TALLAHASSEE — One day after Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops was hired as Kentucky coach, a media report said FSU coach Jimbo Fisher is a candidate for the vacancy at Auburn.
AL.com, the website for Alabama's three major newspapers, reported Wednesday that Fisher, former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, Louisville coach Charlie Strong and Arkansas State coach (and former Auburn offensive coordinator) Gus Malzahn are being considered to replace the fired Gene Chizik.
AL.com also reported Fisher "would listen" if Auburn aggressively approached him. Fisher was on Terry Bowden's staff at Auburn from 1993-98. As he has since the rumors began circulating a few weeks ago, Fisher said he is comfortable at FSU and isn't shopping for a new job.
ACC's best: Florida State DE Bjoern Werner was named the ACC defensive player of the year. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound junior, whose 13 sacks lead the league, earned 27 of 46 votes. Seminoles DE Cornellius Carradine finished second with nine. Clemson QB Tajh Boyd was named the offensive and overall player of the year. The junior, who won both awards by one vote over North Carolina RB Gio Bernard, averaged 337 total yards and threw a school-record 34 touchdowns.
USF: Attitude pleases Holtz
TAMPA — USF's seniors have their final practice today. Despite the frustration of eight losses over the past nine games, coach Skip Holtz said he has been impressed by their attitudes.
"It's been neat to watch and transpire from a togetherness standpoint," he said. "There's just a lot of hope on that football team."
Holtz said his seniors have kept the team together and positive. His only other experience with sustained adversity was going 0-11 on his father, Lou's, staff at South Carolina in 1999. The next season, the Gamecocks won eight games.
"You never know how a team's going to react," Skip Holtz said. "Their attitude going through these hard times is what is building the future. I kind of see that type of similarity (to the '99 team) with the youth on this football team and some of the things we're growing. I'm really impressed with the way this team has handled the adversity that's been on them."
CHANGE ALL AROUND: USF athletic director Doug Woolard has said he won't address Holtz's status until after the season. Asked about the slew of coaching firings, including some coming off winning seasons, Holtz said every situation is unique.
"I don't know the health of the program," he said. "It's not always in wins and losses that you can see success or failure or whether the growth is positive or whether it's negative."
OPENERS: USF reached deals to host I-AA Western Carolina for the 2014 opener and I-AA Towson for the 2016 opener.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer