Here are some updates on the Cal coaching search:
— San Jose State’s Mike MacIntyre, who has guided the Spartans to a 10-2 record, told beat writer Jimmy Durkin from our staff that he has not been offered a job by Kentucky and has had no contact with Cal. I covered the Spartans in 2011 and I know MacIntyre a little bit, so I believe him. I’ll also tell you this: It’s early in the process. Don’t scratch him from your list yet.
— BANG columnist Monte Poole talked briefly Sunday with Hue Jackson, currently DBs coach for the Cincinnati Bengals, who told him he had not heard from Cal, but hopes he does. In other words, he sounds interested. Jackson, who coached the Raiders to an 8-8 record last season (sounds pretty good about now), spent the 1996 season as offensive coordinator at Cal. The belief is that money isn’t as much the issue as Jackson’s determination to get another head coaching job — either in the NFL or in college. I’m waiting to hear back from Jackson’s agent.
— Western Kentucky’s Willie Taggart, a former assistant at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh, said he has had no contact at this point from any school, presumably including Cal. During his Monday weekly press briefing he said, “We’re grinding. We’re out recruiting. I work for WKU — that’s what this is all about.” The Hilltoppers are 7-5 and awaiting a long-shot bowl bid. They are 14-10 the past two seasons under Taggart.
— Vanderbilt coach James Franklin does not appear to be a viable candidate. I spoke with beat reporter Jeff Lockridge of the Tennessean, who told me that he believes Franklin is happy at Vandy and about to get a new contract. The Commodores are 8-4 and riding a six-game win streak. Already, Franklin earns close to $3 million a year (an unofficial estimate because Vandy does not release contract figures) on a seven-year deal. The school is building an indoor practice facility and has nearly tripled Franklin’s recruiting budget, to the point that he’s able to fly into high school games via helicopter. He turned away inquiries from N.C. State and isn’t considered a candidate at Kentucky, because Vandy is now a better job.