Coaching Changes Daily: RichRod in Louisville mix? James Franklin watch
Rich Rodriguez could be a candidate in Arizona, while James Franklin is weighing Vanderbilt, Penn State or the NFL.
1. Buzz grew Sunday that Rich Rodriguez could be a player at Louisville. AD Greg Byrne quelled that with a tweet that Wildcats "feel good about him being our long term HC." What's next?
A report from FootballScoop called Rodriguez a top name on Louisville AD Tom Jurich's short list. Coaching motives can be hard to decipher, so it's hard to tell whether Rodriguez wants to build where he is or evaluate Louisville, which is a top-25 job. He'd fit the Louisville profile. He knows the area and some of his assistants are from that part of the country. But it's also worth noting Rodriguez has a good niche at UA, works with a proactive AD that took a chance on him in late 2011 and has a daughter in school there.
There's an argument for both sides. If I had to lean one way after asking around, I'd say Rich Rodriguez will get an extension where he is.
The job will likely go to Tennessee's Mike Munchak or Franklin, who's from Pennsylvania and would be ready to navigate the Penn State politics. Long-time defensive line coach Larry Johnson is expected to get an interview.
Franklin is also talking with the Redskins this week. He could have quite the juggling act if he's Penn State's top guy, too. He's still Vandy's top guy, and Commodores AD David Williams will be proactive in keeping him.
The Vandy rape case hasn't slowed Franklin's momentum, so if Penn State finds out Franklin had no misjudgments in that process, he could flourish at PSU. Mike Munchak is a natural fit as a former Penn State player with NFL experience but there's no guarantee his skill set -- never having coached in college -- will translate. Maybe that's overrated. But Penn State clearly has zoned in on two candidates.
3. Louisville will be looking in house, as AD Tom Jurich talked informally with OC Shawn Watson about the head coaching job, per source.
Watson is also garnering looks for NFL positions after coaching Teddy Bridgewater and the offense to help the Cardinals win 23 games the last two seasons. It appears DC Vance Bedford is off to Texas with Charlie Strong. It's uncertain whether Watson will do the same.
Jurich hiring internally is unlikely but it's still good practice to talk with valued assistants.
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