THE COACHOSEL: It begins
With the firing of John Bunting of North Carolina, who has so far failed to win a game against a Division I-A opponent -- though, really, what did you expect from North Carolina -- it's time to officially begin the Coachosel, a weekly look at who's going where, or could be going where, at the end of the season. First, a look at the coaches likely to be dismissed, based on the number of Buntings they receive.
Five Buntings: Crank up the weepy music.
Four Buntings: Begin perusing real estate guides.
Three Buntings: Better have winning season.
Two Buntings: Only if the AD loses his/her mind.
One Bunting: Only the frothing boosters will call for your head.
When the headline in the Miami Herald read, "Coker senses danger zone," it might as well have been about his job. Instead, the article was about Miami's game against Georgia Tech. But Coker should be more concerned about Donna Shalala and the UM boosters than about Reggie Ball and Chan Gailey. Actually, that could be said just about any year, given Ball and Gailey's performances. Nonetheless, barring a minor miracle, Coker is gone at the end of the year.
It's hard to type that one, but it's time to put Bowden on the watch list. Yes, he's the guy that led Florida State to national prominence and made it even possible to whisper about firing an FSU ball coach with a 4-3 record. The caveat to this is that Bowden won't be canned; he'll be allowed to retire. But the time for that decision to be made is coming soon.
Some, such as BruinsNation and now poritions of the MSM, have either been on Dorrell's case for a while or are now beginning to point the finger at the UCLA head coach. He has gone 6-7 (bowl game), 6-6 (bowl game), and 10-2 (bowl game, Dorrell named conference co-coach of the year with Pete Carroll, who coached some team that I'm forgetting). Records here. The fact of the matter is, if Southern California were still muddling and mediocre, I don't think there would be pressure on Dorrell. But So Cal's not, so there is. He's needs to win a bowl game to squash the talk.
Now, we turn to who will be the hot commodity on the market, like Urban Meyer was at the end of 2004. Since nobody really got hot and moved last year, we'll give someone a number of Meyers for their move-on-ability. These, I should note, are far more speculative, since leaks about coaches moving to another school don't really start circulating until November or December.
Five Meyers: Movin' on up.
Four Meyers: Is Larry Coker available yet?
Three Meyers: It'll take a hefty contract extension.
Two Meyers: A good contract extension will do.
One Meyer: Bobby Petrino.
Yes, Richt loves it at Georgia. But he's had time by now to figure out that most UGA fans are, well, not exactly the most stable people you'll ever know. Many are homers to the extent that they lack any reasonable interactions with reality. (JOE T III FOR HEISMAN!) Some of those take out the resulting disappointment on the coach. The rest are somewhat reasonable, but they weren't ready for this (Giving up 51 at home? Having to hold on against Ole Miss? LOSING TO VANDY???) Meanwhile, Richt has ties to both Miami (his alma mater) and FSU (former OC), jobs that could come open this season.
Win at a program like Rutgers, and people will talk. Win as a former Miami DC at a program like Rutgers on a down year for the U, and the buzz becomes almost unbearable. Will Schiano forsake the chance to be a legend at Rutgers for the expectation-ridden chaos that is Miami? Who knows? But with Coker's head almost certain to roll, Schiano can expect another call.
No, there's nothing specific. But Petrino is the Larry Brown of CFB. Once there's a job open, he'll be mentioned for it, offered a contract, he'll go Hamlet/Koetter on it, then decide to return. Probably.