Chris Petersen next Arkansas Razorback football coach?

I first read this on Jason Tolbert’s blog, but I did not take it serious. However, on Dec 2, 2012, I heard Bill Vickery say on his “Sunday Buzz” show on 103 .7 FM that a friend of his who was an agent contends that Jeff Long is working out the final details with Chris Petersen for the Arkansas Razorback football head coaching job. A lot of blogs have jumped on board with this same view. (Although some say that Petersen is moving on and channel 4 in Little Rock reports that Mike Gundy has been given an offer.) (Actually Brett Bielema was named the coach at 6pm on 12-4-12.)

Wally Hall has thrown around these names:

Art Briles, Baylor

Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech

Chris Petersen, Boise State

Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech

Gus Malzahn, Arkansas State

Hog Country reports:

Petersen to be named new coach Tuesday

By on December 1, 2012 | HOG COUNTRY3 Comments

The announcement that Boise State coach Chris Petersen will be the Hogs’ next coach is expected to come Tuesday.

The long-awaited announcement for Arkansas fans should come Tuesday.

But don’t be surprised if there’s another smokescreen or two along the way.

As of Saturday evening, multiple sources have said that Boise State coach Chris Petersen is expected to be named the new Razorbacks coach Tuesday. Considering the Hogs will play Oklahoma in basketball that evening at Bud Walton Arena, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could be formally introduced to the fans then after an earlier press conference for the official announcement.

That’s assuming, of course, nothing changes. After the Dana Altman experience of 2007, Arkansas fans have seen just about the strangest of the strange things happen when it comes to new coaching hires. That was when the Creighton coach was hired to replace the fired Stan Heath, took the job and backed out the next day.

This one doesn’t figure to go that way.

Petersen, the 48-year-old coach of the Broncos, has compiled a gawdy 83-8 record in seven seasons at Boise (a 91.2 percent winning percentage). He took over the reins from Dan Hawkins, who accepted the Colorado job and left a team that Petersen guided to a Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma in 2006.

In Petersens’s most recent contract features nothing prohibitive (from the Idaho Statesman):

• Petersen’s buyout is $750,000. The school’s buyout of Petersen is $250,000 per year left on the deal, plus any guaranteed money left in the deal, plus the pro-rated amount of his longevity incentive for the year he was fired. If Petersen leaves, he must do so after the end of the season, including a bowl game. The buyout applies to three kinds of jobs: FBS head coach, assistant coach at a school in Boise State’s conference or a conference Boise State has contractually agreed to join; or NFL head coach.

• Petersen must provide written (or e-mail) notice at least 24 hours before interviewing for a coaching job at another college or with a professional team.

The only part that may cause some pause to Razorback fans is the leaving after a bowl game at the end of the season. The simple matter is most college coaches’ contract have that clause and most athletic directors ignore it unless the team is in a position to be in a BCS bowl game where it matters. Most bowl projections call for the Broncos to be in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 22.

As for the 24 hours’ notice, it really depends on if Petersen and Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long have talked directly and what exactly constitutes an interview. For full reference to that, look back at all the fancy footwork in the recent Les Miles’ smokescreen that everyone had to endure for a couple of days last week. That, quite simply, provided a distraction for Long to focus on wrapping up some final details with Petersen’s representatives.

After all, Petersen reportedly has been Long’s first choice all along. All the rest of the names and other rumblings have simply been well-placed smokescreens, according to some folks in a position to know within the UA.

The bottom line is none of that will matter.

These days, contracts in sports are simply the starting point for negotiations

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