Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD has what seems like a frantic and misguided attempt at damage control by Univ. of Miami officials after the school went from the prospect of hiring Jon Gruden to settling for the former coach of Temple, Al Golden.
(New MSU billboard at Louisiana/Mississippi border via I-55)
A high-level trustee fully aware of how the search was done said, “We were not going to get a star, and it wasn’t a money thing. Why would [marquee coaches] leave any of their great programs” to take another college job? “Florida didn’t get one either. We hired the best person that wasn’t in the top 20.”
UM thought Nebraska’s Bo Pelini had some interest, but he changed his mind. And UM was turned off by Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen’s big ego, with one trustee saying he acts like he invented the game.
Exhale Alabama fans, UM won’t be coming after your coach anytime soon.
While I think Golden was a reasonable hire by Miami, to think that UM would be “turned off” by a coach’s ego when its trying to resurrect a program from the dead tells you all you need to know about the people in charge in Coral Gables.
In other words, if I’m Golden, I’m renting.
And to justify the UM hire by claiming that Florida also didn’t land a”marquee” name is, well, embarrassing.
The reason UF AD Jeremy Foley hired Will Muschamp isn’t because Florida had no shot at bigger names. Muschamp got the gig because Foley clearly didn’t want a marquee coach.
Foley’s method in his last three hires has been to tab relative unknowns so he has more control over the coach and if things pan out, more personal credit for elevating the program.
That worked with Urban Meyer and failed with Ron Zook.
The only thing we know about Muschamp at this moment is that if he does well, Foley will once again be lauded as a master administrator. (That isn’t to say I agree with Foley’s approach.)
The Florida job is light years better than the Miami job, which you could make a case isn’t much different than where Al Golden just came from - save the rich recruiting territory and now-faded program prestige.
Meanwhile, wondering how Mississippi State feels about Dan Mullen right about now?
I’ve been told the school has plans for seven more billboards like the one above across the state. This one just went up two days ago.
So what about Ole Miss?
Best I can tell, the extent of its marketing efforts involves athletic director Pete Boone Tweeting about Yoko Ono.
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