Before we get to the roundtable, be sure and check out AERose's comprehensive post that covers some of the names below and then some. Seriously, go read that if you haven't already.
- Chris Petersen: Boise State's head coach. 'Nuff said. Unfortunately, he's probably never leaving Boise State.
- Jon Gruden: Super Bowl-winning longtime NFL head coach. He has expressed interest in returning to coaching, although Tennessee fans seem to think he'll go there (Dooley has a HUGE buyout, though).
- Pete Carroll: He may not live to see another season at Seattle. We all know how well his teams did in the Pac-10. Would you make that deal? I'd make that deal.
- Dan Mullen: he turned around Mississippi State and made them relevant again. He's a hot coaching prospect whose name was popping up throughout last year's hiring season. He's earning about $2.7 million, so it's unclear if we can pony up enough to get him to jump ship.
- Sonny Dykes: offensive coordinator at Texas Tech and Arizona before getting a head coaching gig at Louisiana Tech. Won the WAC and WAC Coach of the Year in his second season, currently leads an 8-1, ranked LA Tech team. Rumor has it he's interested in moving west if a good coaching gig opens up.
- Charlie Strong: I've heard several people on CGB express interest in strong. I'm not sold. He's 8-0 so far this year, but he was 7-6 in each of the past two seasons.
- Gary Andersen: Another semi-popular candidate. Leads a strong, defensive Utah State team. They're 6-2 so far this year, but only 15-22 over the past three seasons.
- Mark Helfrich: Oregon OC. The big question is how much control he has over the offense and how much success can be attributed to him.
TwistNHook: I'm not good with names. I get the feeling that Cal is looking for a hotshot assistant (like Coach Tedford was lo those many moons ago). I am not really smart or knowledgeable. Additionally, when it comes to college football, I do not have the greatest depth of information on who all the good assistants are. I hear good stuff about this Lupoi character up in Washington. Do you think we could get him down here!??!
Dan Mullen of Missippi State. Similar resume as Strong. Is winning at MSU.
Herm Edwards. I like the big name factor here. I think Edwards would be good for program recognition and recruiting.
Chis Peterson of Boise State. This is who I really want. Although he is essentially god at Boise, I think there are several factors which could entice him to come to Cal. One, he is a local, norcal guy who went to UC Davis. Two, although he has dominated the Mountain West, there is definitely a ceiling to his success playing inside a small conference. If he wants to become one of the true big names in college football, he needs to win in a major conference. Coupled with our young talent, and state of the art facilities, I think all of these factors make coaching at Cal an attractive offer for this guy.
It's no secret that I don't particularly like Boise State, but I respect the hell out of the way Petersen has sustained the success of that program. Even though Boise State has risen to national prominence, it can't be easy to recruit there -- it's not in a BCS conference and it's...well...it's Boise. (Apologies to those who like Boise and Idaho. I don't find it to be that compelling a place. And I say that as an Ohio resident.) Armed with the resources and facilities available at Cal (thanks in no small part to Jeff Tedford himself), Petersen could do well in Berkeley.
It's not just the recruiting. Look at his teams. They play hard, fast, disciplined, and with no fear. This year's team certainly was not up to Boise State standards (due in no small part to having to replace Kellen Moore) set by the previous years, but they've improved from the start of the season.
Do I think Petersen is realistic? Gun to my head, no, I don't, because I don't think he's leaving Boise for very many jobs (if any). But he'd be my guy if there's a chance.