I’m Archie Manning, FedEx Vice President Mike Glenn, and an as-yet-to be named committee of Ole Miss Yes Men. I haven’t met yet, but I’ve already put together this list of coaches I’m going after. I’ve also put together a list of coaches that have no chance of moving to Oxford.
Here are the coaches that WILL NOT be on the “short list” to take over the Ole Miss Rebels at the end of the season.
Mike Leach. Sure, he’s interested. He did something with almost nothing in the middle of nowhere (nee, Lubbock) Texas. He’s coached and recruited in the SEC and his wide open offense was exciting to watch. But Coach Arrgghh is involved in a bitter contract dispute with his former employer and is also suing ESPN for defamation of character. ESPN pours billions in the the SEC and what conservative, business-oriented members of a search committee want to interview a guy who sues his former employers?
Rich Rodriguez. Another offensive guru with a history of litigation with former employers. There’s a reason why this guy hasn’t been seriously considered as a legitimate candidate for other profiled coaching jobs since being dismissed from Michigan. But the real knock on RichRod is that in his last football game, Mississippi State shellacked him 52-14. Wouldn’t you rather have somebody who’s at least beaten your in-state rival?
Gus Malzahn. Here’s a candidate that the search committee is drooling over. But alas, we recognize that there are other, much better opportunities for a hot name assistant coach than Ole Miss. Name one? Ok. North Carolina. More populous state. More fertile recruiting territory. Less brutal competition than the SEC West. Deeper pockets and less pressure.
Kirby Smart. See the entry for Gus Malzahn. If Malzahn inexplicably turns down the North Carolina opportunity, Smart is the next best option on the table and, being that he’s at least as smart as Malzie, he sees a better opportunity at Carolina, too.
Urban Meyer. I’m a very deliberate, very intelligent search committee. I’m going to make this process last a little bit longer than the last one did, and I’m going to be reasonably sure I’m getting the best guy I can afford. Which means I’m not wasting the going after a $3.0 to $5.0 million man after paying millions to buy out Houston Nutt.
Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy or Jon Gruden. Name one successful NFL head coach who transitioned down to the college ranks and succeeded in recruiting and managing a college program. Name one who was financially set for life, repeatedly said he was happy doing what he was doing, and made the move anyway.
Names missing from this cut sheet are Houston’s Kevin Summerlin, Texas DC Manny Diaz, Southern Miss’ Larry Fedora and former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden.