To this point there has been a lot of talking, many trees killed in the name if speculating on who UNC officials might be considering, and really nothing new. As of this morning we had four candidates that are allegedly at the top of the UNC list according to the always reliable "source familiar with the situation." Also inherent in these sourced reports are various contradictions with are too numerous to delve into here. Since UNC is making use of a consultant who can make contact with candidates and gauge interest there is no need to broadcast any news and in my opinion, unless these so-called sources are working directly with Chuck Neinas, then I will always doubt the firmness of their information. Nevertheless the speculation goes on and the N&O's Caulton Tudor, has rightfully pointed out, that UNC can take a run at Butch Davis right now. Davis is not presently coaching and has expressed an interest in returning to coaching while calling the UNC job a good one. According to Tudor there are no obstacles here to overcome in immediately putting an offer on the table and getting an answer, all outside the public eye.
Honestly, I am not enamoured with Davis. I know that he has a lot of play on the message boards. Everyone looks at his body of work at Miami and assumes he us not only a perfect fit for UNC but can duplicate that success in Chapel Hill. Tudor points out that Davis might be prone to step right on top of UNC's collective heads on his way back up the coaching ladder to a football school or NFL team. I also think there are salary limitations where Davis is concerned. And as much as I do not necessarily mind a coach who might leave after 8-10 years for somewhere like Texas, I get the feeling Davis would leave a lot sooner than that. I have also pointed out previously that Davis' public comments can only be construed as self-serving and not in the best interest of UNC.
As for the other candidates, the Winston-Salem Journal, had the article of the day saying that UNC was most interested in Navy's Paul Johnson, West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez, and Tulsa's Steve Kragthorpe. Perhaps the most humorous part of the article was the source citation:
...according to sources who say that they are familiar with the situation.
Just so we are clear, these are not sources who are familiar with situation. No, these sources say they are familiar with situations. I guess that sounds better than saying:
...according to sources who are speculating just like the rest of us and came up with three names that everyone had assumed would be on the list
Anyway. I agree with two names on that list. I am have no idea why Rodriguez's name keeps popping up since he is a West Virginia grad and is coaching the #4 team in the nation right now. Yes, he may have expressed interest but something tells me it is that Frank Beamer kind of interest because Rodriguez also happens to be only the fourth highest paid coach in the Big East. So luring a coach, who may be on his way to posting back-to-back 11 win seasons at his alma mater, into making what amounts to a lateral move is bound to be a nearly impossible task. As for Paul Johnson and Steve Kragthorpe, I think that is where the real focus is at depending on their interest. I think Rodriguez made be a red herring and UNC probably realizes Davis is playing for a better hand. Johnson and Kragthorpe have turned perpetual losers into winners and in case you have not noticed UNC is a perpetual loser at the moment. The fact these guys know how to step into a situation, right the ship and get it moving in the right direction should be a huge selling point. And it is not like the cupboard will be bare at UNC either. Both these coaches should also be immeniently affordable although not available for another five weeks.
So, I think we should hunker down for a long wait. With some of the candidates still coaching their teams and trying to get into a bowl, we should prepare for a extended period of slow news and more sources telling us what they say is happening.