We still have a couple of names we think are worth examining on the short list, but before we return to the rampant speculation and character assassination here, a few items of interest:
(1) Tom Bradley is in play, according to random internet bro (also, Johnson and Vanderlinden are out).
On Saturday, Tom Bradley was formally terminated at Penn State. He issued an eloquent statement thanking the school and everyone associated with it, and that's that. Larry Johnson Sr. (defensive line coach) and Rob Vanderlinden (linebackers coach) will be retained in their positions. PSU is reportedly hiring Ted Roof as the new defensive coordinator; you might remember Roof as the guy who was coordinating Tim Brewster's defense during 55-0.
No, go ahead. Laugh.
Get it all out of your system. I'll wait here.
You better? OK, back to it.
The fact that Bradley is out isn't shocking. He's been in the football program for more than thirty years and replaced Jerry Sandusky; the scandal took him down. Of course, he's now available, which means we have about three seconds until...
The tweet above has set off a message board wildfire, where one person types "OMG!" and the next types "Sandusky LOL" and then a guy with a well-endowed woman in a photoshopped KOK bikini as his avatar types that he saw Bradley eating slices at the Airliner with Tommy Schutt and then everyone throws poop at each other. It's been awesome.
The information comes from "Sekrah Sports", which is apparently just a guy with a Twitter account who claims to be a Penn State insider and thought Les Miles was going to take the PSU job. This is what we in the business call a discredited source, and the information should be taken with a grain of salt until someone with ties to the Iowa program can corroborate.
There is one interesting aspect to the Bradley situation, though. It's been the assumption of virtually everyone that, should Phil Parker not get the defensive coordinator position, he would not be long for Iowa and could well leave for another position, creating another opening that would need to be filled quickly. I agree with the sentiment (though "not long for Iowa" may mean he leaves in 2012 or 2013), but an opening at defensive backs coach might not be the worst thing in the world should Bradley get the job. Iowa would almost certainly be switching from cover 2 to cover 3, and Bradley's long-time defensive backs coach Kermit Buggs just got a pink slip. Buggs has only been at PSU for four years -- no Sandusky baggage -- and recruits New England and Texas.
(2) We have a better chance at Clay Aiken than we do at Ron Aiken.
There is a small group of fans who are strongly advocating Ron Aiken (profiled here) as the best, most qualified way of expanding on the Norm Parker philosophy. Aiken, it was thought, could convince the rest of the staff to stay, add some NFL nuances to COVER TWO ALL THE DAMN TIME, and improve recruiting in Texas. Plus, Arizona is widely expected to shake up the defensive coaching staff, and Aiken's contract was expiring at the end of the season, so the time would be right.
So much for that contract thing: Aiken signed a new agreement with the Buzzsaw to remain defensive line coach. And that should pretty much do it for the Ron Aiken movement.
This week's On Iowa podcast beat me to it, but (believe it or not) there are some timeline issues created by the timing of the position posting. UI Athletics didn't post the defensive coordinator opening until December 28, presumably because they wanted to extend the process so long that I would profile Mike Sherman as a potential successor. The job posting doesn't expire until January 18. The athletic department can apply for a waiver from the time requirements mandated by the state, and they are frequently given (there was a waiver for the McCaffery hire, for instance), but there's been no indication that such a waiver has yet been requested. In fact, Kirk Ferentz might be using the late posting as a rationale for keeping the search open for as long as possible.
The reason why: The American Football Coaches Association convention wraps up tomorrow. Both Ferentz and his staff have been heavily involved in the AFCA for years; Ron Aiken was a member of their executive committee while he was at Iowa, and Norm Parker's receiving their Assistant Coach of the Year award (the presentation is actually tonight, I think). Ferentz is there, his staff is there, and coaches under consideration are surely there. The interviews are taking place in San Antonio right now. If Ferentz returns tomorrow or Thursday, that gives him a weekend to review the candidates and make his decision. Most are expecting news this week, but I'd be surprised if we hear anything before next Tuesday.
UPDATE: (totally forgot to include this) THE HORSE RACE
Phil Parker 2/1
Tom Bradley 7/2
Darrell Wilson 9/1
William Inge 18/1
Juan Castillo 75/1
Scottie Hazelton 75/1
Rick Kaczenski SCR (Nebraska)
Mike Stoops SCR (Oklahoma)
Larry Johnson SCR (PSU)
Rob Vanderlinden SCR (PSU)
Ron Aiken SCR (New contract)