Monday, November 28, 2011

As the Coaching Carousel Turns 2011-Volume 2

Today was Dooms Day for many coaches across the landscape. Many of these fired coaches were featured in our Swimming in the Dead Pool articles at throughout the year, so we're still batting at a very high average of predicting who will be out at year's end. That being said, let's take a look at the latest developments.

Paul Wulff was finally cut lose at Washington State today after a seriously disasterous tenure with the Cougars. It is firmly believed that the Cougars are in the market to send some serious cash on their next candidate, as they are also spending big money on fixing up their facilities. They appear to be interested in Mike Leach as of now, but if they went the same route as when they hired Wulff, Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin, Montana coach Robin Pflugrad, and Montana State coach Rob Ashe could all be attractive candidates. Wyoming coach Dave Christensen could also be a target.

Rick Neuheisel will be done at UCLA after the Bruins finish up the season in the Pac-12 title game, in which they'll be huge underdogs to Oregon. It is widely believed that Neuheisel has already been notified, but a final meeting is scheduled to happen in Eugene on Friday night immediately after the game. Early known candidates are Mike Leach and Cincinnati coach Butch Jones. Others that should be considered (my list, not theirs) would be Willie Taggert of Western Kentucky, Jim Svaboda of Central Missouri, Pflugrad of Montana, and Ashe of Montana State.

Larry Porter has taken an early exit after just two seasons at Memphis. Porter's departure comes on the heels of rumors that he had absolutely not a clue as to how to run not just a football team, but an organization at large, and he was in over his head from day one. Memphis appears ready to make amends for the debacle that was Porter by really looking deeply into the candidates. Those considered are Arkansas State coach Hugh Freeze, and UL-Lafayette head man Mark Hudspeth, both who are finishing up their first seasons at their respective schools.

Neil Callaway, a Dead Pool candidate from day one this season, has resigned at UAB. The replacement hire is going to be the most important hire made by the Blazers, as they are literally trying to save this program from the chopping block. No candidates have been mentioned as of yet.

After a collapse to trump all others, Illinois lost 6 straight after starting the season 6-0. Today, Ron Zook is unemployed once again. The Illini coach finished with a 31-54 record during his tenure with the Illini, and was on his way out last season before getting the team to a bowl game. Illinois will bowl again this season, but the 6 game collapse was inexcusable. Again, no candidates have been mentioned as front runners.

It only took Kansas two seasons to see all that they needed to see out of Turner Gill, and the Jayhawks spent $6 million to take him out of the job on a buyout. Gill's two season were an absolute disaster at KU, which validated my point when they hired him that he was not proven enough in the first place.

After a collapse nearing the intensity of Illinois, Dennis Erickson resigned at Arizona State under pressure. Erickson was largely thought to being on his way to taking the Sun Devils to the Pac-12 title game after ASU pounded USC earlier this season, but then came a disasterous one point loss to UCLA, and the wheels came off of the wagon after that. June Jones of SMU and Kevin Sumlin of Houston are names that have emerged as likely ASU targets.

Ohio State and Urban Meyer have finally come to an official agreement to have Meyer coaching the Buckeyes in 2012, which was one of the worst kept secrets in America. Meyer will get a 7 year deal worth $40 million overall. Luke Fickell, who served as the interim coach, has been offered a spot to stay on with the new staff, but may be receiving other offers.

I will be making many calls this afternoon to lock down some facts from all of the open FBS, FCS, and D2 jobs and will report my findings back here this evening. Stay tuned, As the Carousel Turns!!!

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