College Football Coaching Rumors: Kevin Sumlin or Chris Petersen to Auburn, Les Miles to Arkansas and More
In this "win now" era of college football immediate results are expected. Southern Mississippi's Ellis Johnson was ousted after one year and Colorado's Jon Embree after just two. Gene Chizik has been fired just two years after bringing a National Championship to Auburn.
I've mentioned before the case of Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer. Beamer struggled this season but prior to this year his Hokies posted eight straight double-digit win seasons. If Virginia Tech had a short leash with Beamer when he was hired, they would never have seen the success that they have under him. He started out 5-17 in his first two years, posted two winning seasons and then went 5-6 in his fifth year and 2-8-1 in his sixth season. If he would have started out as a coach today, he never would have made it this far.
I'm not here to defend Chizik, Embree or Johnson. There were pretty good cases against them but I do think that ADs should step back and make sure they are making the right decision before they pull the trigger. If a coach only has one or two recruiting classes under his belt then it's tough to turn a corner when the deck is stacked against you coming into the job (like in the case of Embree).
If you are a fan of the coaching carousel now is a fun time to be a college football fan. I know that sounds weird because nobody likes to see anybody lose their job but you can take solace that Gene Chizik will be getting paid for many years by Auburn. As it stands now there are openings at Arkansas, Auburn, Boston College, California, Colorado, Idaho, North Carolina State, Purdue, Southern Miss, Tennessee, UTEP, Western Michigan and soon to be FBS school Georgia State. That's three SEC schools, two ACC and two Pac-12 openings with the best jobs being Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee.
FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops has been hired by Kentucky to run their program. It's an interesting choice for Kentucky as their last coach, Joker Phillips, was an offensive guy. Phillips took over for Rich Brooks in 2010. Brooks had three bad seasons at Kentucky where he went 9-25 but over his last four he went 30-22 and took the Wildcats to four straight bowls. Phillips was 13-24 in his first three years, a better record than Brooks, but because the team had declined in wins every year they decided to go a different direction. It is interesting that Kentucky chose to go with a defensive guy again as Brooks was a defensive guy and he had success. Stoops looks like a solid hire but Kentucky has the deck stacked against them and haven't always been committed to having a big-time football program.
The big "rumors" right now are surrounding the SEC schools. The big one swirling on Twitter is that Arkansas is making a run for Les Miles. Auburn also seems to also be setting their sites high with names like Kevin Sumlin and Chris Petersen on their list. And of course Tennessee has been dreaming of Jon Gruden. The beginning of the coach search is the fun time where names are linked with teams that will never take the job. All of these teams will be linked to some high profile candidates over the next week before moving on to more serious candidates and it will be very interesting to see what names pop up. Buckle up, so you don't get thrown off the coaching carousel.
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