Friday, November 11, 2016

Bilo's College Football: As the Carousel Turns

The Coaching Carousel season starts earlier and earlier every year, and this season is no exception. There are five current jobs open on the FBS level alone, and it is time to update everyone on where those job searches are, and where they may be headed according to multiple sources, some of which include my own personal sources. Here is the first ride of the year on the Carousel...

Fresno State
Tim DeRuyter was very unlikely to make it out of this season, and so it was no surprise in October that he was dismissed after a 1-7 start.
There really was no comprehensive search. Jim Bartko focused in on Jeff Tedford, formerly of California and the BC Lions. Tedford is the only target that ever was approached, and Fresno State moved swiftly, making the hire this week.
The issue with Tedford to watch is academics in the end. Cal forced Tedford out on the merits of wins and losses in the end, but the real bullet to get him out was that Cal slipped below the minimal APR scores in the football program under his watch, and that was unacceptable.
If Tedford can focus on the whole package, on and off the field, there is no reason to think that he cannot succeed, and he had better, as at $1.6 million per year, the highest salary in the Mountain West, he will have no margin for error.

It is unlikely that Jim Grobe was ever hired with more than a year in mind. Baylor would love to ake a huge splash with someone like Tom Herman, but that is not very likely. Baylor got some good, rather undeserved news this week when the Wall Street Journal reported that the NCAA was unlikely to make any moves against the school in regards to their off field issues regarding sexual assault (as they did with Penn State).
The stain on the program after all of the issues that have occurred in Waco will likely keep Baylor on the back burner when it comes to who they can hire. There has been virtually zero buzz as to who will be after this job. That's not good news for this program, but stay tuned, because Baylor will likely open the check book to draw someone decent out.

Ron Turner failed big time at FIU, and it may be the last coaching gig he gets. Turner was fired after an 0-4 start, and Ron Cooper has taken over. After a 3 game winning streak to start the Cooper era, the Panthers have now lost 3 straight games to fall to 3-7. Cooper will not be the guy.
The major story brewing right now is that FIU and Pete Garcia have zeroed in their search on former Miami and Cleveland Browns coach Butch Davis.
There have been some discussions, but late this week, something hit a snag, and it is more than likely money. Davis is still very much involved here, but stand by on that one, because it is not a done deal just yet.

Despite the loss last week to Alabama, Ed Orgeron is still very much the leading candidate at LSU for the permanent job. It would seem that maybe his 3rd interim job is the charm. The Tigers are not talking with anyone else at this time, and that leads me to believe that they are putting all of their focus on Orgeron...for now. If LSU falls to Arkansas this week, things may change quickly.

Purdue is ready to spend big on a football coach this time around, and PJ Fleck will likely be their first target. Purdue could also target Ohio State coordinators Ed Warriner and Greg Schiano, and also could target Western Kentucky head coach Jeff Brohm as well. Troy Calhoun seemed to be a solid candidate earlier on, but that seems very unlikely now. One other name that has come to me is Troy Coach Neal Brown, who would have been a candidate at Kentucky if Mark Stoops had been fired, but it would seem that Stoops is safe for now. Brown would amp up the offense in a big way, as would Brohm. Lane Kiffin has also been mentioned, as had Les Miles. Miles could be a candidate here if better options do not materialize. Many of the jobs that were thought to be opening up six weeks ago, are not opening now, which limit his options, and Miles does not want to sit out.

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