Matt Rhule, Temple head coach
Likelihood scale: 6/10
Rhule has been in the coaching fraternity ever since he last took the field for Penn State in 1997 (put your pitchforks down). He's gone from coaching the defensive line at Buffalo, UCLA and Temple to becoming Al Golden's Temple offensive coordinator from 2008 to 2010. After a one-year stint with the New York Giants as their offensive line coach, Rhule returned to Temple to become the Owls' head coach after Steve Addazio left for Boston College.
The last two Temple coaches to leave 18th and Broad Streets were Al Golden and Addazio. Both have gone on to have relative success in the ACC with Miami and Boston College. He is also a quality recruiter, having competed with Penn State, Rutgers and even Maryland for many of the same recruits and landing quite a good number of them. Temple is not an easy program to recruit athletes to, and Rhule has done a good job making Temple competitive and quite possibly a favorite in the ever-improving American Athletic Conference. He does have some connections to the area through recruiting, and he does come from another Under Armour school.
Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson has said he wants a coach "who's going to come in here and excite the fan base," and a former Penn State linebacker coming from Temple doesn't really fit that mold. His teams have become known for defense despite Rhule's past as an offensive coordinator, and Temple's offense is currently near the bottom of the American. How he he would handle an expectation of offensive flair while playing much tougher teams in a much tougher conference on a weekly basis is unknown, as was the case with Golden and Addazio in the past.
In one sentence
Anderson might not be positioned to make a "safe" choice here, but if decides to go that route, Rhule's a pretty safe pick and a hard one to criticize too scathingly.