Television executives are surely plotting to devise a reality show that packs half the drama of the search for the next Tennessee Volunteers head football coach. Greg Schiano, Jeff Brohm, Dave Doeren and Mike Leach have all been linked to the job, but so has virtually everyone else in the world.
At this point, however, the Off Tackle Empire I-Team can confirm* that every 2017 Big Ten football coach has been contacted and for various reasons has not been hired. Here’s the rundown.
*(Note: this is satire, and we can’t factually confirm anything. Also, we’re a blog, not a newspaper. It’s worth pointing out that this information is no less accurate than most of the “confirmed” “reports” coming out of #VolTwitter right now).
Chris Ash, Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Look, we’ve already established through the Greg Schiano debacle that digging Rutgers out of the sub-basement doesn’t mean a thing. Ash has an even worse winning percentage at Rutgers than Schiano. Plus, if Chris Ash looks as sad as he does while winning a game against Illinois, imagine his face at halftime against Alabama. Tennessee learned from their first mistake of this offseason.
James Franklin, Penn State Nittany Lions: Once lost to Derek Dooley. Yikes. Although this was the only questionable thing to happen during or immediately after Franklin’s tenure as the Vanderbilt Commodores head coach, this is still pretty disqualifying. Continuing their Google search of his credentials, Tennessee officials also confirmed that his middle name is “Geoffrey,” which evokes Geoffrey Bodine, a damn Yankee from upstate New York who was among the first outsider to infiltrate the ranks of NASCAR and begin the process of ruining it. Why, Tennessee’s Sterling Marlin would have won THREE Daytona 500s if not for that sumbitch!
DJ Durkin, Maryland Terrapins: After a rumor about his playlist containing no contemporary country went viral, negotiations stalled.
Urban Meyer, Ohio State Buckeyes: This man is harboring a fugitive from justice in Greg Schiano, who was convicted in the court of #VolTwitter for crimes against humanity. Aiding and abetting a fugitive from Vol Justice is not a good look.
Paul Chryst, Wisconsin Badgers: An exhaustive search by the athletic department failed to produce any contact info for Chryst, and they were forced to abandon negotiations when an email to firstname.lastname@example.org bounced.
Lovie Smith, Illinois Fighting Illini: The Board of Trustees came to a consensus that Lovie just...doesn’t have...the look of a head football coach, you know? It’s just hard to picture him as the head coach. Maybe a defensive coordinator.
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines: Tennessee doesn’t want this becoming a big circus or something.
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State Spartans: Negotiations were well underway until Dantonio became concerned that the local media might pay attention to his team and even say nice things about them. Concerned that "nobody can win with a poisonous culture like that," he backed out.
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa Hawkeyes: Unable to finalize contract due to concerns about the cataclysmic potential economic impact of paying his full buyout.
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern Wildcats: Was blown out by Butch Jones in a bowl game, thus making him transitively the worst Volunteer football coach of all time before he could even be announced.
Tom Allen, Indiana Hoosiers: After a quick and massive Twitter backlash to erroneous reports that he’d offered the job to Tim Allen, Currie was spooked and cut off talks with the Indiana coach.
PJ Fleck, Minnesota Golden Gophers: A University official went to meet with him only to be slapped in the face by a defiant Fleck: "How dare you question my loyalty? This is my home and I'll coach here until all the life has hustled out of my body! I would never do a thing like take a coordinator job only to take a totally different job the next day and not even tell my boss."
Mike Riley, Nebraska Cornhuskers Emeritus: Announcement expected as soon as Tennessee agrees to terms that would essentially make Bob Diaco the head coach in waiting.