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Nix Firing Watch, Day 4

So far, it's quiet on the firing front, probably because those coaches that are being let go are being given some time to come up with other jobs or other excuses for bowing out.

But the Tyrone Nix Firing Watch* actually moves down from 80 percent on Day 1.


This actually has little to do with the likelihood that Nix will be gone from South Carolina at the end of the season. That is still probable, maybe even highly probable.

But the firing of Jeff Bower at Southern Miss, Nix's alma mater, might open up an opportunity for everyone to save face. The Eagles' former linebacker is set to meet with the school -- at an "undisclosed location," so the get-together might include Dick Cheney -- about their vacancy.

For his part, SMQ seems to regard Nix's hiring as something approaching certainty, though hardly something that brings joy to his heart.

Otherwise, his old coordinating counterpart, Tyrone Nix, is the uneasy, off-the-record leader. Not that any fans seem to want him -- far from it, actually; Nix was a very good linebacker in Hattiesburg in the early nineties, but his defenses at USM were below average by Southern standards, especially the oft-ripped unit of 2004 that allowed 430-plus yards six times and 500-plus thrice [cocknfire: Sound familiar?], and his already sketchy defense at South Carolina has fallen apart down the stretch. Darren McFadden or no Darren McFadden, there is no love for a man whose charges allowed 500 yards rushing in a single night. If a minority candidate is a priority (there is a completely unsubstantiated rumor that it is), the preference is overwhelmingly for somehow luring Strong from Florida. ... The best guess is Nix, and it has everyone's knees knocking.

Actually, Strong heading for USM could be good for South Carolina in a roundabout way, if he would consider and be considered for the Gamecocks HC job when Spurrier retires or finally gets out of Columbia to coach Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU, Miami and Michigan -- all at once.

(Meanwhile, go ahead and strike up the Spurrier-to-Duke rumors. Actually, it wouldn't surprise me to see Steve Spurrier coach at Duke next year. Just with a "Jr." behind his name.)

In any case, I still believe Nix is all but gone at the end of the year. But he might get out without being fired.

*This post and all others like it do not indicate that Garnet and Black Attack either supports or opposes the firing of Tyrone Nix. It is simply the probability, as best as I can surmise, that a much-discussed personnel change will actually take place.

Previous editions of Nix Firing Watch
Day 1, 11/26/07