Tennessee needs to make a splash with its next hire. So does Florida. Now, three questions persist in the aftermath of the respective tenures of Butch Jones and Jim McElwain.
Who makes the first splash? Who makes the bigger splash? And will any of that change the nature of the SEC East — or the SEC in its entirety?
The best answer to all three questions is to hire the big name. Multiple reports have linked Chip Kelly to the Florida job. SEC County's Mike Griffith likes Florida State's Jimbo Fisher as a potential candidate at Tennessee.
These are big, bold moves: exactly what each program needs.
"I think it's as important for Tennessee to make the right hire now as it was for Alabama after Mike Shula,” Griffith told Sporting News. "The job is attractive now. It wasn't in 2012, it wasn't after Phillip Fulmer, the timeline was so short. Same thing after Derek Dooley. It's not like this time."
"They're in a situation where Gator fans are antsy,” GatorSports.com columnist Pat Dooley said of Florida's situation. "They want a home run and they want someone who is going to create offense, not just someone who says he is going to create offense.”
Forget about this season. Tennessee is 4-6, and Florida is 3-6. They've combined for a 3-11 record in the SEC, but this isn't a new trend. Since 2010, the Vols are 50-48 with three winning seasons and no 10-win seasons. Florida is 59-40 with six winning seasons and two winning seasons in the same stretch. The Vols are now on their fourth head coach since Fulmer retired. The Gators are now on their third since Urban Meyer left after the 2010 season. It's time to make that big hire.
Why Fisher to Tennessee? Griffith points to multiple factors, including the expectations at Florida State, the fact offensive assistant coaches Randy Sanders and Jay Graham played at Tennessee and the reports Fisher considered LSU last season. It's not as shocking as it sounds on the first pass. Tennessee athletic director John Currie hasn't hired a search firm either.
Florida, Tennessee need big-name coaches now, or SEC won't change at all
Sporting News - NCAAF | Nov 16