As Tennessee's search moves into its third full day, there is still very little smoke and no fire heading into Easter weekend. Making matters more complicated, Missouri has entered the fray with Frank Haith getting out before the firing squad in Columbia. Many of the names in this poll are also found on Missouri's board. Haith was making $1.6 million at Missouri, more than Cuonzo but certainly not a number guaranteeing the Tigers will out-bid the Vols. However, with two competitive openings at traditionally strong programs in a power conference, everybody may get paid by the time this is over.
If the Vols aren't going to drop $2.5ish million on Gregg Marshall or Shaka Smart - and again, no smoke anywhere yet - who would you like to see Tennessee hire? We've also removed Ben Howland and Lawrence Frank from this list, with almost zero chatter around the Vol sites on those two names. What remains is a Top 10 list of those receiving the most chatter, which still doesn't appear to be much around a single candidate or even a tier of preference outside of the local guys Byrd and Wade being more on the fringe.
This isn't exclusively the mid-major list at all, though some would be disappointed to not land one of the big fish. But some of these names would be viewed as a lateral-to-upgrade hire over Cuonzo Martin's current fact sheet, and would certainly require more than the $1.3 million he was making.
A few fun facts about these RTT fan polls and their reliability. When it became crystal clear Jon Gruden wasn't coming to Knoxville, Charlie Strong dominated our fan poll. The Vols offered him the job but were left at the altar. How did fans respond? Phillip Fulmer won the next poll, less than 24 hours before the Vols hired Butch Jones, who got fewer votes than anyone on our list. I think Garth Brooks wrote a song about that.
I'd love for Tennessee to hire Gregg Marshall, but if we don't the whole thing isn't a failure and there are good names on this list. Who ya got?