Perhaps the largest takeaway from Tennessee AD John Currie’s press conference yesterday was in response to whether or not the University would use a search firm, he said, “Not at this time.”
Additionally, Currie says his responsibility is to “conduct the process as efficiently and as effectively as possible.”
His response promotes the air of Currie’s confidence. The same way he ignored suggestions, even from boosters, regarding Tennessee’s baseball hire, he wants the incaclulably more important decision of football coach to involve as few people as possible.
Sources say that Currie has been scouting already. It is ignorant to think that he has not been active over the last month, even though the first action took place yesterday.
John Talty of AL.com gives Tennessee fans validation: The Jon Gruden Rumors have some merit. He points to all the connections, Gruden’s wife the UT cheerleader, his son attending the University. But Talty cites a source that claims, “Gruden previously told school administrators that Tennessee is one of only three college jobs he’d ever take.”
Of course, there’s the question of current employment. Gruden makes $6.5 million each year working less than half the calendar at ESPN. But, his lack of enthusiasm for Monday Night Football broadcast partner Sean McDonough and itch to get back into coaching keeps the #GRUMORS viable. LINK.
According to a source, Tennessee AD John Currie attended UCF’s game at Cincinnati on October 7 to scout Frost. Tennessee’s bye week provided Currie the opportunity to travel. Other Knoxville outlets have reported the same.
Frost’s team won 51-23 that day and hasn’t lost yet this season. Central Florida is in line for a New Year’s Six bowl game primarily because of its offense – the team has scored more than 31 points in each game. Remember when Oregon hung a 59 spot on Florida State? Frost’s doing.
Clearly, he’s being linked to Nebraska and Florida’s job, too. While many have wondered what Currie’s been up to for the last month instead of making a coaching change, it appears he was quietly starting to look.
Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel writes last night, in Florida “a thorough vetting of Kelly has begun.” He points out that Florida, and Tennessee, will have to wait until December 2 at the earliest to officially court Frost.
Kelly, meanwhile, only has weekly ESPN appearances to navigate and has expressed his desire to coach in college sooner rather than later. LINK.
The other likely candidate to be considered by Florida. Mississippi State gave Alabama fits this weekend, and boosted Mullen’s perception. But UF owns a closer tie to Mullen than any other school.
Second-year Athletic Director Scott Stricklin moved to Florida after six years at Mississippi State. A Mississippi native, MSU is also Stricklin’s alma mater. He did not hire Mullen to be the school’s head coach but hung with him through two 7-6 seasons.
Aside from it being his job as Mississippi State’s AD, Stricklin had a personal investment in the team’s best interests. He showed supreme faith in Mullen. There’s no reason to think he wouldn’t do the same again.
CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd posted last night that Mullen should make a move to either Florida, Nebraska, Tennessee or Texas A&M at season’s end. LINK.