There goes another one.
We may never know how high Kansas State’s Vic Koenning ranked on Mark Richt’s list of potential Georgia next defensive coordinators. But he’s off the board. Koenning, who was Clemson’s defensive coordinator under Tommy Bowden (a friend of Richt’s) apparently is on the verge of being named the coordinator at Illinois, according to ESPN.com.
The hiring would cap an impressive week for Illinois coach Ron Zook. He just hired Arkansas’s Paul Petrino as the Illini’s new offensive coordinator. Paul Petrino is Bobby Petrino’s brother, but don’t hold that against him. The Falcons were impressed with him when he coached the team’s wide receivers.
Illustrating how the market has skyrocketed for college coordinators, Petrino will make $475,000 a year, and Koenning figures to be in that neighborhood.
Back to Georgia. I’m heading out to Athens this morning for Richt’s first pre-Independence Bowl media conference. I fully expect him to reveal absolutely nothing about his hiring plans. But we already know that quite a few names have dropped off the list:
♦ Kirby Smart (Alabama) likely will remain on Nick Saban’s staff, possibly for a raise. But he has said nothing since seemingly leaving the door open a crack when asked about the Georgia job, saying he’s “not looking to go anywhere.” Some fans have taken that crack as a sign that the former Bulldog is coming back to Athens.
♦ Bud Foster (Virginia Tech): He got a raise to remain in Blacksburg.
♦ Ellis Johnson (South Carolina): He hasn’t been quoted about the Georgia job but most expect him to stay on Steve Spurrier’s staff.
♦ Bob Sanders (Buffalo Bills): He joined the Bills this season as defensive line coach after four years in Green Bay. But he spent 22 years coaching college, including 11 at Florida (most as line coach). For the record, if Richt wants to interview Sanders, he won’t have to pay travel costs. Buffalo visits the Falcons in two weeks.
♦ Sal Sunseri: (Alabama): He’s in his first season as Tide’s linebackers coach after seven seasons with the Carolina Panthers. He appeared to have the inside track to the Florida State job, but he lost out to Arizona’s Mark Stoops.
Here’s one more thing for your college football fix this morning. Pre-season 2010 rankings!
NationalChamps.net has decided to beat everybody to the punch and come out with its top 25. I know. It’s kind of ridiculous having a pre-season top 25 now when we don’t know which juniors are leaving for the NFL. But according to National Champs, Georgia Tech is the pre-season No. 8 ranked team and Georgia is No. 23.
♦ The top 10: Alabama, Boise State, Oregon, Florida, Ohio State, TCU, Texas, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Miami.
♦ Nos. 11-25: Penn State, Nebraska, USC, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Oklahoma. Oregon State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Houston, LSU, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri.
You may now commence with your debate.
I’ll check back later, before Richt’s press conference.