Jim Harbaugh is Bovada’s favorite for Michigan job

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When it comes to the head football coaching job at Michigan.  Jim Harbaugh‘s name has been on the lips of many a UM fan over they years.  Not surprisingly, his name’s high on the betting slip of one wagering website as well.

One day after Brady Hoke was dismissed as the Wolverines head coach, Bovada.lv installed Harbaugh as a 2/1 favorite to replace him.  Harbaugh, a former UM quarterback, was still the head coach of the Stanford Cardinal when his alma mater last opened up, but rejected overtures on multiple occasions before taking the job as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

While his squabbles with 49ers management are well-known, it’s believed that Harbaugh has no desire to return to the college game at this time.

Right on the heels of Harbaugh is another “Michigan Man” (whoops, forgot about that memo, Jim Hackett), LSU’s Les Miles, at 5/2 according to Bovada.  Like Harbaugh, Miles has seen his name connected to his alma mater many times before.

In January of 2011, Miles met with UM officials in Baton Rouge about the job but ultimately decided to remain at LSU.  Around that time, a member of LSU’s board was quoted as saying that Miles had turned down more money from the Wolverines to remain with the Tigers.

Also appearing on Bovada‘s list are Tennessee head coach Butch Jones and Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy at 7/2, while former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano is at 9/2.  Gundy just doesn’t seem like a good fit at UM — if he leaves OSU, he seems more like a “Pac-12 Man” than a “Michigan Man” (dammit, there I go again) — while Jones has already reportedly turned down overtures from the school.

Out of the five listed by Bovada, Schiano would likely seem to be the most viable candidate; whether he’d be the best candidate is another discussion entirely.  From FOXSports.com‘s Bruce Feldman:

A wildcard in the mix with Michigan is former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, who was offered — and turned down — the Wolverines job days before Rodriguez accepted it. Schiano is sitting out after being let go in Tampa Bay. Schiano’s hard-nosed, detail-oriented ways can rub some the wrong way, but he deserves tons of credit for turning Rutgers football from a punchline into a consistent bowl team. His program also shined academically at Rutgers, placing in the top three in the nation in APR during each of Schiano’s last four years at the school.

Of those not listed, the name most mentioned and most recognizable is Baltimore Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh.  The brother-of-Jim was the subject of speculation regarding Michigan in late September, but was reportedly not interested in a job that wasn’t even open at the time; presumably, the non-interest holds even with it open.  On top of the Harbaughs, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops was mentioned last month as a possi… sorry, couldn’t finish typing that one with a straight face.

Three names who might, to some degree, be more realistic possibilities?  Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck and Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi.  All three of those come with question marks too, though, from being willing to leave a job in the SEC (Mullen) to the perception of sleeping with the enemy (Narduzzi) to being similar to Hoke when he came to Ann Arbor (Fleck).

One thing about Narduzzi’s potential candidacy.  Bo Schembechler was a former assistant at Ohio State, and his tenure as Michigan’s head coach wasn’t too shabby.  Just saying is all.

Les Miles adds Jonathan Wallace as newest Kansas assistant

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After one of his Kansas football assistants left and created a hole in his staff, Les Miles moved quickly to fill it.

Last week, Tony Hull exited the Kansas football program.  Tuesday, it was confirmed that Hull had taken a job at Hawaii.  That hiring completed Todd Graham‘s first coaching staff at the Mountain West Conference school, incidentally.

The same day Hull’s Hawaii hiring was announced, Kansas football confirmed that his replacement, Jonathan Wallace, was been hired.  The former Auburn quarterback/wide receiver will coach KU’s running backs.  The Alabama native will also serve as special teams coordinator.

“Jonathan is a detail-oriented coach, who is also a dynamic recruiter,” the Kansas football head coach said in a statement. “He has experience with a championship-caliber football program as both a player and a coach and knows the intricacies of the offensive scheme we want to run. Additionally, he has a strong understanding of what we want to accomplish in all phases of the kicking game.”

In 2019, Wallace was the tight ends coach at Air Force.  That was his first on-field job at the FBS level.

The year before that, Wallace was on the coaching staff at NAIA Bethel as wide receivers coach.  That program’s head coach?  Current Jayhawks offensive current Brent Dearmon.

Wallace began his coaching career as an offensive graduate assistant coach at Auburn from 2016-17.  He worked with quarterbacks and wide receivers during the 2017 season.

During Wallace’s time as an Auburn football player (2012-15), Miles was the head coach at SEC West rival LSU.

Concussions force Baylor’s Bralen Taylor to retire

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Concern over his long-term health has prompted one Baylor football player to step away from the sport.  Permanently.

On his personal Twitter account Tuesday, Bralen Taylor announced in a statement that he is “medically retiring from the game I love.” The wide receiver-turned-tight-end-turned-defensive end stated that he has “suffered from a number of concussions while playing” football.  Taylor didn’t specify when and at what level those concussions occurred.

“This is the game that I grew up playing and loving. [T]his game has [given] me everything I have ever asked for and more,” Taylor wrote. “The brain is nothing to mess around with. [W]hile some won’t understand, [God] has already made a plan.”

Taylor was a three-star member of the Baylor football Class of 2018.  He was rated as the No. 90 player regardless of position in the state of Texas.

During his brief time in Waco, Taylor played in six games.  Four of those appearances came this past season.  In that limited action, he was credited with three tackles and one-half of a sack.

Baylor football has gone from 1-11 in Matt Rhule‘s first season with the Bears in 2017 to 11-3 this past season.  The 2019 campaign included a berth in both the Big 12 championship game and the Sugar Bowl.

Unfortunately for BU, Rhule left to take the head job with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

USC makes hiring of Virginia’s Vic So’oto official

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The massive renovation of Clay Helton’s USC football coaching staff has taken another official step.

Last week, it was reported that USC was expected to poach Vic So’oto from Virginia.  As Clint Sintim‘s hiring as So’oto’s replacement was announced a few days later, the latter’s move to the Trojans was a mere formality.

Tuesday, USC football confirmed So’oto’s addition to Clay Helton’s staff.  As he did with the ‘Hoos, So’oto will serve as the Trojans’ defensive line coach.

The 32-year-old So’oto was the line coach at Virginia for the past three seasons.  Prior to that, he was a defensive graduate assistant at the ACC program.

So’oto played his college football at BYU, ending his four-year career in 2010.  After his NFL career ended, So’oto began his collegiate coaching career as a football intern at his alma mater.

For those unaware, So’oto is the second cousin of USC football legend Junior Seau.

LSU confirms hiring of Scott Linehan as new passing-game coordinator

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LSU football has officially replaced one of the hottest young coaches in the sport.

Not long after LSU football claimed the 2019 national championship, Joe Brady left to take over as the offensive coordinator for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Earlier this month, it was reported that Scott Linehan was expected to be hired as Brady’s successor.

Tuesday, LSU confirmed that Linehan has indeed been named by Ed Orgeron as the Tigers’ new passing-game coordinator. The 56-year-old Linehan has spent the past 17 seasons he’s been a coach at the NFL level.

Linehan was out of coaching this past season.

“Scott brings a wealth of knowledge to our offense,” the LSU football head coach said in a statement. “We wanted to bring in someone who will expand our passing game and with Scott’s experience as an NFL head coach and offensive coordinator we feel this is the best move for our offense. After talking to numerous people with NFL experience and interviewing Scott we knew he was the right fit for the LSU Tigers.”

In 13 of those seasons in the NFL, Linehan served as an offensive coordinator.

  • Dallas Cowboys, 2015-18
  • Detroit Lions, 2009-13
  • Miami Dolphins, 2005
  • Minnesota Vikings, 2002-04

In the other four NFL seasons in which he wasn’t a coordinator, Linehan was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2006-08) and passing-game coordinator for the Cowboys (2014).

Linehan’s last job at the collegiate level came as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Louisville (1999-2001). From 1996-98, he was the coordinator at Washington.