(8) North Carolina athletic director Dick Baddour looked shocked when I walked into the visiting AD box at halftime on Saturday. I extended a hand and assured him I was with ESPN. And that, well, they’d sent me here to find out who the North Carolina coach is. “It’s John Bunting,” Baddour quipped. A fine sense of humor. He didn’t confirm it will be Butch Davis. But I (sort of) read his mind. He hopes it is.
If you are concerned about Carolina landing the Head Coach that rebuilt Miami into a national power and has held an NFL coaching job, then your primary hope for the Davis/Tarheel match to fall apart currently lies in the developments in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Yesterday Mississippi State defeated the Crimson Tide and provided a major blow to the job security of (already) embattled head coach, Mike Shula.
Earlier this season it was widely believed (and reported by some media outlets) that of all of the potential football jobs that may be available this season, Butch Davis coveted the job Alabama the most. With Alabama fans already covering their faces with bags, yesterday’s loss to the Bulldogs MAY serve as a catalyst to make some changes in Tuscaloosa.
The problem with this scenario is why Dick Badoour and Carolina deserve major credit for the manner in which they have executed this change – timing! Carolina is out in front on the coaching search by more than a month. Any other school that wants Davis has GOT to make a move RIGHT NOW before giving their coach a chance to finish the season (which is not customary in the world of college football).
In unrelated coaching news, but something that we just cannot ignore is this article from ESPN regarding the excellence of Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe. We expect Michigan State to be very interested in Grobe but wonder if Grobe is willing to roll the dice and wait for Joe Paterno to retire at Penn State. This would be quite a risk as Grobe will probably never be a hotter commodity than he is this year.
Parting shot – Before one of you smart asses decide to embarass yourself by criticizing Davis’ NFL performance, you would be well served to remember that NC State hired Sidney Lowe who also struggled as a head coach with expansion teams in the NBA. Not much difference there except Davis is considered one of the top college coaches in America based on previous experience.