NC State finds itself in coaching rumor mill
Posted November 15, 2012
The college coaching carousel starts well before the football season ends. Arkanas, Auburn and Tennessee have been waiting in line to get on for a few weeks. Once they get a spin, others will step right up for a ride.
Could NC State be one of the participants?
According to a Rivals affiliated site VandySports.com, Vanderbilt head football coach James Franklin turned down the opportunity to speak with NC State "about its head football coaching position." The article was initially placed behind a paywall and has since been deleted.
Setting aside for a moment how lame it is throw stories like this out there under the guise of paid insider content, it's important to remember the internet never forgets. The "sourced" story spread like wildfire on Twitter and message boards within minutes of posting.
That's how rumors worm their way into the mainstream, even if they stop making sense upon closer examination. Last time we checked, the Wolfpack don't have an open head coaching position. Of course Franklin would turn down an opportunity to talk with NC State -- because all parties involved still have jobs.
Franklin would be an obvious target for NC State athletics director Debbie Yow if current head coach Tom O'Brien did not return for his 7th season with the Wolfpack. Yow was the athletics director at Maryland when Franklin was tabbed as the "coach in waiting" behind embattled Ralph Friedgen, but he jumped at the opportunity to coach Vanderbilt before the succession plan could be implemented. Throw in Yow's continued professional relationship with Franklin, it's rather easy to connect the dots and speculate behind a paywall for the rumor hungry masses.
Back channels are the norm this time of year, so it's not a surprise to see rumors like this pop up in the radar. Folks are always talking and positioning themselves for potential openings or using those openings as leverage. This isn't even the first rumor to make the rounds concerning a particular job in Raleigh.
But keep in mind that O'Brien is still in position to take NC State to a best case 8-win season and a bowl game for the third straight season. Before scoffing at the possibility O'Brien keeps his job despite an angst filled year, consider the Atlantic Coast Conference is facing a bowlmageddon of sorts with only four eligible teams with two weeks left in the season.
Should Miami decide to forgo a bowl once they become eligible to appease the NCAA gods and Clemson grabs a second BCS bid for the conference, officials in Atlanta will have to look at Duke or a potential 7-win Wolfpack squad for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
Reality hits hard, bro. There are too many variables with games left to play to get an honest assessment of when the coach carousel will stop next.