Florida Coach Search: Bob Stoops, Lane Kiffin, Billy Napier among top contenders to replace Dan Mullen

Florida will settle for normal now. Dan Mullen is gone after four seasons, and whacko’s lineage has now stretched back several years. Jim McElwain won two SEC East titles until fake death threats debunked him.

Gators ranked in the top 10 less than two months ago. Mullen’s fall from grace is unprecedented. Florida looks like the team that cracked the above code Alabama. Now, there is a major overhaul to be done. It makes for a long day by Will Muschamp.

There is a solid list of candidates to replace Mullen but there is no absolute home run as most of them have questions. Lane Kiffin is hot, but can he be consistent? Bob Stoops has been out of the game since 2017. Louisiana’s Billy Napier will get anything else from this latest silly season. Florida could be the place where his dreams come true.

Top three openings in 20 (Florida along with LSU and USC) the most in FBS since 2017. Mullen also became the 13th coach fired this season. That must be some kind of record.

The Gators will look for an attacking mind first, but they will want normality more than anything else. For some reason, Mullen couldn’t host together this season in Gainesville, Florida. This from a man at least mentioned in NFL circle last year.

Let’s take a look at some of the top candidates for Florida jobs, in no particular order.

Bob Stoops, Fox analyst, former Oklahoma coach: You must make a call. Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin had to get Stoops to say no in the odd case that he said yes. Stoopsie just sat there devastated Iowa game for Fox. Why not see if he’s interested in coming back? Given the history of vacancies in Florida, Stoops is doubtful. He was mentioned several times in the opening while coaching Oklahoma. Still, Steve Spurrier’s former defensive coordinator makes perfect sense at 61 if he wants to get back into the game. Spurrier remained with Gator in his honorary role, and the two remained close friends.

Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss coach: Kiffin’s career life cycle goes like this: Jimmy Sexton hangs his name at USC, LSU, Miami and Florida without letting those schools know its customers are completely satisfied with Ole Miss. Kiffin gets a contract extension because, why not? That’s Mel Tucker’s world, and we’re just living in it. But, my goodness, it would be fascinating to see Kiffin change jobs in the SEC and end up in Gainesville.

Billy Napier, Louisiana coach: My keyboard is worn out from writing Napier name for every opening. But he is a real person. Underpaid and in the Belt of the Sun, Napier is about to hit big at LSU, Florida or maybe even Miami. He has to do one of the jobs in this cycle. This is his moment after turning down several other big offers over the last few vacations. Napier is May 31 in Louisiana with experience in coaching and recruiting under Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney.

Dave Clawson, Wake Forest coach: A well-respected veteran with a strong, agile attack that is very attractive to Florida. Defensive deficiencies, however, must be a concern for a Gators team that has faced a plethora of defences over the past few seasons. The Demon Deacons quickly fell out College football Playoff race, allowing for a total of 148 points in the last three games.

Dave Aranda, Baylor coach: Aranda’s star will only continue to grow, especially if the Bears are in the Big 12 Championship Game. He performed a mini-Mel Tucker, making Baylor a success for a year. Aranda knew and recruited the SEC while at LSU.

Luke Fickell, Cincinnati coach: Gold standard right now. Over the weekend, the Bearcats’ playoff chances have increased, which will only make Fickell hotter. There may be a matching issue in the SEC considering Fickell is an Ohioan born and bred. But that’s why you pay so much. Rumor has it on the street that LSU athletic director Scott Woodward is offering $100 million over eight years to the right candidate. Does Fickell deserve it, and could Florida be a good fit if he’s interested?

Matt Campbell, State of Iowa coach: As good as Campbell can be, the Cyclones have lost at least five games in five of his six seasons. Dan McCarney and Campbell proved that you can take Iowa State to the national level. The point is to keep the Cyclones there. Was Campbell tired of that chase? He lost a lot after this season. There have been incidents in the past he will only leave for Notre Dame or Ohio State. With three Power Five top-level jobs available, Campbell could have his pick.

Mark breakpoints, Kentucky coach: You want normal? You were normal. Stoops has been a symbol of consistency, winning five to 10 per season since 2014. Kentucky took second place in the SEC East, his highest finish in nine seasons with the Wildcats. Don’t forget, Florida has started South moving forward athletically and mentally after Kentucky beat it for the second time in four seasons earlier this year.

Mike Elko, Texas A&M Defensive coordinator: Hey, if you can’t get Jimbo Fisher, get his coordinator D. Elko is in the midst of the best season of his career with a top 10 defense (#2 against dashes) and a headbutt into the Alabama goal. For the second time in three seasons, Texas A&M will have top five defenses against the rush.

Jeff Hafley, Boston College coach: One of the brightest young minds in the game, Hafley has squeezed out every bit of the Eagles’ energy over his two seasons. There have been injury problems in midfield for a 6-5 season in a row. Hafley has seven years of NFL experience and was Chase Young’s defensive coordinator at Ohio State in 2019. If the more experienced candidates above don’t say yes, Hafley would be a good second-tier pick.

https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/florida-coaching-search-bob-stoops-lane-kiffin-billy-napier-among-top-candidates-to-replace-dan-mullen/ Florida Coach Search: Bob Stoops, Lane Kiffin, Billy Napier among top contenders to replace Dan Mullen


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