Saturday, November 25, 2017
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‘Hello, I must be going.’ The state of the Florida seven

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Before the season, I couldn't get over how deep a roster the state of Florida had when it came to college football head coaches. No state could compete. Consider that each of the coaches owned at least one championship ring. Some owned more than one. Consider that the bottom of the roster included Butch Davis, who owns college and NFL rings. Of course, Jim McElwain has replaced him there.

Who's staying and who's leaving after the season?

An update, with percentages.

Jim McElwain, Florida

Chances of leaving: 100 percent. He gone. McElwain wore out his welcome in Gainesville with awful offense and sourball behavior. Landing pads: Try Oregon State or anywhere else far from here where they think winning at Colorado State was a big deal.

Scott Frost, UCF

Chances of leaving: 100 percent. Meet this year's Tom Herman. Frost is the

flavor of the year. He has UCF 9-0 and the Knights lead the country in scoring. Yes, he's only been a head coach for two seasons, but UCF was 0-12 the season before he arrived. Landing pad: Frost will have his pick of jobs. It's impossible to think he won't pick one, from Florida to Tennessee to his alma mater, Nebraska. Charlie Strong can't derail that express, no matter what happens the day after Thanksgiving.

Lane Kiffin, FAU

Chances of leaving: 50 percent. Lane Kiffin would leave FAU yesterday. He is a live wire, slightly crazed. But he also has the Owls 7-3 and bowl eligible in his first season and they're averaging 39 points per game. Landing pad: UCF or USF are real possibilities. They'd represent a bump-up for Kiffin, who might be aiming hire, but who'll take the plunge and aim back. Can you trust him? He will find his way back to the Power Five at this rate.

Charlie Strong, USF

Chances of leaving: 40 percent. The question here isn't whether Strong would jump back into the Power Five after just one season at USF. He would. He might win 10 games at USF. The question is where he would fit and if there will be one of those jobs. And, no, he's not going to UCF if Frost leaves. Landing pad: Watch where Memphis coach Mike Norvell goes, because he's going. Norvell could go to Tennessee, Arkansas or Ole Miss. Charlie might be a fit at Arkansas (he grew up in the state) or Ole Miss, or even return to Louisville is Bobby Petrino leaves. Strong's age and the odor of Texas might work against him. He might be slightly boxed in.

Jimbo Fisher, Florida State

Chances of leaving: 25 percent. Yes, as awful as this season has been for FSU, Jimbo is relatively safe. On the other hand, his school once dismissed Bobby Bowden. So, what does "relatively safe" mean? And Fisher might be about ready to test the waters, and we don't mean that red herring at Texas last season – Tom Herman's job all along. Landing pad: Texas A&M might go and lose its mind and offer to pay Fisher more money, Saban money, to rescue the Aggies. Or maybe the Bucs season disintegrates – more – and the Bucs ask Jimbo to save Jameis.

Butch Davis, FIU

Chances of leaving: 15 percent. Leave it to Butch. He hadn't been a head coach since 2010, but he has the Panthers bowl eligible in his first season. But Davis is 65, and he was dismissed during North Carolina's problems. He wasn't directly implicated in the stench, but can't help his prospects. Landing pad: This feels like Davis' final job. Actually, when Davis was an advisor to then Bucs head coach Greg Schiano in 2012-13, that felt like his last job. Then again, Howard Schnellenberger coached FAU until he was 77. Never count out Butch.

Mark Richt, Miami

Chances of leaving: 0 percent. Richt has delivered at Coral Gables in just his second season and there is no conceivable reason for him to go anywhere but the College Football Playoff. Saturday night's battering of Notre Dame has put the Hurricanes back on the map. The man on the move might be Richt's defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz, who'd be just the kind of guy for a USF or UCF to hire if one of those jobs come open. Or Diaz might aim higher.

 
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