WHO DOES FLORIDA HIRE TO REPLACE WILL MUSCHAMP FOR ITS PLUM JOB?
That’s the big off-the-field question in college football.
The Gators’ head coaching gig is one of the best in all of football, including the NFL. And Athletic Director Jeremy Foley surely has learned his lesson – no more coordinators for this job after Ron Zook and Will Muschamp have failed. He will hire someone who already is a successful head coach, and probably one whose offense is prolific.
The list: Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze, Las Vegas actually set a mock line (no betting) on this and has Freeze the favorite at 5-1 and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly next at 6-1. Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops is 7-1 and UCLA’s Jim Mora Jr. is 9-1. Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy is 10-1.
Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, an offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer at Florida, doesn’t seem to be a candidate. Some insiders say Foley found him abrasive and combative at times. And none of the others seem plausible, outside of Freeze. If Foley found Mullen abrasive, what would he think of Kelly, who spends much of game days with a red face and bulging neck veins from shouting at his quarterback? Stoops already has turned down UF overtures in 2002 and ’05. Mora didn’t leave UCLA for Texas when he had the chance a year ago, so I couldn’t see him leaving for Florida.
If I was in Foley’s position, I would make overtures to Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen. The guy can flat-out coach both sides of the ball. And he would compete for national titles at Florida.
Now that Muschamp has joined Kansas’ Charlie Weis and graduated from ….
THE LATEST HOT SEAT
1. Brady Hoke, Michigan – Must beat Maryland to have any hope to save his job, but he may be gone no matter what.
2. Tim Beckman, Illinois – Upset Minnesota two weeks ago for a glimmer of hope, then regressed again. Probably needs to win last two games to save job.
3. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State – Loss at lowly Kansas probably sealed his fate.
4. Mike London, Virginia – Great recruiter, but not much of a head coach.
5. Bo Pelini, Nebraska – Sure he’s won eight games, but if he loses to Minnesota at home Saturday and at Iowa to finish with three consecutive losses, I could see Nebraska pulling the plug on hot-tempered Bo.
BUCKEYES NEED VIRGINIA TECH, WISCONSIN TO WIN OUT
Ohio State received good news with Tuesday’s latest release of the playoff rankings, jumping from No. 8 to 6 to leap-frog idle Baylor.
If that stands, and the Buckeyes win their remaining three games (Indiana, Michigan and the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis), they probably would need two teams ranked above them to lose to make the four-team playoff field.
No. 1 Alabama has Auburn (at home) in the Iron Bowl and the SEC title game remaining; No. 2 Oregon has rival Oregon State and the Pac-12 title game (likely against Arizona State) remaining; No. 3 Florida State has Boston College, Florida (both at home) and the ACC title game (against Duke or Georgia Tech) remaining; No 4 Mississippi State has Ole Miss (on the road) in the Egg Bowl remaining; No. 5 TCU has Texas on the road on Thanksgiving night remaining (in a game that is looking tougher and tougher by the week).
If any or one of them fall, the Buckeyes could also receive some periphery help…
Now that Nebraska has fallen in a lopsided game at Wisconsin, the Buckeyes’ hopes of making the inaugural playoff would be improved by having the Badgers win at Iowa and then win against Minnesota at home to become the Big Ten West champ with a 10-2 record. Of course, it is a double-edged sword because Wisconsin has running back Melvin Gordon and also has a much better chance of upsetting Ohio State than Nebraska had.
So basically, if one or more of those teams above Ohio State loses, and the Buckeyes don’t need any side help, it would be better if the Badgers lost on the way to the Big Ten game simply because they are the bigger threat to upset Ohio State.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt the Buckeyes if Virginia Tech continued winning. The Hokies upset one-loss Duke 17-16 Saturday to even their record at 5-5. If they were to beat Wake Forest handily and then defeat rival Virginia to finish 7-5, that Sept. 6 loss to the Hokies appears somewhat less of a black eye.
Make any sense?
GAME OF THE WEEK: Pick postponed -- No marquee games this week. Seriously, check out the schedule. Worst week of the year.
UPSET OF THE WEEK: Maryland (+5) over Michigan – The Wolverines need it to become bowl-eligible, but will miss DE Frank Clark (kicked off the team for domestic battery).
BLOWOUT OF THE WEEK: Clemson 63, Georgia State 0 – The Tigers play a bad 1-9 team, for some reason.
BEST BETS: Boston College (+19.5) at Florida State; and Minnesota (+11) at Nebraska.
Ohio State 63, Indiana 17 – The Buckeyes will roll over defense-less Hoosiers.
Louisville 30, Notre Dame 23 – The Irish are slumping.
Purdue 31, Northwestern 30 – Beat Notre Dame, then lose to Boilers….
UCLA 33, USC 30 – What happened to playing this game on Rivalry Saturday?
West Virginia 39, Kansas State 24 (Thursday night) – Turns out the Wildcats weren’t as good as everyone thought.
Michigan State 40, Rutgers 17 – The Scarlet Knights have learned about the Big Ten, losing to Penn State and blowout losses to Ohio State and Wisconsin. Now comes a still-angry bunch of Green.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:50)