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Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Manny Diaz’s likely departure from Miami after the school’s sudden firing of AD Blake James, and debate who would be a good replacement for the Hurricanes.
PETE THAMEL: Miami presuming that Manny Diaz is out, and it certainly when the AD gets fired and you're 19 and 15 in year three, doesn't bode well. Let's just say that. So I texted my best Miami source, or certainly the most interesting Miami source, in Nevin Shapiro.
PAT FORDE: Oh yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Nevin is claiming that the top candidate is Lane Kiffin with Randy Shannon as the defensive coordinator.
PAT FORDE: But well, I could certainly see them wanting Lane. It has always cracks me up though. But this is what the boosters do at some places, including Miami. We'll name your staff for you as we go. OK? Here's who you have to hire, Lane. You've got to have Randy Shannon because he knows the program and he recruits south Florida. You don't get a say in the matter. That's how these things work out.
DAN WETZEL: And Ed Reed needs to be on that staff.
PETE THAMEL: Can we play a game?
DAN WETZEL: Sure.
PETE THAMEL: Let's play a game. You're Mario Cristobal, you're at Oregon. You have an endless fountain of Phil Knight cash. You have elite, elite, elite facilities. You have a program that's competing for the playoff as we speak, a pipeline of talent coming from southern California, a Pac 12 that's pretty much asleep. I mean, it's pretty heavily comatosed. Would you leave, and I think he has an eight, $9 million buyout. Would you leave there to go home, quote unquote, "home" to Miami if you're Mario Cristobal?
PAT FORDE: My answer is no for all the reasons you just said.
PETE THAMEL: I guess it's not a very fun game if I give the answers.
DAN WETZEL: I'll tell you what. I love Miami. Do I get free dinner at Joe's Crabs? Can I go to Joe's anytime I want, get the broiled tomato and the giant claws? I don't know, man. I don't know. Miami-- that would not be the smart thing. He's already got tons of money. I don't know. I wouldn't do it. But I might. But what about Lane now? What about Lane?
PETE THAMEL: Well that was part two of the game. If you're Lane, now say this about Ole Miss. They have been up drafted by the SEC in this great financial boon the SEC is in. The ACC as it is projected right now is almost going to have half the TV money as the SEC when their ESPN deal starts I think in '24. So if you're Lane, now Lane likes boats, Lane likes pretty girls, Lane likes, he likes fresh water as we've come to learn.
DAN WETZEL: Well they don't have that down there.
PETE THAMEL: If you're Lane Kiffin, do you stay at Ole Miss, which it will be so desperate to keep you, they will give you anything. They'll pay him $12 million a year. There is no desperation like second school SEC desperation. Just check the notice of allegations in the history to see that. If you're Lane, do you stay at a place that will just flay you through the nose? Or do you go try to recapture some of that Miami magic?
PAT FORDE: Well that's one where you look and say, OK, if everybody in my division is rolling at their peak, where do we fit in? You say that in the SEC West and you say that in the ACC Coastal? Go to Miami, baby. ACC-- if the SEC west, if everybody's rolling, you're the fourth best team maybe. Maybe fifth, probably fifth. And that's how they--
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, Oklahoma and Texas are coming.
PAT FORDE: Well that's before Texas and Oklahoma come in. So go be in the same division with football in different-- North Carolina football in apathetic Duke, Virginia Tech where they've lost control of their recruiting backyard, Pittsburgh, which sometimes hits, sometimes misses. Yeah, give me that division. I'll take that one.
DAN WETZEL: Lane should go to Miami. Lane should be Lane. The Lane train is great at Mississippi. And he can continue to do well at Mississippi. It's very, very difficult to get over that last hump. And the other ones are just going to keep-- Saban's going to retire some day. Oh the other ones are going to keep coming. It's a tough spot. He's done a great job. Mississippi's always been somewhat of an underachieving a program. And he's certainly now achieving it and could probably continue it.
But you're Lane Kiffin, baby. You should be in South Beach, you should be on your boat. You should be absolutely in the sun. You should have a tan. You should have two girlfriends in the office. What are you doing now, just wandering around that square talking about how quaint it is and going to Square Books? No. Yeah, City Grocery is a great bar. But it ain't nothing in Miami. Come on, Lane.