How Dan Mullen firing could impact potential Miami Hurricanes coaching search

Aug 24, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 24, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Florida firing head coach Dan Mullen adds a Power Five conference opening to an extensive list. The Gators are ranked the top coaching opening by 247 Sports. Other Power Five openings are LSU, USC, TCU, Washington and Virginia Tech in the order that 247 ranks as desirable. The Miami Hurricanes would have a lot of competition.

Miami would slot in fourth in between USC and TCU if the Hurricanes’ new athletic director chooses to fire head coach Manny Diaz. A roundtable was conducted by 247 Sports to discuss the Florida opening. The 247 roundtable mentioned five main candidates and had one noticeable emission on their candidate list.

Matt Campbell of Iowa State, Mario Cristobal of Oregon, James Franklin of Penn State, Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Ruhle and Billy Napier of Louisiana are the primary candidates to succeed Mullen according to the panel on 247. Surprisingly Mississippi head coach Lane Kiffin was not mentioned.

Ruhle seems like the most unlikely. It would be surprising to see him leave the NFL for college. The former Baylor and Temple head coach is in his second season with Carolina. Carolina is currently 5-6 in third place in the NFC South. Ruhle 12 NFL draft picks in seven seasons with Baylor and Temple.

Cristobal would seem to be the one coach the roundtable discussed who Florida and the Miami Hurricanes could target as their next head coach. In his fifth season with Oregon, Cristobal is 34-12. Oregon currently has the 10th ranked recruiting class for 2022 and signed the sixth best class in 2021.

Cristobal is highly regarded as a recruiter. He would have better proximity to recruits at Florida or Miami, but far more competition. Campbell, Franklin and Napier have seldom been mentioned for Miami if they elect to replace Diaz. Ultimately, the new Miami athletic director will make the decision on if Diaz returns in 2021.

Next. 5 potential Miami candidates with head coaching experience. dark

Diaz is 20-15 overall and 15-9 in the ACC with their final 2021 regular season game remaining at Duke on Saturday. Miami defeated Duke 48-0 last season. Some speculation has been that Miami needs to win at Duke and their bowl game for Diaz to continue as the head coach. Miami would finish 8-5 with wins in its last two games.