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Coaching news really heats up after the season

December 11, 2012

Smith

The dominos have fallen when it comes to the coaching carousel in college football.

It's not surprising to see Tommy Tuberville and Bobby Petrino be right in the middle of it.

When Butch Jones left Cincinnati to fill the vacancy left at Tennessee, Tuberville made an unexpected move from Texas Tech to Cincinnati.

People shouldn't be extremely shocked by Tuberville's sudden departure from Lubbock. Ole Miss fans will remember how Tuberville pretty much did the same thing when he left the Rebels in 1998 to take the Auburn job.

Tuberville left the Red Raiders after only three seasons to coach at a school that has had trouble keeping a coach for that same time period.

Don't expect Tuberville to be with the Bearcats very long either.

Judging by his own comment, "there's always a next step," it's hard to imagine Tuberville being in Cincinnati for more than three or four years.

About a week ago, we learned that Gus Malzahn had decided to leave Arkansas State to return to Auburn, while Bret Bielema departed Wisconsin after seven seasons to become the new coach at Arkansas.

The Bielema hiring for the Razorbacks was a little bit difficult to believe than Malzahn with the Tigers.

When Gene Chizik was fired on The Plains, it was pretty much the thought that the job was Malzahn's if he wanted it. He had such a great experience as Auburn's offensive coordinator that it was only a matter of time before he found his way back there.

One of the stops Malzahn made in his coaching rounds was one season as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas.

The Razorbacks are now hoping that Bielema can restore some of their winning ways after last season's 4-8 finish under interim coach John L. Smith. Smith took over for Petrino, who was fired after being caught in an offseason scandal.

It has taken less than a year for Petrino to find another job as Western Kentucky made his hiring official on Monday. Maybe any potential off-the-field distractions will be avoided for Petrino this time as he works to turn another program into winners.

Petrino said that he hopes the relationship "can be as long as possible." Here is hoping that Petrino can put the past behind and do some good things with the Hilltoppers.

Back to the Southeastern Conference, it will be interesting to see which coach will be able to win with his team first.

There is Malzahn at Auburn, Bielema at Arkansas, Jones at Tennessee and Mark Stoops at Kentucky.

Malzahn has already proven he can be successful with the Tigers as offensive coordinator. Of course, one of those year's he had Cam Newton at quarterback and that made it much easier.

The story lines certainly exist and the new coaches should make for a nice attraction for SEC Media Days next July.

Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.

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