Online sportsbook Bodog.com now lists Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops as the favorite for Florida's open job.
Initially, Bodog had installed Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen as the leader for the gig at 5-2. Yesterday, Mullen fell back to 5-1, while Stoops' odds had hedged down from 3-1 to 5-2. (Somehow, Homerism's favorite mustachioed candidate for the gig has wormed his way onto the list at 25-1.)
Do the money men have some inside info on the situation? That's always a possibility.
More likely, though, the shifts simply reflect the amalgamation of information coming out suggesting Mullen's not the Gators' top candidate. For his part, Mullen tried to refute the speculation that he was angling for the job. Apparently, he managed to keep a straight face Friday when he said he hadn't given the Florida job "one second of thought."
Meanwhile, as John Hoover of The Tulsa World pointed out, Stoops skipped a scheduled media session Friday, fueling speculation that he didn't want to talk about Florida.
Florida's opening puts Stoops in a jam. OU's coach is tight with Florida AD Jeremy Foley, so I doubt he has any interest in adding to the media circus surrounding the job by commenting one way or another. Plus, Stoops' policy in the past has been to avoid discussing openings out of respect for the institutions in the market for a coach.
The stone-cold gangster side of Stoops also has to recognize that there's money to be made in these situations.
Last year's anonymously sourced Notre Dame fiasco proved that denying interest in a job doesn't really end all the speculation, anyway. Another Adam Schefter-type report that Stoops is negotiating with the Gators could prompt a response from Stoops, but that's about it.
*Our buddy Peter Bean at Burnt Orange Nation throws another name into the mix: Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.
*If you're Jeremy Foley, is Stoops really your best option?
Florida has scored big twice with ambitious young coaches looking to rise to the top of the college football world. Steve Spurrier recognized a chance to build his alma mater into a national power. For Urban Meyer, Florida offered an opportunity to take a major step up in the food chain and compete for the national championship he'd never win at a place like Utah.
Would Stoops have that same kind of drive at Florida? He has already been there and done that in the last 12 years in Norman.
I'd think the Gators would be better served by a coach who's probably a little more ambitious at this point in his career.