Kevin Sumlin - Head Coach - Houston
PLUS: Sumlin has turned around a bad program and has proven he can win big games. Midwest guy who is a family man and is an offensive coach. If he can win at Houston, he could have an easier time at Pitt.
MINUS: Already a head coach with a good gig at Houston, may make it tougher to pry him away. Might put a crimp in the plans if the Big East plans to invite Houston into the conference.
My Take: Would be a solid candidate, but may not want the job.
Chris Petersen - Head Coach - Boise State University
PLUS: Boise may be the most talked about non-BCS school in the country thanks to Petersen. Offensive genius who has shown he can turn a team into a legitimate top ten power.
MINUS: Will likely be wined and dined by every program in the country who is looking for a coach.
My Take: It would take a lot to lure him from Boise, my guess is someone will offer him over $2.5 million and it won't be Pitt.
Mark Stoops - Defensive Coordinator - Florida State University
PLUS: He is a Stoops, enough said. He has been successful everywhere he has been. he is from Youngstown (Ohio) and played at Cardinal Mooney which would be a big plus for Pitt.
MINUS: He has never been a head coach. He will likely be in the mix for several other job openings.
My Take: Pederson doesn't seem to gravitate towards defensive coaches and he has no head coaching experience.
Mike Stoops - Head Coach - Arizona
PLUS: Fiery guy, who is a tireless worker and recruiter. He is Stoops, so coaching is in his blood. Has done good things with turning around the Arizona program.
MINUS: Has a losing record at Arizona. He is a defensive coach and already has a job.
My Take: Don't see it as an upgrade over what Pitt already had.
Randy Shannon - Former Head Coach - University of Miami
PLUS: Shannon has always been known as a student of the game. He is a very good recruiter. He turned around the Miami program on and off the field. Miami is a program that expects to compete for a national title every year.
MINUS: Shannon would have a hard time replacing a man he respects as much as Wannstedt, but a check is a check. He is a defensive minded coach.
My Take: Doubt he would be a serious candidate over some of the others, but it is always possible.
Ken Niumatolo - Head Coach - Navy
PLUS: Intense and commands respect. If you can win at Navy, you can surely win at Pitt. Offensive minded coach who has been an offensive coordinator before.
MINUS: He would have to take a totally different approach to recruiting than he does now.
My Take: Not sure how serious Pederson would look at Niumatolo, but he should.
Marty Morhninweg - Offensive Coordinator - Philadelphia Eagles
PLUS: Offensive guru with NFL experience and would be a draw for recruits, not too mention he could lure his son Skyler to Pitt as their QB of the future.
MINUS: Not sure he'd want to leave an NFL coordinator gig.
My Take: I think he'd be a good choice to at least have in for an interview if he would be open to it.
Sean McDermott - Defensive Coordinator - Philadelphia Eagles
PLUS: Intense coach who would do wonders on the recruiting trail. He is a Pennsylvania native and could be a big draw, especially out East.
MINUS: May not want to leave the Pro ranks and he is a defensive coach.
My Take: I doubt he gets pursued at this point.
Tim Lewis - Secondary Coach - Atlanta Falcons
PLUS: He is a Pitt guy. he has a wealth of NFL experience as a coordinator and as a position coach.
MINUS: Has never been a head coach. Was bad mouthed by Steelers star James Harrison and it may not be good to have them in the same building. Also the answer to a trivia question. Who was the coach that was fired so Hall of Fame coach Dick LeBeau could be hired? The answer is Tim Lewis.
My Take: Would not be interviewed most likely, but everyone always wants to hear a Pitt guy, so here you go.
Paul Chryst - Offensive Coordinator - Wisconsin
PLUS: Has shown he can be versatile in his offensive philosophy at Wisconsin and at Oregon State. Comes from a deep family background o f coaches. He also has NFL experience. Coached at West Virginia, so he is familiar with the conference.
MINUS: Seems to be set at Wisconsin and may take a lot to get him to leave.
My Take: Should get a look and an interview. Midwest guy who is an offensive guru.
Ken O'Keefe - Offensive Coordinator - Iowa
PLUS: O'Keefe has been a successful high school and college head coach. he turned Allegheny College into a small college powerhouse. He has done a lot of good work with quarterbacks and running the offense at Iowa. O'Keefe has been a very good recruiter at Iowa, especially in Northwestern Pennsylvania landing players like Ed Hinkel and Bob Sanders.
MINUS: Not the young aspiring coaching prospect that most are looking for.
My Take: He is an offensive minded coach, maybe not what would fit the bill for Pitt right now though.
Bryan Stinespring - Offensive Coordinator - Virginia Tech
PLUS: Young, offensive minded coach who is likely to be on the rise in the next few years. Runs a very efficient offense for the Hokies. Does a solid job recruiting. Versatile, he has coached a number of different positions.
MINUS: never been a head coach and has only been with one program.
My Take: Probably a few years away from being a head coach.
Bud Foster - Defensive Coordinator - Virginia Tech
PLUS: One of the best defensive minds in college football. Mature, coach who is ready to take on his own program.
MINUS: He has only ever coached with Frank Beamer and has been a lifelong assistant. he is a defensive coach.
My Take: Foster could be a solid candidate, but does he really want his own program?
Mike Pettine - Defensive Coordinator - New York Jets
PLUS: A very intense coach who was a very successful coach at North Penn High School. He has done well wherever he has been. Well connected in Pa which could be great for recruiting. Has NFL experience and has learned from some great football people.
MINUS: May not want to leave a coordinator job in the NFL.
My Take: Dark horse, but personally I think he would be great.
Bryan Harsin - Offensive Coordinator - Boise State
PLUS: Young, offensive genius who is one of the brightest young minds in the game. He has been very successful.
MINUS: Never been a head coach and may be a year or two away.
My Take: Will be courted by a number of programs to be their OC.
Pat Shurmur - Offensive Coordinator - St. Louis Rams
PLUS: very good offensive minded coach and outstanding developer of young quarterbacks. Midwest native, family man who played at Michigan State.
MINUS: Tough to leave a coordinator job in the NFL for a college job.
My Take: Offensive minded guy like Pederson likes. Could be a dark horse candidate.
Sal Sunseri - Asst. Head Coach/Linebackers - Alabama
PLUS: He is a Pittsburgh guy and has been mentioned for the job before. Has experience with a number of top programs and has learned from some great coaches. He also has NFL experience.
MINUS: Son Tino is the quarterback and we saw how that worked at Colorado with Dan and Cody Hawkins. Can there ever be a true QB competition in that scenario? Never been a head coach and he is a defensive guy.
My Take: Sunseri wasn't picked before, so wouldn't that be like admitting you're wrong? Wannstedt was Jeff Long's hire, but can't see Pederson going backwards here.
Mike Haywood - Head Coach - Miami (Ohio)
PLUS: What hasn't Haywood done? He has coached every position on offense and even served as recruiting coordinator before. he has coached at some big time programs and under some very good football coaches. He won the MAC title in his first season as head coach. Some guys just have that "it" factor and he seems to be that type of guy. He has recruited all across the country and has great connections.
MINUS: Only in his first season as a head coach.
My Take: Haywood should be one of the top four-five coaches interviewed for the job. In a few years, Haywood may be one of the most wanted coaches in the country.
Al Golden - Temple - Head Coach
PLUS: Golden is widely considered one of the best young coaches in football. He has done extraordinary things at Temple when no one thought he could.
MINUS: Most consider him to be next in line at Penn State.
My Take: He should be interviewed.