The Sports Broadcast

A blog about sports broadcasting from the great state of Florida. They report. I decide.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

He's Listening

Well, Steve Spurrier is interested in talks with the University of Florida about returning to the head coach position. While I have mixed feelings about him returning (and am leaning towards not wanting him back, but that's another story for another time), the job apparently is officially his for the taking, as if it ever wasn't. While Bob Stoops has issued a statement saying he's not leaving Oklahoma for Florida (insert anticlimax here), Spurrier reportedly would be interested in having Oklahoma defensive coordinator Bo Pellini on the staff to deal with that other side of the ball that you have to manage while not playing pitch and catch. He probably would be an excellent replacement for when Spurrier would retire the next time provided he could find a good offensive coach for a coordinator. He's not a viable candidate now though as he has had no head coaching experience other than as interim in Nebraska's bowl game last year after Frank Solich was fired.

Speaking of replacements,
it seems everyone is making a Zook replacement list these days. It's a compliment to the university how many good names are being thrown around in addition to Stevie. Aside from Spurrier, here is a quick list of my thoughts on the coaches I've seen in the various lists as a way to compile them into one big list and not waste more space in future posts on the subject (alphabetically within category):

Almost 0% Chance
-Norm Chow (offensive coordinator, USC) - He's a coordinator with no head coaching experience. Though a comparison to Zook is madness, that describes the outgoing coach's resume too. Foley likely isn't interested in another rookie head coach. He's definitely qualified, though.
-Ralph Friedgen (head coach, Maryland) - He's probably a bit old for what the Gators are looking for and has never been able to win a big game. Even in his ACC championship year, the Terps were torched by FSU and annihilated by UF in Spurrier's last game.
-Jon Gruden (head coach, Tampa Bay Bucs) - He can get better money in the NFL, and if he's unhappy in Tampa, he can get almost any other NFL job he wants. Why would a man who has a Super Bowl ring want to sit in some hot shot high schooler's living room and beg him to come play for him?
-Dan Hawkins (head coach, Boise State) - He has said that he likes Boise, and that if he wasn't coaching football, he'd be with his wife in Africa with the Peace Corps. That doesn't sound like the profile of a coach who is itching for a top coaching job.
-Mike Leach (head coach, Texas Tech) - Wasn't the defense, not offense, the problem against MSU? While the offense would surely deliver some fireworks, Leach-coached team are not known for defense.

-Tim Murphy (head coach, Harvard) - Jeremy Foley would never get away with hiring the head coach of Harvard at this point, even if he was a finalist 3 years ago.
-Rick Neuheisel (unemployed) - That's like asking for scandal.
-Doug Williams (executive, Tampa Bay Bucs) - His presence on the list would please UF President Bernie Machen, and he has all of the right qualifications except for one. He has never been a head coach in Division I-A, and that's probably one of the first requirements that candidates must pass.

50/50 Chances

-Butch Davis (head coach, Cleveland Browns) - He has to get fired from Cleveland first, and Jeff Garcia might just play well enough to save Davis' job. He also might not want to leave the NFL either.
-Kirk Ferentz (head coach, Iowa) - He's a great coach, no doubt. He also creamed the Gators in last year's Outback Bowl and loves his Hawkeyes. I think it's now some kind of rule that he must be mentioned for every major coaching opening, college or pro.
-Mike Price (head coach, UTEP) - He took an absolutely horrid UTEP team and got it off to a 5-2 start immediately. The man is an incredible coach who belongs at a much higher-profile school than UTEP. However, he still has some baggage over the scandal at Alabama, and that did happen in the SEC. If not for the Bama incident he'd be a sure bet, but if not for the scandal, he'd be coaching Alabama now.
-Rich Rodriguez (head coach, West Virginia) - He is one of the biggest reasons as to WVU's rise to prominence and is an excellent coach. However, he seems to like West Virginia a lot and has a better chance at going to a BCS bowl every year in the Big East than he would at Florida in the much tougher SEC.

-Jeff Tedford (head coach, Cal) - Though he's been compared to Spurrier, he's not a lock to come if offered the job. He likes the West Coast, is already becoming a living legend at Cal, and has the recruiting playground of California to work with. Still he does have some issues with Cal and their stadium plans, and UF probably could give him more money.

If Offered the Job, They'd Take It
-Urban Meyer (head coach, Utah) - Last year at Utah he went 10-2 and this year the Utes are #6 in the BCS. He finishes games and isn't afraid to run up the score to make sure no 4th quarter collapses happen. He has ties to Machen. He gets his shot at a national title. He gets Chris Leak to coach for a year if not two. I don't see any difficulties here.
-Les Miles (head coach, Oklahoma State) - He can win games he's not supposed to as he has won two of his past four meetings with Stoops' Oklahoma team. He's an excellent recruiter. He'll never escape the shadows of Oklahoma and Texas at OSU. His teams are capable of hanging half a hundred on opponents when they're on. It's another great fit.
-Bob Petrino (head coach, Louisville) - He almost beat Miami with Louisville (read that again). He got the best high school quarterback in the nation to go to Louisville last year (read that again). Last year's scandal with Auburn proves he's willing to move up to a big time school. The Auburn affair looked bad (especially since Auburn is another SEC school) but it's nowhere near the degree of the Mike Price scandal. He'd leave for Florida in a heartbeat, and might actually be waiting by his phone for a call from Jeremy Foley every waking moment not spent at practice.


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