These days, it seems the direction the carousel spins is heavily depended upon one looming decision…UCLA or Florida?
Now, with the disclaimer that we haven’t heard from Chip, his agents or administrators at either UCLA or Florida, in an attempt at full-disclosure, we figured we’d share the prevailing logic being discussed throughout the coaching profession.
[Insert update: Since we published this, Pat Forde has reported that Chip is out of the running at Florida, and they have moved on, eyeing Scott Frost. See more on The Scoop. Carry on…]
Almost every coach we’ve heard from over the past two days has mentioned the same theme to us – that neither UCLA nor Florida is out there speaking with additional candidates right now. “It’s dead quiet at UCLA” is something we’ve heard repeatedly over the past 48 hours. Nearly every one of those coaches then goes on to expand that their read of the situation is that both programs are comfortable knowing their path forward.
Taking it a step further, nearly all of these coaches believe Chip is planning to become the next head coach at UCLA. If UCLA didn’t feel highly confident they had Chip they would be making a full court press on Door No. 2, and coaches are hearing no mention of additional calls or meetings or even any planning.
On the Florida front, nearly all of these coaches believe Scott Frost is what is waiting behind Door No. 2. Frost’s squad is about to kickoff against Charlie Strong’s USF team in an attempt to close out UCF’s regular season 11-0. Across the ball, a win for Strong’s team would give his Bulls a 10-1 regular season. Oh, and here’s something, just two days ago there was chatter within the profession that Strong was checking around about staff options should he receive the opportunity to return to Gainesville.
So, if Chip choose UCLA, Frost elects to move to Gainesville…where does that leave Nebraska? It is referred to as the carousel for good reason.
Before we cut this off and allow you all to get back to watching the games today let’s briefly discuss timing. UCLA hosts Cal tonight (7:30 PT on FS1). There is some logic that UCLA might want word to leak during the broadcast to build excitement looking to the future. [Heck, Fox executives might leak it regardless just for the ratings!] However, there is also a rational line of thinking which goes: game tonight — focus on the players — end of regular season meetings tomorrow, word breaks Sunday and an introductory press conference Monday. Either way works, but expectations are clear: this will be public by Monday, and likely well before then.
Now head back to the games and remember to keep an eye on The Scoop for all of the latest news in the coaching profession.
Further update> Since we published this, Yahoo Sports has reported the same (link above) and now ESPN is also reporting the same…
USA Today’s George Schroder is now also reporting Chip is no longer a candidate at Florida.