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Black Monday brings new round of rumors for college coaches

Kevin Sumlin AP

A pair of NFL jobs opened up in the first few hours of the annual Black Monday firing parade and, as expected, some of the names connected to the openings will cause some level of discomfort for college football programs.

With Leslie Frazier out in Minnesota, Doug Farrar of SportsIllustrated.com writes that “[t]he Vikings are said to prefer a college coach, perhaps to assist in future drafts.”  Specifically, Farrar mentions Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin as possible replacements for Frazier in the Twin Cities.

The fact that Sumlin and Franklin are mentioned as possibilities for other jobs is far from surprising, although the latter’s name coming up in connection to an NFL job is, at minimum, eyebrow raising.

Sumlin agreed to a new contract late last month that would seemingly keep him off-limits to other college football programs.  The NFL, though, is another matter entirely — depending on the buyout language in his new deal, of course — and is the cause of the most concern around College Station when it comes to Sumlin and his long-term future with the Aggies.  Already over this coaching carousel cycle, Sumlin was tied to speculation regarding the open Houston Texans job.  If the Dallas Cowboys make a change at head coach, you can expect Sumlin’s name to come up there, too.

Over the past couple of months, Franklin has been mentioned as a contender for jobs at USC and Texas, and could still be in play for the latter as the Longhorns continue their search for Mack Brown‘s replacement.  The connection to an NFL job, however, has plowed new speculative ground when it comes to Franklin.

In the nation’s Capitol, the Washington Redskins finally and mercifully put the Mike Shanahan era down and is in search of a new coach.  ESPN‘s Adam Schefter tweeted shortly thereafter that the “Redskins inquired through [a] third party about David Shaw.”  Earlier this month, it was reported that Shaw was showing no interest in the NFL and would remain at Stanford.

With quarterback Robert Griffin III the (likely) future of the organization on the field, you can expect speculation to continue regarding Baylor’s Art Briles.  Briles helped turn RGIII into a Heisman winner and second-overall draft pick during their time together with the Bears, with the thought process being Redskins’ ownership will target Briles as a way to continue building around the second-year player.

Another area of concern for college football fans, specifically those in Happy Valley, is Cleveland.

Sunday night, the Browns were asinine decisive enough to cut ties with Rob Chudzinski after just one season.  Penn State’s Bill O’Brien has already been mentioned as a possibility, and for good reason.  Last year, O’Brien interviewed for the Browns’ vacancy and could’ve had the job had he been so inclined.  The Browns are expected to pursue O’Brien again this year — provided another NFL club doesn’t get to him first.

Over the weekend, it was reported that talks between O’Brien and the Texans had intensified to the point where the two sides are working on a contract.

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8 Responses to “Black Monday brings new round of rumors for college coaches”
  1. bigbuckeye76 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:18 AM

    Sorry to see BOB leave the B1G if that is what happens.

  2. normtide says: Dec 30, 2013 2:01 PM

    RGIII is a system QB. This won’t be the first coach he gets fired. Chang, Kingsbury, Harrel, the kid from Houston last year. Great college numbers, but none are NFL QB’s. Same for Robert.

  3. westof1club says: Dec 30, 2013 2:44 PM

    Hey norm – 10 wins, ROY, playoff appearance on a team w/ 3-4 wins under Grossman the yr before. I’d say the problem lies somewhere between inept mgmt and clueless detractors.

  4. thirdistheworrd says: Dec 30, 2013 3:46 PM

    normtide says: Dec 30, 2013 2:01 PM

    RGIII is a system QB. This won’t be the first coach he gets fired. Chang, Kingsbury, Harrel, the kid from Houston last year. Great college numbers, but none are NFL QB’s. Same for Robert.
    __________
    If Griffin is a system quarterback, clearly Shanahan wouldn’t have been fired, given Griffin’s production in Shanahan’s sysytem in 2012.

    Despite all the media hype about a sophmore slump, Griffin’s number weren’t actually that bad. Obviously it was a serious slump, but considering the serious injury, garbage O-line, and missing a key offseason for a young quarterback, his slump could have been much, much worse.

    On pure statistics, he put up very similar numbers to Kaepernick, and had a higher completion percentage than Luck, Kaep, Flacco, Stafford, Eli, and Dalton. Surprisingly, the Redskins finished 9th in the NFL in total offense. If the defense and special teams weren’t so horrendous, Griffin and the Skins could have been somewhat competitive this year.

  5. normtide says: Dec 30, 2013 5:46 PM

    Time will tell, I just don’t see him being in line with Wilson, Luck, or Kap. Especially when you look at what Washington gave up to get him. Plus, he has a lime light attitude. If you put on a huge media show involving your recovery, you better pull it off. Besides, Cousins put up similar numbers when he played. A QB’s second year usually it’s a great indicator of his talent.

  6. thirdistheworrd says: Dec 30, 2013 6:10 PM

    normtide says: Dec 30, 2013 5:46 PM

    Time will tell, I just don’t see him being in line with Wilson, Luck, or Kap. Especially when you look at what Washington gave up to get him. Plus, he has a lime light attitude. If you put on a huge media show involving your recovery, you better pull it off.
    _______________
    Griffin didn’t really put on much of anything. Adidas marketed Griffin’s recovery to make money, and the only thing Griffin really “put on” were the shirts he was contractually obligated to.

    One issue with all sports is media focus. The Media have to sell “papers” (articles, clicks, commercial time, etc.) Griffin and his recovery were a valuable paper-selling commodity, and it’s all too easy to confuse a media spotlight with basking in a personal spotlight. It’s also very easy to confuse a lack of overwhelming success with disastrous underperformance. Yes, Griffin’s recovery was not AP’s recovery, but that doesn’t mean he is the next Ryan Leaf. My whole point was that, despite the team’s record, his season wasn’t terrible.

    I do agree that a quarterback’s second season is a good barometer of talent. However, this wasn’t Griffin’s second season. A second season is a season following the rookie’s first full offseason as a pro. Griffin didn’t get one. Now he’s healthy and has nine months to improve as a quarterback. Next year will be the barometer of Griffin’s career, not this one.

  7. normtide says: Dec 30, 2013 10:23 PM

    Totally agree about the media. I can’t really stand the media coverage of the NFL. Win one game, your the best in the league. Lose the next week, your the worst. Every little thing is over emphasized. Blah.

    You are convincing me, not that my opinion is worth anything, that maybe next year is his soph season. For the record though, I have little rooting stakes in the NFL. And, I had doubts about rg3 before he was drafted. I always do with QBs coming from fast paced, air raid offenses. Robert is most effective when he is a running threat. But that doesn’t work as well in the pro game, and he is undersized. I wasn’t a fan of how he interacted with his coaches through the media. To me, I think he should avoid the spot light a little, just work on his game.

    Anyway, best of luck to him and yourself. Have an awesome new year, my friend.

  8. sportsfan18 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:33 PM

    Once these guys get several million in the bank and then have a decent cushion, it becomes about what they like or what challenges they want.

    Now there are some coaches like Belichick with the Pats who has been there a while, many years.

    But, with the win now mentality and with their only being 32 positions, just look at how much turnover there is with some of these teams.

    There are SO many more college coaching positions as we all know. A coach has a much better chance of remaining at a school and making big bucks for year after year.

    Look at Kirk Frentz in Iowa. They haven’t challenged for much and yet he’s been making around $3.5 million per season and will make like $3.65 million a yr through 2020 right now on his current contract.

    I mean a coach could go work for Dan Snyder, and it would be an NFL head coaching position, hopefully the coach knows he’ll be looking again in a few years as Danny has been through what? 7 coaches in 15 yrs or something.

    The Browns? They change coaches often too, even with a new owner and front office.

    Now, I know a man can get bored as not many turn into Joe Pa or Bobby Bowden and stay for 30 plus yrs, but jeez, I’d stay for several million a year at a nice college, raise a family and have some stability.

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