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You must be 42 inches tall to ride the Coaching Carousel -- that means you, HenryJames

As the college season makes the turn for the home stretch, it is clearly time to start talking about who gets whacked -- particularly given this weekend's Battle of the Buyouts in Lincoln. This year's coaching carousel seems destined to be as bloody as the last 6 episodes of the Sopranos.

Yeah, I'll fucking whack you

Michigan – They used to say, "You can’t spell Lloyd Carr without 2 L’s" and last year was the first year this century, he ONLY lost two games. Since Tressel replaced Carr’s punching bag, Jon Cooper, in 2001, Carr is a very underwhelming 1-5 versus hated Ohio State and has only one Big Ten outright championship. That 1997 national championship was a long time ago and Michigan is not supposed to lose to Appalachian State.

Who’s Next? Insiders seem to list their favorites as 1A Jeff Tedford and 1B Les Miles. Miles has made it known through his back channels that he’d love to return to Ann Arbor. Miles has never been loved in Red Stick, so Skip Bertman will tell Les not to let the door hit him on the way out. Tedford isn’t leaving the West Coast, so Miles it is.

LSU – Miles isn't going to get whacked, but since I think he moves on, LSU makes the list. With Miles off to Ann Arbor, this leaves the top available had coaching spot in the country open. LSU has gone 28-5 since Miles strolled into town in 2005. The cupboard is stocked and LSU can woo all comers.

Who’s Next? I’m guessing Saban is off the list, but I have no doubt that he will leverage the opening into a raise from Alabama. The candidates include current DC Bo Pelini, Jim Leavitt, and Chris Petersen. I think Petersen takes the plunge here as the LSU guys see him as Urban Meyer Part Deaux.

I clearly deserve a raise you ungrateful pieces of shit

Nebraska – When the University President fires the AD that gave you that inexplicable extension 41 days ago and says it has nothing to do with the football program that lost its last two contests by a combined score of 86-20, you know your days are numbered.

Who’s Next? Turner Gill, Nebraska’s equivalent of Major Applewhite with 15 more years of coaching experience. It helps when the guy running the search was the guy that recruited you, your coach, your mentor, and the guy that gave you your first coaching assignment. This hire mends a lot of fences within the splintering Nebraska athletic department, fundraising arms, and fan base. This might not be the biggest splash nationally but it is the perfect fit. Sorry, Bo Pelini, but no matter how hard you beg, this job is not yours.

Let's return to the option

Texas A&M – This weekend’s Buyout Bowl in Lincoln seems like rock bottom to many Aggies. Given the schedule for the next 5 weeks, I think the bottom has yet to surface. The VIP Connection probably saves Byrne and the department about $2.5M in the divorce settlement.

Who’s Next? Many Aggie pendants claim Jimmy Johnson, Bill Cowher, Tommy Tuberville, and Steve Spurrier have already expressed interest. Yeah, and Vince Lombardi is looking to rise from the dead to take the job as well. When Nichole Ritchie thinks you have lost touch with reality, you know you have perception problems. The reality is that the Aggies need a guy with little to no buyout and will move to Bryan College Station for between $1.2 to $1.5M per year. That list includes Houston Texan assistant head coach and former Aggie assistant Mike Sherman, Chris Petersen, Will Muschamp, Jimbo Fisher, Gary Crowton, and Bo Pelini. Sherman seems like the pick.

Arkansas - I wonder if Houston Nutt ever wishes he had taken the job in Lincoln. Regrets are a bitch. The TV reporter sex scandal, the mediocre record, the Springdale debacle, and the email debacle, and the fact that McFadden is not even going to be invited to NY will sink the Nutt ship this off-season. The question will be who makes the hire.

Who’s Next? Butch Davis might be one-and-done in Chapel Hill. This is the perfect fit. If that doesn’t work, Brent Venables is ready to take the reins.

Auburn – The Tuberville Act has grown thin at Auburn. This could be the first truly mutual break-up scenario. The mutual acts of infidelity made Bobby Petrino look like a straight shooter.

Who’s Next? Auburn knows it needs a killer hire now that Saban has landed with the Hounds tooth crowd. I foresee a long line of swings and misses at HR types (Butch Davis? No. Greg Schiano? No. Jim Leavitt? No.) Ultimately, I think they promote from within with Will Muschamp.

Arizona – John Mackovic left Mike Stoops a program in complete disarray. Well, since then, Mikey has gone 3.5 seasons with a record of 14-26. It is time to move on and for Mikey to move back to Norman with Venables moving on.

Who’s next? These guys should go back to Tomey, but they won’t swallow their pride like that. So, they go the next best route back to the Double Flex days…Duane Akina. Hey, a guy can dream. And he takes Larry MacDuff with him.

Mississippi State – Sylvester Croom knew coming in that he would not get the benefit of the doubt. He won’t after this year for sure. Five conference wins in four years isn’t getting it done. Nor is 13-28 overall.

Who’s next? As one might expect when Jackie Sherrill is leading the search committee, the big thinkers in Starkville will go back to their comfort zone for the next coach: old, white, and willing to have a malleable, cavalier attitude toward compliance. Look for a Mike Price, Dennis Erickson, Jim Donnan-type to return from their personal Siberia.

I can get your program on probation inside of 3 years

Other guys who should keep their head on a swivel:
Ole Miss’ Ed Orgeron – it must seem like forever since he was in Southern California
Clemson’s Tommy Bowden – South Carolina’s success with Spurrier will end up pushing out Bowden, but it might be one more year. The timing of his firing could depend on the Civil War game with Spurrier after Thanksgiving.
UCLA’s Karl Dorrell – Utah? This Notre Dame team? Does he have another USC upset in his bag?
SMU’s Phil Bennett – If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?
Baylor’s Guy Morriss – I hear Kevin Steele is looking for a head coaching gig
Syracuse’s Greg Robinson – Beware spurning the vaunted Mack Brown coaching tree
Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz – At what point is this guy’s enormous contract demand more accountability?

'Don't Stop Believin'