I thought we'd bring things full circle real quick and just look at what we know or at least what we think we know as we head into week two of Sheahon Zenger's head coaching search. One thing does seem certain and that is that Zenger has kept a pretty tight lid on things and between that and the Jayhawks seemingly waiting on a few other dominoes to fall, there hasn't been a whole lot of clarity to the situations.
Here's the names we've heard in the last week: Larry Fedora, Guz Malzahn, Dave Christensen, Dave Doeren, Troy Calhoun, Mark Stoops, Sonny Dykes and maybe to a lesser extent names like Dirk Koetter, June Jones, Houston Nutt, Gary Barnett, Phil Fulmer and some others that also seem like a little bit of a shot in the dark.
In terms of openings, here's what we're looking at:
Ole Miss - Seems to be off the board as of last night
Now the Penn State gig doesn't seem to have much to do with the Kansas opening but each of the others does in some way appear to have an impact on who Kansas might end up with. The Ole Miss job was the first big one because Larry Fedora was said to be in the running in Oxford but with Hugh Freeze taking that spot off the board it's one less school to worry about.
Unfortunately that isn't the only one. The next big hurdle looks to be Texas A&M. College Station and Tempe Arizona have been the two biggest circus acts of this coaching offseason with leaks left and right. Heading into Saturday Sumlin was a 'lock' for A&M. A loss to Fedora and Southern Miss and all the sudden all sort of other names seem to be topping the list including Fedora, Kirby Smart and Charlie Strong. According to JayhawkSlant Fedora will likely get an interview. If A&M offers, most outlets put it at near 100% that he'll take that gig.
The best thing for Kansas would have been Sumlin or someone else to A&M in a hurry because that would have left one hurdle between Kansas and Fedora if that is indeed the choice, and that would have been UNC. FootballScoop puts UNC as a Fedora v Peterson(Boise State) race but that seems likely to change.
The odd thing with Sumlin is that since his loss to Fedora he's suddenly gone from sought after to after thought with both Arizona State and UCLA leaking that he is no longer a candidate that they are looking at. That would seem to indicate he is either staying in Houston or going on to A&M, but we're still waiting to see what the Aggies do to know for sure.
So at this point we really seem to be looking at either a bit of a waiting game or perhaps Zenger going in a different direction altogether. Both KUSports and JayhawkSlant seem to speculate similar lists. The likely 'top 5' if you will would look like this: Larry Fedora, Gus Malzahn, Troy Calhoun, Dave Christensen, Mark Stoops with a bonus if you can guess any unknowns.
So anyone got a hunch where we're going with this thing? Kansas fans need to watch what happens at A&M, UNC and UCLA closely for any hints or dominoes that could impact the search. I like every one of the above listed top five in one way or another. I think we have to start getting some clarity to this thing in the coming days after a wild weekend that did more to fog up the situation than anything.