I loved Scipio's analysis last year on under the radar candidates, and seeing as how he said he has not had time (understandably) to compile a similar list this year, I thought the least we could do was throw up a thread to debate possibilities for Mack and Sally Brown's replacement. How we can replace both with a single individual is beyond me. Admittedly few of these are all that under the radar, but right now, a lot of this debate is happening in several different threads - so let's consolidate.
If you are Steve Patterson, I think you make Saban and Urban say no before moving onto the more uncharted territories of the coaching landscape. But assuming they say no, who do people prefer and why? Who am I missing?
Here are some of the other options that I know are out there:
Art Briles: this was pretty well debated in its own thread following his extension. Despite a full-throated defense from the We're the Joneses crowd, most seemed to agree that Arthur is staying put in Waco.
Mike Gundy: every coach that has most recently beat us should go on this list - because that is how the internets works. On the positive side, Gundy nearly left Stillwater for the mediocre mess that is Tennessee last year, so I doubt that he stays loyal to his alma mater and T Boone/Emperor Palpatine. On the negative side, the guy has silly hair and he is a man that is 46.
William Larry Muschamp: I admit to a fanboy-like lust for Boom - but perhaps that is merely driven by pining for better and simpler times. When men were men, our QBs were not accompanied by laughtracks, and you could easily hitchhike in the greater Austin metro area. Muschamp's time at Florida has been dominated by injuries and disciplinary moves that have depleted the depth chart / inmate colony Urban left him, but his offensive hires and philosophy leave even fanboys like me a bit worried.
Jimbo Fisher: Not sure if he would leave FSU, but he played footsie with a number of teams in recent off-seasons and has been rumored to be unhappy with salaries (both his and his staff). On the flip side, he has a pretty good thing going and I know given his family situation he has said he is happy where he is at.
Jim Mora, Jr: I have no opinion on this man, but he seems to have done a respectable job at UCLA cleaning up after Neuheisel.
Mark Dantonio: As a rule, I would like to avoid any coaches that have made their names in the Big 10 with little experience elsewhere. Also, Dantonio is nearing 60 and has shown little inclination to leave the thriving Ohio/Michigan/Indiana metroplex. That being said, he comes up a lot, clearly knows defense X and Os, and is an El Paso native.
Gary Andersen: We know the positives from Scipio's write-up last year, and he has not disappointed in Madison this year. However, would he leave Madison after a single season? If he did, Barry Alvarez might kill someone.
Mike MacIntyre: Also on Scipio's list last year, and also jumped from his lower profile job like Anderson. While Colorado is still the doormat it was before MacIntyre came aboard, reviews of the process he has installed are positive and its worth noting he only won a single game at San Jose State in first season before seeing marked improvements in years two and three.
Todd Graham: There are reasons this makes ample sense: Texas HS coach, familiarity with the new AD, etc.
Tim DeRuyter: Familiar with Texas recruiting given his time at A&M. Took a program over that went 4-9 in Pat Hill's last year and quickly turned things around (albeit against an extremely soft schedule this year outside of a one point win over Boise). His defenses at A&M had decidedly mixed results, but also had decidedly mixed talent.
Mike Tomlin: His name has floated in some circles given that he has reportedly let it be known through back channels that he has interest in returning to the college game. He hasn't been in the college game since 2001, and never held a position higher than DB coach.
James Franklin: Not sure I see it, but plenty of people bring him up early and often when discussing the UT job. On the positive side, he has invaluable experience in the Danish American Football Federation.
Dabo Swinney: Impressive offenses, but how much is because of him and how much is Chad Morris? Also, some pretty unimpressive defenses - though the LSU bowl game was nice, my lasting impression was watching West Virginia hang 70 on them during the Orange Bowl.
Chris Petersen: At one point, some rumors, laughable as they now seem, had him as our de facto HCIW. Don't hear his name coming up very often for top tier gigs. The thrill is gone.
Gary Patterson: A mixture of rampant cocaine consumption and an awful season puts a damper on your prospects, huh?
Jon Gruden: Is it not obligatory to attach his name to every high-profile opening?
Under the Radar Guys: I have done some scouring of the MAC, C-USA, Sunbelt, Mountain West, etc. and I am not entirely sure that there are any obvious Gary Andersen's out there - though I am sure they exist, they are not jumping off the page. MacIntyre had a clearly intriguing resume and Andersen took an absolute doormat and made it competitive in short order.
George O'Leary, UCF: won't happen given that he is 67 and has the obvious blackmarks on his (fictional) resume surrounding the Notre Dame imbroglio and some NCAA infractions while at Georgia Tech, but the guy is a good coach and has UCF sitting atop the conference after knocking off Charile Strong's Louisville squad. Served as a DC with the Vikings, led Georgia Tech to some of its best seasons ever - including beating Georgia. On the negative side, besides the aforementioned age and lying problems, he has had a fairly up and down overall tenure at UCF.
Mark Hudspeth, UL-Lafayette: 26-10 in two plus seasons at UL-Lafayette after taking over a 9 loss team in 2010 and has them at 8-2 this year and atop the Sun Belt- just above Bryan Harsin's Arkie State squad. 84-29 overall record as a HC. Has not made many stops of note prior to UL -- had a very nice 7 year run at North Alabama with 4 consecutive years of taking the team deep into the D-II playoffs, was an assistant for Dan Mullen at Miss State for 2 years, and spent a year at the Naval Academy. Seems like he could be a great coach, but also quite risky - but I would bet on seeing his name attached to some decent openings this off-season. He also can bench press quite a bit....
Doc Holliday, Marshall: I mostly just wanted everyone to acknowledge that there is a football coach named Doc Holliday that is there for taking.
There are plenty of intriguing assistants out there, Chad Morris (who will get a HC offer this off-season) and Kirby Smart amongst them. I'm not sure I see handing the keys to an untested assistant and the shine has largely worn off of Kirby, but still - Morris is intriguing.