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Clemson Prez Shoots Down SEC Talk

Well that didn’t take long. 

Clemson president James Barker told The Charleston Post & Courier today that there’s nothing to the rumor posted by The Boston Globe yesterday which stated that CU might be a fallback choice for the SEC should Missouri not join:

“We have not had any contact at all from the SEC whether it be through first, second or third parties.  We are part of the ACC and that is how we are planning our future.”

Barker also indicated that the additions of Pittsburgh and Syracuse have stabilized the ACC and have been “a positive thing for our conference.”

As we wrote earlier today, Clemson doesn’t make a whole lot of sense from a business perspective.  And since conference expansion is 99.9% about business, we’ve never seen the Tigers as much of a possibility for the SEC.

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SEC Coaching News And Nuggets

Just a few headlines for you concerning Vanderbilt’s coaching search as well as all the other searches that involve SEC coaches:

Dan Mullen

1.  Dan Mullen and Mississippi State officials have gone silent.  No texts, no phone calls.  (No lights, no motor cars.  Not a single luxury.)  State officials would not comment when asked by The Jackson Clarion-Ledger if Miami had asked for permission to talk to Mullen.

2.  Jorge Milian of The Palm Beach Post notes that Miami AD Kirby Hocutt has gone quiet, too.  He wonders if they could be “pow-wowing.”  He also says “a university source” told him last night not to expect a coaching hire in Coral Gables until next week… though that could change.

3. (a Rivals site) says Tommy Tuberville, Randy Edsall, Kevin Sumlin, Al Golden, Marc Trestman, Kyle Whittingham, Jim Harbaugh, Chris Peterson and Gary Patterson are also being vetted by Miami’s search committee. 

4.  The Miami Herald reports that “a UM person familiar with the search” said earlier this week that if Mullen “hadn’t been contacted already, he would be eventually.”


5. (the Rivals site for Temple) reported yesterday that Al Golden is not a candidate for coaching positions at Vanderbilt, Minnesota or Indiana, according to a source.  ( — a site that seems to siphon off info like this without providing links or credit to the original authors — has “confirmed” that Golden is not a candidate.)

6.  Tom Dienhart of reports that Stanford offensive coordinator Greg Roman will interview with Vanderbilt officials today.

7.  The Tennessean reported yesterday that Roman “shuns report of Friday interview,” but that story has since been removed.  It is not on the site as of 9:45am ET.

8.  The Sporting News reported yesterday that Vandy has interest in former Miami coach Randy Shannon.

9.  Meanwhile, this writer for “Nashville Scene” magazine explains how a new coach could “transform Vanderbilt into a scrappier, more exciting losing team.”

Jim McElwain

10.  Colorado is taking its time in naming Jon Embree head coach…

11.  But former Buffs coach Bill McCartney continues to spill the beans.  “Take it to the bank and hang your hat on it,” he said of Embree’s eminent hiring.  Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain was a finalist for the CU job.

Les Miles

12.  Les Miles says he was never contacted by Colorado.  But Woody Paige of The Denver Post says Miles, Troy Calhoun and Mike Bellotti “didn’t feel a fit at CU.”  Does that mean those coaches were contacted and said they didn’t feel a fit… or that CU didn’t feel those guys were fits so they didn’t contact them?  Looking at CU’s final list of candidates, it’s evident they weren’t interested in spending Miles-type cash on a new coach.

Gus Malzahn

13.  In the pure speculation from a student newspaper department: If Malzahn accepted the Vanderbilt job he could reunite with offensive line coach Herb Hand with whom he worked at Tulsa in 2007.

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McElwain A Finalist At Colorado

It appears that Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is indeed a finalist for the vacant head coaching position at Colorado.

The Denver Post reported last evening that McElwain has interviewed for the Buffaloes’ job.  According to internet reports, other finalists include former CU player Eric Bieniemy (an assistant with the Minnesota Vikings), current CU assistant Brian Cabral, former CU player Jon Embree (an assistant with the Washington Redskins) and former CU coach Bill McCartney.

According to Tom Kensler of The Post, most CU fans favor someone with Colorado ties.  Checking the list above, you’ll see that McElwain is really the only outsider on the list.  You’ll note that there are no proven head coaches on that list, either.

Colorado is financially-strapped at the moment and the school will not begin to receive full Pac-12 revenue checks for quite a while. 

That’s probably why no one at CU has contacted LSU’s Les Miles or Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen.  The Buffs are going the cheap route.  It looks like they’re going to go the homegrown route, too.

And that could be bad news for McElwain, who interviewed last year at San Jose State.  The Crimson Tide ranked 28th in the nation in total offense this past season.

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McElwain In The Running At Colorado

According to John Henderson of The Denver Post, Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain “is in the picture” for the vacant head coaching position at Colorado.

(We’ll pause while several Alabama fans misguidedly cheer.)

Also mentioned as being in the mix are Houston’s Kevin Sumlin and Minnesota Vikings assistant Eric Bieniemy — a former Colorado player.

It has been reported that McElwain has already met with CU brass.

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Nutt Denies Colorado Rumors

Houston Nutt once had a chance to go to Nebraska.  Instead, he decided to stay at Arkansas… where his welcome soon wore out.  Now at Ole Miss — surrounded by angry fans — the coach might have Colorado on his mind.  Or then again, maybe not.

After Saturday’s loss to Mississippi State, Nutt was asked what he wanted to work on this offseason.  He said, “I’m going to get into that Sunday.  I just — I want to talk to my team first before they read it.  I want them to hear it first.”

Meaning he doesn’t want them to learn of changes to the offseason workouts on the internet?  Or meaning he wanted to tell them he was leaving?

Internet reports yesterday claimed that Nutt was going to take the Colorado job.  But Nutt texted Parrish Alford of The Northeast Mississippi Journal and said the reports were “not true.”  When asked if he expected to return to Ole Miss next season, Nutt said, “yes.”

Ole Miss has a history of high expectations.  Oh, sure, that’s getting to be the case at every school in the continental United States, but UM’s expectations are steeped in 50-year-old glory that hasn’t been matched in, well, 50 years.

Heck, during quarterback Archie Manning’s time in Oxford the Rebels went 22-10-1.  Manning is now the King of Mississippi.  But if a coach posted a .667 winning percentage at Ole Miss these days he’d be on the hot seat.

Nutt is now 22-16 in Oxford after three years.  Most folks knew that his third year would be a toughie — UM was picked by the media to finish last in the SEC West — but the arrival of Jeremiah Masoli raised expectations.  Now Nutt is feeling the heat for not matching said expectations.

As we have noted regarding Mark Richt and his job opportunities, it’s often wise for coaches to re-set their coaching clocks.  Should Nutt leave — and we’re not completely buying Colorado’s interest — he would be giving himself yet another honeymoon period.  Clearly the honeymoon is over in Oxford.

If Nutt’s smart, he’ll chat long and hard with CU officials.  If they call him.

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Reporter: Colorado Will Contact Richt (If It Hasn’t Already)

Seth Emerson of The Macon Telegraph caught up with The Denver Post’s Tom Kensler and asked him about reports that Colorado is interested in hiring Mark Richt.  Kensler’s answer when asked about the seriousness of CU’s interest?

“Richt will be contacted if he hasn’t been already, either directly or through an intermediary.  I’d think if Richt wanted out of Georgia he could get another job in, say, 15 minutes.  His record speaks for itself.”

Yes, it does.  But UGA fans aren’t thrilled with said record.  Which is why we wrote yesterday that Richt should skedaddle if the Colorado job is offered.  It all boils down to simple math: Georgia can guarantee Richt one more year (because a bad year next year will likely force his ouster) while Colorado can guarantee three, probably four more seasons.

Emerson also asked Kensler about Colorado’s financial situation.  Richt makes nearly $3 million per year and he has a buyout of over $5 million.  Would that push CU away?

“Richt to Colorado is a longshot.  He is a Nebraska native and lived for five or six years in the Denver area during grade school years.  But as he said, ‘Georgia is my home.’  I don’t see him leaving UGA unless he is forced out.  And the school would be crazy to do that.  Perhaps he is getting tired of the pressure to compete in the SEC, but there is pressure everywhere.  There will be pressure for the new Colorado coach to build the program quickly and show it belongs in the Pac-12.”

True.  But Richt would at least be able to re-set his coaching clock.  No one can deny that he will be on the hot seat next year in Athens.  That would not be the case in Boulder.  Advantage: Boulder.

That said, Richt won’t leave Athens.  Such a move doesn’t fit his M.O.  But he should certainly consider it. 

If his Dawgs lose four or more games next season, you can bet UGA fans, alums, donors and the administration won’t show Richt as much loyalty as he seems willing to show them.

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Richt Should Get While The Gettin’s Good

What do the following things all have in common: milk, aspirin, batteries, and college football coaches?

Answer:  They all have a shelf life.

The age of college football coaches lasting 15 years, 20 years or Paterno-like years at one school is over.  That age is as dead as the dinosaurs (which, by the way, were actually still roaming the earth when Paterno put on his first whistle).

In today’s world, each loss by a coach is magnified.  Up-and-down seasons are no longer tolerated.  Legendary coach Vince Dooley would never last 25 years at a school like Georgia today, for example.

Mark Richt should know that.  He should accept that.  And he should leave because of that.  Richt should get while the gettin’s good.

Over the weekend, word leaked from Colorado that the Buffaloes are interested in Richt and former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti as possible replacements for Dan Hawkins.

A source told The Denver Post that Richt might even be interested in leaving the high-pressure world of the SEC.  But that’s not what Richt said Saturday night.

“Georgia’s my home,” Richt said after his Dawgs fell to 5-6 with a 49-31 loss at Auburn.  In fact — according to Seth Emerson of The Macon Telegraph — the coach laughed when asked about the CU job.

Richt’s new boss Greg McGarity also suggested before Saturday’s game that his coach will be back next year.  “I’d say, based on the first 10 games, (there’s) no question about that.  I know we’re 5-5, but you go back and you look at all the dynamics involved — how close the games were.  It’s not like we’re dealing with situations here or lopsided losses, of being non-competitive.”

Unfortunately, fans do not care about being competitive.  Fans want to win.  And columnists like Mark Bradley of The AJC will remind them just how much they’re team is not winning.  Columns like that will only make them angrier at their coach.

Wins are like haircuts… you always have to get another win.  It doesn’t matter how great your last win (or haircut) was, sooner or later, you’re going to need another one.

Losses, however, are like plaque on your teeth.  Brush all you like, you can’t completely get rid of it.  It builds up.  Just as a coach’s losses build up on the collective psyche of a fanbase.

A lot of plaque can build up over 10 years and that’s what’s happened with Richt at Georgia.  He should get while the gettin’s good.

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Denver Writers Connect Miles To Colorado Job

Yesterday we speculated that Colorado might take an interest in Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, but a pair of Denver columnists think we might have gotten our states mixed up.  Louisiana State’s Les Miles is the man they mention as a possible replacement for Dan Hawkins — who has yet to be fired.

Woody Paige of The Denver Post wrote last week that Miles “could probably be lured to CU.  Miles and LSU have just about had enough of each other, and the coach of the 2007 BCS champions has said to friends that his favorite place to live and coach was Boulder.”  Miles was an assistant at CU under Bill McCartney.

Another Post columnist John Henderson tabbed a number of SEC targets for the Buffaloes.  “I’m told four people are atop the target list: Bill McCartney, Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and LSU coach Les Miles.”

According to The Baton Rouge Advocate, Miles wasn’t biting on the speculation.  “Somebody needs to write articles,” he said.  “Somebody needs to mention names.  I’ve got little reaction.”

Ah, but what would be the reaction of Tiger fans?  Would they be sad to see their highly successful coach leave?  Or would they be thrilled for the Mad Hatter to take his mad ways off to the West Coast?

From talking to people in Louisiana, my money’s on the latter.

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