Technical difficulties resulted in a lost blog entry so I will attempt to rehash what was said earlier.
First, I am not even sure why I showed up Saturday. The game was over (almost literally) the moment SMU kicked off. I am sure Bennett really hoped to get a win in these last four games to prove he could coach. I am sure Bennett would have loved for that win to come against Central Florida-the school where Steve Orsini first cut his teeth as an athletic director. Alas, it was not meant to be.
Second, walking up and down the Boulevard, it is clear that everyone has a similar story to tell. Orsini has his guy; he is just waiting until the season is over to make the announcement. It is Nutt. No, wait. It is Kragthorpe. No, it is Fran. No, it is the great mystery candidate that will blow everybody away. Everybody has there own version of the rumor. I suppose one aspect is consistent: Orsini has his guy. This may be true. I hope it is. I suppose we only have a week (or two if you count the MWC, WAC and PAC 10 schedules and the conference championships).
Footballrumormill.com, for what it is worth, is still going with its “Steve Kragthorpe will coach SMU next year” story.
Like many people, I have become convinced that Orsini has his guy; he may even have a deal in place. There is, however, only one thing that we really know. The next head coach will have head coaching experience at the Division I-A level (Bowl Subdivision).
After thinking about it, I have convinced myself of one more thing. Orsini’s first choice is currently a head coach. I will even go further, I believe (I admit I could be wrong) that Orsini’s number #1 target is not a coach that has one foot out the door at his current job. That means I don’t believe it is Fran and I don’t believe it is Houston Nutt. This means SMU will be hiring a coach away from someplace else; somewhere were that coach, if not for SMU, would be coaching next year.
This course of action is not without its pitfalls. If I am right, we are obviously talking about SMU “ponying up” some serious funds. I have commented more than once that Orsini may very well get a couple of coaches raises and extensions from their current schools before he gets one to come to SMU. Another concern is that this almost certainly means waiting until the season is over. Right now, I believe there are three openings, with many more to come in the next few weeks. SMU can compete with some of those schools, but not all.
I will leave you with this, which I have said many times. Over the past 24 months, there have been two major openings in the athletic department: First the athletic director and then the men’s basketball coach. During each search, many SMU fans repeatedly wondered who SMU could ever get to take such a terrible job? The answer, in each case, was better than most people imagined. First, Orsini left a conference rival for the same position at SMU, and then former NCAA coach of the year Matt Doherty was hired to take over the basketball program. I expect this search to end no differently.