Now that Florida State’s regular season is over, the coaching search becomes the Seminoles’ sole focus. Here’s where I think things stand Sunday morning:
Interim coach Odell Haggins could not improve from 4-Odell to 5-Odell. A 40-17 loss to the rival Gators was not a surprise, and it’s obviously not good for his bid to become the full-time coach of his alma mater. Not that Haggins was interested in discussing it after the game.
“I can’t even talk about the head coaching job,” Haggins said. “The thing I talk about is the hurt for these young men. Coming down to the University of Florida, our rival, and not playing as well as we wanted to play. The job will take care of itself.”
I would be surprised if the job takes cares of itself with FSU promoting Haggins.
Penn State’s James Franklin was also asked about the FSU job over the weekend. Here’s what he said:
“I love Penn State, I love our players, I love what we’re doing here, I don’t see that changing anytime soon,” Franklin said. “And hopefully, all this conversation will be over shortly.”
That’s a lot of words. No was not one of them.
There are a few possibilities. Maybe Franklin wants to hear out the Seminoles. It’d be reasonable to listen to a major program who might want to poach you, right? Maybe Franklin is seriously considering FSU as a possible destination. Or maybe he’s adding a sliver of wiggle room as a negotiating ploy for a raise at Penn State. He wouldn’t be the first major coach to do something like that.
Regardless, I think the last part of his quote is accurate. This conversation will be over very shortly.
FSU athletic director David Coburn said he wanted to name a new coach by the end of the season, if not earlier. A few days afterward always seemed more likely because coaches rarely jump jobs until after their regular season ends. Bolting before a bowl game (as Dan Mullen did when he took over the Gators) is viewed as acceptable in the profession.
The season is now over for potential targets like Franklin, Iowa State’s Matt Campbell and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly. It is not over for other possible candidates. Memphis’ Mike Novell plays Cincinnati on Saturday for the AAC title. The Clemson coordinators face Virginia in Saturday’s ACC title and are obviously strong contenders in the College Football Playoff race.
So an announcement could come very soon, or it come early next week. Either way, stay tuned.