Now that Al Golden is out at Miami – this after an embarrassing 58-0 loss against then-No. 6, now-No. 3 Clemson this past Saturday – the focus had shifted to his replacement. There are many interested candidates, including former Hurricane Ed Reed, who has never coached, and Butch Davis, who coached at Miami from 1995 to 2000.
It’s hard to see either of those two landing the job.
“Yeah, I don’t think they’re going to bring back Butch Davis,” CBS Sports college football columnist Dennis Dodd said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Everybody likes Butch Davis. He’s a heck of a coach. He led them out of the wilderness from ’95 to 2000 and set Larry Coker up for a championship run. But he (turns) 64 (in November) and was fired at North Carolina for the John Blake transgression. And while his name wasn’t on any of the NCAA public-infractions reports, the president there said they just needed to make a change. I’m not casting aspersions to John, but in this case, I don’t think you can go home.”
If the Hurricanes choose to not stay in house, they may strongly consider Justin Fuente, one of the top young coaches in America. Fuente, 39, has Memphis (7-0) undefeated and ranked 16th in the country.
“I think he’s at a place now – considering all the jobs that are open – I think he’s going to have his pick more than vice versa,” Dodd said. “He’s been there four years, they’re undefeated, they beat Ole Miss – it’s never going to get better at Memphis than it is right now. He will have some kind of big-time job. Judging from what I see right now, it may come down to a bidding war between Miami and South Carolina, if they’re still interested.”
Expect Miami to be deliberate in its search. While Fuente would be an excellent choice for many reasons, there’s another promising 39-year-old in the ranks.
“The wild card in this is if Kirby Smart, the defensive coordinator at Alabama, wants to take one of these jobs,” Dodd said. “He could have had a job before, but I don’t think anything measured up to his standards – or the fact that Nick may have told him, ‘Look, hey, stick around. I’m going to retire in X amount of years.’ I think this might be the year Kirby Smart comes out of Alabama.”