As the rumor mill heats up on who the next head basketball coach at Kentucky will be, names like John Calipari, Tom Izzo, Jaime Dixon and even Slick Rick Pitino have repeatedly bobbed to the surface.
Calipari, called Calamari by his critics, has NCAA baggage from his days at UMASS. It's hard to imagine Dick Vitale's darling kissing up to the bluebloods as a condition of his employment.
Tom Izzo is rumored to be restless at Michigan State, but he is in his home state, and quite well compensated one would assume.
Jaime Dixon's Pittsburgh teams play a sort of WWF, half-court brand of basketball unlikely to find favor in the bluegrass state.
I wouldn't completely rule out Pitino, but the been-there-done-that factor can not be ignored along with Slick Rick's wife; who reportedly had about as much use for Lexington as an AIG executive has for flying coach.
So, that leaves the fallback candidates like John Pelphrey of Arkansas, and Travis Ford of Oklahoma State.
Pelphrey was 2-15 vs SEC competition in 2009...Next.
That leaves Travis Ford, formerly of Eastern Kentucky and UMASS. More importantly, a former Kentucky Wildcat point guard. After one good year at T. Boone Pickens, I mean Oklahoma State, could Ford be a better idea to land at UK?
Many UK fans, including my wife, a native of Mt. Sterling, KY, believe Travis Ford to be the next coach at Kentucky. Ford would certainly understand the off the court obligations of the job better than any of the other candidates, except Pitino of course.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy's cab driver pal would understand those duties better than the last UK coach, Billy Clyde Gillispie.
Speaking of Billy Gillispie, where does Billy Clyde wind up when the coaching carousal, excuse me carousel, comes to a stop?
If Travis Ford is indeed hired at UK, why Oklahoma State, of course.
Meaning that Travis Ford/Kentucky and Billy Gillispie/Oklahoma State will have traded jobs, and coaches.
It all makes sense.
The only previous coach fired at UK, at least in the post-Rupp era, Eddie Sutton, resurfaced at OSU almost immediately. Party-hearty coach goes from UK to OSU, deja vu.
Billy Gillispie is still highly regarded in the Big 12 from his days at Texas A&M. Gillispie's mentor, Bill Self, a former Sutton assistant, is an OSU alum. Gillispie would know the recruitiing territory from his days at Tulsa with Self. Billy Clyde is a native of talent rich Texas.
Houston, near A&M, is a hotbed of basketball talent.
BCG has indirect ties to Eddie Sutton through Self. The coach that Gillispie's style has always reminded me of the most is Eddie Sutton. Gillispie's best friend reportedly is Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, another Sutton disciple.
Mark it down.
If Travis Ford lands in Lexington, as many believe he will, Gillispie, like Eddie Sutton almost 20 years earlier, will resurface in Stillwater, OK.