Florida and its sporting director came to their pasts to find a new coach, and two more schools they dismissed coaches even though their teams are heading for bowling.

Mississippi stayed home to fill his vacancy as coach. And, in the strangest part of a wild day of hiring and firing, the search for Tennessee touched a strange inconvenience.

It's still early in the stupid season, but a lot has happened.

The action began on Sunday morning with Arizona State dismissed Todd Graham after six seasons and ended with Ole Miss promoting interim coach Matt Luke at night. Meanwhile, when reports surfaced that Florida and Tennessee were approaching hiring, Texas A & M announced that it would let Kevin Sumlin go.

Shortly after the Aggies acted, Florida concluded its search by hiring Dan Mullen out of the state of Mississippi. Mullen was the offensive coordinator of the Gators under Urban Meyer before taking over Starkville nine years ago. There he became one of the most successful coaches in the history of the program and worked with the current Florida athletic director, Scott Stricklin, who was AD at Mississippi State before moving to Gainesville last year.

Now both will try to raise the Gators back to the championship levels that the program has been trying to recover since Mullen helped Meyer win national titles in 2006 and & # 39; 08 with Tim Tebow.

"I have such fond memories of the championships we won during our time here and we have a love for Florida," Mullen said in a statement on Sunday. "We are happy to return to an administration, staff, student body and base of supportive fans, which is the country's main soccer program."

The move from Florida to Mullen had to be good news for Nebraska fans who were expecting their school to be able to hire UCF coach Scott Frost, former Cornhuskers quarterback whose teams are unbeaten and ranked in the position 12.

At a press conference to discuss the dismissal of Mike Riley on Saturday, Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos mentioned Frost by name as someone he would consider for the job. Nebraska and anyone else interested in Frost will have to be patient. UCF plays No. 16 Memphis in the US Athletics Conference championship game on Saturday with a bigger offer on the line.

Both Texas A & M and Arizona State dismissed the coaches with winning records for six years. Sumlin was 51-26 with the Aggies and Graham went 46-31 with the Sun Devils. Both teams are 7-5 this season.

"Our expectations at A & M are very high," said Aggies AD Scot Woodward. "We think we should compete for the SEC championships annually and sometimes the national championships, I think we need a new coach to take us there."

Arizona State Athletic Director Ray Anderson made a similar statement: "At the end of the day, we're still in the middle, in the middle of the group and going to a low-bowl game." Frankly, that's not what We aspire to be, I do not think anyone in the team was satisfied with that. " [19659008] There was already speculation that Sumlin would be a candidate at Arizona State.

Luke, former offensive lineman Ole Miss and badistant coach, was named interim when Hugh Freeze was fired during the summer. With the rebels facing NCAA sanctions and ineligible for the postseason due to a self-imposed ban, Luke guided Ole Miss to a 6-6 final and a Thanksgiving night victory against rival Mississippi State. On Sunday night, Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork decided not to look further and gave Luke the job of his dreams.

All that was perfectly normal compared to what happened with Tennessee. Reports surfaced that the Volunteers were interested in former Rutgers coach and current defensive coordinator of Ohio State, Greg Schiano. Fans, Vols supporters and politicians from Tennessee began to protest due to Schiano's connection to Penn State during the time of Jerry Sandusky as defensive coordinator under Joe Paterno.

Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in prison for his conviction for 45 counts of badual abuse. Court documents published last year on a deposition in a case related to the Sandusky scandal suggested that Schiano may have been aware of Sandusky's badual abuse of children, although Schiano says he had no knowledge of what was happening at the time. Prosecutors involved in the case did not investigate the claim.

An agreement that was close to being made between Schiano and Tennessee ended up collapsing due to the protest.

So Tennessee continues to occupy one of the three seats of the Southeast Conference along with the State of Mississippi and Arkansas. All this and it's not even December.


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