College football's coaching carousel is an annual whirlwind of rumors and news flying so quickly, you never know what could happen next. After leading Cal to a winning season on his watch, Cal head coach Sonny Dykes became a bit of an interesting name to follow during the annual rummage sale of rumors. It turns out Cal may be able to keep Dykes aboard as head coach, and it may have to pay to make that happen. The bizarre thing is, they may not have had to pay an extra dime.
Dykes reportedly interviewed with at least three schools about potential job opportunities. South Carolina, Missouri and Virginia all had Dyke son the radar to fill a vacancy as head coach; but for one reason or another, Dykes has fallen off the radar as the days went by. Missouri opted to stay in-house by promoting defensive coordinator Barry Odom to succeed the retiring Gary Pinkel and Virginia made a surprise announcement by hiring BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. South Carolina remains open, although Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez appear more likely targets at this point.
Now, Cal is in position to keep Dykes in charge of the football program with reports coming out suggesting the school and head coach are negotiating a contract extension. Although the season is over, Cal is continuing to move forward with practices as they prepare for a to-be-determined bowl matchup. Dykes closed out practice on Friday.
So it appears Dykes will remain the head coach for Cal, with a contract extension. The only problem may be Dykes will likely have a lot of turnover on the team next season. In addition to the seniors moving on, Cal's offense could be ready to lose their starting quarterback, Jared Goff, and perhaps wide receiver Kenny Lawler. Each could be gone in the first couple of rounds of the NFL Draft in the spring if they decide to turn pro. Dykes could be at risk of not being an attractive enough candidate to other potential programs in 2016's coaching carousel if Cal's offense sputters next season and Cal could be committed to a beefier price tag to keep him around if he doesn't leave.
The hope, of course, is Cal continues to grow under Dykes. The program has taken some good strides since he has gotten started, and Cal can use this season to continue building on the foundation constructed by Dykes and his staff. That begins with recruiting, but first Cal will look to close out the season with a win in a bowl game.
Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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