Back Chip Kelly to Florida?

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Chip Kelly to Florida?

By Buddy Martin
SouthernPigskin.com
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You think you know? Everybody knows, but nobody knows.

“There is a lot of bad info out there, but this is a whole other level of bad info."
~Scott Stricklin via Twitter

The University of Florida is seeking a new head football coach. Four million people know the right guy to hire, but there are 15 different “right” answers.
Welcome to the Blood Sport of Hiring & Firing College Football Coaches.

Everybody knows, but nobody knows.

Radio Silence. Whereas the stillness gives us respite, the roar of the Internet gives way to salacious appetite. There is no credible news, so the vacuum is consumed by cheap imitation and outright hoax.

It always happens that way with As The Coaches Turn, whether they are coming or going.

This I do know from past experience: Just when you least expect it — maybe right now as we are speaking — a new Gator coach will be announced. And there’s a chance it will not be somebody on the so-called “A-List” that has been fabricated by Internet Jockeys and Talk Show Experts.

And so we all become Inspector Clouseau, looking under every leaf, testing the wind with our wet index finger, interpreting new meaning to every statement.

Some of you read down this far expecting to see the name of Chip Kelly. Or Scott Frost. Or Charlie Strong. Or maybe Justin Fuente or Mike Gundy or Yada, Yada, Yada.

Of course when you mention 15 names and one of them turns out to have been correct, then some of you will claim you had it all the way.

You think you know? You don’t know.

Last week on my radio show, Steve Spurrier made a strong statement about his view of Jim McElwain and vehemently denied any role in influencing the departure of the former Florida coach. At the same time, he made a statement about the new coach:

“Scott Stricklin, our AD, he’s well-connected around the country, and I believe we’ll have an excellent coach here in 3-4 weeks," said Spurrier. "The coach is with his team now. The coach we’re going to hire is probably I would almost 100 percent say is coaching his team today, this weekend and through the end of the season and maybe through the bowl game.” 


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Under the microscope, that  "I would almost 100 percent say" comment set off alarms. Did HBC mean that Chip Kelly is NOT on the list?

It damn near went viral.

So here we go.

I worked for a website that broke the story that Bobby Stoops was on his way to Gainesville when Urban Meyer resigned the second time. Stoops was rumored to have been Florida-bound, on the runway in Norman, Okla., when Meyer originally changed his mind the year before.

My source was pretty sure it was Stoops this time. So we went with the story based on the best sourced information available. And remember, nobody in power is talking at that point.

Right in the middle of my son Brenden's wedding reception being staged at my house, I got the call that Will Muschamp had been hired.

It so happened that Brenden worked at the same website. We had to take the calls, but we were not a real popular father-son duo that day with the family.  Most of them did realize the magnitude of the story and the event, however. When it comes to Florida football, we all know nothing rings the chimes or sets off the hits machine like the hiring or firing of a coach, or the Gators playing for a national championship.

When I talked to Jeremy Foley about it a few weeks later, he stopped short of admitting it might have been true or saying he planted the Stoops rumor, but did admit, “it made a good smoke screen."

People spin things. Agents leak rumors to gain leverage. With Iive negotiations going on, it’s a fluid situation and there is confusion created when would-be coaches or ADs change their minds.

I have a circle of friends somewhat connected. Many mornings we start the convo with, “Heard anything?” We are passed the stage of BSing each other.

“Nope.”

Not even a credible rumor.

Although on my show last week, regular contributor Franz Beard said he had sources among “rich” boosters who said Kelly was being vetted — and he’ll be the new coach.

Maybe so, but I’m not ready to sign off on that.

You think you know? You don’t  know.

Meanwhile, our brain scanners search every mortal microbe of the media for some info.

“I have an uncle whose brother lives next door to first cousin who once met Chip Kelly’s niece…”

“I’ve got it on good authority from my pal in Minnesota who coached high school ball with the ex-husband of Justin Fuente’s sister….”

And yet sometimes those guesses/rumors turn out to be true. It’s sometimes tough to identify them from all the Fake News.

When the bulletin came that Urban Meyer had suddenly resigned the first time, I had just walked in to sit down to a nice dinner with friends. Wasn’t I supposed to get an inkling? After all, I had just finished writing Meyer’s authorized biography.

Just like everybody else, I gasped.

I know Urban Meyer. Urban Meyer is a friend of mine. I didn’t see that one coming.

So what’s my best guess?

Maybe I am blinded, maybe I am wrong, but if it’s not Scott Frost who’s Next Up in Gainesville, I’ll be very surprised.

It won’t be the first time, however.  Because…

You think you know? You don’t know.

Buddy Martin - Buddy Martin is a veteran columnist, talk show host and author. A longtime observer of college football, Martin is heard weeknights on the Buddy Martin Show on ESPN Coastal Georgia and WMOP/WGGG in Ocala/Gainesville Fla. and the Southern Pigskin Radio Network, where he also co-hosts The Terry Bradshaw Show. Buddy won an Emmy while he was with Terry at CBS as an associate producer. More of Buddy's work can be found at BuddyMartinMedia.com where his show is streamed live. Buddy's most recent book is Steve Spurrier's autobiography "Head Ball Coach: My Life in Football" published by Blue Rider Press. He also wrote Urban Meyer's authorized biography, "Urban's Way," and Terry Bradshaw's autobiography "Looking Deep." Contact him at Buddyshow@aol.com, Facebook/The Buddy Martin Show and @Buddyshow on Twitter.