Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Holiday Coaching Season

It's that time of the year again when college football head coaches start dropping like flies. Butch Davis got a jump on the holiday season when he was fired in late July from North Carolina.

UNC football interim head coach Everett Withers said last week he believes he's a candidate for the job. We would have been more inclined to believe that when the Tar Heels were 5-1, but then UNC dropped four out of five before beating Duke.

I believe new UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham will announce the new coach the week of Dec. 5. It's a week that falls after the conference championships when all the schools without coaches will be scrambling for their new ones. Here's a look at head coaching changes/vacancies this season. Note that the list doesn't include schools whose current head coaches will likely jump ship elsewhere.

My list for UNC head coaches has been Larry Fedora, Kevin Sumlin and Gus Malzahn. I've had Chris Petersen and James Franklin rounding out the top five.

But let's not forget about the guy who has left UNC with this vacancy. Butch Davis still wants to coach football, and coach football he will. Whether it be the 2012 season or the next, I expect to see Butch Davis on the sidelines of a BCS-conference team.

I'm not going to get into what he did or did not know or what he should or should not have known. While I believe UNC did the right thing in firing him, it doesn't mean he's taboo for other teams. After all, Davis' next school could easily point to him not being named in the notice of allegations, screen his assistant coaches closely and ban all football players from social media. That would cover it, right?

Davis' $2.7 million buyout from UNC is contingent upon him not getting another job (he gets the payment in fixed installments over a couple of years). But Davis and his PR staff didn't put out this laughable nine-minute YouTube video for him to continue sitting back at home and messing around on his 216 phone.

I don't know where Butch Davis will end up (an SEC school wouldn't surprise me least). Maybe it's too soon for some school to take a chance on Davis. But this holiday coaching season, don't be shocked if you see Davis underneath one school's tree.

Just as long as he doesn't bring a certain Santa along with him.