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The (Coaching) Wire

Coaching's scramble season, when Sun Belt coaches get fired or hired elsewhere, is in full swing this week.

For the second consecutive year, Arkansas State lost a coach to the SEC, Gus Malzahn heading to Auburn. Wisconsin's looking for a head coach after Bret Bielema went to Arkansas, opening up a Big Ten job.

The rumor mill has churned out Mario Cristobal's name as a possible candidate for the South Florida job. Despite the coaching staff's role in FIU going 3-9, this isn't surprising. As I alluded to in a post several weeks back, most athletic directors and coaches look at FIU's season and think, "Been there." Cristobal's stock, at a peak a year ago, hasn't gone Enron.

But his stock is common compared to the preferred of Western Kentucky's Willie Taggart, who turned his college alma mater from bumbling to bowling and went to high school at Bradenton Manatee. Manatee High coach Joe Kinnan, who built the school into a muscular state power during the 1980s and is an influential football voice over there, reportedly endorsed Taggart for the USF job.

By the way, South Florida was paying Skip Holtz around $500,000 in base salary. They'll need more than that to get Taggart (other opportunities or can stand pat) or Cristobal (makes around $454,000 in base, living in South Beach, working in his old neighborhood), although last year showed money to be no god to Cristobal. He got some extra in the extension, but more money went to be spread among assistants and for use in day-to-day football operations.

As for whether or not Cristobal would jump across the state after flirting with Pitt and jilting Rutgers at the altar last year, it's more likely than him going to either of those. He's a 305 guy and South Florida's only a four-hour drive away.




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