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Sprints Moves Attention from Gus Malzahn to James Franklin // 12.14.10

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Gus Malzahn got paid
He'll earn $1.3 million to continue as true head coach offensive coordinator at Auburn. Which is probably not as much as he deserves, but apparently the leverage of the Vanderbilt offer worked well for him.

Consider: Todd Grantham and Kirby Smart are the highest-paid coordinators in the SEC this year at $750,000; Malzahn's raise is more than any of them made this year.

I can't find any confirmation of the Vanderbilt offer in any of the stories out of the Greater Opelika Metropolitan Area, but I don't doubt that there was at least an understanding there that Malzahn was the coach if he wanted to be. Their next target will likely be Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin, even though Maryland really hasn't had much of an offense to coordinate lately.

David Williams doesn't sound sold on Franklin
This continues to be the most open head-coaching search I've ever seen. I'm not sure if that's good or bad for Vanderbilt. Franklin is on David Williams' call sheet.

I really don’t know. Certainly, I would suggest I would probably be talking to him. But I had a list of people this morning I planned to talk to. He was on that list, but there are other people on that list.


Bill Stewart out
The Smoking Musket, our West Virginia blog, has Bill Stewart leaving West Virginia and Dana Holgorsen taking over. If Vanderbilt wants a head-coaching veteran ...

Encouraging news for Florida fans ... and Alabama fans
The good news for Florida fans: Kirby Smart is considering a quasi-offer to be the defensive coordinator in Gainesville. Alabama fans can note that he is reportedly not ready to take it.

The University of Florida defensive coordinator position is Kirby Smart's to turn down, but he is leaning toward staying at Alabama, a source close to the situation told The Tuscaloosa News late Monday night.

That "source" is likely Nick Saban or Kirby Smart, who couldn't officially comment on it given the Alabama policy that would require him not to talk. I think this is less than a 50-50 shot at this point, and that Smart is considering this more as a favor to Will Muschamp than because he's ready to bolt from Tuscaloosa. Florida is probably going to have to rebuild next year, and Muschamp is also a defensive coach, meaning Smart probably wouldn't get much more responsibility/credit there than he's gotten at Alabama.

Muschamp is going Jim Harbaugh to convince him
This appears to be the actual Twitter account for the new Florida head coach, and its first two posts have twice as much humanity as the entire history of Urban Meyer's tweets. That includes ...

I am very proud to be part of the Gator Nation! Hopefully a good friend of mine will be smart also! #Gatorsless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone


The other defensive coordinator candidate: Will Muschamp
He would presumably not be as hard to convince. That he's even considering it could be something that Smart will want to weigh.

Applewhite out
Which means there's one fewer candidate for Muschamp's most important hire. Not that I think that's necessarily a bad thing in this case.

Teryl Austin is the coordinator to be named later?
He's reportedly the favorite to get the defensive head job at Texas.

Burnt Orange Nation is skeptical
They point to the fact that Austin's skill set don't exactly match up with what Texas is looking for.

The Longhorns would probably need to hire a linebackers coach if they decide on Austin and they already have an extremely accomplished defensive backs coach in Duane Akina, so Austin's expertise doesn't add a lot to the overall makeup of the defensive coaching staff. Since Shannon could not only coach the linebackers, but also has a better reputation as a recruiter -- he seems like the safer choice at this point and Austin seems like more of a back-up plan than the top candidate, which is surely still Shannon.

Of course, Randy Shannon could still be in the mix for some head coaching jobs. (I still think he would be a great hire for Vanderbilt, if he's willing, but what do I know?) But if nothing materializes on that front, he'd be a great defensive coordinator for any program.


Wait -- what?
This doesn't really make that much sense, but I think I get what they're saying about Nike's Tuesday event.

Nike also will unveil the BCS uniforms for the TCU Horned Frogs, Boise State Broncos and Florida Gators. TCU and Florida have worn helmets this season specially designed by Nike and painted by a Dundee, Ore., company, Hydro Graphics.

I'm guessing this means the bowl uniforms, seeing as how two of those teams are not going to BCS bowls. So have fun with Photoshop.

Lane Kiffin might never coach again
The NCAA will now suspend coaches for secondary violations.