Tuesday, November 11, 2008

THE GHOST OF MAC BROWN

The highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kiddin' nobody about what town
I'm sittin' down here with an ugly frown
Searchin' for the ghost of Mac Brown
-- Mike Springsteen (Bruce's cousin)

Is the University of Tennessee courting UNC head coach Butch Davis to replace Phil Fulmer at season’s end or are certain folks in cyberspace full of crap?

Good question.

The Knoxville News Sentinel’s UT blog reported UNC coach Butch Davis is the leading candidate to replace Phil Fulmer, and it prompted the question again this week as to whether there was any condition under whether Davis would take the Tennessee job. Davis' response was, "I already addressed that last week. There's no further discussion about that."

Davis said last week he was "committed to building a championship football program at North Carolina," and obviously he'd have to stick around to do that.
According to ESPN’s Heather Dinich, ESPN’s SEC blogger Chris Low says he's NOT hearing Davis' name as the top choice.

According to the News-Sentinels Dave Hooker:
North Carolina coach Butch Davis as the leading candidate to replace ousted football coach Phillip Fulmer, multiple sources have told the Knoxville News Sentinel.

(Editor’s Note: Is that the “if we could have anybody we want it would be Butch Davis” leading candidate or is that the “we are talking to him and his agent about taking the position” leading candidate? ‘Cause they ain’t the same.)

Whether UT can secure Davis remains to be seen.

Davis has said publicly that he is happy at North Carolina because of the family environment in Chapel Hill and the opportunity to rebuild a program that has long struggled.

If UT can't get Davis, Mike Leach of Texas Tech and Brian Kelly of Cincinnati will become strong possibilities. Tim Brewster from Minnesota will also be considered.

As for Davis, UT will offer better facilities and more exposure than North Carolina. UT will also offer the chance to coach in the SEC.

That could be perceived as a pro or con. While the SEC is a much higher-profile conference than the Atlantic Coast Conference, it also is widely believed to be a more difficult conference to win and subsequently compete for national championships.

Davis, 56, turned down advances from Arkansas last season. He played defensive end for the Razorbacks before a knee injury curtailed his playing career. Davis became a volunteer coach and graduated in 1974.

Davis went 51-20 at Miami from 1995-2000 and helped assemble a supremely talented team that won the national championship in 2001 under Larry Coker, who replaced Davis when he left for the NFL to coach the Cleveland Browns.

Davis struggled in Cleveland, going 24-35 and only making the playoffs once in four seasons.

(Photos by AP Photo/Gerry Broome, AP Photo/Wade Payne and Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

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