Iowa State Coach Linked to Latest College Football Vacancy
The headline itself is not breaking news, but every successful football coach's famous last words when getting courted by other teams are along the lines of "I'm not going anywhere". The head coach in Ames has been towing that line and putting his money where his mouth is longer than most do before they, indeed, move on. But will he?
Iowa State's Matt Campbell has taken the team to unprecedented heights. He's won more major bowl games than other coaches at Iowa State. He's won Big 12 conference championships. Do you know what he hasn't done? Beaten Iowa. In six years at the helm in Ames, including this past weekend, Campbell's teams can't get over that hump.
That ever-elusive Cy-Hawk trophy has remained in Iowa City during Campbell's tenure. Campbell's name comes up every year for multiple major head coaching vacancies, yet he stays. That's just one game, but Iowa State fans shouldn't be complacent because over in Los Angeles, a mere 3 weeks into the college football season, there's a vacancy.
The University of Southern California (USC) has fired head coach Clay Helton early into his seventh season there. Media speculation already has Matt Campbell on the list to replace him. In fact, Heartland College Sports has already put out its odds on who will get the job.
Cincinnati's Luke Fickell tops the list
Fickell has the best odds along with Penn State's James Franklin. In several publications, Fickell has said he's not going to USC or elsewhere, but as previously noted, they all say that. As for Franklin, he's brought Penn State back to respectability after some "challenging" times in the early 2010s. They are each given 600 to 1 odds of becoming the next USC coach, followed by former Boise State and Washington head coach Chris Peterson. Next in line? Campbell.
We hope Campbell stays, but it's fairly certain he'll eventually find greener pastures
Who cares what the "experts" say, right? They are all still scratching their heads as to why Campbell is still in Ames. For his part, he says all the right things. "Simply, I didn’t get in this profession to be someone, I got in this to do something", he said in the Heartland College Sports article. Maybe I'm wrong, and I hope I am, and Campbell will ride out his entire coaching career at ISU. But fans should probably prepare for life without Matt Campbell while still enjoying the success he's brought them. Someday that dangling carrot may be too irresistible not to grab.