Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.
Big news Saturday night was Miami taking the axe to head coach Randy Shannon after the ‘Canes loss to South Florida. And in such situations, doesn’t take long for the speculation machine to start humming.
Two names receiving a large amount of play: Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen and Louisville’s Charlie Strong.
Mullen is well-known to Miami fans for his tenure as offensive coordinator at Florida. All the Gators did was win a pair of national championships during Mullen’s stay. And the Florida offense has turned into a popgun since he departed for Starkville. Meanwhile, Mullen has State in a bowl game in just his second season.
Strong was the defensive coordinator on the Urban Meyer staff that included Mullen. Strong has been a head coach for just one season, but coaxed Louisville to a 6-6 record and bowl eligibility. After three dry years of Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville is on the uptick again.
Another name to consider is Louisville’s Charlie Strong. Strong has only coached the Cardinals for a season, but he took them from 4-8 to a bowl eligible 6-6, and they were competitive in every game except a 20-3 loss to Pittsburgh. That may not sound impressive, but Strong inherited a depleted roster. Plus, his name has instant credibility in the Sunshine State because of his work as Florida’s defensive coordinator. He also probably would bring defensive coordinator Vance Bedford — a well-connected recruiter in South Florida — and assistant Clint Hurtt, a Miami alum who served as the Hurricanes’ recruiting coordinator from 2007-09.
My guess is that Mullen is the more viable candidate of the two. He is offense-oriented, which Miami is said to prefer. Plus, he has been a head coach a year longer than Strong. Still, Strong is another Louisville coach, who if he continues his success, will be in high demand.