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Franklin, Pinkel, Nussmeier… SEC Coaches Keep Getting Tied To Open Washington Job

washington-logoFor the moment, Doug Nussmeier remains Alabama’s offensive coordinator.  But multiple reports are suggesting that Nussmeier is a front-runner for the Washington coaching job, along with Boise State darling Chris Petersen.  If those are the Huskies’ top two candidates, Bama fans can probably say goodbye to Nussmeier.  Petersen flirts but never accepts any school’s offer.  And Nussmeier has reportedly expressed interest in the job.

Nussmeier served as Steve Sarkisian’s offensive coordinator from 2009 through 2011 when Nick Saban came calling.  He replaced Jim McElwain who left Bama to become the head coach at Colorado State.  Nussmeier currently makes $680,000 in Tuscaloosa.

But Alabama’s OC is not the only SEC coach who’s had his name attached to the Washington gig.  Missouri’s Gary Pinkel was mentioned as a potential candidate on Monday.  When asked if he would be interested in the job once held by Don James — Pinkel’s coaching mentor — the feisty coach simply shut things down with a “press conference is over” and left the podium.

Today, however, he told ESPN radio that he would remain at Mizzou.  (Funny to think that Pinkel entered the season on the hot seat with many Tiger fans “tired” of him.)

James Franklin’s name briefly bubbled to the surface but that story has failed to gain traction to date.  Southern Cal didn’t make a run at Franklin though most expected them to.  If Washington doesn’t come knocking on his door, either, it might show that the Vanderbilt rape case is making potential suitors leery of the man who turned Vandy football around.  Attorneys defending one of the accused ex-Commodore players recently requested copies of all the text messages sent between the players and coaches during the period of the cover-up.

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SEC Coaching Carousel Update – 11/27/12 (Denials Abound)

When you talk about the ongoing searches at Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee a number of the same names keep popping up.  Yesterday, the men behind some of those names tried to prevent further popping.

Examples:

 

*  San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre said “there no truth to that” when asked about rumors that he’s already been offered the Kentucky job.  He also said he hasn’t even been contacted by any other schools.  “Nope, not as of right now.”

*  Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops shot down talk that he’d consider leaving Norman for Tennessee.  “Me?  Oh, I didn’t know that.  I like the job I have.  No, I love the job I have and people I work for so I’ll try and keep it another year.”

*  Florida State top dog Jimbo Fisher attempted to nix rumors tying him to Auburn.  “I’m very happy right here.  I’m content to be here, this is where I want to be.  We’re building something special.  We’ve got great players.  We’ve got great players to come and be here.  It’s a great place to live, my family is set up in this community, and I plan on being here a long time.”  He also, however, admitted that “it’s inevitable” that coaches move and that he has no idea who his agent — Jimmy Sexton — has been talking to… before repeating: “But I’m very happy.  I’m very content.  I want to be here.”  Fisher has also been tied to the Tennessee job.

*  While he was at it, Fisher took the time to deny a CBS report from the weekend that claimed Seminole defensive coordinator Mark Stoops had already interviewed for the Kentucky job.

*  Boise State head coach Chris Petersen — the college version of Jon Gruden — has once again been tied to every current job opening and every possible job opening in the country this week.  But he says all of it is just a bunch of rumors.  “It is not even kind of (a distraction) because it’s just rumors.  That’s all I really want to say about this, and I say it every year.  It’s just rumors… I don’t even think half the time its reporters.  Everybody’s a reporter these days.  Everybody’s got an opinion on a blog or something like that.”  Petersen has most recently been connected to the job at Arkansas.

*  NC State AD Debbie Yow said yesterday that Vanderbilt’s James Franklin is not a candidate for the Wolfpack job, despite the fact that the two had texted recently and that she once named him coach-in-waiting at Maryland.

*  Alabama’s Nick Saban said yesterday that no one has called him to ask for permission to chat with defensive coordinator Kirby Smart yet.  “But if they do, I always talk to the person and let them know that somebody’s expressed interest.”

 

Finally, Missouri AD Mike Alden put the kibosh on internet rumors that Gary Pinkel would step down today.  Asked if Pinkel would be back in 2013, Alden said yesterday: “Of course.  Absolutely… I have a lot of confidence in Coach Pinkel.  I don’t have any question about that.”

Pinkel — whose meeting with the media this morning — said last evening that he’s raring to turn things around at Mizzou.  “I’m high-energy.  Let’s get back to work and get this thing going.”

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Report: Hogs Reach Out To Dores’ Franklin

You can add another name to the list of Arkansas candidates.  We reported in late-October that our sources had indicated that Gary Patterson topped AD Jeff Long’s wish list.  Then came reports that Jon Gruden was Arkansas’ man.

But as both of those coaches have — reportedly — failed to reach an agreement with the Razorbacks, the name of Vanderbilt coach James Franklin is now making the rounds.  Yesterday, ESPN.com’s Chris Low claimed on Bo Mattingly’s syndicated Arkansas radio show that the Hogs had reached out to Franklin.  According to ArkansasNews.com, it’s “not known if the coach is listening to the Razorbacks.”

Long has suggested that he wants to have Arkansas’ search wrapped up by mid-December, but UA fans are starting to grow impatient.  The Hog’s AD chose John L. Smith to be an interim coach in 2012 in order to give himself more time to research potential full-time hires.  While things are seldom as they seem when it comes to coaching searches — note the various rumors/reports regarding Gruden at both Arkansas and Tennessee — perception still matters.

Fans want searches to go quickly and they want big-name results.  If there’s any suggestion that a school is struggling to land it’s first or second choice, panic ensues.  And we begin to get emails from angry fans of that school asking what the heck is taking so long.  Well this week we’re starting to get those types of emails from Razorback fans.

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UGA’s Boykin Tweets A Dare To Boise State’s Coach

Brandon Boykin is within one touchdown of breaking the SEC’s all-time mark for kickoff return TDs by a single player in a career.  Boykin and his Georgia teammates have a game with Boise State on Saturday night in Atlanta.  And Boykin also has a Twitter account.

Guess where this is going.


“Dear Coach petersen, I DARE you to Kick to me…. Sincerely, Me and my #dawgs.”

That’s what Boykin tweeted over the weekend to Broncos coach Chris Petersen.

According to The Athens Banner-Herald, Boykin said he told Mark Richt about his tweet after the fact.  “He was like, ‘OK, well now you’ve got to back it up.’”

Petersen laughed off the tweet when asked about it by the Boise media.  “The kick returner… wants a piece of me and I don’t even play.  Don’t direct that at me.  I don’t kick the ball.  He’s talking to the wrong guy.  I’m shanking it out of bounds.”

Boykin says he meant no disrespect.  But why give the other team any added motivation at all?  What’s the point?  How does that serve the Georgia football team well?

Fellow fuddy-duddy Mark Bradley of The AJC has a view similar to our own:

“If you’re the underdog in Saturday’s game and you’re coming off a 6-7 season, wouldn’t the better Bulldog course be to creep in — sorry to play fast and loose with my animals — on little cat feet?  I doubt Boise is going to be terrified at the though of facing the Tweetster, and if you have to rely on a gimmick for your swagger is it really swagger at all?”

Seeing Bradley blog post, Boyking tweeted a kind response to the sportswriter:

“‘Preciate that, Mr. Bradley.  Enjoyed reading it.”

If Boykin runs back kick for a touchdown he’ll be a hero to thousands of woofing Dawg fans.  But if he should fumble or in some other way bungle a return, whooo boy, his tweet will come back to bite him.

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