You didn’t even have to wait for the Tennessee job to officially hit the market on Sunday to know there are all kinds of possible names being thrown around as the next Vols head coach. It’s been going on for a couple of years now, even while Butch Jones was taking Tennessee to bowl games and winning those postseason games.
The two most common names have likely been Jon Gruden and Chip Kelly, which are always fun to talk about for a brief passing moment. Gruden is unlikely to return to coaching as a college coach when he could hand-pick any NFL job he desired, and that’s if he ever decides to leave the ESPN booth. Kelly, the former head coach of the Oregon Ducks, may be a more likely candidate to get back in the game sooner. And he may even be a legitimate candidate for the Tennessee job.
Or perhaps we are overlooking the ESPN employees that could be the best possible candidate for the Tennessee job. Rick Neuheisel dropped a name out of nowhere as a “perfect choice” for Tennessee on the radio this morning; former Texas and UNC head coach Mack Brown.
There are reasons why some refer to this time of year as the silly season, and this is one of the reasons. Sure, Brown getting back into coaching has been an idea floated around for a while now, but never for a job quite of this magnitude. And while Brown may be a well-liked coach who would command a certain level of respect if he ever were to hop back in the game, it would be praised and lauded by many.
But mark my words, Mack Brown will not be the next head coach at Tennessee. Not a chance. If Brown ever did get back into collegiate athletics, he would be far better suited for a role as an Athletics Director or an ambassador to help with fundraising. If he couldn’t keep the good vibes going at Texas, going to coach Tennessee isn’t the first step back to coaching you want to take.
The FBI sting into college basketball malfeasance has gotten a lot of folks riled up on Friday afternoon, especially when it comes to NCAA rules and potential violations. This, in turn, is leading to everybody and their brother rehashing the argument to pay (or not pay) players.
While you would probably not have expected it, even football coaches are wading into the discourse and there’s a somewhat surprising line of thinking being taken by UConn head coach Randy Edsall on Twitter:
While Edsall’s first point about football coaches getting nervous about the FBI probe spilling over into their sport probably rings true, it’s not every day you see a head coach openly advocating for paying players and calling college football a farm system for the NFL.
The Huskies head coach’s latter tweet is referring to a proposal put forward by the SEC that was approved last month which essentially allows non-coaching analysts to evaluate film of recruits in ways they could not previously do so. This has led to many expecting programs (looking at you, Alabama) creating player personnel departments in even greater numbers to streamline evaluating prospects and allow certain staffers to handle more of the recruiting load.
Edsall is far from the first coach to advocate paying players but something says his comments on Friday will also mean he will just be the latest in a long line of advocates for advancing much the same cause, especially in light of the payments going on in college basketball that are just beginning to come to light.
Country roads, take him home.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman, Charlotte assistant Greg Adkins is expected to return to his alma mater of Marshall to take over as the Thundering Herd’s next offensive line coach.
Adkins is well known around Huntington for his work with the team back in the early 1990’s when they were winning NCAA titles and making regular title game appearances at the then-Division I-AA level. He also had stops at Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma State and with the Buffalo Bills among others before being hired at Charlotte by Brad Lambert.
The return of Adkins fills the hole on Marshall’s staff after the departure of offensive line coach Alex Mirabal, who left for Oregon earlier in the week.
An offseason of change in Jim Harbaugh‘s Michigan coaching staff continues, with one of the Wolverines’ million-dollar assistants stepping down. Reportedly.
Multiple reports, including ones from The Wolverine Lounge and SI.com‘s Bruce Feldman, are indicating that Tim Drevno has decided to step down from his post as U-M’s offensive coordinator. Drevno has been Harbaugh’s coordinator on that side of the ball each of his three seasons in Ann Arbor.
Drevno also served as the Wolverines’ offensive line coach.
Under Drevno’s direction, Michigan’s offense was tied for 91st nationally in averaging 25.2 points per game this past season.
The reports come three days after McElwain was officially announced as U-M’s new quarterbacks coach. In the run-up to that hiring, it was reported that McElwain, the former coordinator at Alabama prior to his run as Florida’s head coach, could take over play-calling duties at U-M.
An already crowded graduate transfer market has gained yet another entrant.
On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, Brandon Dawkins announced that he has decided to transfer out of new head coach Kevin Sumlin‘s football program. While no specific reason was given for the quarterback’s decision to move on, the presence of a Heisman Trophy contender, rising junior Khalil Tate, for the next two seasons likely played a significant role.
Dawkins is set to graduate this May, which will make him eligible to play immediately in 2018 at another FBS school if that’s the tack he takes.
Dawkins started nine games in 2016 and the first four games this past season before Tate took over. For the Wildcats portion of his playing career, Dawkins completed just over 56 percent of his 334 passes for 2,418 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He ran for another 1,582 yards and 20 more touchdowns.