Stock Report: Can anyone catch Strong?

Who's up? Who's down? And who's holding steady in Louisville's search for a new football coach? InsideTheVille.com's Stock Report for the latest updates in Louisville's search to replace Steve Kragthorpe as football coach.

Charlie Strong, Defensive Coordinator, Florida

Stock Rating: Up. Strong appears to be one of the leading candidates, if not Tom Jurich's top overall candidate, to replace Steve Kragthorpe. He's a hot name after producing the nation's top-ranked defense this season and fits many of the criteria Jurich has set forth for his next hire, including his ability to recruit in Florida and the south. There seems to be more than smoke between the two sides and a deal, according to multiple sources, appears imminent.

Buzz: There's a lot of buzz about a possible Strong-Louisville deal. Strong was asked about the Louisville rumors after Florida's win over FSU Saturday and didn't deny them, saying "What can I do? If they are going to hire me, they are going to hire me. But my job right now, 'Let's go beat Bama.'" Florida plays Alabama in Atlanta on Saturday for the SEC championship. Will Tom Jurich be in Atlanta for the game?

Kevin Sumlin, head coach, houston

Stock Rating: Holding Steady. Sumlin has been mentioned as one of the leading candidates at Louisville, along with Strong, since Kragthorpe's dismissal. According to a published report in the Boston Globe Monday, Sumlin's stock could be rising up UofL AD Tom Jurich's list: "Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe was fired Saturday. Look for Houston coach Kevin Sumlin to jump to the top of the Cardinals' list." Still, we'll list his stock as steady given rumors that Strong is the leading candidate and Sumlin could be a potential candidate at Oklahoma if Bob Stoops goes to Notre Dame. He's definitely one to watch.

Buzz: Houston finished the season 9-2 and won the C-USA Western Division by beating Rice 73-14 on Saturday. Sumlin's team will face East Carolina this Saturday in the C-USA Championship game. Houston is ranked No. 18 in the AP poll and No. 21 in the BCS. The Cougars scored 40 or more eight times this season and have the nation's No. 1 offense. Houston scored no less than 31 points in every game this season.

Gary Patterson, head coach, tcu

Stock Rating: Holding Steady. ESPN's Joe Schad reported that Louisville wanted to speak with Patterson. But there hasn't been much movement or speculation publicly between the Cardinals and Patterson. Patterson is a hot commodity and if things don't work out between Notre Dame and Bob Stoops, Patterson is rumored a potential candidate for the Irish, along with Brian Kelly, Jim Harbaugh and a few others.

Buzz: Patterson led TCU to an unbeaten regular-season and the Mountain West Conference title. At 12-0, TCU is ranked fourth in the BCS standings and will play in the schools first BCS bowl game this season. Patterson has won 11 or more games in five of his nine seasons at TCU and is clearly one of the top non-BCS coaches in the country.

Kyle Whittingham, head coach, utah

Stock Rating: Holding Steady. We'll give Whittingham the same rating as Patterson. ESPN's Schad also reported this weekend that Louisville wanted to speak with Whittingham. But, like Patterson, it's been quite on the Whittingham front, too. Until further notice, we'll keep Whittingham right where he's currently listed – holding steady.

Buzz: After leading Utah to a BCS bowl win over Alabama last season to finish No. 2 in the national polls, Whittingham led the Utes to a 9-3 record this season and finished the regular-season ranked No. 25 in the BCS standings.

mike leach, head coach, texas tech

Stock Rating: Down. Two weeks ago, Mike Leach was the flavor of the month on the rumor mill for the Louisville job. But since several national media outlets reported mutual interest between Louisville and Leach, things went cold after Leach rebuffed the rumors, stating that he has no intentions to leave Lubbock.

Buzz: Leach has been a big winner at Texas Tech and signed a three-year extension last year worth $12.7 million for five years. His teams are known for playing exciting football and putting lots of points on the board, seemingly a perfect fit at Louisville. Before signing his extension last winter, Leach reportedly interviewed with Washington.

Tommy Tuberville, former head coach, Auburn

Stock Rating: Down. Earlier this season when it looked like Louisville would be making a coaching name, Tuberville's name was mentioned as a strong potential candidate. But things have gone quiet between the Cards and the former Auburn coach since Kragthorpe's firing was announced on Saturday.

Buzz: Tuberville makes the list of potential candidates by most national publications, including ESPN.com's initial list, but there doesn't seem to be much buzz right now around a Tuberville candidacy. That, combined with the fact that Tom Jurich appears to be waiting for a potential target's season to end, doesn't bode well for Tuberville to Louisville, considering he's currently out of coaching and available immediately.


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