The Washington coaching search has been receiving a lot of attention across the country from media and fans. You can visit the Dawgman website at almost any time of the day and find anywhere from 30 to 100 fans in the chat room. The discussion is always the same. Who will be the next football coach at the University of Washington.
I've heard all the rumors from there and other places and one thing is for sure and that is everyone is pretty clueless about what exactly is going on behind the purple curtain. Scott Woodward and Mark Emmert have done a pretty good job of keeping everything under wraps so far. Whenever either of them speaks everyone hangs on and deciphers every single word looking for a secret meaning.
It reminds me of the days when rumors floated around that Paul McCartney was dead. You have to wonder when one of the Dawgman faithful will play the next Scott Woodward press conference backwards to see if there is some type of secret message to be found.
Woodward dropped the bomb this week that the coaching search could last till the end of the year which means he might wait for a coach who will be going to a New Years day bowl game. Fans of course deciphered it that Mora was no longer a sure thing. The fans just may be right.
Here is the latest from the rumor mill.
Jim has become everyone's favorite candidate. The former UW player who could have been had at a very reasonable price last December has seen his price rise up into the $4 million per year neighborhood according to John Clayton of ESPN. That is probably about $1.5 million more than Washington is willing to pay. I happen to think paying $4 million for an unproven commodity is just silly. I like Mora and hopes he eventually takes the job but he isn't worth the commotion $4 million would cause at this point.
Nobody knows exactly what is going on here but insiders say he is still in play. If it is Mora look for an announcement the Monday after Thanksiving.
Insiders are saying he hasn't been contacted but a lot of things can change between now and the end of the season. Tedford is a proven West coast commodity that should be able to jump start the program if hired. He just sold his house in the Bay Area which may mean something or may mean nothing.
Whittingham sparked speculation after saying he would listen if offered the job in an interview on KJR. Insiders think he is extremely high on the list and may be the #2 choice behind Mora.
Franchione entered the rumor mill this week after a website speculated that he was one of the favorites for the Washington job. I hope they are wrong because this would be sort of like hiring John Mackovick in Rick Neuheisel clothing. As we all know Franchione was fired by Texas A@M after charging for inside information on the program through his website. What exactly was he thinking from an ethics point of view? I am not buying this rumor because Emmert and Woodward would never be stupid enough to consider it.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times says a source from Texas says Will Muschamp was offered the job a couple of weeks ago. The source says that Texas upped his salary to $950,000 and promised him the head coaching job after Mack Brown retires to keep him. Why would you turn down up to $2.5 million per year from Washington to stay at Texas to possibly succeed Mack Brown in five to ten years? That one doesn't make a lot of sense.
Why would a coach that has won a national championship at LSU and turned down his alma mater Michigan want to rebuild an 0-12 team? Miles was one of the finalists last time Washington had a coaching search but he dropped out after the LSU job was offered. Emmert and Woodward were long gone when he was hired so this one is a puzzler.
Inside sources are pretty sure he hasn't been contacted but Stanford is trying to protect its biggest asset by offering an extension and a pay raise. I wouldn't be upset if we hired Jim. He can recruit, he can motivate, and he can win big in the right situation. He says he is happy on the farm.
The Notre Dame offensive coordinator was interviewed last week on campus after being stripped of his play calling duties by the embattled Charlie Weis. He also is an ex LSU coach with ties to Saban, Emmert , and Woodward so there is your connection. If you are looking to make a big splash this isn't it. Most insiders feel that it was a courtesy interview. I wouldn't be surprised to see him listed as a candidate at Eastern Michigan.
Count Gary out of the competition after agreeing to an extension and raise at Missouri. One interesting comment last week that came from Columbia is why would UW want Pinkel when they already had their man. That man of course was Mora and that is not looking good at this point.
Petersen is also in negotiations for a pay raise and extension at Boise State. Washington supposedly is interested but there hasn't been any contact according to insiders. I am not sure he is the right guy becaus ehe isn't exactly media/booster friendly. I think the job he wants is Oregon.
His name hasn't come up in a while and he definitely won't be playing for a national championship after the spanking that Oklahoma administered on Saturday. Leach intrigues a lot of people but he isn't exactly media/booster friendly despite the quirky pirate image he has cultivated.
He turned down Kansas State this year and turned down Minnesota last year. What exactly is he waiting for? Could it be the chance to coach in the Pac Ten?
Look for the former Husky to get an interview if Mora turns the job down. He is one of the hottest assistants in college football and would love the job. UW wants to hire a head coach but if the search slips into the assistant ranks he could be the guy.
The former Hawaii and Arizona assistant has had great success at Cal Poly. Is he the next Jim Tressell? After an overtime loss to Wisconsin in Madison last weekend he is gaining some interest.
We haven't heard anything about the Tulsa coach since the process started but he would be on my interview list after success at Rice and Tulsa.
According to insiders he is no longer being considered even though he has the Saban stamp of approval. UW could do a lot worse but after a lackluster season he probably is more concerned with keeping his job than finding a new one.
Not a popular choice for most Husky fams but he is young, energetic, can recruit, and most importantly can be had for under $2 million. I heard he was a mess at Oakland but Al Davis can do that to you.