Finally, there appears to be some movement at Florida State. The Seminoles are painting the field at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Yes, really. That qualifies for news in a hush-hush coaching search that is entering its fifth week. FSU, presumably, is preparing for the arrival of its next coach. Whoever that guy is.
I’m hearing the same names most others are: Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, Memphis’ Mike Norvell, Penn State’s James Franklin and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly (in no particular order). There’s still some Bob Stoops speculation (Stoopsulation, because I never came up with a better name for it) floating around, but I’m still highly, highly skeptical the former Oklahoma coach takes over the Seminoles.
Although lack of reportable information can be frustrating for fans, it’s not a bad thing at all. Neither is the fact that the search is still ongoing. The season ended Saturday for most teams, and most deals take more than 24 hours to come together. It took two days from the end of Dan Mullen’s 2017 season until he got offered the job at Florida, even though he was a known commodity in Gainesville and had previously coached under athletic director Scott Stricklin.
To the extent that there was news Sunday, it was mostly good for FSU. Clay Helton remains USC’s coach (as of Monday morning). That means the Seminoles are still the top open job on the market.
Some other Power Five jobs have come open (Ole Miss and Boston College on Sunday, Missouri on Saturday and Arkansas last month), but FSU is a more attractive opening than all of them. Although there could be some overlap with some potential targets like Norvell, those candidate pools are largely different than the one in Tallahassee. Same with USF, which fired Charlie Strong on Sunday.
FSU fans should hope the Bulls end up hiring former Seminoles and USF coach Willie Taggart. His initial agreement with FSU calls for an offset if he gets another job, so his $18 million buyout could shrink if he does come back to Tampa. That’s all subject to negotiations and potential litigation, of course.
We’ll know more about USF’s potential timetable later today. Until then, I don’t think much has changed with the one at FSU. I still expect a decision and announcement in the next few days.
Check back later for updates. It’ll be entertaining than watching paint dry.