How the FAU job has become a Cold War between college football superpowers


Despite nearly getting filled this weekend, the Florida Atlantic job remains open as of yet — though we expect it to play out Monday or Tuesday. Two of the prime candidates for the job, according to FootballScoop and others, are Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno.

Neither of those names circling around this job are coincidences. Sources have told FootballScoop both Kiffin and Drevno’s candidacies are in part thanks to two separate cold wars being fought by the two schools who employ them.

Kiffin’s candidacy at FAU is being pushed¬†supported by Nick Saban, sources told FootballScoop, in part so he is not available to become LSU’s offensive coordinator, as the Tide’s SEC West rivals have not-so-secretly placed him as their top priority to join Ed Orgeron’s staff. One source told FootballScoop, “Lane is in a spot where whatever he decides is likely to cause an issue either with Sexton or with Nick.”

Meanwhile, Sunday afternoon FootballScoop was told Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno had become a credible candidate. Drevno, a longtime Harbaugh assistant, has nearly no experience in the state of Florida. In fact, a quick glance at his resume reveals that his time at Michigan is the farthest east he has ever worked. So, how does Tim Drevno get into the mix this deep into FAU’s search?

As a source said to FootballScoop, “Drevno is being pushed by Urban Meyer as a means of weakening Michigan.” Meyer and Florida Atlantic AD Pat Chun were colleagues for a brief time at Ohio State before Chun left for FAU. Chun and FAU also hosted a Buckeyes satellite camp last summer.

Of course, there are other factors at play here. Chun is his own man with an important choice to make, and Kiffin and Drevno are appealing candidates for reasons other than serving as pawns in a larger game. He could also eschew each of these options for a different target altogether.

But as Florida Atlantic closes in on its new head coach, the Owls’ choice could have major ramifications in two of college football’s highest-stakes rivalries. And in this game of college football geopolitics, two superpowers are making their preferences known.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.


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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.