The Lead Block — 5 questions to follow in Week 8

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday October 23, 2015

1. Can Jeff Brohm make an impression on the big stage?

Western Kentucky travels to LSU in an interesting nonconference matchup in Death Valley. The Hilltoppers are 6-1 and scoring 44 points per game with Brohm calling plays. In Brohm’s first season last year, WKU went 8-5 and scored 44 points per game. Schools are publicly saying they want to hire offensive-minded head coaches, and Brohm’s name could fit the bill. Saturday could be a chance to make a major impression.

2. How much will Scott Satterfield’s name start coming up for other jobs in the coaching carousel?

Appalachian State has quietly been on one of the more impressive stretches in college football. After a 31-13 win over Georgia Southern on Thursday, the Mountaineers are 6-1 and have won 12 of their last 13. Satterfield went 4-8 in 2013, 7-5 last year and is off to a strong start this year. Like Brohm, Satterfield calls plays. But how much would it take to lure him away? He's a former App State player, he's from the state, he's coached there for 15 years (non-consecutive), and he signed a five-year extension earlier this month.

3. How much longer will George O’Leary be at UCF?

The Knights are 0-7 and are a 22-point home underdog to Houston on Saturday. Now O’Leary and the school are clashing with media over refusing to release O’Leary’s contract, amid rumors it includes language about his successor. O’Leary denied those rumors. It’s been a mess of a season in Orlando, and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any better.

4. Will Utah play pissed off after being listed as an underdog by Vegas?

Kyle Whittingham knows his 6-0 team is listed as a three-point underdog at 3-3 USC, and he’s talked to the Utes about it. Will the Utes come out fired up? Will the Trojans find the extra motivation playing for Clay Helton? The other subplot is Whittingham’s name being thrown around for the USC job. He refuses to talk about any speculation, but a strong Utah performance in the Coliseum could make an impression on USC’s decision-makers.

5. How will the interim head coaches audition for other jobs?

Four of the five current interim head coaches have previously served as a head coach in some capacity: Bill Cubit at Western Michigan, Mike Locksley at New Mexico, Mike Canales at North Texas and Clay Helton for one game at USC, while Shawn Elliott is in his first role. Locksley said he doesn’t want players out there playing to earn jobs for coaches, but while landing the full-time job when you’re the interim is unlikely, being an interim head coach is a great opportunity to make an impression for your next jobs. 

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to