David Cutcliffe expected to become next Duke head coach

Update [2007-12-14 12:2:9 by Joel]: Well, so much for the GVX source they cited late last night saying the job had been offered. Cutcliffe just met with the media and said it had not. From GVX:

David Cutcliffe said Friday morning he has not been offered the head coaching job at Duke. Cutcliffe declined to comment further on his possibilities at Duke, saying he would prefer not to speculate on whether or not he expects to be offered the job.

Not much meat on that bone, but plenty to gnaw on.

Update [2007-12-14 7:45:31 by Joel]: Keep in mind that as of right now, nothing's official. Curiously, GoVolsXtra is down right now. The story linked below did in fact cite a source in reporting that Cutcliffe had been offered by Duke and that he would likely accept. But still . . . nothing official. Stay tuned. Keep your eye on ESPN's Chris Low, the best-sourced guy on these matters.

GoVolsXtra cites a source within the Tennessee football program expecting offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe to accept an offer to become the head coach for the Duke Blue Devils.

Yikes that happened fast. As of right now, Cutcliffe's not talking, Fulmer's not talking, and athletic director Mike Hamilton is "declining comment."

The unidentified source knows not whether Cutcliffe will continue to coach Tennessee's offense through the Outback Bowl.

Okay, fine. Good luck to you, coach Cut. Seriously. Vol fans, fret not for this year. Remember, Cutcliffe left early for Ole Miss and didn't coach in the 1998 National Championship game and that turned out just fine. There's power in unknown tendencies.

But what about next year? Who's available? Did anybody even think this was a possibility or has Hamilton been caught completely off guard?

And how does Jonathan Crompton -- who's patiently waited his turn for the Manning-Maker's undivided attention -- feel about the whole thing? Hey, he's from North Carolina, isn't he? Hmm.

More tomorrow, no doubt.

Update [2007-12-14 6:54:59 by Joel]: Still nothing official yet this morning. I'll be tied up at work most of the day, so if you see an official announcement, be sure to post it in the comments below. Also, let's talk replacements. A plan: (1) brainstorm a few names of available candidates; (2) look at the schools with the best offenses to see who we might be able to swipe from someone else; and (3) do some preliminary research on those guys. It's almost 7:00 a.m. now, and I'll get as far as I can and post what I have at 7:30. All y'all take it from there.

Update [2007-12-14 7:38:25 by Joel]: Okay, so this is all I have for now.

Trooper Taylor. Initial gut reactions. I love this guy, and make no mistake, he's more than just a chest bumper. He's got the right work ethic, and he's a fantastic, principled guy to have around. He can certainly recruit and motivate. In his first two years, he redirected first the underachieving stable of running backs and then an underachieving corps of receivers. Best of luck, Troop.

Al Borges. Offensive darling of the SEC for a couple of ears. I'm sorry, years. I meant to say years. Last couple of years, his production dropped off. Have SEC defensive coordinators figured him out? Still, he might be the "safest" hire, and we all know that The Papa likes safe. He's a "west coast" offense guy, not one of those spread guys.

How about Norm Chow? Yeah, right, but this brings up an interesting question. The only way you could attract somebody like that is to hint that upward mobility into the head coaching position is imminent. What does that do to the guys already there? Would any of them be miffed that their long-term loyalty to the program has suddenly been snuffed?

High-powered offenses:

TOTAL OFFENSE
Rank Name Games Plays Yds Avg TDs Ydspgm Wins Losses Ties
1 Tulsa 13 1040 7053 6.78 70 542.54 9 4 0
2 Texas Tech 12 920 6444 7.00 66 537.00 8 4 0
3 Hawaii 12 867 6351 7.33 75 529.25 12 0 0
4 Houston 12 968 6158 6.36 58 513.17 8 4 0
5 Missouri 13 1040 6405 6.16 65 492.69 11 2 0
6 Kansas 12 914 5893 6.45 69 491.08 11 1 0
7 Nevada 12 892 5867 6.58 56 488.92 6 6 0
8 Louisville 12 909 5856 6.44 55 488.00 6 6 0
9 Oklahoma St. 12 895 5809 6.49 53 484.08 6 6 0
10 Boise St. 12 910 5708 6.27 67 475.67 10 2 0
11 Nebraska 12 898 5619 6.26 53 468.25 5 7 0
12 Oregon 12 955 5545 5.81 55 462.08 8 4 0
13 Florida 12 782 5544 7.09 70 462.00 9 3 0
13 Texas 12 889 5544 6.24 55 462.00 9 3 0
15 BYU 12 933 5491 5.89 50 457.58 10 2 0
16 Arkansas 12 855 5489 6.42 61 457.42 8 4 0
17 Troy 12 979 5434 5.55 52 452.83 8 4 0
18 Oklahoma 13 899 5866 6.53 77 451.23 11 2 0
19 West Virginia 12 835 5406 6.47 62 450.50 10 2 0
20 Toledo 12 916 5381 5.87 52 448.42 5 7 0

 

SCORING OFFENSE
Rank Name Games Points Avg TDs Kxp Oxp Dkxp Doxp FG Sf Wins Losses Ties
1 Hawaii 12 554 46.17 75 69 0 0 0 11 1 12 0 0
2 Kansas 12 532 44.33 69 63 0 0 0 17 2 11 1 0
3 Oklahoma 13 564 43.38 77 70 0 0 0 10 1 11 2 0
4 Florida 12 517 43.08 70 67 0 0 0 10 0 9 3 0
5 Boise St. 12 513 42.75 67 64 1 0 0 15 0 10 2 0
6 Texas Tech 12 501 41.75 66 63 2 0 0 12 1 8 4 0
7 Missouri 13 520 40.00 65 62 2 0 0 20 2 11 2 0
8 Navy 12 479 39.92 61 55 4 0 0 16 1 8 4 0
9 Arkansas 12 478 39.83 61 57 1 0 0 17 1 8 4 0
10 Tulsa 13 513 39.46 70 64 2 0 1 7 1 9 4 0
11 West Virginia 12 467 38.92 62 60 0 0 0 11 1 10 2 0
12 LSU 13 503 38.69 61 58 2 0 0 25 0 11 2 0
13 UCF 13 499 38.38 62 58 1 0 0 21 2 10 3 0
14 Cincinnati 12 441 36.75 59 53 0 0 0 10 2 9 3 0
15 Kentucky 12 440 36.67 57 48 1 0 0 16 0 7 5 0
15 Oregon 12 440 36.67 55 53 2 0 0 17 1 8 4 0
17 Houston 12 436 36.33 58 53 1 0 0 11 0 8 4 0
18 Nevada 12 435 36.25 56 51 0 0 0 16 0 6 6 0
19 Texas 12 432 36.00 55 51 0 0 0 17 0 9 3 0
20 South Fla. 12 430 35.83 54 51 0 0 0 17 2 9 3 0

What do you think? Any chance Tennessee could get a head coach from a offensively-successful smaller school? Somebody like Tulsa's Todd Graham? Or Hawaii's June Jones? Tulsa doesn't disclose its coaching salaries, but Jones makes only a bit over $800k. Would somebody like that take half the salary for a shot at the The Papa's job in a few years?

Okay, so probably no. So what about coordinators? It appears that because Jones runs his own offense at Hawaii, there's no very good candidate there. Gus Malzahn is at Tulsa, but he's still only two years removed from high school. Question: what did Tulsa's offense look like last year? Is this year's success due to Graham or Malzahn? What about Texas Tech's Dana Holgorsen?

Time's up for me for now. See what y'all can come up with.

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