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Thamel: Tennessee won’t be able to lure a big name coaching candidate

Oh boy.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Ohio State Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we have our first wet blanket column regarding the Tennessee coaching search. It comes from Pete Thamel, who isn’t optimistic about the chances of Tennessee landing a big name coach. He thinks the Vols will have to pick from the B List.

After naming Chip Kelly, Scott Frost and Dan Mullen for Florida, Thamel goes down a very different path for Tennessee.

So that brings us to Tennessee, and the early read on the Vols’ search is that they’re not going to be able to lure a big name. Cross off the above three names as candidates, as they can all do better or have better situations. (Playing Alabama in a crossover game every year hurts the perception of this job nationally).

Thamel gives the Vols no shot with Mullen, Kelly or Frost because they all have better options or situations. I’m not sure about all of that, but here’s who he thinks is more realistic.

TCU’s Gary Patterson, Utah’s Kyle Whittingham and Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano all have enough experience.

As for sound younger coaches, Purdue’s Jeff Brohm and Memphis’ Mike Norvell would be the best fits.

Thamel notes that the buyouts of Matt Campbell and Justin Fuente eliminate them from contention right off of the bat.

Both Wittingham and Patterson have been connected to the job in the past. Wittingham declined the job in 2010. As we wrote last week, Patterson interviewed for the job in 2008, but wasn’t offered. Would either of them be interested this time around?