* Arkansas-Tommy Bowden-Clemson: Clemson fans may FINALLY get their wish. It is being reported that Tommy Bowden has been offered the vacant Head Coaching position at Arkansas for a considerable raise.
Bowden was offered the Arkansas job Monday night, a source familiar with the proceedings said. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported in today’s editions that incoming Razorbacks athletics director Jeff Long met with Bowden to try to broker a deal.
Arkansas is believed to have offered Bowden substantially more money than Clemson, which announced last week its intent to offer their ninth-year coach a contract extension
* But, CUTigers is reporting on Tuesday morning that Bowden is staying at Clemson.
* First, allow me to say that I think Tommy Bowden is much better coach than most Clemson fans. However, I must admit that the inconsistency of the performance of the Tigers is inexplicable and would drive me almost as crazy as it does most of the Clemson fans I know. With this said, I can’t help but scratch my head at Arkansas’ decision to run out a solid coach whom they thought was underachieving to then offer their job to a solid coach that everyone else thinks is under-achieving?
* Important factoid: Tommy Bowden has a $2.5MM buyout in his contract this year. NEXT YEAR that buyout reduces to $500k. This buyout works both ways. So, if Bowden leaves instead of gets fired then he will owe this money to Clemson.
* Interesting factoid: Excluding South Florida’s Jim Leavitt and Connecticut’s Randy Edsall — whose stints began with their programs in the Division I-AA ranks — 12 coaches from the six BCS conferences had been with their school for at least nine years entering this season. Houston Nutt and Tommy Bowden were the only two who had never won a conference championship. If Tom O’Brien had remained at Boston College, that number would have been three.
Duke officials spoke with Navy coach Paul Johnson about its football head coaching vacancy on Monday, according to league sources.
Attempts to reach Johnson, a North Carolina native and Western Carolina graduate, and his agent Jack Reale of Atlanta were not immediately successful.
Duke athletic director Joe Alleva is looking for a replacement for Ted Roof, who was fired on Nov. 26 after going 6-45 in four-plus seasons with the Blue Devils. Johnson, 50, is also considered among the candidates for coaching vacancies at Georgia Tech and Southern Methodist.
Johnson has been a popular, possible interviewee for such jobs in recent years. His name recently was mentioned along with Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe as a candidate for the Nebraska job. A year ago, he was among those considered when N.C. State and North Carolina went searching for new coaches.
Among other possible candidates for the Duke job, Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe said Monday that he would listen if Duke or any other school came calling with a job offer.
* Georgia Tech: Initially pursued UCon”s Randy Edsall but was spurned when Edsall staying at UConn. A lot of people, including some of us, believe that Paul Johnson would be a great fit at Georgia Tech. Johnson has a history of refusing to speak to schools’ if he is not told that he is either #1 or #2 on their list – just as he told NC State last year. ‘Coincidently’ look who has emerged as ‘leading candidate for the SMU job’?
* Dennis Dodd is reporting that Georgia Tech ‘could’ be snagging Johnson with a late offer:
Get ready for the flexbone. Navy’s Paul Johnson seemed set to be set to become SMU’s new coach this week but it looks like Georgia Tech came back with a late offer and could be snagging the hottest coaching commodity on the market.
If Johnson does leave after defeating Army 38-3, he will leave a legacy of a 10-1 record against the two other service academies and a Navy-record five consecutive bowls. Johnson’s triple option flexbone in the ACC? Johnson won’t outsmart himself. Expect him to use at least some spread.
* Just yesterday we commented in this very entry:
Note that you are not hearing a lot of Jimbo Fisher speculation this year? Would this be because he is already guaranteed the Florida State job when Bobby Bowden hangs them up?
* Allow me to turn your attention to Tommy Barnhardt in the AJC this morning:
Word on the street is that Florida State will announce a contract extension for coach Bobby Bowden some time this week. The contract will not set a date specific for Bowden’s retirement. But it will, I’m hearing through the coaching grapevine, stipulate that whenever Bowden retires, offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher will become the new head coach of the Seminoles. Fisher has been courted by a number of schools with openings and this was the only way that Florida State could get him to stay put.
* Speaking of Bowdens, Terry Bowden had made it clear that he wanted to get back into coaching this year and spoke with SMU in November. His name has been pretty quiet and we haven’t heard it much. If I were Georgia Tech and whiffed on the next couple of names on my list then I think Terry would serve as a decent move to ‘save face with a name’.
* UCLA-Norm Chow?: Karl Dorrell is out at UCLA. You can feast on links by clicking here. Former NC State assistant coach Norm Chow could emerge as a leading candidate for the Bruins. Other names being mentioned are Boise State’s
Chris Petersen (mark him off the list) Texas Tech’s Mike Leach and former NFL coach Steve Mariucci.
* Michigan-Les Miles-LSU-Jim Grobe?: Late last week ESPN reported that a a powerful combination of Les Miles and John Tenuta were heading to Ann Arbor and starting fueling rumors of a Steve Spurrier jump to LSU.
On Saturday Coach Miles held a press conference that seemed designed to announce he was staying at LSU but semantically left the door open for him to speak to Michigan. But, Miles got more specific and emphatic with CBS’s Tracey Wolfson in an interview before the SEC Championship game where he specifically stated that he was returning as the LSU’s coach next season.
AD Martin has said he is looking for the next Carr, who led Michigan to the 1997 national championship and five Big Ten titles while keeping the school above even suspicions about NCAA violations.
Martin has said he had 20 candidates in mind, and now he’ll need them. Possible choices might include Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe, California coach Jeff Tedford and Missouri coach Gary Pinkel.
* Jim Grobe says that he would listen to the right schools. This isn’t the best news in the world for Wake Forest fans no matter how you want to spin it. Dennis Dodd reports that Grobe did a little more than just listened at Nebraska this week
Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe dropped out of the running at Nebraska after being told he would have to hire certain assistant coaches. If a guy is going to make a career move like that, he ought to be able to hire his own staff. Bo Pelini, though, will hire several old Nebraska assistants.
* No suprise that Nebraska hired Bo Pellini. after Grobe dropped out.