Are Two SEC Coaches Being Considered for SC Job?
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There's a rumor out there -- OK, there's one of the rumors out there -- that has USC looking at two SEC coaches to replace Lane Kiffin, and the names may surprise you.
SC seems to be interested in Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin and Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin.
Franklin and Sumlin have been two of the hottest names in college football over the last couple of years.
Sumlin was the head coach at Houston before he came to A&M last year and led them to a 10-win season, including a victory over then-No 1 Alabama, so it's not a shock to see his name mentioned as a potential candidate for any hot job.
Franklin was highly regarded in his own right because of what he's done at Vanderbilt. Although the Commodores are struggling at the moment, last season he lead Vandy to a nine-win season and a bowl victory. And remember, this university is the SEC's version of Stanford or Duke, ie- his pool of recruits actually has to have the grades to get in.
When asked about the rumors, both coaches denied it or left question alone. Of course they'd do that! But Sumlin cleverly turned the theme into a recruiting advantage.
“It means you’re winning and doing things the right way,” he said. “”I don’t ever talk about that. That’s always going to be around.”
Meanwhile, Franklin got kind of testy when asked about USC. He went the traditional 'keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road' route.
“My response is [I’m] really excited about talking about UAB, our last game; really excited about talking about Missouri this week,” he stated in response to the rumor. “I mean, for once, I’d like to sit in this press conference and talk about either the game before or the game we’re playing this week.
“Anything outside of that is outside of our control. This is something that we’ve been going through for three years here, and that’s wonderful, but we’re focused on Missouri this week."
I know both coaches have said in the past they're happy to be where they are, but come on. One of the biggest football programs in the country may be courting you, and you guys just give a basic bland answer?
Give me a break.
They both may be able to ignore the rumors for now -- and maybe Jim Mora jumping the gun with his comments when he was coaching Atlanta are burning in their minds -- but it's going to be hard to ignore that phone call from Pat Haden if and when it comes.