"Multiple sources telling me tonight Lane Kiffin to Ole Miss is as close to a done deal without being official as is possible," McCready tweeted on Friday night, five days after Matt Luke was fired. "At this point, I expect an announcement Sunday."
It'll be the fourth FBS head-coaching job for Kiffin, who was also Oakland Raiders head coach for two years. Entering the Conference USA Championship, Kiffin is 25-13 in three seasons with the Owls and 60-34 in eight years as a college head coach. With Kiffin out, who might FAU hire as head coach?
This is the first football hire for second-year athletics director Brian White, who arrived in Boca Raton in March 2018, three months after Kiffin led the Owls to a program-record 11 wins. Previously, White was a senior and deputy AD at Missouri and held other positions at Army, Tulsa, and Louisiana Tech. He's a first-time AD who's never hired a football coach.
Without a strong in-house option (unless FAU hands the keys to 26-year-old offensive coordinator Charlie Weis Jr., or journeyman defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer), White, presumably, will look outside Boca Raton for the fifth head coach in program history. And if Kiffin's $1.4-million base salary in any indication, he should have enough money to make it an attractive job for some coaches.
Kendal Briles is the obvious candidate. Unless he's retained by the next Florida State head coach or follows Kiffin to Oxford, the 37-year-old is in need of a job. He was Kiffin's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during the record-setting 2017 season.
Several recently fired head coaches to watch: Willie Taggart could make a shortlist if he doesn't land a better job, as could Mike Bobo, who recruited the entire southeast during his 16 years on the Georgia staff. Charlie Strong flopped at South Florida and has only 37 wins in his last six seasons as a head coach but knows the state well and could assemble a great staff. And maybe Barry Odom is in the picture with the tie to Brian White.
Rhett Lashlee is a young (36) offensive coordinator who's worked under Gus Malzahn and Sonny Dykes and reloaded his coaching stock after the Auburn exit three years ago. Mike Elko, 42, could be a candidate if he wants to leave a great, well-paying coordinator job at Texas A&M. He's not a southeast guy, but his stock has soared since a spectacular three-year run at Wake Forest (2013-16).
Journeyman Dan Enos has reportedly been on head-coaching lists recently as his uneventful five-year run at Central Michigan is pushed further into the rearview mirror. The 50-year-old has bounced around more than a dozen programs over the last 30 years and is wrapping up his first season as Miami's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. For what it's worth, it's his first job in Florida.
One wild card: Florida A&M's Willie Simmons led the Rattlers to nine wins this year, his second in Tallahassee, his hometown. He won 21 games in three seasons at Prairie View A&M and five seasons of FBS experience at Middle Tennessee.