ELIAH DRINKWITZ

I’m amused about the Hog football coach search. Within minutes this morning I got a note asserting Lane Kiffin, now at Florida Atlantic, would be the next Hog coach, followed quickly by multiple news accounts that said Kiffin was absolutely going to Ole Miss.

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I have no clue, not to mention no dog in the hunt. But I’m intrigued by the Hogs’  supposed post-Kiffin “fallback,” Appalachian State head coach Eliah Drinkwitz. I’ve already heard comment on the radio talk shows on account of the unusual name. Butch Davis (to mention another contender) it isn’t.

But Drinkwitz is an Arkie through and through. An Alma native, high school all-state linebacker, class president at Alma High and Arkansas Tech, a former mentee of Gus Malzahn and, not incidentally, highly successful at Appalachian State. His team is 11-1 and playing for the Sun Belt conference championship today.

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Drinkwitz also might be hirable for something less than UA paid Chad Morris, $3.5 million and a huge buyout for spectacularly poor performance. Drinkwitz is currently guaranteed $750,000 in a five-year deal he struck late in 2018. He can get up to $265,000 in incentives — for wins, a conference championship, a bowl win, coach of the year award and other factors he seems likely to achieve.

So maybe you could get Drinkwiz for way less than Morris (say $2 million, still a 100 percent bump), but also offer BIG incentives for winning rather than a big buyout for losing. Counterintuitive in the current football coaching circumstances, I know. Just an idea.

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