What’s the maximum occupancy of this carousel? I don’t think you’re supposed to have three people on one horse. Feels unsafe. And is it supposed to go this fast? I feel like the dog (looks like a Bluetick Coonhound if you’re curious) could fly off at any moment if we don’t slow this ride down. Luckily it doesn’t seem like the dog is a popular pick. People like the classics – camels and giraffes and unicorns. But you keep packing as many people as you can on this thing and eventually someone’s going to have to choose the dog. And I’m now officially worried for that person.
Welcome to your Coaching Carousel update:
TENNESSEE: After the Schiano Fiasco, Vols AD John Currie turned to what should’ve been a safe option. David Cutcliffe, one-time coordinator at Tennessee, said I’m good at Duke, thanks. So then Tennessee turned to Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, which makes zero sense. How do you have your first choice nixed by the fan base, strike out the second time at the plate despite being up 3-1 in the count and then end up reportedly in meetings with an option that’s so far superior to either of the first two that to land him would actually only underscore how poorly you did in agreeing in principle to a deal with the first guy? I was actually anxious to see that play out, but Gundy is staying in Stillwater. The Vols are reportedly also considering Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm and Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.
ARIZONA STATE: Sun Devils AD Ray Anderson laid out a bizarre set of conditions, expectations and beliefs for his next football coach after he fired Todd Graham. Apparently former Jets and Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards is the sort of man who can accept those conditions because he’ll interview for the job this weekend. It makes its own type of sense, I guess. Anderson wants a coach who will consider keeping both coordinators, so who better to do that than a guy who hasn’t coached any football since 2008 and last coached college football in 1989. Frankly, he could use the staffing help.
MISSISSIPPI STATE: The Bulldogs made a brilliant move and (reportedly) hired Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead. (You see how easy this is Tennessee?) If you’re not totally familiar with Moorhead he’s sort of a quirky offensive genius who made his name in FCS football (Fordham), revived a Power 5 offense (Penn State) and parlayed that into a chance to run a power program (Mississippi State). And if you’re saying to yourself, “Well that sounds a lot like the early trajectory of the coveted candidate UCLA hired,” you’re right. Starkville comes with challenges, so Mississippi State has to be a little contrarian, a little outside-the-box. Moorhead will give them that. I’m still trying to come up with my rankings of the hires made so far, but this isn’t any lower than No. 2. Might be No. 1.
ARKANSAS: The Razorbacks have fired one search firm to find an AD and a different firm to help find a head coach. Reports are that Arkansas is still hopeful it can lure Gus Malzahn from Auburn, but Memphis’ Mike Norvell is just over the river and a solid second option.
TEXAS A&M: All signs point to Jimbo Fisher jumping ship and joining the Aggies. Texas A&M is reportedly ready to throw a ton of money at him, but Fisher has taken deals right to the brink of done before and then backed out. Unless the Fisher-Florida State relationship is totaled at this point.
And while all this craziness is going on for the top available jobs, things are oh so quiet at Nebraska. No real reports of meetings or multiple candidates or interviews. Strange, isn’t it?
The Grab Bag
- Worthwhile read on the whole Greg Schiano fallout from Josh Levin of Slate.
- We are on the brink of an Alabama-less playoff. (Well, not including the sovereign state of Auburn, of course.)
- Love the inspiration, don't love the helmet logos: Navy is wearing uniforms inspired by the Blue Angels.
- ICYMI: Lauren Cook on preparing to play tournament volleyball, eight Huskers earn All-Big Ten volleyball awards and a look at the surprise teams we could've seen coming in 2017.
Today's Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.