An update on the college football coaching carousel and how it affects USF

By Josh Fiallo, Sports Editor
On November 28, 2017

SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

It’s been a busy week in the college football coaching carousel.

In the past three days alone, Texas A&M fired coach Kevin Sumlin and are now pursuing current Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher to take over the program. Despite a strong push from Florida, former Oregon Ducks and NFL coach Chip Kelly accepted a job with UCLA. Ole Miss interim coach Matt Luke was given the permanent job after going 6-6 and knocking off rival Mississippi State.

Florida, after missing out on Kelly and pursuing UCF coach Scott Frost to no avail, according to the Gainesville Sun, hired Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen on Sunday. The University of Tennessee, which has been searching for a new coach since it fired former coach Butch Jones on Nov. 13, hired Ohio State offensive coordinator Greg Schiano, then un-hired him hours later due to fan backlash Sunday.

Lastly, Arizona State fired coach Todd Graham, opening up another Power-5 coaching vacancy that could be appealing to USF coach Charlie Strong.

However, when rumors first started circling about a potential Strong to Ole Miss or Florida move at the end of October, Strong, who was fired by Texas in 2016, didn’t show any interest in leaving USF.

"I told the team that my focus is here," Strong said in his weekly press conference following the Bulls’ loss to Houston. "This is my job. This the only job I have, this is the only job I'm concerned about. A year ago, I was in Texas, I got fired. So I don't get caught up in all the talk."

In total, Power-5 schools with an opening include: Arkansas, Arizona State, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Nebraska, with Florida State possibly becoming the biggest job available if Fisher leaves for Texas A&M.

Though the two openings that had Strong’s name attached to them in the past month — Ole Miss and Florida — have already been filled, a pay raise and chance to coach in a Power-5 conference could still lure Strong away if other schools come calling.

Still though, Strong insists he’s a Bull.

"I want to be here next year," Strong said. "The thing you've got to look at is, you've got to build a program, and you have a chance to build a program. And you have some really outstanding players here, guys that really enjoy football and they really enjoy this university. And we know what we've got to do here and we know what we can get done here."

 

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