During the South Carolina Gamecocks' 24-14 loss to the Florida Gators, ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch was able to catch up with the university's athletics director, Ray Tanner, to get some insight into how the search for a new football coach was going. While we heard some things that we already knew, we did get a look into the time frame in which Tanner wants to move.
As far as when a decision would be made, Tanner told Punch that he would look to make a decision "early in December" Of course, that could mean a lot of things, but that would put us at about three to four weeks from now, possibly three and a half weeks if we're making a conservative estimate. Tanner also told Punch what we already surmised: Elliott would be strongly considered as a candidate. It would be a safe hire, but might not sit well with the majority of fans: despite the fact that the Gamecocks have arguably been playing much harder under Elliott, they have still lost three of his four games at the helm. Proponents of Elliott believe that if he is given full control, he can recruit stronger, more talented players to come to South Carolina; opponents think that much better candidates are out there to be had. As for who would help with the decision, an advisory board (which we already knew about), including Marcus Lattimore, would be tasked with helping Tanner in his final choice.
If the early December time frame holds up (and Tanner does want to move as quickly as possible), that will give the university plenty of time to bring in their leading candidates - believed to be Houston's Tom Herman, Memphis's Justin Fuente, and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart - before those three teams launch into full bowl preparation. At least one of those men (likely two) will be coaching in either a national semifinal game or a New Year's Six bowl, so their respective schools would have time to put an interim plan in place if one of their coaches were to be hired away. A situation to watch is developing in Columbia, Missouri, after Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel stepped down due to health reasons. Mizzou will certainly be making a play for a few of the names that are on the Gamecocks' short list.