South Carolina was defeated by Texas A&M 48-3 on Saturday to fall to 2-4 (2-4) on the season. It was another painful game for Gamecocks fans to watch. Nearly nothing went right for South Carolina from beginning to end.
Final: Texas A&M 48 | Carolina 3— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) November 8, 2020
There are already reports that Will Muschamp’s days here are numbered and that he could be fired early this week. Now, I am definitely not expecting that rumor to be true, but I do believe the rumors that the two sides are working towards an agreement to decrease the buyout.
If that ends up becoming reality, then Muschamp will likely not be the head coach next season barring a major turnaround in the final four games. So, let’s take a look at some of the possible candidates to replace Muschamp.
Which SEC coach does Hugh Freeze replace? pic.twitter.com/9T0vpbioNk— that SEC podcast (@thatSECpodcast) November 7, 2020
Freeze has a controversial past, but seems to have learned from his mistakes and would love to come back into the SEC.
Freeze was the head coach at Ole Miss from 2012-2016, and made a lot of noise in the SEC. He upset Alabama twice, spent multiple weeks ranked in the top three in the nation and left with a 39-25 record as head coach.
He also took Ole Miss to two New Year’s Six bowls, including a win in the 2016 Sugar Bowl. More recently, he took over at Liberty in 2019 and finished 8-5 in his first season. This year, he is sitting pretty at 7-0 and has the Flames ranked in the Top 25.
Personally, if Muschamp is fired, Hugh Freeze is the first candidate I would call. He’s got SEC experience, a winning track record, and is an offensive-minded coach who knows how to put a lot of points on the board.
Considering everything that South Carolina has to offer as a program, I would be shocked if Freeze was offered the job and chose to decline.
With as good of a job as he did at Ole Miss, he could potentially have huge success in Columbia and I believe Freeze would be a grand slam hire.
Sooner Nation welcome Coach Shane Beamer to Norman! pic.twitter.com/kyFqgTlzVZ— Lincoln Riley (@LincolnRiley) January 23, 2018
Shane is the son of legendary Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer but was born in Charleston, SC. He also spent time in Columbia as an assistant coach from 2007-2010 under former legendary head coach Steve Spurrier.
Beamer is currently the Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends coach at Oklahoma. He has spent time learning under multiple elite coaches including Steve Spurrier, Lincoln Riley, Kirby Smart and of course Frank Beamer.
One of the bigger reasons why there is pushback on Beamer is because he has no head coaching experience yet. Many fans would prefer him to gain some head coaching experience before coming to a SEC program, but that might be a risk Carolina has to take.
A lot of people in the coaching industry believe that Beamer will make for a great head coach one day, so if it came to be, this could also be a boom or bust hire.
Joe Brady made a name for himself as the passing game coordinator for LSU in 2019 and played a big part in Joe Burrow’s breakthrough to stardom. He went on to win the Broyles Award in 2019, given to the nations best assistant coach.
With Joe Brady designing the passing attack in 2019, LSU QB Joe Burrow saw his numbers skyrocket.— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 14, 2020
16 PASS TD 60
2,894 PASS YARDS 5,671
57.8 CMP PCT 76.3
133.2 QB RATING 202.0 pic.twitter.com/4DBb5QbpWq
Brady is now the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers, and has put up impressive stats for a team that many considered to be in tank mode. Brady is considered one of the brightest young offensive minds in the industry but is also only 31 years old and has no head coaching experience.
This is also his first season as a coordinator and he might need more time calling plays before being hired as a head coach.
That said, he is still widely considered to have a very bright future as a head coach one day, and Brady could be a risk that is worth it in the end for South Carolina.
Napier has been a hot name in the South Carolina community for a couple years now. He is currently the head coach at Louisiana and has done a great job building that program up.
After inheriting a team that finished 5-7, Napier went 7-7 in his first season, and followed that up with an 11-3 campaign in 2019. This year he is off to another hot start, sitting at 6-1 through 7 games.
Napier was once fired by Dabo Swinney in 2010, after a rough year calling plays for the Tiger’s offense. However, since then he has been very impressive and has worked his way back up the ranks of college coaching.
Former Furman QB Billy Napier is a former Clemson OC who was let go after the 2011 season pic.twitter.com/vg73eucHcD— Reggie Anderson (@ReggieWLTX) January 9, 2016
Napier played quarterback at Furman, so he has ties to the state of South Carolina. Billy Napier would seem to be one of the safer candidates for the job if it indeed becomes open, and this hire would likely be received well by the Gamecock community.