The next Washington coach will be ... ?
Sources not necessarily close (but within mailing distance from) the Washington program have provided me some inside scoop as to who might replace Tyrone Willingham as the school's next coach.
I expect a full credit when the Huskies eventually hire either Fresno State's Pat Hill, Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel, Missouri assistant Dave Christensen, former Raiders coach Lane Kiffin, USC assistant Steve Sarkisian, Boise State's Chris Petersen, Cal Coach Jeff Tedford, Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp or Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach.
There, I nailed it, time for lunch...
It's already silly season in college football, but that's what happens when two programs that have won national titles, Washington and Clemson, blow their coaches out before Halloween.
Washington will allow Willingham to coach the rest of the season, including Saturday's gee-thanks game against USC at the Coliseum. Clemson's Tommy Bowden resigned and was asked to fish the rest of the season.
In today's media world, writers don't have time to quietly narrow the field down to three or four before going to press. They are almost obligated to throw every name out there they can think of and then work the story from the outside in.
The excellent Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times followed his story on Willingham's firing this week with a laundry list of possible replacements. Friday, he officially scratched Jim Mora Jr. off the list, while his Times' teammate, Bud Withers, was touting Leach of Texas Tech.
The same thing is going on at and around Clemson, where sources close to my computer "on" switch have told me the list of possible list of candidates to replace Bowden includes Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, Leach, Muschamp, East Carolina's Skip Holtz, Tulsa's Todd Graham, Vanderbilt's Bobby Johnson and Gary Patterson of Texas Christian. Throw in Tommy Tuberville (Auburn), Brady Hoke (Ball State), Brian Kelly (Cincinnati) and a ham-and-cheese sandwich.
Sorry, got to run, my trusted insider, who answers only to "Google," has got a tip about who might replace Phil Fulmer at Tennessee.
-- Chris Dufresne
Photos, left to right:
Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach. Credit: Matt Slocum / Associated Press
Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel. Credit: Brendan Maloney / US Presswire
Boise State Coach Chris Petersen. Credit: Matt Cilley / Associated Press