Monken was a candidate last year for this job. The gig eventually went to Ellis Johnson, who was fired after going 0-12 this season. Southern Miss also has a history of hiring OSU offensive coordinators, as Jeff Bower and Larry Fedora both went from running the offense in Stillwater to head coaching in Hattiesburg. Fedora, of course, parlayed the Southern Miss job into an opportunity to coach North Carolina.
This has become a prime steppingstone job for an offensive-minded coach, as Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn now lead SEC programs. Arkansas State has also shown a new willingness to open its checkbook a bit wider for its head coach, with Malzahn earning about $850,000 this season after Freeze was the lowest-paid Division I coach the previous year (just more than $200,000).
This is a program that was once a factor in the Big 12 but is now one of the nation's worst. This job would provide a chance to be the head coach at a BCS school in a beautiful city, but is it a place Monken could win?
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