Clearly, the task of finding Steve Spurrier's replacement has been an interesting one for South Carolina. After reportedly targeting Tom Herman, followed by Kirby Smart, a large number of coaches have been considered as South Carolina officials try to cast a wide net and turn over every pebble in their attempt to find a successor for the winningest coach in Gamecocks industry.
Willie Taggart has interviewed for the job, and as late as last night, industry sources cautioned that another sitting head coach was in play for the job as well. The prevailing thought within the coaching industry, as South Carolina barrels toward a hire that should play out this weekend, is that the next Gamecocks coach will either be Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez or Auburn defensive coordinator and former Florida head coach Will Muschamp.
Muschamp has charged hard after the job, reportedly speaking with Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott and former Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore as potential staff members. Sources tell FootballScoop that Muschamp is also strongly considering Kurt Roper and Travaris Robinson for key staff positions (OC & DC).
Roper served as Muschamp's offensive coordinator during his final year in Gainesville and now works with the Cleveland Browns. Robinson was Muschamp's defensive backs coach for his entire duration at Florida, then followed him to Auburn this season where he serves in a similar capacity.
Muschamp and Rodriguez represent a large dichotomy. A Muschamp hiring would follow the pattern SEC East schools have shown of late, as he is both a defensive mind (like Missouri's Barry Odom, Kentucky's Mark Stoops, Vanderbilt's Derek Mason and Georgia's Kirby Smart) and a former Nick Saban assistant (like Smart and Florida's Jim McElwain).
Rodriguez, obviously, is neither of those.
Either way, South Carolina's impending hire appears to be an intriguing one.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.