We Red Wolves fans suffer from a form of PTSD that few college football programs have ever experienced: Multiple Coaching Search Syndrome. Symptoms include sleepless paranoia, overreaction, a thirst for hot takes, and an unbreakable addiction to message boards and social media.
After Blake Anderson returned to A-State for an unprecedented second season, the terrible cycle was thought to be broken. Red Wolves fans sipped deep from the goblet of inner peace, content with the knowledge that the team was shepherded by knowing hands.
And then Blake Anderson went ahead and ruined everything by winning us another Sun Belt title.
2015 has seen more than 20 coaching changes, and the dominoes are still falling. Upon the Red Wolves' belting of New Mexico State, Coach Anderson's name began to bubble to the ooze's murky surface.
Been told Blake Anderson would like to get in the mix at Memphis. But not sure if there’s reciprocal interest. https://t.co/xxxCL0GIHB
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 29, 2015
Dan Wolken is a great guy and all, so I doubt he understands how horrible to Red Wolves fans "Anderson to Memphis" sounds – like a 50 Cent version of In The Arms of an Angel. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.
I can confirm that Blake Anderson got on the bus for Jonesboro and didn't stay in Memphis to take the Tigers' open coaching job.
— Brad Bobo (@TheDriveOnKNEA) November 29, 2015
Turns out, Missouri DC Barry Odom is the lead candidate to take over Memphis, so big sigh of relief, right?
Possible Virginia candidates: Greg Schiano, Troy Calhoun, Al Golden, Mack Brown, Jeff Brohm, Ken Niumatalolo & Blake Anderson.
— Thayer Evans (@ThayerEvansSI) November 29, 2015
Gah! Virginia? Okay, fine. We're just going to have to put up with this crap. We're pros, so don't expect anyone to freak out.
#RedWolves We need to relocate Blake Anderson to an undisclosed location, confiscate his phone, & keep him under guard until after the bowl
— Kyle Ryan Kiper (@KyleKiper) November 29, 2015
Okay, let's just bear in mind that Coach Anderson has a hefty $3M buyout, which takes a pile of poaching programs right of the running. That leaves only the most privileged of programs as candidates, and quite frankly, they're all shooting for Jimbo Fisher (who already laughed LSU back into retaining Les Miles).
So who should we worry about most? UCF? Virginia? Rutgers? Missouri? Personally, I'm worried about the domino that has yet to fall. When all the moves are made, there will be some attractive program left without a chair. What's $3M to a booster-base panicking at the prospect of sadly hiring Brady Hoke?
But there is another possibility, of course: Coach Blake Anderson is happy in Jonesboro, winning titles, going to bowl games, and earning some very good coin. At A-State, Anderson is poised to build a program that is being supported by an aggressive administration and a growing fan base.
Chill out. Let somebody else have the coaching search jitters this year.