We (I) ordinarily try to avoid acknowledging the hot message board rumor of the day or the week, but to ignore this one would be ignoring the issue dominating the minds of the vast majority of U of L football fans on this final day of the regular season.
The "Steve Kragthorpe will resign after the Rutgers game" rumors have slowly been gaining momentum since the tail end of last week, and hit their peak with the following, which was posted by "OfficeCard97" on Inside the Ville last night.
Let me preface this first before I post this. Steve Kragthorpe is a stand up guy, even though there was more to the SMU situation last year, I believe Steve Kragthorpe is one of the better guys in football. He definitely is a quality person, and he may very well succeed at a smaller program. He's the type of guy who could likely do well at a smaller type program where football is a priority, but it's not a high pressure situation and he can get to know the players.
Anyway, I've posted before, one of my friends is a high ranking booster, and you don't have to believe anything just thought I would share. But Steve Kragthorpe is definitely gone after the Rutgers game, win or lose. It would be a small miracle if we win at Rutgers in the first place the way I've heard the team has practiced the last week in the first place, but he is definitely gone.
The siutation can be summed up at this: Steve Kragthorpe is not a right fit, and with the next year being very important to the program, it has become too much to overcome with him returning. An expansion on the way, the fans will simply not accept another year of this. It's become a threat to the funding of the program. There will be a mutual sort of agreement where Steve Kragthorpe will be paid a lump sum of money to leave. Possibly around $500,000 is the word. Note, that this is a mutual agreement, so any sort of previous buyout agreement is not going to be upheld.
Things are NOT looking good for the program in general, so this is a measure that needs to be taken. Steve Kragthorpe himself is a major part of this sentiment, the stress on him and his family is not something he feels will drop, and he knows that this is a thing that could happen either this year, or next year, so he is opting to get this over with and move on. It is somewhat similar to the Tubby Smith situation. Even though Kragthorpe could likely come back next year, because Tom Jurich would allow it, that isn't the issue. The feeling is, the writing is on the wall, next year things are not expected to be better, so the feeling is this will eventually happen one way or another so Kragthorpe will opt to not put himself or his family through any more stress and save himself as much face as possible. For what its worth, I've heard Tom Jurich will go lengths for Steve Kragthorpe to be considered for another job, although Kragthorpe may take the following year off althogether and return to Tulsa. Similar to John L Smith returning here.
It's still premature in the future coach process, the feelers stage. I once heard that Ron English would be considered for the position, and given a year or two to see how things go. That is out of the question now. It's considered a certainty that Ron English will be the next head coach at Eastern Michigan. Any future coach here will be made up of almost an entirely new staff. Early names I've heard are Scott Linehan, the ex-Rams coach, who has ties here. Both coordinators at Florida will be pursued, it depends on what the other job offers are for these individuals on which to pursue, either Charlie Strong, or Dan Mullen. Even Brian Kelley has been mentioned, but this is considered a long shot to switch programs within the conference.
That's my information, take it for what its worth. And also by the way, would not be surprised for things to leak out shortly around the Rutgers game or after it.
For what it's worth (a free taco at Taco Bell), I've heard absolutely nothing about this one way or the other, but I'll still say that I'd be more surprised if Steve Kragthorpe weren't the head coach next season than I will be if he is.
There's certainly a solid chance that there's zero truth to this rumor, but if nothing else it gives the otherwise disinterested a reason to pay attention tonight, which is something...I guess.