After leading Louisville to a 10-2 season that is sending Louisville to the Sugar Bowl, Charlie Strong was going to sign a new contract somewhere. The only question was which of the high profile SEC jobs would throw the most money at him first. For the past three days, rumors have swirled that Strong was at or near the top of the wish list to replace Derek Dooley at Tennessee along with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy and perhaps North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora.
Reports now indicate that Charlie Strong is negotiating a new contract with Louisville that could remove him from contention from the Tennessee job for good. Adam Himmelsbach of the Louisville Courier-Journal first reported this morning that officials from the University of Louisville were working with a local law firm to hammer out a new contract for Strong. Later, ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported that Strong and the school were negotiating an extension to his contract despite that the fact that Strong "had a UT offer".
Having already struck out on Strong and apparently Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy as well, conventional wisdom is that Tennessee will turn its attention to current North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora. SB Nation's Steven Godfrey reported yesterday that Fedora interviewed with Tennessee Athletic Director Dave Hart in New York yesterday while attending National Football Foundation Awards Dinner.