Ole Miss Coaching Vacancy: The New Head Coach May Not Be Who You Think

Bohdi SandersContributor IIINovember 22, 2011

The popular buzz around the Ole Miss football program seems to be that either Gus Malzahn or Mike Leach will be the next head coach for the Rebels. But there are a couple of candidates who could be getting some serious consideration while at the same time flying under the radar.

Art Briles of Baylor and Bruce Arians from the Pittsburgh Steelers are both rumored to have an interest in the position.

Briles is credited with turning the Baylor program around. This year the Bears are 7-3 with wins over both TCU and Oklahoma. He has a history of success at Houston and as the running back coach at Texas Tech. His teams are known for having a high-powered offense.

Arians' coaching resume includes being the offensive coordinator for the Steelers, along with coaching at Alabama and Mississippi State. He was also the quarterback coach for the Colts when Peyton Manning was a rookie, so he has a connection with the Manning family.

If the two assumed front-runners, Leach and Malzahn don't pan out, Briles or Arians could surprise everyone and become a top candidate for the Rebel head man.

Currently, the options appear wide open. The committee is keeping things fairly quiet at this time. It is anyone's guess as to what is actually going on behind closed doors, but the buzz in the sports world is that both of these coaches would be interested in the position.

Out of these four, Leach probably has the best resume with his 84-43 record at Texas Tech. But he also comes with some baggage. But none of these four candidates come with any guarantees. Each has his strong points and his question marks.