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Ready for another spin on the carousel?
Thirty FBS programs opened the 2013 season with a new head coach. That's an awful lot. At this juncture, it would appear that the volume of offseason coaching changes won't match the number from last year, but this round could be more about quality than quantity. The first two openings -- Wyoming and UConn -- might be a pretty strong indication. Not many of the other 94 programs are going to have a new head coach in 2014, but there will be some turn over in the coming days and weeks. Southern Cal ended its relationship with Lane Kiffin a few weeks into the season. Ed Orgeron's start as interim head coach was impressive, but the Trojans stumbled through the finish line with losses to Notre Dame and UCLA. Plus, reports surfaced Sunday night that Vanderbilt's James Franklin and Boise State's Chris Petersen are the top two candidates to take over in L.A. Though Petersen could very well be the front-runner, a move by either one of the two head coaches could cause some uncomfortable feelings for the Clemson folks who want to keep Chad Morris around for at least another season. Boise State is in the Mountain West Conference and Morris has allegedly told Dabo Swinney that he will only pursue jobs at power conference schools. But that program is the cream of the non-power conference crop. But Morris isn't the only handsomely paid Clemson coordinator who could pop up on the radar in Boise if Petersen jets for Hollywood. Kansas State and Oklahoma, Brent Venables' previous job spots, are in close proximity to Idaho, and Clemson's defense did make a marked jump from year one to year two under his direction. As for Vanderbilt, it was just a few short years ago that Morris' friend and confidant, Gus Malzahn, turned down that job. Morris would do the same, right? Well, it would be an interesting conversation. Like it or not, SEC fans, the East is down, very down. Vandy finished fourth [8-4, 4-4 SEC] in the division, behind Missouri [11-1, 7-1 SEC], South Carolina [10-2, 6-2 SEC] and Georgia [8-4, 5-3 SEC]. Longtime powers Florida and Tennessee won a combined total of nine games this season. Kentucky, while injected with excitement from Mark Stoops, won just twice. Building a winner at Vanderbilt doesn't seem to be as daunting a task as it was when Franklin was hired in 2011. He's laid quite the foundation in just three seasons, showing that the right mix of energy and aggressive recruiting can make the Commodores a respectable team in the East. Having Tennessee and Florida down at the bottom of the totem pole certainly helps the efforts out of Nashville. Butch Jones just wrapped up his first season at UT, so he's not going anywhere. And it would appear that all signs are pointing towards Florida moving forward with Will Muschamp. Given the success that Florida has had with a guy who'd never been a head coach before arriving to Gainesville, it's probably safe to assume that neither Morris nor Venables would be seriously considered. But one would probably be safe in assuming that several dominoes would fall if Muschamp was shown the door. Since there's no Big 12 title game, teams in that conference wrap up the 2013 regular season next Saturday. So we're at least a week away from seeing whether or not Texas will give things a serious kick-start. Former Big 12 member Nebraska released a statement saying that Bo Pelini wasn't going anywhere, so he's no longer a candidate for unemployment. As for other potential job openings, it might be worth keeping an eye on a few other spots: FIU, Illinois, Kansas, Rutgers, Southern Miss, Virginia and West Virginia. Hang on, because it's going to be another interesting ride. 11:15 a.m. EDIT: After publication early Monday morning, reports that Petersen was no longer in the running at USC began to surface.
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