Whether it’s because of gross incompetence, additional gross incompetence, a coach paying women to know him in the Biblical sense, or a coach’s greatest strength being loving a school, we have yet another head football coaching search at Ole Miss. It’s our fifth in 15 years, which means we’ve become quite the experts in the field of picking someone who will need to be replaced in three to four years.
Going back to 2004 when Ed Orgeron was hired, the previous four searches hired coaches who produced six winning seasons, eight losing seasons, and one .500 season. That’s good for 15 out of 10 NOT GREAT BOBs.
It seems to me, and I’m just spitballing here, that it might be a good idea to hire someone who doesn’t lead us back to this spot in 2022 or 2023 via not winning games. Of course, if that coach leads us back to this spot because he leaves for a better job after winning and making opposing fans fill their diapers on Twitter, then that’s a good thing. However, we haven’t had to worry about that since Tommy Tuberville some 20 years ago.
The good news is none of the legitimate candidate names floating out there register a physical reaction of disgust upon hearing said name. Quite a step up from Coaching Search Szns 2004, 2007, 2011, and 2016.
(1) Rumors On Rumors On Rumors
Rumors are Coaching Search Szn’s oxygen. The really enjoyable part is that no matter how absurd or ridiculous the rumor, if you twist the mind in the right directions, you can allow yourself to believe there’s some truth there.
“Rebz6969RedBlue4LYFE is reporting on Twitter that Bob Stoops was in Oxford yesterday (he owns property there) and met with Keith Carter in the back room of The Beacon.”
If we’ve learned anything from every coaching search conducted throughout history, it’s that prominent coaches own property in all 50 states. On top of that, I haven’t heard anyone prove the meal at The Beacon didn’t happen!
Verdict: ENTIRELY POSSIBLE.
(2) Lane Kiffin
(2) Mike Norvell
(2) Billy Napier
As of Thursday night and based on public knowledge, these three coaches appear to be the leaders or at least the most mentioned among those seriously being considered for the job. Is Ole Miss guaranteed to land one of these guys OR EVEN ALL THREE? Nope!
It’s possible none of these coaches are hired and someone else parachutes in to accept the job. It’s also possible said parachuter is fine, but it’s also possible he’s THE WORST.
In short, the unknown remains undefeated in its ability to generate crippling anxiety.
(5) Jimmy Sexton
Surely he won’t fleece Ole Miss again!
(6) Keith Carter
One of the big reasons we’re in this season of change. While I don’t think he should’ve been named athletic director, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the way things have gone so far.
Our former three-point shooting legend is out here taking no prisoners. Whether it’s volleyball or football, if your program isn’t what it should be, FIRED.
If Carter, in the span of a week, fires Matt Luke and hires a competent coach, you may refer to me from then on as “Gray, that Keith Carter fanboy.”
(7) National Search
Interim head coach Mike MacIntyre could be named head coach tomorrow, ruining what I’m about to say, but it appears as though a legitimate national search is what’s happening right now. Granted, it’s more of a regional search, which is fine and probably the more appropriate name.
However, any scenario that doesn’t involve someone at Ole Miss moving to a better office is a small victory.
(8) Glenn Boyce
Our chancellor, who made himself $87,000 richer by going along with a scheme to make himself chancellor, is seemingly getting out of the way of Coaching Search Szn. Let us hope this continues, even if it results in him giving himself another $87,000 for staying out of the way.
(9) Matt Corral
With the coaching change, our NFL-arm talent son may be delaying his transfer portal journey so he can at least listen to what the new coach has to say. Maybe he still leaves, but there’s a chance he could stick it out with a head coach/offensive coordinator duo that doesn’t like one-dimensional offenses.
Also, I want to showcase this throw on the last drive in the Egg Bowl. It only went for nine yards, but there are guys on NFL rosters right now who don’t have the arm strength to make this throw.
Far hash to the sideline on a rope. Seems good!
(10) Matt Luke
I would be remiss if we didn’t mention our Ole Miss-loving former head coach. Though it may surprise some, I genuinely hate that it didn’t work out for him.
According to those in the know, he’s a good guy and, all jokes aside, cared deeply about the place that employed him. You want people like that to succeed.
The problem was that he never should’ve been hired. He wasn’t ready or qualified for even a good situation in a high-pressure job. Despite knowing this, Ross Bjork and/or Jeffrey Vitter (depending on what’s true) put him in a situation that seasoned head coaches would’ve struggled to survive.
It wasn’t fair to him (I don’t blame him for taking the job; MILLIONS AHOY), but Bjork and/or Vitter should always be held accountable for doing that to him. Not to mention the Oxford bubble people who applied pressure to put their friend in a no-win situation.
While I got so very mad on the line and in real life at Matt Luke over the last two seasons, I will forever say the coaching job he did in 2017 is one of the greatest performances in college football history. Because of Hugh Freeze, that season should’ve been an unmitigated disaster, surpassing the works of Houston Nutt and Ed Orgeron.
Thanks to Luke, that team never quit when they had every reason to do so. Even the last two seasons, Luke always got his players to play hard and never quit, despite talent and coaching deficiencies.
He should be saluted for those efforts and especially for stopping Hugh Freeze’s cratering* of the football program.
*Ole Miss fans who think bringing Freeze back is a good idea should be committed to an asylum. Luke’s uphill battle had so much to do with Freeze, who lost his last two games (Vanderbilt and Mississippi State) by a combined 56 points. His massage parlor/escort-loving ass was getting fired at the end of 2017 because his players saw through his shit and quit on him.