With Urban Meyer announcing his resignation from Florida after the Sugar Bowl, the hoopla surrounding the program and its coaching position is sure to heat up. But who will be the candidates?
There is no doubt that Florida's coaching position is coveted by virtually every coach in America and expect loyalties to be broken along the way.
Expect Bob Stoops, Pete Carroll, Chris Petersen, and Steve Spurrier rumors to heat up, but another candidate may come into the race as well: Iowa's Kirk Ferentz.
Anyone who follows Iowa football knows about the coaching rumors that surround Ferentz every year. This year, experts were sure he was talking to Notre Dame. That never happened.
Last year, Ferentz to-the-NFL rumors heated up because his good friend Scott Pioli was headed to the Kansas City Chiefs as the general manager. Plus, the Browns basically offered him a job.
But Ferentz insisted he is happy in Iowa City.
And why wouldn't he be? He's one of the highest paid coaches in the country, the entire state of Iowa loves him, and he has incredible job security. Add that to two successful seasons in a row and great hope for the future, and you have a perfect coaching fit.
This isn't to say that Ferentz is leaving Iowa, because he likely won't. He hasn't even been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Florida job, and if he were, I still don't think he would leave.
But, unlike the others, Florida is a job that he would seriously consider.
The other teams that Ferentz was rumored to be talking to just weren't great positions. Notre Dame may be the worst job in the country because anything less than a BCS bowl is unacceptable.
The NFL jobs weren't particularly great either because, while it is the NFL, coaches are set up to fail when they take over franchises such as the Chiefs or the Browns. Just look at Eric Mangini, the man who has the job Ferentz would have had.
But Florida is different.
Unlike the other schools, he would be set up to succeed, not fail. Ferentz arguably does more with less than any other coach in the country. He continually brings in two-star recruits and turns them into superstars.
If he can turn his team of unknowns into a top-10 team, imagine what he could do with the surplus of talent at Florida.
No matter who is coaching the team or what its record is, recruits will come to Florida simply because its Florida. If you combine Ferentz's coaching style with the surplus of five-star recruits, Florida could be an even better team, which is hard to imagine after its success this decade.
Once again this is no done deal. Actually, the deal hasn't even started. And while others are capable of winning with the Gators, Ferentz would perhaps be the best fit.
For Ferentz, Iowa might be a better fit overall and it certainly would be hard for him to leave the Hawkeyes, but if there were ever a time for him to make a move, this is it.
Ferentz is getting older, and likely won't receive another opportunity like this in his lifetime. His youngest son is almost out of high school as well, and his sons' schooling was another reason he decided to stay put.
If all of the pieces fall into place, he will be out of excuses and might just have to take a look. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity for one of the best coaches in the game to go to one of the best programs in the game.
So, this offseason the routine Kirk Ferentz rumors will undoubtedly start again. But this time, there is a small chance that they could end how every Iowan fears, and their beloved coach may leave.
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