College Football Rumors: Tennessee Gives Gruden Deadline, Possible Landing Spot For McElwain & More

There are still two weeks left in the college football regular season, but the coaching carousel has already started. Florida and Tennessee are already looking for new coaches after firing Jim McElwain and Butch Jones, respectively, while Ole Miss is looking for a permanent head coach after one year under interim man Mark Luke. Of course, ArkansasNebraskaTexas A&M, and UCLA are also facing uncertain coaching futures. So, without further ado, here are the biggest stories you need to know from around the college football world:

Tennessee meets with Jon Gruden, gives him deadline for decision
Gruden is Tennessee's top target to replace Jones, and according to 247sports, have already met with him and pitched him on the job. However, they won't let the ESPN analyst drag his feet. They have told him that he's their top target but have given him a deadline to make a decision so they can move on to other candidates should he turn them down.

GoVols247 was told by two sources Thursday that first-year Tennessee athletic John Currie flew to Tampa, Fla., Wednesday night, where Gruden lives and works out of his infamous Fired Football Coaches Association office.

Talk inside the Tennessee athletic department has led some to believe that the Vols have made a pitch to Gruden, the Monday Night Football color analyst and former Super Bowl winning head coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Sources have also said that the Vols have given Gruden a deadline on making a decision. If the decision isn’t in Tennessee’s favor, Currie could turn his attention to Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen.

Gruden started his career as a grad assistant for the Vols and has called coaching Tennessee his "dream job," and reportedly started calling coaches about potentially joining him as assistants in Knoxville.

The final Monday Night Football broadcast of the season is on Christmas Day, five days after AD John Currie's Dec. 20 deadline for hiring a head coach. However, could very easily leave his role with ESPN before then.

Dan Mullen not interested in Tennessee or Florida job
Speaking of Mullen, the Mississippi State head coach has been linked to both the Tennessee job and the Florida job, but he says he's not interested in either.

"I love the one I have," said Mullen. "I think what you can see if what we've been able to build Mississippi State into, as I keep saying. When you look around, we've been able to build a facility. You've got an AD (athletic director John Cohen) that's been a coach and hugely supports our football program. We've built a team that's a Top 25 program, in my mind. And with the atmosphere on Saturday night, I have a great job.

"I think everybody has an opinion in the world of what I should and shouldn't do. But most of the people that know me, friends that have known me for a long time, they know I like my own opinion. I'm not really interested in other people's opinions all that much. So I like my own opinion."

Mullen is 68–45 in nine seasons with the Bulldogs, including a 7-3 mark so far this season.

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Nebraska a possible landing spot for Jim McElwain?
McElwain's future is uncertain given his firing, but he could end up coaching another high-profile Power 5 school next season. According to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg, McElwain is a candidate for the Nebraska job once they fire current head coach Mike Riley.

McElwain might end up in Lincoln, although it's fair to wonder if he could handle the spotlight there. Wyoming's Craig Bohl, a former Nebraska player and assistant, and Washington State's Mike Leach, who worked for new Huskers AD Bill Moos until last month, both have been mentioned as options. But after the Riley situation, Nebraska likely has to go younger with this hire.

McElwain went 22-12 in two and a half seasons with the Gators, leading them to the SEC Championship Game each of his first two seasons. However, Florida was just 3-4 this season at the time of his firing.

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Related Topics: Florida Gators Football, NCAA Football, Jim McElwain, Nebraska Cornhuskers Football, Tennessee Volunteers Football, Dan Mullen, Jon Gruden