Charlie Strong to Tennessee? If the Vols Don't Get Him, Then Who, Mike Gundy?

Charlie Strong, the Louisville coach who led the Cardinals to a BCS Bowl this year, is rumored to be the top target of Tennessee.

Last week, Strong was linked to the Auburn opening (since filled by Gus Malzahn), but he quickly shot down that report with a firm denial. Strong has made no such denials about the Tennessee job.

You know the rumor is a hot one when ESPN links to it on its front page. (A rumor to the Strong rumor: Tennessee is waiting to announce the hire tomorrow because Phillip Fulmer is entering the Hall of Fame tonight.)

The questions here are easy:

* Will Louisville pay up to keep Strong? The answer should resoundingly be yes. I thought Louisville moving to the ACC would help the Cards retain their coach, but perhaps the lure of the greatest conference in the sport will be too much.

* If Strong says no, what does Tennessee do? They swung and missed with Gruden. Do they make a run at FSU’s Jimbo Fisher, who appears to be signing an extension with the Seminoles? UNC’s Larry Fedora? Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy? Or will those schools announce extensions, too?

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