USC continues to come up in the media as a school which could be in for a football coaching search before December.
Stewart Mandel (The Athletic Mailbag) — I’m not as bullish about this year’s Group of 5 pool as I was this time a year ago, when I felt reasonably confident that Appalachian State’s Scott Satterfield (now at Louisville) and Troy’s Neal Brown (West Virginia) would be on to greener pastures by December (or in Brown’s case, January). Looking ahead six months, I could see Army’s Jeff Monken (technically not Group of 5) and North Texas’ Seth Littrell being in much the same position, albeit if Littrell continues to thrive without departed OC Graham Harrell and if Power 5 schools can get past their aversion to the option and see what a remarkable job Monken is doing.
As for current Power 5 schools — yes, if Dino Babers puts up anything close to another 10-win season at Syracuse, I’m sure he’s going to have suitors. USC, for example? Maybe Auburn? Another one is Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, though he might be harder to pry away. He’s a lot like Jeff Brohm that way. Still, if USC comes calling, is he really going to stay in Ames?
Remember, there was so much turnover at the top last year that this could stand to be a quieter coaching carousel. Outside of USC, the only obvious “hot seat” situations are Lovie Smith at Illinois, Chris Ash at Rutgers and probably Gus Malzahn at Auburn because only at Auburn can you sign a $49 million contract and be right back on the hot seat a year later. But of course, you also can’t predict before the season an Urban Meyer retirement/Dana Holgorsen-to-Houston-type development.
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