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Reports: Bob Stoops not in FSU football coaching search

Mike Norvell and Matt Campbell are among the names you’ll keep hearing in connection with the Seminoles’ search.
Former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops stands on the field watching the celebration after Oklahoma's win in the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game against TCU on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) [TONY GUTIERREZ  |  AP]
Former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops stands on the field watching the celebration after Oklahoma's win in the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game against TCU on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) [TONY GUTIERREZ | AP]
Published Nov. 15

Cross Bob Stoops off the list of potential FSU football coaches, at least according to reports Friday from the Tallahassee Democrat and ESPN.

Both outlets reported that the former Oklahoma coach is no longer a candidate for the Seminoles’ opening. That comes a few weeks after FSU athletic director David Coburn told the Democrat that Stoops was on their list and after Stoops told ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit that he wasn’t a candidate. Regardless, rumors have swirled over the last week and a half about the possibility of Stoops ditching his job as the general manager/head coach of the XFL’s Dallas Renegades to come to Tallahassee.

Now it looks as if FSU is moving on from Stoops. And it’s a steep drop off from here.

Stoops was clearly the most accomplished target, which is why his name as being rumored as a potential candidate since before FSU even fired Willie Taggart on Nov. 3. Stoops, 59, won a national championship with the Sooners and won at least 10 games in 14 of his 18 seasons at Oklahoma.

No other likely target has that resume. But what other candidates might still be possible?

The most decorated option would be Penn State’s James Franklin, who could also be in the mix if the USC job opens. He’s 39-10 over the last three-plus years with the Nittany Lions, and 8-1 Penn State is still a contender in the College Football Playoff.

Memphis’ Mike Norvell has been another hot name associated with the search. He’s 34-15 overall and has the Tigers at 8-1, ranked 18th in the country and possibly headed to a prestigious New Year’s Six bowl game.

Iowa State’s Matt Campbell (59-38 overall, including his time at Toledo) is another possibility. His 5-4 Cyclones nearly upset Oklahoma in Norman, again, last weekend.

Another potential option is the other Stoops. Mark Stoops has built Kentucky into a solid SEC program that should still make a bowl this year, despite being down to its third-string quarterback. Before taking over the Wildcats, he spent three years as an assistant at FSU under Jimbo Fisher.

There could be an internal push for interim coach Odell Haggins; his players have been vocal on Twitter about his candidacy.

FSU hosts Alabama State in its home finale on Saturday before an off week and a trip to Florida on Nov. 30. The Seminoles hope to have a coach in place around the end of the season.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Florida State head football coach Mike Norvell speaks at a news conference Sunday. [PHIL SEARS  |  AP]
    Norvell signed his six-year contract with the Seminoles on Saturday.
  2. New FAU coach Willie Taggart faces one of his old teams, USF, on Sept. 26, 2020 in Boca Raton. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] [JONES, OCTAVIO  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    He moves to his fourth program in the past 36 months. Adding intrigue to the hire, FAU hosts USF in 2020.
  3. LSU players celebrate after the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Atlanta. LSU won 37-10. [JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP]
    “Members of Congress care about college sports. They recognize how important it is to American society."
  4. Florida State Seminoles fans cheer during player intros before the Florida State Seminoles game against the Boise State Broncos at Doak Campbell Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Florida.  [MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The four-star recruit would be a big loss for the Seminoles’ 2020 recruiting class.
  5. Florida State head football coach Mike Norvell speaks at a news conference Sunday. [PHIL SEARS  |  AP]
    His Seminoles demands will keep him from leading the Tigers in the Cotton Bowl.
  6. Florida State football coach Mike Norvell speaks at a news conference Sunday in Tallahassee. Norvell is Florida State's new coach, taking over a Seminoles program that has struggled while he was helping to build Memphis into a Group of Five power. [PHIL SEARS  |  AP]
    Athletic director David Coburn said he thought the midseason move would give FSU a significant advantage. He was right.
  7. Florida State guard Sammie Puisis, seen in a game against LSU last month, has 17 points against Clemson. [TYLER KAUFMAN  |  AP]
    The Seminoles are 9-0 for the second time in three seasons.
  8. Florida State's Nathaniel Jack, center, and teammates flash 3s late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Clemson in Tallahassee, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. Florida State defeated Clemson 72-53. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser) [MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP]
    The Seminoles make 15 3-pointers after having 11 in their three previous games combined.
  9. FSU interim coach Odell Haggins said Sunday he'll lead the 'Noles through the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl, with new coach Mike Norvell alongside him. (AP Photo/John Raoux) [JOHN RAOUX  |  AP]
    FSU’s interim coach said the ‘Noles’ new coach will be ‘right out there with me’ in bowl preparations
  10. Running back DeeJay Dallas (13) and Miami will spend bowl season in Shreveport, La., for the Independence Bowl. [MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP]
    Starting Dec. 20, there is almost a full month of couch potato fun ahead if you love college football.
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