Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, fresh off a Sugar Bowl upset of Nick Saban and Alabama, will not receive an interview to become the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns. According to a report by the Associated Press, the Browns will look to include Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn in their ongoing search for a new football coach.
There had been some confusion about the status of Stoops and the Browns, but reports suggesting Stoops was the leading contender were put to rest in recent days. On the surface, the move made some sense with Stoops having been at Oklahoma for a long time now and being an Ohio native, and Stoops did little to put the rumors to rest on his end following the Sugar Bowl, saying “you never know” when asked about his chances of becoming the next Browns coach.
For now, it seems as though Stoops will stay at Oklahoma and lead the Sooners against his new coaching rival, Charlie Strong at Texas.
Franklin has been tied to a number of recent coaching search rumors. In addition to the Browns, the Washington Redskins and Penn State have been mentioned. With an opening at Louisville now, it would not be a shock if Franklin’s name is tied to that vacancy, although it would be unlikely Franklin would leave Vanderbilt for the Louisville job. Malzahn is finishing up his first year as head coach at Auburn and is a win away from a BCS championship. It is not all that likely Malzahn will be one-and-done, win or lose against Florida State Monday night. It would not be unexpected of Browns GM Joe Banner to go an unconventional route, but it may be more likely for the Browns to hire a coach with more NFL experience.
As Stoops previously said though, you never know.