Rick Barnes to Tennessee Rumors Already?!?
Well, this didn’t take long. Rick Barnes and Texas haven’t officially split ways, but every report (including this one) is saying that it will happen. The rumor mill is rolling and Rick Barnes is already being said to be the top target of Tennessee.
Wife’s a grad RT @JasonKingBR: Won’t be shocked if Tennessee contacts Rick Barnes. Not saying leading candidate, but wouldn’t laugh it off.
— Mark Rosner (@MarkRosner3) March 27, 2015
Rick Barnes has already been contacted by Tennessee. One SEC source says he is the “Top Priority for the Vols”.
— Coaching Rumors (@coaching_rumors) March 27, 2015
And here we go, if Barnes ends up at Tennessee it would mean that Alabama’s attempt to swing for the fences and land Gregg Marshall would become a very high risk/high reward situation. Fall back candidates will not be anywhere close to as accomplished as the top candidate for Alabama. Alabama faces the prospect of going into a bidding war with Texas and that’s just a terrible idea. How high will Alabama go? It could be like watching Storage Wars and watching the price of a storage locker become inflated really quickly and someone’s going to be stuck with a very high price tag.
Rick Barnes has yet to be officially relieved of duties as of right now, but this can change. Rick Barnes should not have a problem finding an appreciative fan base, he turned around Texas from chronic underachievers to NCAA Tournament mainstays. It may be time for Barnes to move back closer to home and Tennessee seems to be an excellent place for him to land.
Rick Barnes to Tennessee, we have all heard crazier things, right? Or seen crazier?
UPDATE: Rick Barnes has been fired by Texas. Barnes’ wife is a Tennessee alum. Barnes is from Hickory, North Carolina and used to coach at Clemson which means he has ties to the region. Remember those Clemson teams that held offenses to under 50 with consistency? That’s Barnes at work. To make the situation more unusual, Texas looks to fill its vacancy in a week. If Tennessee strikes early and lands Barnes, it will force Bama in a tough spot as they will have a bidding war with Texas and possibly the Koch Brothers for Gregg Marshall’s services. But maybe money isn’t all that matters with Marshall and he ends up staying in Wichita after all. In the end, the biggest loser would still be Alabama as they have opened themselves up for potential humiliation on a national stage.
UPDATE #2: Gregg Marshall reportedly turns down Alabama and is highly likely to take the Texas gig. Andy Kennedy is being floated around by the mainstream reporters as another possibility although Barnes appears to be Option #1 for good reason in Knoxville. Kennedy could potentially be a contender for the Oklahoma State job should Travis Ford gets fired this coming week. Kennedy will like have choice words for the University of Alabama and Paul Bryant Jr., if he gets a call from them. Kennedy played for Gene Bartow and not only went to UAB, but was an assistant under Bartow.