The football world was sent it's third major shocking coaching change last night. Following Bobby Bowden's announced retirement at Florida State and Urban Meyer's, well I'm still not quite sure what, at Florida, it is now being reported that USC head coach Pete Carroll will return to the NFL and become the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. Though the deal has not been finalized, it appears that only a few minor things need to be hammered out before it is signed.
The implication is that one of college football's most visable programs is now going to be looking for a new head man. The name's that have popped up most often have been Oregon St head coach Mike Riley, Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, and Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio.
The question is, would Jack Del Rio have any interest and would he go if offered the job? Here is the best I could say on both sides
Why Jack would jump ship
1. Jack Del Rio did interview for the LSU head coaching job after Nick Saban left in 2004. He was in a similar situation that he is in now, after several losing seasons and needing a playoff run to quiet the masses.
2. He did play both football and baseball at USC.
3. His situation as Jaguar head coach is tenious at best. Barring something unforseeable, Jack will survive his meeting with Wane Weaver. However, the line in the sand is clear for Del Rio. Even with another year of Gene Smith at the helm, will that instill enough talent to get this team deep into the playoffs?
4. He would walk into a program that a trained chimp could run. USC is easily the biggest program in college football
east west of Austin, TX and has it's pick of the litter in one of the best states for recruiting.
5. His personality could work better in college football. His fiery personality and players' coach reputation may work better at the college level. Pete Carroll was described much the same way and look how it worked for him.
Why Jack won't jump ship
1. Who knows if he'll even get to interview for the job. USC's reported #1 choice is Oregon St coach Mike Riley and while I'm told Corvallis, OR is a lovely town, I think he may want to move up in the world.
2. The jobs of a NFL and college head coach are very different. How will he do on the recruiting trail? At booster meetings?
3. Why would Pete Carroll leave this job? Even after the mega deals struck by Urban Meyer and Nick Saban, they're still 2nd in pay to Carroll. He's built a juggernaut of a program. Are the rumors that the NCAA finally has enough to get them for the Reggie Bush issues correct?
4.If he does interview and doesn't get it, does he risk blackballing himself out of the NFL? Weaver was reportedly quite angry after Jack essentially went behind his back to interview for the LSU job. If that happens again, I could see Weaver cutting the cord and perhaps having Del Rio blackballed for awhile.
5. Maybe he really thinks the 2010 Jaguars can catch lightning in a bottle.
Honestly, who knows at this point. At this time tomorrow the Carroll deal could be off and nothing comes of it. Either way, things will be interesting over the next few weeks.