Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin is at the top of Arizona State's wish list to replace the recently fired Dennis Erickson, an unnamed official in Arizona State's athletic department tells Chris Karpman of ASUDevils.com.
Sumlin, whose Cougars are currently undefeated and leading the NCAA in numerous offensive categories, spent part of his weekly press conference Tuesday denying that he's had contact with any other school, adding that he's started talks for an extension with the school to keep him in Houston. But Karpman, citing "a source directly familiar with his thought process," reports that Sumlin has actually been in contact with Arizona State since Nov. 12, and that he's been in touch with UCLA.
In addition, Karpman says that Sumlin's attraction to Arizona State started two years ago:
Prior to the 2010 season, Sumlin and members of his offensive staff visited Arizona State in the offseason to interact with Sun Devil offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone -- Sumlin and Mazzone run similar one-back offenses -- and became enamored with the school and Phoenix area.
It's impossible to say right now who's telling the truth, but given Houston's success this season, Sumlin's name will continue being mentioned for vacant jobs up until the point Sumlin actually signs an extension.
For more on the Sun Devils, check out Arizona St. blog House Of Sparky.