Let's Set Odds: Who Will Replace Dan Mullen as Florida Head Coach?

Lane Kiffin could be one of Florida's top candidates to be its next head coach.
Lane Kiffin could be one of Florida's top candidates to be its next head coach. / Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Mullen was fired by Florida today following an embarrassing loss to Missouri that dropped the Gators to 5-6 on the season. Mullen had some highs in Gainesville, but was never able to get over the Alabama hump and win an SEC title, let alone a national title.

Despite Mullen's mediocre results, Florida remains one of the top coaching jobs in the country and there will be mutual interest between the school and the top coaches in the country. So who is most likely to be the next head coach at Florida? We're setting the odds below.

Odds for Florida's Next Head Coach

Bob Stoops +800

It's a cool idea, but luring Stoops out of retirement wouldn't be easy. He's doing well as a FOX pregame analysis, and at this point in his life (he's 61) rebuilding a program might not be all that appealing. Still, he'll get some buzz.

Bill O'Brien +700

O'Brien is one year into his tenure as Alabama offensive coordinator, a job that has spring boarded many to head coaching roles. But would the former Texans head coach commit to college indefinitely? And is he the recruiting expert Florida needs to rebuild its roster? There are better options out there.

James Franklin +550

This will get some buzz, but I don't see it. Franklin and Penn State's shine has faded a bit the last two years. They were 4-5 last season and are 7-4 this year. We'll now be three seasons away from when he won double digit games last. He's still yet to win a Big Ten title.

Franklin has SEC connections having led Vanderbilt to winning seasons in 2012 and 2013, no small feat. But I don't see Franklin being Florida's top target, although he may be their top fall-back option.

Luke Fickell +500

What Fickell has accomplished at Cincinnati can't be overstated. They're undefeated and squarely in the College Football Playoff conversation. Quarterback Desmond Ridder is a big reason why. The reason he's not higher on this list is he's from Ohio, played at Ohio State, was an assistant there after a brief NFL career and has really never left the state in his life. Would he really want to leave everything and head to Florida, a totally different recruiting environment and fan base than the one he's used to? I just don't see this being a great fit on either side, but perhaps Florida and Fickell disagree.

Lane Kiffin +350

You know Kiffin to Florida is gonna get some air time, but would he really burn another SEC school? You can't put anything past Kiffin, especially when it comes to leaving a good situation for a potentially better one. After all, that's why he bolted Tennessee for USC all those years ago.

He's rehabbed his image at Alabama and Ole Miss since failing at USC. His aggressive offense and quarterback development will appeal to the Gators. He's a good recruiter, but it's not his strongest attribute. The question becomes does Kiffin want to rebuild another program or try and build what he's already created at Ole Miss. He always seems to want to prove himself at the top schools in the country and Florida will give him that.

Mario Cristobal +350

Oregon's head coach has a lot of connections to Florida. He grew up there and played at Miami. He was also the head coach at FIU. He's a recruiting expert, which Mullen wasn't, and his Florida ties should benefit in that department.

Money will be a big part of this. Cristobal has a $9 million buyout Florida would have to pay for him to leave. Then they have to pay him. Big. But there's a lot of reason to think this could happen, especially knowing Florida will want an established winner with ties to the area and a background in recruiting. Cristobal checks all of those boxes and more.

Billy Napier +300

Napier has done everything to prove he deserves a shot at a big school, going 36-12 with Lousiana. That's why Auburn and Mississippi State were both interested in him. The feeling wasn't mutual. I'm betting the feeling would be for Florida.

Napier was an assistant at Alabama before taking over at Louisiana. He was also an assistant at Clemson. He's a former quarterback and offensive specialist. He's also the hottest coach on the market. LSU is also reportedly interested in him. Perhaps that's a better fit from Napier's perspective considering he's already living in that state. Perhaps he likes Florida more. But he should be the top candidate on Florida's wish list. Then it's just a matter of does Napier feel the same way.

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