Colin Cowherd Says UT Should Throw $10 Million at Jon Gruden

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    Colin Cowherd is at it again. And this time, he’s brought in an old friend of the Tennessee fan base.

    A week ago, Cowherd made headlines in Tennessee when he called head coach Butch Jones a “gym teacher” in the middle of a rant about Jones’ tenure with the Vols. Well this week, Cowherd again mentioned the Vols. This time, however, he did his best to revive the old tried and true “Grumors” in the process.

    During a discussion about the advantages of coaching college football rather than the NFL, Cowherd brought up former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden as an example of someone he thought would do well in college. Cowherd cited Gruden’s energy and youthfulness along with his extensive football knowledge and acumen as reasons he would succeed in recruiting and as a college coach overall.

    “He would be an unbelievable recruiter,” Cowherd said of Gruden. “He would be one of the best college recruiters of all-time. Because of his Florida connections, he’d be a great recruiter in Florida. He knows the high schools in Tampa, and he knows all the coaches there.”

    Then instead of listing off a group of schools where he thought Gruden would succeed, Cowherd named only one school. And that school was, of course, Tennessee.

    “If I was Tennessee, I’d give him $10 million,” Cowherd stated. “Gruden would just mop up in Florida (in recruiting). Tennessee would pay $10 million a year for him, and he’d be great.”

    When the Vols were looking for a head coach after Lane Kiffin bolted for USC, Jon Gruden’s name popped up as a fan favorite to land the job. Fans came up with all kinds of conspiracy theories surrounding Gruden coming to Knoxville, whether it was him owning land in the area, his wife being a former cheerleader at UT, or flight trackers showing flights landing in Knoxville from his home in Florida. Thus the birth of “Grumors” began in Knoxville.

    Of course, Gruden didn’t land the job then. Derek Dooley was ultimately given the position, but once Dooley was fired in 2012, the Grumors fired up again. Rumors flew in late November that AD Dave Hart had met with Gruden and Gruden was “mulling over” the option of coming to Tennessee. Once again, however, Gruden wouldn’t end up Tennessee’s head coach. Butch Jones was given the head coaching job instead.

    Vol fans have longed for and joked about Gruden becoming Tennessee’s head coach for years, but those rumors have died down over the years as it became more apparent Gruden appeared comfortable remaining at ESPN and out of coaching. The fact that Cowherd tied Gruden to Tennessee is probably just because Cowherd had the Vols on his mind from last week still. But it did make for an interesting coincidence he chose that coach to link to Tennessee.

    If you want to hear Cowherd’s segment on his show where he mentioned Gruden to Tennessee, fast forward this link to Cowherd’s show to just after the beginning of the second hour.

    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.