Don't expect SMU to announce its new coach in the next couple of days.
Yes, the search is on Week 5. SMU was the first to move when it fired Phil Bennett on Oct. 28. Baylor and Texas A&M already have their new coaches. New positions are opening rapidly.
But SMU athletic director Steve Orsini on Wednesday insisted that SMU is right where it wants to and planned to be. And that's still trying to get the right man.
"As we've said, we're aiming high," Orsini said. "We're looking for an established coach with a proven track record. With that, you kind of give up your schedule sometimes to make yourself attractive and work with the top candidates."
Orsini said while he's pleased with how things are going, "Until we get our guy, there's no celebration here."
She promised more in tomorrow's paper, but these are likely the money quotes. We also got this little nugget: former Washington and Colorado coach Rick Neuheisel is interested. Neuheisel s the current offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens.
We haven't quite reached the level where Kevin Bacon is trying to keep people calm during a riot, but we are getting close. The silence from SMU these past FIVE WEEKS has been very unsettling, to say the least.
REMAIN CALM!!! ALL IS WELL!!!
Scott Farrell at Mustangmaniacs sums it up pretty well:
The wait has changed the general perception of the search from "Who will be the next coach?" to "What's going wrong with the search?"
I agree with the statement completely. I find the silence maddening. Especially now that A&M, Ole Miss and Baylor have announced coaches. The one thing I would counter that with is that I really believe that if the search were going that badly, we would know. I don't think we have heard from credible sources that SMU has contacted a lot of coaches. We have had blog reports, which aren't the same thing. Any idiot can blog (take that statement with as much irony as you choose). Neither of the three biggest blogs reporting rumors these days have been in existence even six months. They don't have any credibility. And when they throw out the OC from Missouri the day after Bennett is let go, you know something is amiss because it directly contradicts what Orsini said the day before.
If SMU offered a current head coach, I think we would know. I think most coaches would use interest to raise their profile and get a raise. Maybe Kragthorpe was doing that and things got out of hand.
So, I am not as worried as some are, but I am getting ... anxious.
Oh, and footballrumormill.com says SMU is close to a deal with Navy's Paul Johnson, but they were the guys that started the Kragthorpe imbroglio.
For the record I think Paul Johnson can coach. However, I am not particularly enamoured with "gimmick system" coaches, like Johnson who runs the triple option. My feeling is that as soon as the program gets to a level of respectability and seven wins a year, fans start blaming the system for not getting the team "over the hump." Of course, that would be a nice problem for SMU to have.