Florida State lost to Wake Forest on Saturday, falling to 3-4 on the season in the process. Willie Taggart is now 8-11 in his short FSU tenure. There is ample speculation that his time in Tallahassee is running out.
Sure enough, Football Scoop reported earlier today that Florida State “has engaged its donor class about making a change at the head coaching position rather than give Taggart a third chance to turn Seminole football around.” It won’t be cheap: Taggart is under contract through January 2024 and would command a $17 million buyout.
Additionally, Football Scoop reported that if Taggart is indeed out at FSU, the Seminoles will aim to replace him with the biggest available name: Urban Meyer. Meyer is currently out of coaching and working as an analyst at FOX after leaving Ohio State following last season.
The Spun sources have echoed the information from Football Scoop stating that Meyer is the top choice for Florida State. However, sources also told The Spun of another big-name head coach the Seminoles have an eye on as a contingency plan: Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly.
Kelly is in his 10th season in South Bend. His team is 5-1 and ranked eighth in the country heading into Saturday’s contest at No. 19 Michigan. Overall, he has a 65-35 record at ND. That mark becomes 85-36 if you restore the 20 wins that the NCAA vacated from 2012 and 2013.
Kelly’s name has been linked to the NFL on numerous occasions, though he’s ultimately resisted any overtures from the league. He has two more years remaining on his current contract, and has publicly stated he’d like to coach at Notre Dame through 2023.
Without question, Kelly’s tenure at Notre Dame has been a major success, and he’s taken his team to a BCS title game and the College Football Playoff. Right now, Notre Dame’s program is in a better place than Florida State’s.
Overall, luring him away would not be easy for FSU, but could the Seminoles make Kelly the proverbial financial offer he can’t refuse?
More notably, given Notre Dame’s stringent admissions standards, Florida State could tempt Kelly with the opportunity to recruit elsewhere. There are some who feel he has taken the Notre Dame program as far as it can go, and would be more likely to land the talent needed to win a national championship at another institution. FSU could theoretically be that place.
Again, this stuff is fluid and until Florida State actually dismisses Taggart, none of it matters. But we can tell you that we’ve heard the ‘Noles are interested in Meyer first and then Kelly.
The question is, would either man reciprocate that interest?