Could Florida's losses also wind up costing the Big East?
Fans at Louisville and Connecticut are growing a little nervous about the current coaching carousel, which went into hyperdrive on Wednesday when Urban Meyer stepped down from Florida. That makes two high-profile gigs available in the Sunshine State, with Miami having opened up earlier after Randy Shannon was fired.
And the two guys who were just named Big East co-coaches of the year have been mentioned prominently for both.
UConn's Randy Edsall is said to be among the final group of candidates that Miami is considering. The Miami Herald reports that Hurricanes athletic director Kirby Hocutt spoke with Edsallwhile in New York this week. I continue to think that Edsall, an excellent coach who could do well anywhere, is a bit of an odd fit in Miami. He seems to do his best work with under-the-radar guys, not the five-star, celebrated athletes that the Hurricanes recruit. Still, Edsall's track record speaks for itself and he's shown that he's a great leader.
Edsall's name has been involved with numerous searches over the years, and he's always stayed at UConn. But his stock might never be higher than right now with the Huskies headed to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Think about this: the past three coaches to take their Big East teams to BCS games -- Rich Rodriguez, Bobby Petrino and Brian Kelly -- all moved on to supposedly bigger jobs.
Edsall's name has also been thrown in the mix at Florida, but he's probably not on the short list there. The guy who very well could be is Louisville's Charlie Strong, the longtime Gators defensive coordinator before the Cardinals hired him last year. Conventional wisdom says Mississippi State's Dan Mullen will be the first choice in Gainesville. But if that doesn't work out, then Strong could get a long look.
I believe Strong feels really loyal to Louisville for giving him his long-overdue head coaching opportunity. Still, it would be hard for anyone to say no to a place like Florida, which has to rank as one of the top two or three jobs in the country.
Something else to consider: Florida and Miami will likely hire established head coaches, which means even if they don't take Edsall or Strong, other jobs could open up and the same dance could start all over again. This also affects Pitt's coaching search, as some of the Panthers' preferred candidates might want to see where the carousel goes before committing.