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.