Could a Dark Horse Win Auburn Coaching Prize?
Could Bo Pelini be changing address from Lincoln, Nebraska to Auburn, Alabama in 2013?
With all eyes in the South as well as in South Bend, Indiana fixed on tomorrow’s SEC Championship game, the Auburn Coaching Search Committee is moving forward. An announcement should be forthcoming by this time next week, maybe even by Tuesday or Wednesday.
The night before the big game, most published reports are listing the top five on Auburn’s wish list as:
- Jimbo Fisher (Florida State)
- Bobby Petrino (former Arkansas HC)
- Gus Malzahn (Arkansas State)
- Kirby Smart (Alabama DC)
- Gary Patterson (TCU)
Despite ardent denials to the contrary by Louisville’s Charlie Strong, most say he is still in the picture.
But could there be a Dark Horse candidate? Could there be some one announced next week that is not on anyone’s list?
Often that is the case with college coaching searches; especially if your top choices are not interested in changing jobs or get a big raise to stay put as Les Miles did this week when Arkansas tried to lure him away from LSU.
If a “Dark Horse” candidate were to sneak through to the finish line to edge out the familiar names on the list, who are some names that could do that? .
I mentioned in an earlier article that I wouldn’t be surprise if someone like Butch Davis were to wound up being introduced. He is available and has gone on record that he would like to coach again.
Some have speculated that Miami’s Al Golden might be that guy but other stories have said there is no way he would leave the Hurricanes.
Many have been tossing around Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin’s name (an Alabama native) as a surprise pick. I would put heavy emphasis on the word “surprise” because Sumlin has Johnny Football in his stable as well as a booster full of oil men to outbid as many suitors as necessary.
Big time boosters are also the reason I would put Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy in the “Dark Horse” category. If T. Boon Pickens wants him to stay, I can’t see Auburn winning a bidding war there either.
My thoughts are that if it comes down to a “Dark Horse” candidate winning the job, that it might be someone like North Carolina’s Larry Fedora or Penn State’s Bill O’Brian.
Yes, most eyes in the South are looking toward the Georgia Dome tomorrow night. Yet I can’t ever remember a time when I have been less interested in the SEC Championship game.
My focus and anticipation is on the next seven days … waiting on the Auburn Search Committee’s press conference.