As the days grow longer, and the calendar looks to turn to November, inevitably some begin to yearn for new beginnings in the sport. There will be changes. Families will move. For some, a fresh start. For others, a challenging time. Those who have lived through it know that this time of year is anything but boring.
One college program that potentially might be looking at a change at head coach is Vanderbilt.
In 2010 Vanderbilt won two games. Following the season, the Commodores selected James Franklin to resurrect the program.
In 2011 they won six games. They won nine in both 2012 and 2013. Penn State swooped in and hired James Franklin in January 2014, and Franklin took nearly his entire staff with him.
The Commodores hired Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason to keep the 'Dores on track, but now in his sixth season as head coach, Mason is still in search of his first winning season. At 2-5 this year, Mason's squad would have to win out to secure his first winning campaign as a head coach.
With a new athletic director on board, many believe Mason needs to win out (or at least 4 out of 5) to retain his position; but that remains to be seen. For his part, Mason let his feelings be known after his 'Dores beat Missouri back on the 19th (to move to 2-5 on the season).
With all that said, this morning ESPN's Adam Rittenberg weighed in on this subject:
"I'm told former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher is a potential target for Vanderbilt. Fisher remains popular in Nashville, and new Vanderbilt athletic director Malcolm Turner wouldn't hesitate to make a nontraditional hire."
Rittenberg added that "other options include" Notre Dame DC Clark Lea, Tulane head coach Willie Fritz, Clemson co-OC Tony Elliott, Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo, Ole Miss DC and former Colorado and San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre, and LSU DC Dave Aranda.
Fisher has a good sized swath of land outside of Nashville where he spends a good chunk of his time. At 61, he publicly says he remains hopeful he'll get another chance at the NFL, telling The MMQB earlier this year that he passed on an opportunity to lead at AAF team in hopes of an NFL opportunity to come.
The success Herm Edwards, Les Miles and Mack Brown are having unquestionably helps the case for the "experienced hire." That really hasn't been the path Vanderbilt football has been on the last decade, but perhaps Malcolm Turner will change that.
One thing is certain, these next few months will be anything but boring. As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching job information.
Vanderbilt director of athletics Malcolm Turner directly refuted Rittenberg's report, calling it a "completely false narrative."