It appears that Mississippi State athletic director Greg Byrne has turned his attention to one man to fill the head coaching spot vacated by the resignation of Sylvester Croom. Kevin Wilson, who currently serves as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, is now in pole position to become the Bulldogs next head coach.
Byrne, who has taken on this coaching search under a veil of silence, looks as if he has set his sights on the Frank Boyles award winner, an honor given to the nation’s top assistant coach. Wilson served as the Sooners co-offensive coordinator from 2002-2005, before taking over full offensive responsibilities in 2006. Before his stint in Norman, Wilson was the offensive coordinator at Northwestern, where he led the Wildcats to the nation’s third overall offense in 2000.
In this, his most productive season at Oklahoma, Wilson’s offense scored 702 points, including a stretch of five games that included victories against Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State, and in the Big XII title game against Missouri where the Sooners scored over 60 points in each game.
Oklahoma is the first team in NCAA history to score over 700 points in the modern era. Also, their five game streak of scoring 60 or more points was last done 89 years ago. The Sooners (12-1) lead the nation in scoring offense at 54 points per game, and will battle the University of Florida for the BCS National Championship in the Orange Bowl.
If Wilson is indeed to be named head coach, it is rumored that the announcement could come within the week. That leaves the question of whether or not Wilson would leave the Sooners before the national title game, or talk full reigns at Mississippi State after the Sooners do battle with the Gators. There is no clear precedent in these matters, but Wilson could attempt to construct a staff for the Bulldogs for recruiting purposes and still remain with the Sooners until mid January, after the national championship game.
Wilson’s first order of business if he were to be named as the new head man in Starkville will most likely be reaffirming the commitments of a solid Bulldog recruiting class that is already intact. Headlining the class, which is currently ranked as the 21st best in the country by rivals.com, is Mississippi’s Gatorade Player of the Year Meridian quarterback Tyler Russell, along with four star running back Montrell Connor, four star defensive tackle Josh Boyd, four star receiver Chris Smith, and four star defensive ends Fletcher Cox and Pernell Mcphee.