Other reports: Nothing Happening.
What It All Means
There are a few things happening here. Let us go through all of them and we can process this together:
1. Seth Littrell’s Agent Is Working The Phones
Littrell is good at coaching. His agent is good at finding Littrell gigs and more money. In fact, he is so good at it that Seth Littrell pays him to continue to do this. Seth Littrell very well may be out there recruiting hard, doing his job. And his agent very well may be haggling with the K-State folks to get as much money for Littrell (and himself) as possible. This is how it works and everyone is okay with it.
2. North Texas Admin Is Preparing
Athletic Director Wren Baker’s job is to hire people good at their jobs and help them do those jobs well. It is not to keep Seth Littrell the specific person here. He probably wants to keep Seth here, because he is a known quantity and has done good things at NT, winning games and whatnot.
Baker has a shortlist — if he is the kind of AD I think he is — of a handful of guys he thinks would be a good place to start. He also is a modern administrator, and he will do the thorough thing and hire a search firm to run the checks, do the haggling, all the while protecting all parties from FOIA request that spill the text messages. Remember how we know all of Mike Leach’s business because the Tennessee AD went and did the search himself?
Hiring anyone new is a beating, but it happens. College football is filled with this kind of thing so any administrator knows this is part of the deal.
3. People At Various Levels Are Talking
People like attention and they want to feel important. I know, because I am a people.
Seriously, there is a ton of movement in and around this kind of deal and any and all off-hand comments are taken and interpreted and posted on the internet. Kansas State would be silly not to consider Seth Littrell, one of the most eligible coaches in the nation right now. He has ran a program (a huge plus, as the last non-Snyder guy hadn’t) and he has had success there. That is most of the criteria, seriously.
Mitigating risk is what most everyone wants. No one wants to take a chance on some kid OC someplace. K-State has very little margin for error, and hiring a guy who done it is very ideal.
Any stage of that process — vetting him, contacting the agent to see what his price would be, looking at his contract etc — is leakable. The staffer who has to grab the fax? The secretary who puts the agent through? They have relatives, boyfriends and girlfriends, wives, sisters, husbands, sons and daughters. They whisper any detail and the telephone game becomes the internet game.
It does not mean any of the information is good or bad. Just that it gets out.
They leak it to PowerCat5000 dot com, home of the Kansas Kat or whatever. They leak it to Vito. They leak it to GMG. They leak it to little ol’ MGN, sometimes too.
4. This is not the first time
We have not had a coach poached since, what? Hayden Fry? Good coaches leave. Urban Meyer left Bowling Green, he left Utah. He left Florida. He left one of the Ohio States just the other day.
Nick Saban left Michigan State. He left LSU. He left — haha the Dolphins.
What To Do?
Well, a fun game is to wonder aloud who you would like to see battling with Vito at the press conferences. Who will be told to Talk About Things?
MGN’s unofficial list of guys I think are cool and would be alright in my book, which is not a good book:
- Graham Harrell — I am a fan. Let’s throw that thing around and quit mucking around with the dang run game.
- Eric Morris — I have been a fan since I interviewed him prior to the matchup early this season. He won a FCS conference title with a team that went 1-10 last season. I can dig it, folks. His entire staff is a bunch of young and hungry guys that won at lower division colleges which means he gets it.
- Kliff Kingsbury — Has he signed that USC deal, yet?
- Some heretofore unknown guy that can do the job? Yes. Let’s go with that.
Seriously, I like the Mike Leach tree. I am an unabashed Air Raid fan and beyond that, a fan of out-of-the-box thinking. The ol’ Pirate is really out there, but he is fairly pragmatic and he has won everywhere he has been at some of the most ridiculous spots. Lubbock, Pullman, wherever Kentucky plays.
His “tree” is filled with successful guys and Littrell is one of them. Sure, there are a bunch of dudes that flamed out, also, but I think the type that does not take this whole thing so seriously is the kind of coach I want here. This is not life-and-death, it is just a game. You try your best because it is the right thing to do but you also go home and remember that family and life are way more important than trying to figure out how to beat LA Tech (the answer is make a field goal.)
Ultimately, whoever is here next year will benefit from the infrastructure that the president and athletic director have put in place. I am confident NT will be in good hands no matter the next coach for this reason. When Wren Baker leaves for the next gig, that is when we should do a little panicking.