I'm almost to North Carolina and it looks like I may be driving into the heart of the storm!
Anyway, here is a quick update.....
There was quite a stir about an 8 p.m. (9 p.m. our time) team meeting tonight with Todd Graham and his players at Tulsa but I wouldn't read too much into it as it is a meeting that has been scheduled for weeks and Graham has this meeting every year on the eve of the first day of classes.
But I think the good news about the meeting is we'll know something more about his future plans by that point in the night or shortly thereafter as I would assume he would not meet with his players without being able to answer questions about whether he is going or staying.
Like I wrote earlier Pitt and him were talking money but I cautioned that it is a lot of money (he makes $1.3, he told them $1.6 was not enough initially so you do the math), a lot more money than Pitt paid its last two coaches and while Pitt was closer than the school had been to the salary range he wants to be in, the deal was far from being done.
And Pitt isn't going to offer him the job unless they know he is going to take it.
I also wrote he has been a master of working open jobs (he talked to Minnesota and Indiana for goodness sakes) for more money for himself and assistants at Tulsa and he could be at it again.
And Pitt also got to this point with Al Golden and well, we all know how that turned out.
So in short, this is a waiting game. Just because they are talking money, that doesn't mean a guy is going to get hired. Remember that before you get upset about the hire especially since they haven't even officially offered him the job yet from what I can gather.
I don't know if Pitt will or will not get this deal done (and my gut is his asking price is going to be just too high, especially considering the school's usual way of doing business is to reward people who get the job done AT PITT as opposed to going out and paying big dollars for hired guns but I could be wrong and maybe Pitt is indeed ready to step up to the plate here) but it does certainly feel like we are going to have some clarity, at least in his candidacy, by days end and that is a good thing because this game of cat and mouse is officially getting old!!!
And just to review along with Graham, the other candidates who were interviewed in the first round of interviews are Graham, Sal Sunseri, Tom Bradley, Paul Chryst, Bud Foster, Greg Roman and Teryl Austin. There is also the mystery candidate who I've been told by several sources was Florida International coach Mario Cristobal but I have not been able to confirm that he actually did interview.
The others did talk to Pitt and I think Cristobal did so as we wait to see how this process unfolds today, let me ask you this -- I'll check in a few more hours when I stop somewhere to see what's happening -- which of these guys do you want? Are you happy with this search? With this candidate pool?