Dan Scott Blog Extra: Shooting Down One Very Large Rumor
|Thursday, October 11, 2007, 6:45 PM- -|
One thing about times of crisis surrounding a college football team. You can always count on the rumor mill to stir, both early and often.
Officially, of course, there is no job opening at Clemson. Tommy Bowden is and remains the Tigers' head coach despite the back-to-back losses to Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. And, if we're being honest, despite the wishes of at least a portion of the Clemson fan base.
Those wishes lead to rumors, and once rumors start flying about they're almost impossible to ground.
Jimmy Johnson has Clemson ties and is friends with Terry Don Phillips. Maybe he'll return to coaching here. Or how about Brian Kelly, the Cincinnati head coach who last year won the MAC championship at Central Michigan? Jim Leavitt, who is the only coach South Florida has ever had, might be a good fit. Since their inaugural season of 1997, Leavitt has led the Bulls from a fledgling I-AA team to a consensus Top 5 team in the country.
Could Jimbo Fisher be lured from Florida State? What's Norm Chow up to these days?
Or the big one:
What about Rich Rodriguez?
Ever since coach Rod left Clemson after the 2000 season to take over for Don Nehlen at West Virginia, a portion of the Tiger "faithful" remains convinced the wrong coach skipped town. As Bowden's offensive coordinator, both Clemson and Tulane had revved-up offenses. And since his arrival in Morgantown all RichRod has done is put the Mountaineers in the national spotlight - winning the Sugar Bowl two years ago, the Gator Bowl last season and currently sitting at No. 8 in the country.
So it's easy to see why there would be an attraction. It is said that RichRod's wife, too, loved the Clemson area. The fit would be a natural, some say.
Adding fuel to the fire as the week has gone on are whispers about RichRod's brand new contract at WVU, the one he ultimately signed after a serious courtship with Alabama. Word on the street is that RichRod may have a one-school escape clause in that contract.
The school? Clemson.
Now, this isn't just fan rumor. This one is actually running through the halls of dear ol' Clemson U., as well, with certain people in certain positions certain that what they are hearing is true.
I called a buddy of mine back in the Mountain State today. He is, as they say, connected. I told him what I heard, and he picked up the phone and made a call.
Not just to anyone, but to the man who wrote the contract between RichRod and WVU.
There is no escape clause. For Clemson or anyone else. No free way out. No Houdini act. No no-huddle offense coming to Death Valley.
Sorry folks. That's one rumor officially shot down.
But it's only one. And until Bowden's future is finally settled - which won't be for another six-plus weeks - you can bet there will be another "sure thing" pop up to take its place.