I am hoping to hear more today about Auburn's courtship of Mark Stoops. Per usual, many are trying to paint this as a single-factor decision. It never is. Relationships and money matter. If Stoops does leave, it will be because of both issues.
Florida State has a lot to offer. The chance to work with arguably the top defensive talent in the country, a solid salary, and likely the quickest path to a head coaching position. But some folks don't get along. And Stoops and Jimbo have definitely had their disagreements. If Stoops stays, I bet the relationship improves due to working together more. And of course, if he stays, he'll get a raise.
Is getting your salary doubled and moving to a more high-profile league, with a new boss enough to jump? Even if it probably puts you on a longer path to becoming a head coach? Maybe so. Remember, there are no guarantees in the coaching works. The jump from 400K (OK, let's say FSU would match up to 600K for hypothetical purposes), to ~900K is enormous. That kind of money definitely would change the Stoops' lifestyle, even though that is already quite comfortable. That raise is full college tuition for two kids at pretty much any private college in the country. It's a new vacation home.
And remember, that Auburn's defense lost everyone this year. The 2012 defense actually has a chance to be pretty good. Auburn has had top-five recruiting classes in three of the last four years, and is doing so again this year. The dropoff in defensive talent between FSU and Auburn is not to the level I've seen stated here in the last few days. Auburn returns 9 of 11 starters on defense, and most of the backups. I'd bet that Stoops thinks "hmm, I turned FSU around, Auburn has everyone coming back and a lot of talent, why couldn't I do the same? For a lot more money."
There are no guarantees in the coaching world. To assume Stoops is making this decision solely on money, or on relationships, would be foolish. We'll just have to wait it out.
And yes, FSU fans should want Stoops to stay. Even if you disagree with his style, the results have been very impressive. And two, he has important relationships with some key recruits. Stoops isn't a great recruiter, but he's talked to these prospective players for two years. Him leaving would not help.
Miller had a breakout season for the Canes this fall, rushing for 1272 yards (the third-most in UM history in a single season) and nine touchdowns. He leaves UM with two seasons of eligibility remaining. The 5-11, 216-pound back with sprinter speed blossomed this year after learning to become a more patient runner. Miller explained before the season that because he was in such a rush to trying and make something happen that he struggled to let plays develop. The difference in his performance was dramatic. He went over 100 yards seven times this season as UM's feature back. In 2010, he ran for 646 yards and six TDs as a redshirt freshman, while also shining as a kick returner.
Really hate to see him go.
On the way up: Hueytown (Ala.) dual-threat quarterback Jameis Winston (Committed to Florida State)
What did he do: Winston threw for over 2,400 yards and 28 touchdowns against just two interceptions. He also rushed for over 1,000 yards and had 15 touchdowns on the ground at a pace of nearly one every 10 carries. He was co-MVP of the Elite 11 over the summer and will play in the Under Armour All-American game. He recently performed well in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
The case: He can't move up much further but there's little doubt that he's been the most impressive quarterback in the country since the summer on. He can make plays with his legs and has improved significantly as a passer. There's no doubt that he should be in the top 10 and there's a good case to be made for him to leap-frog Gunner Kiel as the top signal-caller overall.
Headhunters: New priorities slow Penn State’s search to a crawl - Dr. Saturday - NCAAF Blog - Yahoo! Sports
PSU is such a mess. Ohio State is now owning Pennsylvania in recruiting.