Cal Athletics hasn't said much about Sonny Dykes other than that a deal is on the table. No one knows what that deal is (it might be in the Pulp Fiction briefcase for all I know).
One part of the picture became slightly clearer when Cal donor Paul White (brother of legend Ed White) spoke to Jeff Faraudo and expressed a familiar sentiment surrounding Sonny: The academic turnaround has been impressive, but there won't be significant pay raises until the coaching staff proves what they can do on the field.
Also, the Tedford extension was cited as a deal that didn't turn out the way the Bears expected. Cal seems to be extra cautious about spending money this time around with another potential rebuild coming their way next season.
"I strongly support the cultural change that Sonny has brought to our football program and hope he will stay at Cal," said White, referring in part to the academic improvements Dykes has overseen within the football program. "However, he needs to understand that after the Jeff Tedford contract fiasco, the university is in a position of having to be conservative when it comes to more guaranteed money and a lengthy contract extension."
"Cal fans want to see us start to compete with the 'big boys' for the Pac-12 Conference championship and get back to the Rose Bowl -- or national championship -- in our lifetime," White said. "I have confidence Sonny can actually get this done with the recruitment of top student-athletes and further refinements in his coaching system."
The key question for Cal, he said, is, "Would it really be wise for the athletic department to lock him up in a contract that's going to have huge financial consequences if things go poorly next year?"
If this sentiment is to be believed, perhaps this is why Dykes hasn't signed the dotted line yet on his extension. He was expecting a better pay raise than what he's currently being offered right now from Cal. So he's shopping to see if any other program might be willing to break the bank for him more.
Dykes's interview with Missouri might be a gambit to force the Athletic Department come back to the table with a higher and stronger offer, or make them double down and let Dykes test the waters. It's a dangerous cat and mouse game the university is engaging in--if Sonny calls their bluff, they better be prepared with backup plans.
So far nothing has happened with Dykes and Missouri. After a series of interviews that included Sonny, no hire has been made yet, and the wait could take awhile.
The Tigers hope to have a candidate in place by the end of the week or early next week at the latest and there's no shortage of speculation.
The longer it takes for a decision to be made, the more likely it would seem to mean Missouri has honed in on a candidate involved in this weekend's conference championship games.
If current defensive coordinator Barry Odom is the No. 1 choice or California coach Sonny Dykes, there'd be no hold up in striking a deal, but there's incentive to keep things quiet if a coach wants to avoid a championship-week distraction.
Sounds like a deal might be coming at the end of the week for Dykes. I'd bet Cal is working hard to come up with a resolution--we'll see what the end looks like.
What are your thoughts? You know, on what was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction?
(Also, Dykes rumors, blah blah blah.)