|Scott Frost | Oregon offensive coordinator | Age 40|
Why he fits: If you want high octane offense, Oregon is the place to go. Frost has been in that system for some time and is one of the nation's hottest assistants. Athletic Director Mark Coyle interviewed him for the Boise State job, so he is clearly on Coyle's radar. Frost does not have the recruiting ties in the Northeast or in the South that other candidates have, but his name and system should correct that somewhat quickly. He can sell prospects on playing in an Oregon style offense on the fast track of the Carrier Dome. Frost has no head coaching experience, but many feel he is ready to make that transition.
The Latest: Frost has been the front runner throughout the search, but we are told discussions/negotiations did not go as planned on Monday. Frost is still the leader for now, but it is not as much of a certainty as previously thought. One source tells us he is still the top option, however.
|Chris Ash | Ohio State co-defensive coordinator | Age 41|
Why he fits: Ash has extensive experience as a defensive coach in power five conferences including Ohio State, Wisconsin and Iowa State. He has been a part of successful programs and has always had a strong desire to be a head coach. At age 41, he is old enough to have some experience but young enough to still have that youthful energy and enthusiasm. Ohio State and Wisconsin both recruit the east coast well, so he should have those type of connections to the area. Has national championship pedigree from the 2014 season with the Buckeyes. Ash is also a Drake alum, just like Mark Coyle.
The Latest: Ash is the new name that has emerged and we are told could get an interview sooner rather than later. This because things seem to be taking a turn with the Scott Frost situation. Keep an eye on Ash moving forward.
|Mike Sanford | Notre Dame offensive coordinator | Age 33|
Why he fits: Sanford is a rising star in the coaching world. He is young, energetic and is considered a creative offensive mind. His father is a long time head coach, so it is in his blood. He has also been a recruiting coordinator when he was at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw. In addition, he was the offensive coordinator for Boise State during the 2014 season that was capped with a Fiesta Bowl win. That was AD Mark Coyle's last football season at Boise. There is a connection there and Sanford is highly thought of by Coyle because of that. His experience as a recruiting coordinator while helping to build up a program would also serve him well at Syracuse.
The Latest: We have heard mixed things regarding Sanford as a secondary candidate. He is highly respected by Coyle, but could it be too late? There are several more positions open now with some linked to Sanford, including Virginia.
|Ed Orgeron | LSU defensive line coach | Age 54|
Why he fits: Orgeron was not successful during his run as the Ole Miss head coach, but he sure recruited well. Then, as interim head coach at USC, he went 6-2 down the stretch of the season. Players wanted him as the permanent replacement. Orgeron is a players' coach who has always been able to recruit. He coached at Syracuse from 1995-97 as the defensive line coach, so he has a connection to the program. He has ties to the Northeast and in the South. Orgeron is a name that would receive national recognition, would galvanize the fan base and would be strong on the recruiting front. He also comes with significant head coaching experience, something that may be important for new AD Mark Coyle.
The Latest: Orgeron had some buzz early in the coaching search. But the longer this goes, the more he seems to be fading as far as a legitimate option. He is still on the list for now, but seems to be the emergency candidate.
|Mark Hudspeth | Louisiana-Lafayette Head Coach | Age 47|
Why he fits: Hudspeth has extensive head coaching experience at division two North Alabama and FBS Louisiana-Lafayette. He has compiled a combined 97-43 record, turning both programs around. North Alabama was 4-7 in year one, then hit double digit wins in five of the six seasons. At Louisiana-Lafayette, he had three straight nine win seasons until this year where he sits at 4-6. He also was an assistant at Mississippi State under current head coach Dan Mullen. He has recruiting ties to the east coast, specifically in the south. Hudspeth is considered a solid offensive mind.
The Latest: Nothing new on this front, but he is a legitimate fallback option. Keep an eye on him if Syracuse can't land Frost and Sanford is looking elsewhere.