“Multiple sources telling me tonight Lane Kiffin to Ole Miss is as close to a done deal without being official as is possible,” Neal McCready tweeted on Friday. “At this point, I expect an announcement Sunday.”
Shortly thereafter, FootballScoop, Ross Delllenger and others confirmed McCready’s report that Kiffin is “on the verge of a deal to become Ole Miss’ next head coach.” With Kiffin likely done at FAU, who might replace him in Boca Raton?
And late on Friday, two other significant updates to coaching searches: First, Mike Norvell is the “leading candidate” for the Florida State opening, sources told ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Adam Rittenberg. The Seminoles’ job has been open for five weeks, the second-longest FBS vacancy (Rutgers), after they fired Willie Taggart.
And second, USA Today’s George Schroeder, among others, reported that “after a fruitless search,” Arkansas might promote current interim coach Barry Lunney Jr., an Arkansas native and former Razorbacks quarterback who began his coaching career in Fayetteville as a grad assistant (1998-99) before returning as Bret Bielema’s tight ends coach in 2013. He was retained by Chad Morris last year and has been interim coach since Morris’ dismissal four weeks ago. Schroeder also said App State’s Eli Drinkwitz is “still a possibility.”
In October, during an appearance on The Herd With Colin Cowherd, Urban Meyer was asked if he thought Lincoln Riley would consider the Dallas Cowboys’ job if offered. Meyer’s response:
"Pure speculation, because I know [Riley], but I don't know him like that, but that's the one [job]. That's the New York Yankees, that's the Dallas Cowboys, that's the one. Great city, you got Dak Prescott, you got Zeke Elliott, you got a loaded team, and I can't speak for [Riley] obviously—I hate to even speculate—because I don't know him, that's really not fair, but to me, that's the one job in professional football that you kind of say, 'I gotta go do that.' “
Cowherd asked if Meyer would be interested in talking to the Cowboys if they fired Jason Garrett. His response:
"Absolutely. Absolutely," he said. "That one? Yes."
We might find out if Meyer was telling the truth or lying again. Late on Friday night, the NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported there’s real interest in Urban Meyer (and Lincoln Riley):
“Jerry Jones says Jason Garrett will remain the coach but I can confirm a very real interest in Urban Meyer. In fact, I'm told Stephen Jones spoke with him recently. Lincoln Riley remains a strong candidate & file this name as a possibility Clemson OC Tony Elliott per sources.”
“I certainly believe if that if Dallas offered Urban Meyer the job, I believe he would take it,” Joel Klatt said.
Eddie Likes Jimbo
Eddie George isn't a Michigan fan but the former Ohio State running back is impressed with Jim Harbaugh. Despite struggles against Ohio State and zero appearances in the Big Ten Championship in five seasons as head coach, Harbaugh is a great coach, George said this week.
Rules are rules but come on, Chris Paul, you need an untucked jersey to win a game?
Leading Oklahoma City by two with one second remaining regulation, Jordan Bell checked into the game with an untucked jersey, which is a delay-of-game violation. The refs, however, didn’t notice it immediately, so Paul made sure they saw it. And because the Wolves had an earlier delay-of-game violation, Bell was issued a technical foul, which resulted in a made free throw. After the violation, Karl-Anthony Towns hit the second of his free-throw attempts to push the lead back to two points.
Dennis Schroder tied the game on a layup at the buzzer, and the Thunder won in overtime.
Odds & Ends
Lauren Holtkamp-Sterling became the first mother to officiate an NBA game … Six candidates to replace David Fizdale as Knicks’ head coach … Remember Ron Prince? Kansas State’s successor to Bill Snyder who was so bad that Snyder came out of retirement. He’s not doing well. … Top 10 Heisman moments of all time … College football fans rejoiced when an overhand thrower won the Dr. Pepper Challenge at the Pac-12 Championship … Boomer Esiason accused Jerry Jones of tampering … South Korean Papa John’s debuts American pizza with a full hot dog on every slice … NFL players will wear custom cleats this weekend.
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