Only a two or three regular season games left on the schedule for many teams. The coaching carousel is getting warmed up for the latest whirl.
In Tennessee where, um, clearer heads are mostly aware that they won’t get Kevin Sumlin, Urban Meyer, and of course Jon Gruden; that leaves speculating on who they can get. And to what lengths they are willing to stoop (they are also not getting Bob Stoops).
Arizona State coach Todd Graham doesn’t need a dream to change jobs after a year. He already has Kiffined two programs, first Rice in 2006 and then Pittsburgh in 2011.
After last season, he told Panthers players goodbye via email and rushed off to Arizona State. All he left behind was a nickname: “Mr. All Talk Then Walk.”
Actually, he’s not all talk. He was 7-6 at Rice, 36-17 at Tulsa, and is now 5-5 at Arizona State, which returned only eight starters and has had four consecutive losing seasons.
If the Vols’ coaching search turns desperate — and they’re not above Kiffining somebody — Graham could be their guy.
Somewhere FraudGraham’s agent is laughing so hard he wets himself. Congratulating himself on getting his client’s name out in the media wild for jobs yet again, despite mediocrity in two straight seasons at the BCS level.
FraudGraham is giddy. It means getting a raise and extension for doing about as well as the guy he replaced. He knows he really couldn’t bail a second straight year, even as he double checks for family in Tennessee, and begins idly speculating on how many dollars he could squeeze from Tennessee if the Vols find their search dragging out longer than they wanted and the desperation truly sets in.
Arizona State fans rationalize it away as a columnist in Tennessee throwing shit against the wall in pure speculation. There’s no way it would happen. Not with the recruiting talent in the West. Not with the ASU program heading in the right direction versus all the work needed in Tennessee. Everything Graham has said about being in Arizona. Nothing to worry about. “By the way, just out of idle curiosity,” they ask each other, “what is the buyout if Graham bolts?”
Tennessee just shrugs because even if they aren’t above “Kiffining” another program, they know it better be for someone above FraudGraham.