Thoughts of the day: December 23, 2013

A few thoughts to jump start your Monday morning:

Okay, you could make a case that Will Muschamp set records for bad luck in 2013, but there are some folks out there who think Will is a good luck charm. Their names are Clay Helton, Mike Norvell, Noel Mazzone and Blake Anderson. All of them are getting pay raises since word got around that Florida was actively looking at them in regards to the open offensive coordinator position. Anderson landed the Arkansas State head coaching gig and Norvell got a $200,000 boost in pay and a nice title to go with offensive coordinator.

So while those guys are spending the holidays convincing their wives who come home with a ton of sale items that they’ve saved as much money as they can afford for one Christmas season, Muschamp’s search for an offensive coordinator continues.

Here are 10 coordinators who are available. The top two have been rumored to be talking to Muschamp and both have connections to the Florida staff.

1. KURT ROPER, Duke: Roper is a former Rice University quarterback who has been working with David Cutcliffe since he went to Tennessee as a graduate assistant in 1998 and he’s been with Cutcliffe at Ole Miss and now at Duke since 2008. Cutcliffe also has a history of working with Joker Phillips. Roper coached the quarterbacks and Phillips called the plays at Kentucky in 2005. At Duke this season, the Blue Devils averaged 31.6 points and 408.1 yards per game (5.68 per play) with 48 offensive touchdowns. Duke averaged 4.45 per rush (25 touchdowns) and 7.1 per pass play (3,047 yards and 23 touchdowns).

2. DARRELL WYATT, Texas: A colleague from his 2009 season at Southern Miss when he called the plays, said Sunday: “If you want to know about Blake Anderson, then you need to talk to Darrell Wyatt. He taught Blake everything he knows.” Wyatt has been the co-offensive coordinator at Texas the last three years and has a strong relationship with Muschamp. Major Applewhite calls the plays but it’s well known that Texas runs Wyatt’s offense. He was the offensive coordinator at Southern Miss in 2009 when the Golden Eagles averaged 32.9 points and 416.4 yards per game. Southern Miss averaged 4.6 yards per rush (23 touchdowns); 7.8 yards per pass attempt (3,055 yards, 27 touchdowns) and 5.99 yards per play. At Texas this season, the Longhorns 31.2 points and 423.1 yards per game. Texas averaged 4.47 yards per rush (24 touchdowns), 6.6 yards per pass (2,706 yards and 18 touchdowns) and 5.41 yards per play. Wyatt will be unemployed after the Alamo Bowl Saturday.

3. BILL LEGG, Marshall: He has been the offensive coordinator at Purdue during the Joe Tiller years and now is calling the plays and coaching dynamic quarterback Rakeem Cato at Marshall. The Thundering Herd scored 72 offensive touchdowns this season, averaging 43 points per game and 502.2 yards. The Herd averaged 5.12 yards per rush (33 touchdowns), 7.9 per pass attempt (39 touchdowns) and 6.44 yards per offensive play.

4. ANDY LUDWIG, Wisconsin: He is a product of the Mouse Davis run-and-shoot system but honed his skills working as the offensive coordinator at Oregon under Mike Belotti from 2002-04. He has also served as the offensive coordinator at Fresno State, Oregon (under Mike Belotti), Utah (under Kyle Whittingham), California under Jeff Tedford and is currently the coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Wisconsin. This season the Badgers scored 35.8 points per game while averaging 6.6 yards per rush (35 touchdowns), 7.4 per pass attempt (20 touchdowns) and 6.93 yards per play (486.8 yards per game; 55 offensive touchdowns).

5. DAVID YOST, Washington State: He spent 12 years at Missouri coaching quarterbacks and spent the last four as the offensive coordinator. He sent three quarterbacks to the NFL, including Chase Daniel, a 2007 Heisman finalist. His 2011 Missouri offense averaged 32.8 points; 5.38 yards per rush (30 touchdowns); 3,017 passing yards (23 touchdowns) and 7.9 yards per attempt; and 475.5 yards per game (6.36 per play). His quarterback that year was James Franklin, who ran for 981 yards and threw for 2,872. He left Mizzou after 12 years, claiming burnout and resurfaced as Mike Leach’s wide receivers coach. After a year in Pullman he might be ready to call plays again. Prior to 2012 when Missouri had far too many injuries, Yost was considered one of the bright young coordinators in college football.

6. JEFF TEDFORD, Unemployed: Cal fired him after going 82-57 in 11 seasons. Prior to Tedford, Cal won 29 games from 1994-2001. He has long been considered an offensive genius. When Urban Meyer wanted to inject more passing into his offense, first at Utah and then at Florida, he had the California staff come work with his staffs to exchange ideas and teach. He was a starting quarterback in the Canadian Football League and was Trent Dilfer’s college position coach at Fresno State.

7. SETH LITTRELL, Indiana: Littrell calls the plays while coaching the tight ends and fullbacks at Indiana, which averaged 508.5 yards per game (6.58 per play) and 38.4 points per game this year. Unfortunately, the Hoosier couldn’t stop anyone and gave up 38.8. Indiana averaged 5.29 yards per rush (25 touchdowns) and threw for 3,680 yards (7.8 per attempt and 36 touchdowns).

8. LINCOLN RILEY, East Carolina: He runs the Mike Leach system. Why is that important? Will Muschamp coached at Valdosta State under Chris Hatcher, who was coached at Valdosta by Hal Mumme, whose staff included Leach and Dana Holgorsen. It’s a pass heavy offense that puts up the points. ECU averaged 40.4 points and 5.86 yards per play while scoring 60 offensive touchdowns. The Pirates averaged 3.65 per rush (27 touchdowns); 7.7 per pass attempt (3,978 yards and 33 touchdowns).

9. CALVIN MAGEE, Arizona: There is a Florida connection with Magee, a former Tampa Bay Bucs tight end and high school coach in the Tampa area who was on Jim Leavitt’s staff at USF from 1996-2000. He has worked as the offensive coordinator for Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia and Michigan, then spent one year as the offensive coordinator for Todd Graham at Pitt. When Rodriguez returned to coaching in 2012, Magee joined his staff at Arizona where he doubles as the running backs coach. This year, Arizona averaged 32.8 points per game and 5.68 yards per play. The Wildcats ran for 5.33 yards per carry (33 touchdowns); and threw for 2,241 yards and 14 touchdowns (6.2 yards per attempt). In 2012, the Zona offense averaged 38.2 points, 6.32 per play, 5.44 per rush and 7.2 per pass attempt. He’s considered a dynamic recruiter.

10. JEFF BROHM, Western Kentucky: This might be one to watch since Jeremy Foley has long been a big fan of Brohm’s boss, Bobby Petrino. Brohm played quarterback at Louisville under Howard Schnellenberger and also worked as Schnellenberger’s quarterbacks coach in 2009 and Ron Zook’s quarterbacks coach at Illinois in 2010-11. He coached quarterbacks for Petrino at Louisville and with the Atlanta Falcons. In 2013, Western Kentucky averaged 30.8 points per game, 5.05 yards per rush (31 touchdowns); passed for 3,040 yards and 15 touchdowns (7.7 per attempt); and 458.5 offensive yards per game (6.29 per attempt).


It’s Christmas. Straight No Chaser has its own version of “The Nutcracker” which has some very cool references to the obvious — that football is a lot more interesting than ballet. This is funny stuff.


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Franz Beard
Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.


  1. Wow that is quite the list… Even without the “headliners” that have fallen off this past week. Tedford would be an interesting choice, but there are no ties to Muschamp. Ludwig, Wyatt or Roper seem like all good choices, and all have some connection.