Tennessee fancies itself a top 10 program in the best of times. In the worst of times, it just landed the coach of the team that tied for fifth in the WAC.
That’s one way to look at the hiring of Derek Dooley on Friday at Tennessee.
Here’s another, a formal list of names that I’m told were on the Tennessee list:
Will Muschamp, Texas defensive coordinator – Apparently turned down a $3 million-a-year offer.
Jon Gruden, Monday Night Football – What job doesn’t he apply for?
Troy Calhoun, Air Force – Happy at Air Force. Can do better if he aspires to return to the NFL.
Randy Edsall, UConn – A great coach who would be out of his element in Knoxville.
Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears – May be fired by the Bears. Apparently was a Tennessee assistant way back.
Kyle Whittingham, Utah – Turned down an offer Thursday night.
Doug Marrone, Syracuse – One year for the still-rebuilding Orange.
Gary Patterson, TCU – No way.
Kippy Brown, Tennessee assistant -- Interviewed on Friday. Apparently didn't do well.
Al Temple, Temple – A late well-respected addition.
Phil Fulmer, former Tennessee coach – Might have been AD and coach by Monday if the search dragged on.
A list of names that should have been considered
Mike Stoops, Arizona – Tennessee is into famous surnames lately. There is no more respected name in the sport right now than Stoops. Arizona is beginning to turn around.
Bobby Petrino, Arkansas – Hey, he lasted as many games with the Falcons as Kiffin did with the Vols, 13.
Tommy Bowden, former Clemson coach – Duh. Why wouldn’t you call this guy?
Rich Rodriguez, Michigan – Please tell me he wouldn’t take Mike Hamilton’s call. Then please tell me he wouldn’t take the job, if offered.
Chip Kelly, Oregon – If you’re a top 10 program don’t you have to at least see if he’s interested?