I’ve got a little bit of new stuff on the coach speculation. I talked to a buddy in the know last night, and he is usually right. Here is what he told me.
Top two candidates are Bobby Petrino and Gary Patterson in that order. Charles Barkley is pushing hard for Bobby Petrino.
The rumors that Gary Patterson bombed the interview in 2008 are likely BS. The conflicting story is that is that Jay Jacobs and Tim Jackson made that story up and put it out there because they didn’t want to hire him and were trying to save face. Another rumor/story is that Patterson sat down, saw what clowns Jacobs and Jackson were and got up and left. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but I wouldn’t bet anything negative about Jacobs and Jackson is too far off the truth.
Bobby Petrino: Right now he’s #1 on most lists. It’s likely that if he doesn’t screw up the interview, or unless Gary Patterson or maybe Gus Malzhan blows them away, he’s our next coach. It will be polarizing to the fanbase for a little while, but after he starts winning, that will all go away. Everyone will start talking about redemption and second chances. I’ve also heard that if he is hired, Joe Whitt, Jr. will likely follow him to Auburn as defensive coordinator. (They worked together at Louisville). That would be awesome.
Gary Patterson: He is supposedly a very close second behind Petrino. He can take the job with a masterful interview performance. I still have a few question marks about him, and would rather have Petrino, but I wouldn’t be upset at all with a Patterson hire. Honestly, though, I’d rather have Malzhan.
Gus Malzhan: He’s #3 right now. He’s a good man, the ASU red wolves are averaging 480 yards of offense per game, and they are looking at 9-3 for a record this year and a good bowl game (for a Sun Belt team). I’d love to have Malzhan because I love his offense. I want an offensive guru coach, preferably one that runs a hurry up. Because of the way Saban runs his defense, (he likes to have different packages for each down and distance, and is constantly substituting), a hurry up offense is his kryptonite. Either Malzhan or Petrino fits this bill.
Kirby Smart: A longshot at best. Good. I don’t want him. I don’t want an unproven, never been a head coach guy. I want a KNOWN QUANTITY.
Jimbo Fisher: Likely a no. Good. He sucks and I don’t want him. Reportedly he has expressed interest in the Tennessee job. Great. He can go there and underachieve. Let him. Keep him off the Plains.
Those are essentially the top 5. Everybody else is unlikely. I don’t believe that Charlie Strong is in the mix. I think Auburn will interview him, and I think we’d like to have him, but I don’t think he’s going to leave Louisville. As far as Bo Pelini goes, I don’t think he’s even on the list. That story was printed by a joke of a website that will print anything. Every source I’ve got laughs and tells me that is BS, he is NOT a serious candidate. Good. That would be a joke hire.
All indications are that we are swinging for the fences on this one. If we could get a Jeff Fisher or somebody like that, I’d be dancing in the streets. It’s highly unlikely, though. At this point, I’m expecting Petrino or Patterson, either of which would be good.
I’m still pulling for Petrino. Best availiable, in my opinion, despite all the morons screaming “Auburn Creed!!!!” Oh well, they’ll all shut up when he starts winning.