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Purdue Football Coaching Search Day 3: The Rumors

Purdue has a bunch of names, but that is about it so far in this coaching search.

Kirk Irwin

So far Purdue has been searching for a new football coach since Sunday evening and all we have are rumors. There has been nothing concrete, but some of the top targets on fan lists seem to be moving in a direction away from Purdue. Let's take a look at what we know:

Sonny Dykes - Dykes is interviewing for the open spot at North Carolina State today. NC State is a program very similar to Purdue in that it is a middle of the pack ACC program that could be a sleeping giant with the right guy. Their upset of Florida State at home earlier this year ruined a perfect season for the Seminoles:

According to the News Star, Dykes, who led the Bulldogs to a 9-3 record in 2012, will get a shot at the head coaching gig at NC State, which just completed a 7-5 record with its victory over the Boston College Eagles last weekend. The next day, O'Brien was out of the job with the Wolfpack.

NC State is also scheduled to open against Dykes' current team next season.

Dave Doeren - As GBI reported on Monday, Doeren has reportedly been ruled out of getting the Purdue job. Seeing as how Northern Illinois is playing in the biggest game in MAC history on Friday (winner could get a BCS berth) he has more important things on his plate.

Darrell Hazell - Hazell is a name that has been floated since he took a historically moribund Kent State team to 11-1 this season and a BCS bowl if they beat Northern Illinois on Friday. He was named the MAC Coach of the Year and will reportedly be back at Kent State next season:

Of course, he is also preparing for the MAC title game this week.

Butch Jones - Like the possibility of Dykes facing his old team in next season's opener, Jones would face Cincinnati in next season's opener if he were to come to Purdue. It appears Morgan is biting too:

Of the four names here Jones is probably the one I like the least, but he is 49-27 as a head coach with three conference titles in six seasons.

Brock Spack - I am going to include Spack on here until he is officially ruled out because we're all afraid this will be the pick. Fortunately, he does not seem interested:

"Yeah, I'm not interested right now. Right now my focus is only on getting Illinois State ready to play. They (Purdue) know all they need to know about me. It didn't happen four years ago, so it's not going to happen now."

Illinois State is also preparing for a game this week in the FCS playoffs.

Mark Helfrich - If Chip Kelly jumps to the NFL Helfrich will have his pick of jobs, but it looks like staying at Oregon is a much better option than any Purdue possibility:

Ducks offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, not Boise State head coach Chris Petersen, appears to be the likely successor to Chip Kelly at Oregon. Helfrich has the support of Nike co-founder and major Oregon booster Phil Knight, according to

Yeah, he's not leaving a consistent top 5 team to come to Purdue if the top job is available.

Pete Lembo - It would only be a move across the state for Lembo, but Ball State was an impressive 9-3 this year losing only to Clemson, Ken State, and Northern Illinois, who lost a combined four games. Ball State's top blog even has him as a finalist:

Lembo and the Cards are waiting for a bowl game currently.

What Jobs Are Open?

SB Nation has a great list of what spots are open around the country. Allow me to rank them in order of best to worst in terms of open jobs:

  1. Auburn - Won a title two years ago and are in the SEC. A trained ape could recruit there.
  2. Arkansas - They were a mess this year, but the SEC connection makes them hot.
  3. Tennessee - only down here because they've been pretty bad of late.
  4. Purdue - The only Big Ten job on the market
  5. California - The only good Pac-12 job open (for now).
  6. N.C. State - With the ACC on a binge and purge cycle it is hard to tell how good or bad this job is.
  7. Boston College - Same as NC State
  8. Colorado - Yeah, people will jump to take over a program that is 4-21 over the last two years.
  9. Southern Miss - Usually a solid mid-major.
  10. Georgia State - In the SEC of SEC country and with a chance to shape a new program.
  11. Western Michigan - Where coaching careers begin.
  12. UTEP - Where coaching careers end in the howl of the desert.
  13. Idaho - Are they still even going to be an FBS team?

Finally, here is a list of all the hot names. Enjoy!