Football: Is Boise State’s Chris Petersen leaving the door open? Depends what you want to hear

Boise State’s Chris Petersen, the subject of constant coaching job talk, addressed the latest round of rumors Monday during his weekly press conference with local media.

The 20th-ranked Broncos (9-2) close their regular season Saturday against Nevada.

Courtesy of the Idaho Statesman, here is what Petersen had to say related to the coaching rumors, late in his weekly address:

“Twenty-two minutes,” he said, looking at his watch. “That’s better than I thought.”

Asked if it was a distraction, he said, “It is not even kind of. It’s just rumors. That’s all I want really to say about this and I say it every year. It’s just rumors. I don’t even think half the time it’s reporters. Everybody’s a reporter these days. Everybody’s got an opinion on a blog, so they throw it out and oh, it’s going to happen.”

Petersen referenced the Mississippi State rumors from a few years ago, when a television station was reporting the details of his new contract with the Bulldogs.

“It was so far from false. It is what it is, you guys love it. I know it’s great and it sells whatever. It means zero here. We don’t even pay attention to it.”

Asked if there was a downside to his name being mentioned all the time, Petersen said, “The only trouble is in recruiting — 99.9 percent is always completely false, the problem is .1. But there hasn’t even been .1.”

Cal fans will cling to that .1 percent — and perhaps they should. Petersen is as good a candidate as the Bears could covet.

But he’s said no to UCLA and Stanford in recent years, and he won’t be an easy sell. Can Sandy Barbour turn those long-shot odds into something real?

Stay tuned.



Football: Spartans’ MacIntyre says no contact from Cal so far; Hue Jackson sounds interested

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.


Football: The coach search intensifies

I’m back folks and, as expected, plenty happened while I was gone. My absence could not be helped — a significant family event that was planned months ago.

Now I turn my attention to tracking down who is being courted by the Bears to replace Jeff Tedford. I expect Sandy Barbour to aim high — there is a lot at stake.

Meanwhile, it appears Tedford may already have suitors lining up. Colorado fired Jon Embree on Sunday night after he posted a 4-21 in two seasons, and Tedford’s name was mentioned in the Denver Post as a possible replacement.

From the Post: “A search for a successor will start immediately. (Athletic director Mike) Bohn has mentioned an admiration for Jeff Tedford, considered at one time a quarterbacks guru who was fired at California after an 11-year stint.”