The regular season is over for most teams and six jobs are open -- buyout money and last year's bloated coaching class could be two reasons -- but USC's upcoming hire will have a rippling effect.
1. With Kevin Sumlin out, does USC's Pat Haden have a home run in his back pocket?
This coaching class doesn't have an Urban Meyer from two years ago, when
With Sumlin re-upping with Texas A&M, USC has viable options that come with at least some level of uncertainty.
If the Trojans are looking for an amalgam of energy, motivation and doing more with less, they could do worse than Vandy's James Franklin.
The word from a few West Coast coaches I've spoken to is Washington's Steve Sarkisian will get a hard look. His 34-29 record at Washington seems hard to ignore, but he inherited a winless UW team and knows the L.A. landscape. Colleague Bruce Feldman reported Sunday he thinks USC is intrigued by Sark.
2. As if the pressure wasn't on Will Muschamp already … he can't whiff on this offensive coordinator hire and see past 2014.
In the a slow market for SEC head coaching changes, the most important in the league might be Florida's replacement of Brent Pease.
With Muschamp's one-year leash and the quarterback situation relatively unsettled (unless Jeff Driskel improves or frosh Will Grier emerges), the new coordinator will have leverage.
One intriguing name is former Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey, who I'm told would likely have interest in the Florida job but should also garner NFL looks.
Putting in a call to Texas A&M co-offensive coordinator Jake Spavital might make sense if Florida wants to go no-huddle.
3. Still thinking West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen will coach WVU into 2014, but expect some staff changes.
That reported $11.3 million buyout plays helps Holgo's cause, and Luck understands the Big 12 transition West Virginia faces.
4. One of the coaches on UConn's radar is Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter, who might not be in the mix for the USC job but should garner plenty of interest in the next few weeks.
USC is casting a wide net in its search led by Parker Executive. I'm told the Huskies are willing to spend, too -- maybe not USC money, but the $1.8 to $2 million range.
5. Ed Orgeron isn't the only interim coach aiming for a full-time gig -- FAU's Brian Wright is a viable candidate, according to athletic director Pat Chun.
FAU wants to fill its coaching role by the second week of December. Wright led FAU -- which is 4-0 since it fired Carl Pelini -- to its first bowl-eligible season since 2008.
“He's gotten the kids refocused,” Chun said. “His work is nothing short of exemplary. That's a testament to Brian.”
I've heard Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran has been mentioned prominently among FAU's search.