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Coach search: Stock Report 12/01

Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Nebrska's Bo Pelini have been added to our report. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is cooling and TCU head coach Gary Patterson is heating up.

TCU coach Gary Patterson

Hot

BOBBY PETRINO
Current position: Former Head Coach, Arkansas
Petrino remains at the top of our stock report. We fully expect him to interview, but we don’t think he’s a lock for the job. He is one candidate among many, but he has a ton of support.

JIMBO FISHER
Current position: Head Coach, Florida State
Fisher’s name is red-hot at Tennessee. How does that affect Auburn’s search? We’re not sure yet, but it could get interesting if both schools come calling. Arkansas is also rumored to have inquired about his services.

GUS MALZAHN
Current position: Head Coach, Arkansas State
Malzahn remains in our top tier of candidates. We expect him to interview and receive serious consideration.

GARY PATTERSON
Current position: Head Coach, TCU
Patterson has been rumored to be in serious talks with Arkansas. He has drawn interest from Auburn and could be a candidate at Texas, should that job open.

Warm

KIRBY SMART
Current position: Defensive Coordinator, Alabama
Smart is coaching in the SEC Championship Game today. We expect he will be officially contacted shortly after that.

BOB STOOPS
Current position: Head Coach, Oklahoma
Informed sources tell us that Stoops has drawn interest from Auburn and that he is listening. Most think he’s unlikely to leave, but we believe he’s in the mix. If Stoops really wants the job, he would immediately vault to the top of this list.

Louisville coach Charlie Strong

BO PELINI
Current position: Head Coach, Nebraska
Pelini is known to have been looking around for a couple of years now. With a new athletic in Lincoln, a move is even more likely. We’re told he has a strong interest in Auburn and that he is on Auburn’s list of candidates. He is also rumored to be in the running for the Arkansas job.

CHRIS PETERSEN
Current position: Head Coach. Boise State
Petersen, apparently, has been engaged in talks with Arkansas for weeks. He has also garnered interest at Cal and is expected to be a candidate at Oregon should Chip Kelly bolt for the NFL. If he will listen to Arkansas, he’d almost certainly listen to Auburn. We’re told conference realignment is a factor in his decision making.

CHARLIE STRONG
Current position: Head Coach, Louisville
Strong is rumored to have interviewed at Tennessee Thursday. He is thought to be coach of interest for Auburn.

Cool

KEVIN SUMLIN
Current position: Head Coach, Texas A&M
Sumlin is from Alabama, but it’s highly unlikely he’d leave his current job where he has had a terrific first season.

JAMES FRANKLIN
Current position: Head Coach, Vanderbilt
Franklin was in the mix at Arkansas and could become a player at Auburn as a second tier candidate.

LARRY FEDORA
Current position: Head Coach, North Carolina
Fedora has entered the fray at Tennessee. He can’t interview after one season at UNC, but if offered, he’d almost certainly accept.

Others who could get looks: Western Kentucky coach Willie Taggart, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien, Clemson OC Chad Morris, Cincinnati coach Butch Jones, ULL coach Mark Hudspeth and Nebraska.

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