Posted by Jerry Hinnen
When he agreed to co-chair the committee assigned to hire Ole Miss's next head football coach, Rebel legend Archie Manning had to know he was going to encounter some (ahem) passionate opinions from the Ole Miss fanbase about who that committee should select.
But even he might not have been ready for the outpouring of support for a candidate with no professional coaching experience at any level, one who played and graduated from a rival SEC insitutition. Namely: Peyton Manning.
"I've gotten about 20 or 25 e-mails from people in that regard," Archie told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And hey, since Peyton's got that neck injury and all, and he's probably already forgotten more about offensive football than most candidates would ever know, why wouldn't he be interested?
"I passed that on to Peyton," Archie said. "He said, 'Just tell them that I'm 0-10 as an assistant for Indianapolis.'"
Oh. Guess he hasn't settled on retiring just yet. But the Commercial-Appeal reported that the younger Manning has "passed on names of several viable candidates." (There's an opening, Ole Miss fans: your school's in need of a new athletic director, too. Peyton sounds like a pefect fit!)
We don't know exactly who those candidates are, and Archie delined to name names. But buzz is building behind a handful of candidates all the same: the omnipresent Mike Leach, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, and former Rebel assistant and current Arkansas State head coach Hugh Freeze.
None of those names are quite as big as Peyton's. But we'd think they'd do just as fine a job in Oxford all the same.