving ESPN to become the Ohio State coach.

November 28, 2012 at 10:27 a.m.
chas9 said...

Hoosiers are #1.

Kentucky Stoops to conquer. Arkansas will make a Strong hire, and The Vols will end up with a Smart pick. Maybe Smarty Jones.

Love your entertaining and informative ramblings on the circus. Great point about Dykes (not Jimmy). Bruce Feldman says "Dykes was an assistant at Kentucky, but the hunch here is he'll end up at a bigger program. Perhaps Purdue or maybe Cal, NC State or Arkansas." Are Purdue and NC State really bigger programs than KY?

November 28, 2012 at 10:29 a.m.
mcpell3 said...

easy answer, Saban to go to the NFL. Then it makes the Auburn job much more desirable. They can lower the salary from a kajillion dollars to $2.5M/yr, and increase 5 star commits.

November 28, 2012 at 10:40 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

As both a UT and UTC fan, I learned not to put too much into playing "guestimate" when regarding who gets the coach's seat. The reason being is this person may not be around in the long haul. I learned this lesson first hand many moons ago when Jeff Lebo was hired to replace Henry Dickerson and the constent, constent, CONSTENT denial of "I have no plans to go anywhere, I am happy at UTC and hope to stay on 20+ years"

Right after year two, he heads to Auburn sooo fast the ink on the contract hadn't even dried yet.

That kind of burn cut me deep. At least it appears Huesman is keeping his word and hopefully will have a career lasting as long as Scrappy Moore.

If I said it once, I'll say it 10 to the third power time as Doc Brown would say it, whoever UT hires is not going to have them competive by next year.

Regardless, I'm still going to watch them.

November 28, 2012 at 10:41 a.m.
dawg747 said...

Ten Cup: Great article today with lots and lots of information for entertainment purposes only. I heard a rumor that Jim Donnan wants to be the next NC State coach so he can pay off his debtors while sticking it to his Alma Mater. The only thing holding it up is he wats Loran Smith to be the Wolfpack sideline reporter so he will have someone he can talk to. Also heard that the only ESPN commentator not mentioned for any of the openings is Bob Davies because he wants to go back to Notre Dame. Davies has been quoted that he is not interested in ANY openings. I have two two timer ICONS that i never saw listed yesterday: Andy Griffith: The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock. James Garner: Maverick and Rockford Files.

November 28, 2012 at 10:48 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

I'll probably be dorment today as this is starting to really make my head hurt and almost want to scream "WHOOOO CARES!!". (I like UT but this has escalated to "rediculous") Hopefully Frierson will be able to provide the occasional "visitor" to Russ-land but I know that is still too early in the recruiting season D: (Already up to speed on the Rhea County pick and the one out of Alabama whose graduating in December).

November 28, 2012 at 10:59 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent — I'll go on and throw it out there- Petrino, Saban and Spurrier both coached in the NFL. Yes, all had already had success in college, but it still shows that you can be successful as a former NFL coach in college football. However, your basic point is well taken. There is no guarantee. Gruden is tops on my list, but he is far from a certainty. There are no guarantees when hiring a coach. Things go wrong even with the best of plans. Gruden is the best of plans. For a lot of people, it's either Gruden or it is a bad hire. I don't agree with that either. I like Gruden a lot, but he is not SOOOO much better than some of the other names on this list.

But to call Mora or O'Brien anything but a success is just not right. I guess there is a chance that these guys can't recruit and will turn out bad. But Mora turned UCLA from a 6-8 team that was the butt of jokes in college football (under Neuheisel, supposedly a top college coach that was going to get things going) into a legitimate division winner, that (as said on multiple sites over the last week) has now passed USC as the premier program in LA. In one season. Amazing. I actually think the Bruins will win the Pac 12 Championship Game this weekend. (The loss to Stanford last weekend was due to lack of motivation- what were the Bruins playing for? To get to go to Oregon and play the Ducks for the right to go to the Rose Bowl? Since they lost, they got to go to Stanford to play for the right to go to the Rose Bowl. Even if they were not un-motivated by that, why put all your chips on the table as a coaching staff last week knowing you were going to play the same opponent again this week if you lost. Stanford, on the other hand, had to come fully prepared, because they had to win to get into this game. So, I'm picking UCLA.) O'Brien took a team that some thought would struggle to get more than three wins (right over here, that was me) and won eight games. In my opinion, if you are looking for a Top 5 Coach of the Year candidates this year, Mora, O'Brien, Brian Kelly, Muschamp, and Shaw are the five that you turn to. (Could be talked out of at least Shaw if presented with another viable option.....just can't think of one who I think did better.)

So, in the end, I guess you're right that the jury is out on Mora and O'Brien, because they haven't done it consistently. But if that's the case, then the jury is still out on a lot of guys. Technically, the jury could still be out on Brian Kelly. This is his first really good year at Notre Dame. The jury could still be out on Shaw. After all, he's only been there two years.

November 28, 2012 at 11:23 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Concerning Gruden and all chop-licking Vols fans absolutely convinced it's a done deal...in the words of Henry Jones in The Last Crusade, "Indiana/Vols fans, let it go. Let it go!" If it happens, it happens with or without media hype and blogicious dithering. If not, "there is another"; to quote Yoda in one of the original Star Wars flicks about Jedi Knights. Maybe that is what Rocky Top needs is a Jedi Leader. Who do I want as UT's head coach? It seems as with the last election, there is more focus on who is not wanted than who is. Of the names batted around as "finalists" or really in play, I am not overly excited about any. Does that make be guilty of having GRUDENITIS? For me, we just let it play out. "Let it go Indiana." I have lights to hang outside this weekend, shopping to do, gifts to choose. Let the big boys make the call and then...we can approve or disapprove and get on with our lives.

November 28, 2012 at 11:24 a.m.
chas9 said...

James Garner is the best.

November 28, 2012 at 11:42 a.m.
BackupQB said...

Stretches the realms of believability: (1) It is UNBELIEVEABLE how bad Tennessee Football has been recently. 20 years ago, I said, "I will never, ever live to see TN win the National Championship" (that was 1992 after Johnny Majors returned and promptly lost 3 in October to ruin a great season). Now, after witnessing UT win a Title, I can't believe that 14 years later, the Vols are at an all-time low! (2) It is UNBELIEVEABLE that Tennessee (you know - the school that supposedly has the most resources) has financial problems. Those problems get worse with another bad hire. I can't believe they don't just round up all the big Boosters and write the biggest check ever - (who cares if it is irresponsible and we have a 10% unemployment rate, right?) - and go get Chucky! (3) It is UNBELIEVEABLE that the NFL is the only thing holding up this deal (according to Memphis tv's WREG) is the NFL saying that Gruden can't be part owner of the Browns while still being payed off by the Bucs! Come on man! The ownership component of this supposed deal is far-fetched.

As for me, I want Dream Coach X (ok, Gruden ... even though my brain says, 'forget about it') to come to Tennessee more than I want Saban to go to the NFL ... because in the immortal words of Ric Flair, "to be the man, you have to beat the man. Wooooooooohhhhhhhh!" Any competitor (yes, my heart talking while my head says 'forget about it') wants to get back to the point where you can compete with the best (Saban).

As for IU Hoops, they are very, very good! But ... how good is UNC? Did anyone see the beatdown that Butler put on them a week ago Tuesday in one of those island paradise tournaments?

June

November 28, 2012 at 11:56 a.m.
Todd962 said...

To any of you that are attempting to bring logic into these matters, while i appreciate your efforts, they are futile at best. The Vol Fanatics will not be listening cause we are too busy trying to get our head lamp to work again so we can continue to rummage through the trash outside the Gruden compound.

I was crushed when I heard Gruden said no on M&M this morning only to be re-exhilirated after I listened to it myself and surmised a construed excuse that it didnt shut any doors and he was still going to come. Why wouldnt he come? I heard he gets free Petro's for his tenure at the university in his contract. What right minded American male is going to pass that up?

But thats the beauty of sports and having a team. You experience their highs and lows like they are your own and chase any hope that there will be better days around the corner.

And if for some reason Gruden doesnt decide to come we will most definitely need some Jedi Magic.

Obi Wan: "This was not the coach you were looking for... (wave of hand)"

Vol Nation: "This was not the coach we were looking for... Moving along."

November 28, 2012 at 12:04 p.m.
TennFlyer said...

Southern Miss fired Ellllllllllllis (12 L's see what we did there)Johnson after one season. They had to pay him 2.8 million to never win a game - we heard he lost the spring game also. Somehow Dooley seems like a bargain -- not.

November 28, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.
BackupQB said...

Todd (and any other Petro's loving Vols fans),

Believe it or not - I was among the 60,000 to witness the TN win over KY on Saturday. About 5000 of us were 'so into the game' that we left the stands mid-2nd Quarter to 'beat the halftime rush' to get our Petro's chili and chips. Waited in line with the other 4999 fans for about 20 minutes ... got, 3 spots from the counter ... and they announced, "Sorry folks - we're out of Chili!!!!!!!!!!" It was an exclamation point on a bad experience at Neyland this Fall!

November 28, 2012 at 12:12 p.m.
orangeguy said...

Want: Mike Gundy. Dont want: Al Golden. Heard: Jimbo Fisher as early as Monday.

Gruden is a world class playa. UT makes insane offer, Chucky says no. UT staves off the crazies with "see, we tried." Gruden gets an NFL job making more than UT offered.

I want Saban gone. Long gone.

November 28, 2012 at 12:14 p.m.
BackupQB said...

5 @ 10,

Is this a classic 'denial non-denial'?

From espn.com:

"I'm just excited about 'Monday Night Football' and getting ready for the Giants and the Redskins," Gruden said. "I don't have time to get into all that stuff. I like what I'm doing, and I'm just trying to hang on to the job I have. Let's leave it at that."

November 28, 2012 at 12:25 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Drooly —

Saban is just like Dooley, well except he wins and recruits. And he's not a lawyer.

What was our point?

Salsa —

Meyer is a good call. We deny whether we forgot that or not.

9er —

Smarty Jones made a good decision holding out for a better gig.

As for Purdue and NC State, they only are bigger that UK in that they are closer to the middle of the pack in the conference standings.

Run JMC —

There's a lot of work to be done, no doubt.

And sorry you had your hopes up, there was no way Lebo was going to stay here longer than five years.

Dawg —

Andy definitely gets on the two-timer Rushmore.

And we heard there is a bidding war for Donnan between NC State and TD Waterhouse for some financial planning gigs.

Loran, whatcha' got?

Stuck —

We definitely think Mora and O'Brien had great first years. So did Weis at Notre Dame.

The biggest question about the NFL guys is can they recruit? We shall see.

Side note: If O'Brien can recruit considering all that has happened at PSU, then dude is the next Saban.

Livn(Large) —

We're with you on the Gruden overload. We had people texting and email and calling into the wee hours of the morning. We want this in the review.

November 28, 2012 at 1:26 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Backup QB June Jones —

Fair question about the worth of the Tarheels.

And we can see your desire to top Saban, but we're not sure it will happen before he leaves T-Town.

Mr. 962 —

In some ways it's the beauty and the tragedy of having a team. And we wish it was that simple for Johnny Vols Fans to move along. A simple wave of the hand will not wash away the agony a slew of JVFs will suffer if Prom King Gruden says thanks but no thanks.

We know a few who will need 24-hour care.

TennFlayer —

We did see what you did there, and we liked it. That said, the only bargain involved with Dooley is the rock-bottom price you can get some orange slacks for this holiday season.

OrangeGuy —

That's as believable Gruden theory as we've seen. And disappointing. And if it was only a chase to satisfy the fan's need to make him say know, the UT powers that be need to start floating other names so the fan base can start to move on beyond Gruden.

And yes, we do not think Al Golden is ready for this. And while we were once pretty high on Jimbo some fairly measured arguments against his time at FSU have caused us to change our tune. If you have FSU talent and are winning 10 games a year, that means you're a good recruiter and a mediocre at best coach.

— 5-at-10

November 28, 2012 at 1:35 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

I'm sorry 9er, but NCSU and Purdue are better jobs than Kentucky. They both have had better overall success than Kentucky in football. NCSU fired their coach after winning seven games this year. Kentucky talks about what a solid year they had with seven wins. Purdue fired their coach after winning six games. Kentucky fans grumble a bit, but basically accept a six win season. That is all the proof you need for where Kentucky is as a program compared to Purdue and NCSU. If Joker had won six games this year, he'd still be the coach for Kentucky.

November 28, 2012 at 1:53 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Backup Jones,

A combination of your Petro's experience, another consecutive lousy season, and an overserved patron with a twitch in his eye are the things that combine to get stadiums burned down. The Petro would have been the equivalent of a Swingline Stapler / last straw for me.

"No Chili? (with a blank stare) Okay... but I'm going to burn the building down. (as I slowly walk away)"

As a fan of the stadium in question, I appreciate your restraint.

November 28, 2012 at 2:12 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

O'Brien had been an assistant at Georgia Tech under the lovable and huggable George O'Leary (O'Liary! ... That's one for you, Big 5), so he's used to the recruiting game. Plus, his role with the Patriots as de facto offensive coordinator can't hurt with every high school kid who thinks he's going in the first four rounds of the draft.

And I think there are too many tempting NFL jobs about to open up for Gruden to want to dip his toes in the college water. The Eagles, the Chargers, even the Cowboys if they don't get Sean Payton. Whole bunch of Golden Dome fans wanted Gruden. Now, they're 60 minutes away from lifting the crystal trophy into Touchdown Jesus' hands. Think they regret not getting Gruden?

November 28, 2012 at 2:14 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Al Golden also has a pretty good situation at Miami. Yes, they opted for their own slap on the wrist in hopes of avoiding a NCAA spanking. But with Duke Johnson coming back, the Canes figure to be a top-ranked team next year and for the foreseeable future. They have a young defense and they're Miami, which means recruiting is easy. Well, maybe not as easy as it had been without Navin Shapiro. But it still ain't that hard. Plus, he's in a winnable conference. Beat Va Tech and maybe Ga Tech and then either Clemson or FSU in the title game and you're in a BCS bowl.

November 28, 2012 at 2:22 p.m.
chas9 said...

Stuckey--I see your points, but KY plays a much tougher schedule and is in THE SEC.

November 28, 2012 at 2:39 p.m.
chas9 said...

Louisville joins the ACC so Strong stays put.

November 28, 2012 at 3:17 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Mr. 962 —

Don't forget the TPS reports.

Spy —

There's still a few NDers we know still not sold on Kelly. So it goes. And winning a title is not as meaningful for stability as it once was. Ask Chizik.

9er —

That's quite possible. But being in the ACC — while better than being in the Big East — is not going to carry top billing when the four-team playoff arrives.

November 28, 2012 at 3:20 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

As far as NDers not sold on Kelly ... well ... guilty, I guess. Must be all that guilty conscience ingrained into me.

November 28, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.
jeffy01 said...

Ellis Johnson to UT?

November 28, 2012 at 11:48 p.m.
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