Anywhere Petrino winds up, there will be a backlash from a large segment of the fan base. But this will go away if wins follow. As I have said before on this site, a lot of fans would accept Lucifer himself as a HC if he would keep their team in contention for conference and National Championships. While that may be a slight exaggeration, I think it is only slight.
Ah, what a wacky day in the world of SEC coaching searches. Want a quick catch-me-up? Here ya go…
Louisville coach Charlie Strong interviewed for the Auburn job. Well, at least AL.com says that he talked to someone representing Auburn. And maybe they talked by phone.
Of course, Strong denied talking to Auburn at all. According to SI.com’s Pete Thamel: “He’s angry.” Strong claimed, “It’s not true. I didn’t interview with Auburn, I have a job.”
Meanwhile, Bobby Petrino — as we suggested would happen yesterday — is “emerging for the Auburn coaching vacancy,” according to a CBSSports.com source. If the Tigers pick Petrino because an NCAA investigation and other issues make their sales pitch to employed, non-desperate candidates tougher… then AU will have likely landed the best on-field coach available by default. (Many Tiger fans don’t see it that way.)
At Tennessee, ESPN’s Jon Gruden had to start his Wednesday by saying he’d not been offered a stake in the Cleveland Browns as part of a lure to land in Knoxville. By day’s end, he’d canceled an interview with UT athletic director Dave Hart. Whether the parties will reschedule is up for debate but we’d heard early on that the ex-NFL coach wasn’t thrilled with the idea of being part of a search and would have preferred to be coronated instead.
Ah, but if the Vols can’t get Gruden there’s always Miami’s Al Golden. Hurricane superfan Luther Campbell — the former 2 Live Crew rap star — tweeted yesterday “Golden to UT.” But Miami AD Blake James said last night, “I’m confident he’ll be with us next year.”
At Arkansas, the Hogs have already made one coach some extra cash this offseason — LSU’s Les Miles. Miles is getting a contract extension and pay raise in Baton Rouge just one day after reports claimed he’d been offered a huge sum by Arkansas. Miles said the huge sum part was bogus, but he did admit to talking with his old friend, Hogs AD Jeff Long. He said he even offered up some names for the Razorbacks.
LSU AD Joe Alleva said that it had “been my plan all along to give Coach a raise and an extension, and that’s what we’re doing.” Uh-huh. Funny that he gave him said bump following a 10-2 season (and immediately after the call from Long) rather than, say, after last year’s 13-1 SEC championship campaign. Well played, Les.
(On a sidenote, Miles met with the media and pushed Tiger defensive coordinator John Chavis for the Tennessee vacancy. Though Chavis is a UT alum, the Vols’ AD has said he wants someone with head coaching experience.)
Got all that?