As the silly season heats up with an opening at Florida and another potentially coming at Miami, here are the names to watch this weekend:
Iowa State coach Matt Campbell: As several very good jobs (Florida, LSU, USC and Virginia Tech, at least) search in a shallow candidate pool, Campbell could be a tempting option. With a win over TCU on Friday, he’ll have five consecutive seasons with at least seven wins — easily the best run the Cyclones have ever had.
Louisiana coach Billy Napier: The Ragin’ Cajuns had never won 10 games in a season before Napier took over. He has already hit that mark and can win 11 games for a second time by beating Terry Bowden’s Louisiana Monroe team. Napier is expected to be a leading contender for the Florida job, if he wants it.
Oregon coach Mario Cristobal: We don’t know how last week’s awful loss to Utah affects his future. It shouldn’t make the Miami native less appealing to UF or the Hurricanes (if that job opens), but does it make him any more or less open to another job? His Ducks will clinch a spot in next week’s Pac-12 championship with a win over Oregon State.
Miami coach Manny Diaz: The ‘Canes still have not hired a new athletic director, which makes his future cloudier. Winning at Duke on Saturday to finish shouldn’t be enough to sway anyone on the fence about whether he deserves a fourth year.
Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee: He has helped the ‘Canes rebound from D’Eriq King’s season-ending shoulder injury and has groomed Tyler Van Dyke into one of the season’s breakout stars (2,550 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions in eight starts). The former SMU assistant has already emerged as the Mustangs’ top potential target if coach Sonny Dykes leaves for TCU.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham: There are rumors out West that Whittingham, who worked with Dan Mullen and under Urban Meyer, might be considering retirement. If that comes to fruition, would the Utes be a potential landing spot for Mullen?
USF’s DC change
The Bulls’ decision to fire defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer after the Tulane rout means linebackers coach Ernie Sims and special teams coordinator Daniel Da Prato will lead the defense. USF doesn’t have much to lose with the nation’s No. 120 scoring defense. Coach Jeff Scott said sometimes an immediate change can be good for a short-term boost. We’ll see whether it’s enough to give the Bulls a chance at UCF.
Local of the week
Florida defensive lineman Zachary Carter (Hillsborough High)
The former four-star recruit has been a steady contributor throughout his entire UF career, from signing with Jim McElwain to now playing the first game without Mullen. He’s tied for third in the SEC with eight sacks this year and will try to go out with a bang against FSU.
“If you sow kindness, you reap kindness. If you sow jackass ability, you get jackass ability.” — Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz to Jacksonville’s 1010-AM WJXL about beating Dan Mullen’s Gators a year after the now-former Florida coach incited a brawl against the Tigers.
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