Tomorrow we start the semi-finals, the final four. Over the course of the last few weeks, we've thrown out names, heard your comments, and scratched our heads. Okay, you scratched your heads about my choices.
So, who or what did we miss?
We didn't have Al Golden in the mix, and several people pointed that out. We didn't bring back Greg Schiano, either. That's maybe my bias there. There were a few other bigger names out there that we didn't include for any number of reasons.
247 Sports' Josh Newberg has been keeping tabs on the coaching carousel since the hurricane hit the sidelines and D1 coaches began dropping like flies. In his latest iteration, he also put the names in order of the likelihood that they would get the job. He puts up some names we had, and adds a few new ones as well.
My updated Coaching Board (v3.0). This time I put names in order of likeliness to land job pic.twitter.com/GSbI01JefD
— Josh Newberg (@joshnewberg247) November 16, 2015
If you click on his board (twice), you can get it larger (and to a readable size). But I'll help with a few jobs that might have a bearing on Rutgers....which he lists as a job that's "Still Possible". Because this is, after all, a big game of dominoes.
From his list of jobs that are yet to open, some are on the list because their coach will leave to fill an existing opening. Those schools are in bold italics.
And that brings us first to.....
Everybody loves P.J. Fleck. And Newberg loves him, too, for the job currently being held down by interim coach Bill Cubit. Of course, that opens the Western Michigan job, which Newberg forgot to include on possible openings. I thought it was interesting that Schiano is on the Illinois list, but as the sixth choice. Just above Tressel.
Schiano is also on only one other of Newberg's lists at Miami, at number four behind Mario Cristobal, Charlie Strong, and Schiano's mentor, Butch Davis..
There's another name on Illinois' list that I didn't include in our bracketology, but a name that is also pretty commonly spoken, that of Bowling Green's Dino Babers. That's the Babers who Fleck just beat on the field last week. But let's bring it closer to home.
Currently Mike Locksley is holding down the fort in College Park. But the fort is under attack and Locksley is number four of five names listed by Newberg. The aforementioned Dino Babers makes the Terp list, but the top candidate? Bill O'Brien, our dear friend from Penn State and currently the (not so much) under-fire HC of the Texans.
Two things I take from that list: I have no idea where Kiffin came from and if O'Brien gets the job, we may have some issues here in New Jersey. Just a gut.
There aren't too many of us who would put a Rutgers coaching candidate in the same list as one for Missouri. Yet, according to Newberg's board, it's the only job that looks at Temple's Matt Rhule. And it is one of only two jobs for which Toledo's Matt Campbell is listed. So is it because Rhule really does want to stay at Temple, people want to see more of him, or something else?
Remember that name from the polling? Let's talk about him a little more. Because he made some national news again as his story as a tough minded business-man-turned-coach gets another cycle.
Great read about Joe Moglia and his philosophy. Check it out. https://t.co/lF50yBTLta
— NWCA (@nwcawrestling) November 20, 2015
And in the article, guess who gets a mention?
Could a downtrodden program such as Rutgers, Virginia or Syracuse hoping to upgrade its football address from the Bronx to Manhattan hire someone who has made a similar move?
Speaking of those who didn't make the cut.....
For those of you who passed on Georgia Southern's Willy Fritz in the early rounds of our bracketology, his Eagles to Georgia to overtime before losing, 23-17. Not a name coach? Maybe not, but he can coach the boys up.
Besides these names, who else did we miss?
Tomorrow: The first of the semifinal matchups.