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Gary Patterson 'leading candidate' for Arkansas coaching job, according to report

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TCU's Gary Patterson has stuck with the Frogs for more than a decade despite offers to coach elsewhere. Would Arkansas be the job that causes him to bolt?

Tom Pennington

Gary Patterson's piloted the TCU football program from obscurity in the WAC to the national spotlight in the Rose Bowl and back to the power table, with his current depleted roster competing in the thick of the Big 12. But what's next for him? Continue building the Frogs, or turn that success into a bigger job?

According to one report*, Arkansas hopes it's the latter. Pete Roussel of CoachingSearch.com reports Patterson is "the leading candidate" for the Razorbacks job, which will come open as soon as the season ends and John L. Smith can be whisked away to some sort of old coach's ranch out west. However, Jeremy Fowler reports there's been no contact at this point.

* According to another report, from Bo Mattingly of 93.3 FM in Arkansas, interest is more mutual than you'd think.

Patterson is 115-33 in Fort Worth, having put together five conferences titles, three straight top-10 finishes and a BCS bowl win as a non-AQ. He's undoubtedly one of the best and most-coveted coaches in the country, but is Arkansas the job that could pry him away from the program he's completely rebuilt, down to the revamped facilities?

If Arkansas has him at No. 1 on their board, I definitely don't think that means he's going. It would take a better gig with more natural recruiting ground than Arkansas to get him to leave a program he's put so much into. But if he's the guy the Hogs want more than any other, at least we can see their list of candidates got off to a good start, right?

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