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Colorado State's Jim McElwain a 'leading candidate' at Florida, per report

The former Alabama coordinator carries a hefty buy-out fee, but the Gators may be willing to part with the cash.

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain is a "leading candidate" to replace Will Muschamp at Florida, according to Pat Forde. Forde is also reporting McElwain and Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley talked Saturday night about the position.

McElwain's buyout recently increased to $7.5 million, making him an expensive hire for any school. The Gators have the resources to throw around that kind of cash, but that's an heavy price to pay for a relatively unproven head coach.

After four years as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Alabama, McElwain was hired by Colorado State prior to the 2012 season. After a 4-8 year, the Rams went 8-6 with a New Mexico Bowl win last season. They were able to build on that further this season, winning 10 games and earning strong consideration for the Group of 5 major bowl berth.

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday and Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy are other names that have been seriously floated out there, although a recent report said Gundy is out of contention. We attempted to decide Florida's coaching search with WWE 2K15 Battle Royale, but McElwain was not one of the competitors.