Posted by Tom Fornelli
With the surprising news that North Carolina fired head coach Butch Davis on Wednesday, we can now all start wondering who will be taking his place in Chapel Hill. Of course, seeing as how the season is only a few weeks away from starting, it's unlikely that North Carolina will have a full-time replacement in place before then, so the school will likely slap the interim tag on an assistant for now. It could be assistant head coach Sam Pittman, offensive coordinator John Shoop or defensive coordinator Everett Withers.
But where will the school's eyes turn for the future? Let's take a look at some possible candidates.
Coaches Who Will Be Mentioned By Fans But Will Not Be North Carolina's Next Head Coach
Jim Tressel - The former Ohio State head coach currently has nothing else to do, but if you honestly think that a school that just fired a head coach amidst an NCAA investigation is going to hire somebody who was just fired by another school for his role in an NCAA investigation, well, you probably weren't able to read this sentence anyway.
Urban Meyer - There won't be a head coaching job available for the next nine months at a BCS program in which Meyer's name isn't tossed out as a replacement. The problem here is that Meyer really does seem content with his television gig, and if he does return, Ohio State seems to be the apple of his eye.
Mike Leach - I know I want Mike Leach to be a head coach again because he makes the sport that much fun and is a very good coach, but as long as he has that lawsuit against Texas Tech, no school is going to touch him.
Randy Shannon - Shannon is taking the year off to work in television, but he wants to get back into coaching. He has experience in the ACC and is very familiar with recruiting in the state of Florida thanks to his time at Miami. Of course, Butch Davis used to be a head coach at Miami too, and that didn't work out very well.
Terry Bowden - Bowden not only comes from a pretty good family blood line, but he has plenty of head coaching experience as well. He's at North Alabama this season, but North Alabama doesn't exactly strike me as the kind of place a coach plans on making his final stop. He's a name that could come up in Chapel Hill.
Tommy Bowden - Terry's brother has the same bloodline and also has head coaching experience in the ACC where he was at Clemson from 1999 to 2008. He also has six years of experience as an assistant in the conference at Florida State and Duke.
Bud Foster - Foster has been Virginia Tech's defensive coordinator since 1995, and has put together not only some of the best defenses in the ACC, but in the entire country during that time. He's expressed interest in head coaching jobs at West Virginia (2007) and Clemson (2008) but hasn't come up in the last few years. Could he get the itch to run his own program again this winter?
Gus Malzahn - Malzahn's star may never shine brighter than it did at Auburn in 2010, but if he's able to put together another strong offense in 2011 without Cam Newton, his name will once again be mentioned for a lot of job openings.
Rich Rodriguez - He's had his own run-ins with the NCAA before, but nothing on the level of what's happening at UNC. Plus, the man still knows how to put together a fantastic offense. As long as he doesn't bring Greg Robinson with him, it could work.
Just For The LOLs
John Blake - I hear Butch Davis trusted him quite a bit.
Randy Edsall - He's always said that Maryland was his "dream job" but that North Carolina is his "fantasy job."