The leaking of Mississippi State Geoff Collins and Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz's names as the possible next football coach feels awfully convenient.
Collins, FIU's defensive coordinator in 2010, vaulted to the SEC after guiding a unit that was the Sun Belt's best across the board. Diaz fits the FIU suit.
He’s from Miami (Miami Country Day graduate), which might soothe the feathers of those angry over a loyal-to-the-305 guy getting blind side sacked. He just did two years as a coordinator in one of the two or three most massive programs in the nation, by any measure. He’s linked to the same Miami-Dade County power structure as FIU’s Board of Trustees and executive director for spoots and entertainment Pete Garcia, albeit by chromosomes (Manny Sr. is a former City of Miami mayor).
Also, on a purely football level, as a coordinator for seven seasons at Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State and Texas, Diaz’s in-game decision-making might be a bump on one of Mario Cristobal’s weaknesses as a coach.
And about Butch Davis and money (even though he's told FIU he's not interested...)
Davis is guaranteed $590,000 in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from his North Carolina contract. He's able to double dip his income chip now with Tampa Bay as a "special assistant" because he's technically not a coach. But if he gets back into college coaching -- and Butch wants to get back into college coaching -- that salary will decrease North Carolina's part of the $590,000. Let's say someone paid him $500,000. North Carolina's now on the hook for only $90,000.
Theoretically, FIU could pay Davis cheap for three years and give him a bump in the fourth and fifth years of a deal.