The Buffalo Bills, as expected, fired Jim Ringo as head coach yesterday and team owner Ralph Wilson insisted "we have no preconceived notions on a successor and there are no leading candidates at present."
Nevertheless, George Allen's name once again was being mentioned yesterday in connection with Bills' job, along with that of former 49er coach Monte Clark, Stamford coach Bell Walsh, and others.
There was one report circulating in Buffalo that Wilson had met with Allen in Washington last month. Allen had vehemently denied that report in and interview with The Washington Post, and a Buffalo team spokesman said yesterday, "there is no truth to that whatsoever. Mr. Wilson has spoken with no one."
Allen, who has not signed that four year extension on his Redskin contract, again was unavailable to comment yesterday. Team president Edward Bennet Williams also was not available.
Sources in Buffalo said yesterday that Wilson was looking for a name coach, the better to help fill 80,000-seat Rich Stadium. In four of the Bills' seven home games last season, 35,000 or fewer showed up, including a season low 27,750 for the Redskins on Dec. 4.
Sources said yesterday that Wilson, who lives in Detroit and earned his fortune in the insurance and trucking businesses, would probably be willing to spend the money it would take to land a coach of Allen's stature. The Redskins reportedly offered Allen a raise to $250,000 a year, double his current salary.
Those same sources say that Wilson has alway played a major role in the team's player personnel decisions, and that he would find it difficult to give a new coach complete authority to run the football operation.
Authority is the major issue in Allen's contract with the Redskins. Allen wants total authority and management is unwilling to go along.
The Bills have all their draft choices, plus several extra from trades. O. J. Simpson has been the offensive, but his football future is in doubt because of a knee problem. The Bills also have a young, talented offensive line, a decent quarterback in Joe Ferguson and virtually no defense.
Ringo, a former all-pro center with the Green Bay Packers, was the Bills' offensive line coach before being named to succeed Lou Saban as head coach five games into the 1976 season.
The Bills lost their last nine games that year, and finished 3-11 in 1977, starting with four straight losses, then dropping five of their last six games, including a 10-0 defeat to the Redskins.
"This was a difficult decision because we have great admiration and respect for Jim RIngo," Wilson said. "He was a standup guy in a difficult situation."