Most of us are thinking that it is a very real possibility that Kyle Flood could be gone after this season, even with a .500+ season and a bowl bid. And if he is, who is on the short list? How about these to start the conversation?
Pete Lembo is the HC at Ball State and is not a NJ guy -- but he grew up on Staten Island (shouldn't that be a suburb of Woodbridge and Perth Amboy?) He's from the east and smart (Georgetown grad) and has done a nice job at three HC stops (Lehigh 44-14, Elon 35-22, and currently Ball State 32-13 to date). Not a BCS resume but success everywhere he's been; could Flood offer that resume?
Bob Diaco would be a long shot. He's hot as the Notre Dame Assistant Head Coach and DC, having done a phenomenal job turning around the Irish. He's young (40) and from Jersey (Cedar Grove). He won the Broyles Award as the top assistant in 2012. He coached on Brian Kelly's staffs at Cincinnati and Central Michigan, so he has a lot of credibility and a winning pedigree. Bleacher Report had a story about the five jobs that would lure Diaco away from ND: Iowa (he's a grad), Maryland (eastern return), Missouri, Okla State, Vanderbilt. Could Rutgers be added to that list?
Pat Narduzzi is currently the Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator at Michigan State. He was born in Connecticut but educated and played at Youngstown State, so he has Midwest/B1G roots. He followed D'Antonio to MSU from Cincinnati, so he knows the B1G and has been in successful programs.
Jeff Mullen (who?), the Charlotte Offensive Coordinator, is another Midwesterner (Alma Mater: Wittenburg). He served as the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at West Virginia from 2008-10 where he coached Pat White. He worked at Wake Forest from 2001-07 and he served as Quarterbacks Coach after starting at Wake as the Fullbacks, Tight Ends and Offensive Tackles Coach in 2001-02. For those who fear Gary Nova might be the RU starter in 2014, at Wake Forest, Mullen oversaw the development of quarterback Riley Skinner, the ACC Rookie of the Year. Skinner led Wake to the 2006 ACC Championship and a trip to the Orange Bowl as a freshman and led the nation in completion pct. as a sophomore.
Another verrrry long shot could be Bud Foster, Virginia Tech's Defensive Coordinator. He's been a fixture at VT and likely is the HC-in-waiting when Frank Beamer retires. But he might want the chance now, and the B1G could be attractive. He's a southern/midwest guy (born in KY, raised in IL). But he was in the Big East and now the ACC so he knows his way around the neighborhood.
Looking for someone from the pro ranks? What about Greg Roman, the 49er's OC? He's a native of Ventnor, NJ and a graduate of Holy Spirit HS. No college experience but a formidable presence.
And then, the longest of long shots -- with memories of the last time RU looked west (remember Terry Shea?)
Arizona State OC Mike Norvell: Not an eastern guy at all (except with Pitt) Norvell has worked with Coach Todd Graham for the past six seasons at Tulsa, Pitt and now ASU. At Pitt in 2011, Norvell was the co-offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach and director of recruiting. A four-year starter at receiver at Central Arkansas.
Stanford DC Derek Mason, also without eastern connections, he's the associate head coach and defensive coordinator since 2011. Mason served as an assistant defensive backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings from 2007-09, playing a vital role in the team ranking sixth in total defense in 2008 and 2009 as the Vikings won NFC North titles each season.
Ohio State OC Tom Herman has moved a lot. He's been at tOSU for just two years, but he has risen quickly. He serves Urban Meyer as his Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach. And as a recruiter, Herman was named the 2013 Rivals.com Big Ten Recruiter of the Year and national Top 25 recruiter (yeah, I know, pretty easy to do with the Buckeyes).
So, what do you think? Like any? No one? Still hoping Kyle pulls off a miracle? Offer your votes as well as your comments.