Thursday, December 9, 2010
Vandy holds out hope for Ken Niumatalolo — or the next Urban Meyer
Late last night, FootballScoop reported that Franklin and Roman are Vanderbilt's head coaching finalists, which was enough to send shock waves through Vandy fans. What, no Jon Gruden? Hey, maybe Urban Meyer would be available!
In this morning's Tennessean, Jeff Lockridge says the Commodores are waiting until after the Army-Navy game to talk to Ken Niumatalolo, the triple option guru. So the rumors started with Navy's OC and have spread to its HC. Now we're cooking with gas!
Lockridge also reports that:
• Wisconsin OC Paul Chryst has interviewed. The Badgers' DC, Dave Doeren, has already talked to Vandy. Maybe we can interview their trainer and their cheerleader advisor too.
• Vandy has interviewed and is still considering Tulsa's HC Todd Graham and nearly every OC in North America not named Gus Malzahn — Michigan State's Treadwell, Nebraska's Watson and of course Franklin and Roman.
• Speaking of Malzahn, Gus has kept the lines of communication open which I suppose means his agent picks up the phone when we call, but he hasn't shown any interest.
• Oh, and Troy Calhoun's staying at Air Force. Dang.
• No mention of Al Golden or Tommy Bowden.
It's kind of funny that Vanderbilt and Florida are looking for a coach at the same time. And educational too. Guys who are waiting around for a big-time coaching job are gonna discover what happens when a really big job opens up. Malzahn, for example, is too good for Vanderbilt but he likely won't get so much as a postcard from the Gators.
This much is clear: We've got to grab a guy who's good but nobody realizes he's good and then we've got to hope he doesn't leave when he shocks the world and wins six games at Vandy.
In other words, Urban Meyer 10 years ago. Yes, 10 years ago Meyer was 34 years old and an assistant at Notre Dame. He turned the Bowling Green program around in two years, jumped to a better job at Utah, where he had an undefeated season and won the Sugar Bowl. Suddenly, four years and two jobs later, he's at Florida. Five years after taking his first HC job and before the age of 40, he's won a national championship.
That's the kind of guy who'd turn our program around. Maybe Roman or Franklin are that guy. But if they're Urban Meyer caliber guys, then they'll be two and done.